One question that gets asked a lot by business owners, bloggers or webmasters who are just learning about SEO is: How long will it take for my website to rank at the top of Google search results?
It’s absolutely normal to ask about a time estimate regarding the success of your SEO strategy since it is a time and money investment. Any business owner needs to be able to plan ahead and work with the budget within a certain time frame for achieving their goals. It’s a totally legit question, but the answer is not so simple.
What Influences Your SEO Success?
Before being able to predict a time frame with reasonable accuracy, you need to understand how Search Engine Optimisation works. Optimisation for search engines involves hundreds of possible variables. How deep you get into them, the complexity of your SEO strategy, depends on the expertise of the website manager, your budget, expectations, how tough your competition is, etc.
For small and medium businesses that have just started investing in digital marketing and SEO techniques, there is no need for a high-tech, complex SEO plan. Starting with the basics is what our common sense dictates. But it’s important to recognise which tools and actions are indispensable for successful ranking, and which can be postponed for later.
Also, setting realistic expectations can save you a lot of headaches in the first year. According to an Ahrefs study, only 5.7 of newly-published websites ranked in Google’s top 10 results within the first year.
SEO Basics for a New Website
When you have a brand new website, a blog or eCommerce store, or maybe a presentation site, you already put a lot of time and effort into it. But if you want your website to actually be found in the search results and get more visitors, you need to implement an SEO strategy as soon as possible, as you have to catch up with your competitors.
For a brand new website, these are the basic steps you need to take for increasing your Google rankings:
- Collect and interpret data about your website traffic with Google Analytics;
- See how Google views your website and what you can improve, keep an eye on your ranking position;
- Research and target keywords that your audience uses in queries, competition keywords, and trending keywords;
- Start earning high-quality links to your website by link building;
- Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing
So, you did all this and now you are watching your Google Analytics reports, but there is no major change? Well, SEO is not like turning on a switch or taking an aggressive treatment that works overnight. Ranking in Google comes with steady effort, after establishing your website as a trustworthy, valuable source for search engines.
Evaluating Your Website’s SEO Current Performance and Potential
Before getting an estimate on the time it will take you to rank in Google, you have to evaluate your site’s performance in terms of ranking factors and see what you’re working with.
- Are there any technical issues that slow down your progress?
- Is there something you can do to speed up certain processes?
- What about your competitors – is it difficult to catch up with older websites?
- How much money are you willing to spend on SEO in the next 6 months?
What Can You Do to Speed Up the Process?
Once you have identified your website’s weak points, it’s time to compensate by tweaking your SEO strategy. Some of the things you can do for your website to rank faster are:
- Invest more money in SEO: get higher quality content, better technical maintenance of your website and expert services for your strategy;
- Create good content! This is what will ultimately get people to stay on your website more, mention it on social media or on their own websites, recommend it to others, and leave a good review. Keep things interesting, fresh, and always well-optimised for search engines. The growth might stretch over months or years, but it will be exponential if your efforts are constant
How Long Does It Take for My Website to Rank in Google?
In many ways, SEO is like gardening. A part of how your website is doing is visible, like plants above the ground. But you also have to take care of the roots – technical SEO and off-page SEO can make or break your website’s success.
Can you speed up your success and get prize-winning produce overnight? No. It takes constant care, investment, and experience to get there. Black hat tactics can have an immediate result but lead to irreparable damage (like losing your Google page ranks for spamming).
There are so many variables to take into account, that a time estimate is not possible before auditing your website. An estimate shows that average performing websites rank in Google after 6 months to 1 year of effort. Getting there faster is possible if you have great content to work with or a fabulous niche. It could also be slower if your website has a bad start, or if your market is difficult.
How to Get the Best Time for Ranking in Google?
Since you are a beginner when it comes to SEO, the best idea is to get expert advice. If your budget doesn’t allow you to hire a long-term SEO service, at least invest in an audit of your website.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is valuable knowledge and it will give you the direction you should take. SEO tools and knowledge can be mastered in time, with dedication and a bit of inclination towards digital technology and marketing. But if that’s not your cup of tea, you can outsource it and get a faster ROI from it while moving towards the first page of Google.
Need an SEO expert to look at your website? Contact Australian Internet Advertising and you will get a free proposal from one of our online marketers.