We’ve just started investing in SEO, how long will it take us to start seeing results?
This is of course one of the most common questions that any agency like ours, is likely to get asked, that’s because of course you don’t want to be forking out for a long period of time on your marketing, before the sales start rolling in.
However, as this article will illustrate, it’s not a straightforward to say when a company will land on the first page of Google, that’s because it can’t be answered with a precise date.
For example, there are a huge number of factors which need to be considered, namely, how strong are is your competitors search engine optimisation?
The next thing consider is how long have your competitors been investing for?
If they have been investing for an extended period of time, let’s say seven years, in terms of improving their seo, well, as you can imagine, to catch up that’s going to take a very long period of time for a start-up company to catch up with those businesses which have been investing for a long period of time.
Has the company purchased low quality seo in the past?
Then you have to consider whether the company has gone to an agency in the past, that hasn’t done a very good job of the seo, any of that work will need redoing?
What we mean by fixing, is that those areas may need rectify before any new seo work is completed , but you not going to see the site’s seo fixed overnight, that’s because sometimes Google might have deemed the website as low quality, so to redeem yourself in terms of where you rank will sometimes take a long period of time.
Then there’s the website design itself, is it any good?
Does the site need to be redesigned? If it needs to be redesigned, or substantial improvements made, and sometimes some web design agencies move at a slow pace, they might take six months to get the website back, before the marketing agency can start working on improving the organic seo, so this is something us to consider.
There is so much to consider, but this article should start give you some ideas for how long it might take to get your company on the first page of Google.
So how long does seo take?
Well, what we would say to this question, is very much depends on which business sector your businesses in.
As a very broad example, we would say for local seo it can take up to 6 months to start seeing some real results sometimes, but again is very much depends on how strong your competitors are, for example for solicitors it might take way longer than six months to see results, but for another business let’s say a company which installs garage doors, because competitions lower you can expect to see results in less than six months.
What about national seo?
Because the level of competition is much higher on a national basis, we would say normally it takes around 12 months to see results.
But this is just an average and just to give you a rough idea of how long it might take, for example in hugely competitive business sectors, for example car insurance, this can take much longer than 12 months.
Equally on the other hand let’s say that, it’s a low competition business sector, let’s say the business is setting up a window cleaning business in our relatively small town, the seo agency might get the business on the first page and say three months.
So very much depends on the level of competition.
What you really need to ask is how can success be measured?
Now, we’ve been in the business for a very long time, so we’ve seen seo reports which can quite simply be a load of marketing waffle.
Full of graphs, statistics, and dials pointing at whether the website’s seo is deemed as red, green, or yellow and sometimes some of these reports, sometimes can be an absolute load of rubbish.
So, what you really need to do is have a conversation with your agency on how you and your agency are going to measure success.
What would we recommend?
Well, we would recommend measuring success on where your business ranks for certain keywords. Not rubbish keywords, but keywords which are important to your business, so for example if you are a solicitor specialising in the area of divorce, then obviously the keywords will be divorce solicitors or family lawyers plus the name of the city.
Next you need to consider organic traffic
When you focus on organic traffic, you must think this kind of like if you own a shop, you will want to bring in customers there are likely to purchase from you.
So, let’s give you an example, let’s say the business specialises in selling sports cars, yet your marketing company gets the marketing totally wrong, and on a certain day where you are running a promotion on a new model of car, they bring in let’s say 1000 people into the car dealership that really don’t want to purchase a car, they just want to look at it and test drive that new luxury and high-performance car.
So these might be considered visitors to your car dealership, that won’t convert into you making a sale, so from a business perspective they are not the visitors to your car dealership that you want, because you obviously want to sell more cars.
However, on the other hand the marketing company that does a real good job, let’s say they personally phone people where their car leases are coming to an end, and they ask those customers to come in for a test drive a new model of car that’s just been released for sale, well you are likely to generate more sales. Because those customers have purchased from you before, so therefore more likely to purchase from you again.
So obviously these are likely to be more loyal customers, they are likely to be interested in the products that you are selling therefore your sales staff are more likely to generate the sale.
That’s opposed to bringing say 1000 people that all walk around a high value sports car, want also test drive it, but might not necessarily any intention of purchasing the car.
So, this is the same with your website, you going to want to bring in organic traffic that is likely to make a purchase.
Level of competition
We mentioned earlier about the level of competition that your business faces, and by far this has the biggest bearing on how quickly you can start to see results from your search engine optimisation.
For example, if the competition is weak, then we could leapfrog them in a short period of time.
If however you are setting up the car insurance firm, and you going up against companies which have invested millions then to start seeing results from your seo will take a much longer period of time.
This is another really important point, because sometimes some businesses have a go at improving their seo themselves and sometimes make it complete mess of it, and get the website penalised and this means that is a huge amount of work just to recover the penalty.
So, this is not like starting from the starting line, it’s like starting 10 miles behind, and then you need to do a lot of work just get the starting blocks.
So, if the website has a lot of spam links, the business may have a link penalty the content marketing might have been rubbish also, in terms of it could be keyword stuffed, we might even have hidden text, which seo agencies call cloaking, you most definitely should not use any of these methods because they will result in your business getting a penalty.
Cloaking is writing hidden text on your website, so as mentioned, there are a huge range of ways a marketing company could actually damage your businesses seo, and sometimes, the businesses seo could be so damaged to the point where your business could be seriously disadvantaged in terms of trying to improve the organic seo in the future.
This is a really important point, and that is sometimes some companies can be fairly large, but they may well be fairly dormant in terms of their seo activity.
That might be because the business might have paused paying for seo, but sometimes it could be because the marketing agency has got really complacent, because they’re working in a business sector where the seo work that’s needed is not that great.
So, if your business is competing with a lot of dormant companies, by that we mean the seo work for those companies has stagnated, then we can often leapfrog these companies fairly quickly.