When Does SEO Take Effect?

January 30, 2024

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You can have the best marketing strategy in the world, and a lot of money to spend on ads, but all these efforts to grow your business would be in vain if you don’t also work on strengthening your SEO efforts.

Where you appear in search results is crucial to generating enough traffic for your website. From there, it’s the content you have that can land a conversion. But at Australian Internet Advertising, a lot of the businesses we work with often hit us with this question: how long does SEO need to work?

The answer isn’t the thing that most people expect. SEO takes a lot of energy, and as a result, it’s natural to want almost instant results. However, that’s not the case.

In this article, we’ll try to explain how long an SEO campaign will need to show its first results, and why you will not see any improvements overnight.


How SEO Works

Right off the bat, you need to understand that there is no easy answer to “how soon will my SEO efforts start working” question, and that has to do with what SEO is.

Search engine optimisation is a process through which you make a website easier to be navigated by search engines. The easier these engines understand the website and its content, the better the rank, the website is given in the search engine results page.

The rank or the position of the website is crucial here. Think of yourself every time you Google or Bing something: how often do you click on the second page of the results? We’d guess not that often.

In fact, the first three links of a SERP will swallow more than 70% of the clicks. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in the first three links, you’re more likely to re-type your query than to click on the lower pages.

But to get SEO to work in your favour, there are a lot of different things you need to focus on:

● Relevant, timeless, and valuable content;
● Fast loading speeds;
● Leveraging the right keywords, especially for local SEO;
● Removing all broken links;
● Link building;
● Great user experience.

And as you’d expect, none of these things can be done overnight, so developing unrealistic expectations that SEO will boost your business in just a couple of weeks is rather pointless.

A Timeline for SEO

So, is there no way to know how fast you can achieve SEO success? To get the answer for you, you will have to analyse the particularities of your own webpage. It’s about everything from how long you’ve been active to how much SEO you’ve done before, and even how much content you have.

No two websites are truly identical, so it would be pointless for anyone to tell you SEO will work in a specific time frame without first auditing your site. It’s a long term process. However, based on the process overall, we can create a sort of timeline for SEO. Just note this timeline is mostly about what you need to do to improve your SEO efforts, and not necessarily how much it will take to actually see results.

Whether you have your own digital marketing team or outsource to an SEO company, the entire process will take months to unfold. Again, this is because there are a lot of different things that need to be accounted for.

Overall, you can expect at least 5 months before you see any results:

Month #1

In the beginning, it’s all about planning, auditing your current website, doing some keyword research, and seeing what changes you need to make to improve SEO. It’s best not to actually start changing your website until you completely finish this step.

Some companies may try to speed things up but that’s tricky because you’d soon discover how interconnected different areas of your website truly are. For instance, let’s say that after your research you discover your website needs new, fresh content. And you start writing it.

But what do you write about? Or, more specifically, how can you make sure the content you are writing will truly help your website. That’s where keyword research comes in handy.

Focusing on website analysis first will give you a complete overview of how your website looks right now. From there, you can create a better strategy to improve your SEO efforts.

Month #2

Then, it’s time to actually start diving into your website and making the much-needed changes from a technical standpoint. This can mean a lot of different things, depending on what you discovered through your audits.

Sometimes, the changes can be minimal, and you can quickly get them done and move on. Other times, however, business owners have been surprised to find out they need a new website altogether. The amount of work your SEO needs can require anything from a few weeks to a few months if you need a new site altogether.

If you’re in the latter category, your timeline is already shifted.

Month #3

Assuming you only need one month to get your website up and running from a technical standpoint, you can move on to content creation, another pillar of SEO. You’ll need to take your keyword research and let it guide you to establish the topics or angles your content needs, whether it’s content presented as blog posts or even just the one on your other pages.

Good content takes talent, so you may want to consider working with some skilled writers who can deliver exactly that. The good part is that once you have it, you may already start seeing some positive changes in terms of traffic.

Month #4

If you’ve gained some momentum during your third month, you then need to make sure it doesn’t burn out. This will require additional tweaks in your website’s technical issues, as well as additional content.

But how do you know what needs to be improved? You look at the data in your Google Analytics to see what’s going on with your pages. Look for things such as “traffic, ” “bounce rate,” and check if the keywords are working.

If you’re not too pleased with the results, then the website still needs some work. Even so, you will definitely see some results that will show you SEO is working.

Month #5

The last month in the timeline is a social month, meaning you can look to incorporating better social media management into your marketing strategy. Social networks are very good SEO boosters, so sit down with your PR team to see how you can become more visible on these platforms.

With more activity on social media, you should start noticing more traffic coming to your website, and possibly even more conversions as well.

Patience Is Key When It Comes to SEO

Five months is a long time to sit and hope for SEO to work, but it’s only the beginning. Your website will only show small to mild improvements in this timeline. The true changes may very well come just next year.

We Can Help

But it’s worth the wait, especially if you have a strong SEO strategy. We can help with that last part. Reach out to Australian Internet Advertising now!

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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