How Long Does It Take for SEO to Work?

Posted on in Blog

Generally, it takes about 4 – 6 months for SEO efforts to really take off. However, you could see results in as little as 2 weeks if you’re not targeting very competitive keywords, you have great content and your website is authoritative with a lot of backlinks.

These results will depend on your strategy, your domain authority and many other factors. We’ll outline each of these variables below and explain what you can do to tip the scales in your favor.

Estimate How Long SEO Will Take to Kick In

SEO covers a broad range of tactics. If you’re doing most things right, here are our estimated minimum time ranges for various ranking milestones:

  • One to Two Weeks
    • Begin ranking in the SERP for certain keywords (relevant or not).
  • One to Two Months
    • “Steal” a featured snippet from a competitor.
  • Three to Four Months
    • Begin ranking on the first page of the SERP.
  • More Than 6 Months
    • Rank in the top 5 positions of the SERP.

These estimates are based on our agency’s experience with diverse clients. The kicker is, getting to a point of “doing most things right” can take a while. That’s why “How long does SEO take?” is such a complicated question.

Why Is My SEO Not Working?

There are many potential reasons that your SEO strategy is not working. If you’re trying to rank for competitive terms on a new(ish) website with few backlinks, poor internal linking, technical errors or not much content, it may never work. The components of an authoritative website take time.

Explore the links below to learn our recommended techniques for speeding up the ranking process:

  • Page Optimization
    • In many cases, it makes sense to optimize existing content rather than try to start from scratch. If you have a blog or landing page that isn’t performing well, then it’s time to revisit keyword targets, content, images, speed, and more.
  • Link Building
    • How does Google determine who is worthy of ranking high in the SERP? Links are a big factor! A website that has many backlinks tells search engines the content is worth reading, since many other people have decided to share the link.
  • Starting a Blog
    • If your service or product pages are struggling to rank, starting a blog can be a catalyst to your website’s link building, domain authority and robust internal link profile. Use the tips in the link above to get started.
  • Auditing Technical SEO
    • If you’re only thinking about keywords, extend your strategy to more technical matters. Learning how to perform a technical audit is worth it.

Are you still wondering, “Why is my website not getting organic traffic?” A few common reasons we see are:

  • Your site is blocked from crawling in the robots.txt file.
    • Remove the faulty disallow line from the robots.txt file.
  • The content you’ve published has a no_index meta tag that prevents search engines from indexing it.
    • Remove the no_index tag from the source code, either manually or through automated CMS settings.
  • The content isn’t indexed in search engines yet.
    • Submit the new URL to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. Also, make sure it’s not on an island (i.e., no inlinks to the page).
  • Your site has Page Experience issues.

“I’m doing everything right and still getting slow results.”

You’ve identified the perfect keywords, optimized your content, cleaned up errors and implemented schema markup … Why isn’t your website ranking better? Because sometimes SEO takes an unexpected amount of time, and search engine algorithms are always changing.

Keep in mind, the average age of a page in the 10th organic position of the Google SERP is two years old! According to Ahrefs, only 22% of the pages in the top 10 are less than one year old. Your page might sit on page 3 (position 20 – 30) of search results for a year before finally gaining more traction, so don’t give up – just keep creating excellent content that truly helps your audience.

a chart showing the average age in days of the top ten google results
From Ahrefs research “How Long Does It Take to Rank?

Help When You Need It

SEO takes time, effort, consistency and a keen eye for detail. When you need an experienced hand, Oneupweb is here to help. Our SEO service experts use white-hat tactics to get your website in front of the right audience. Beyond SEO, we’re a premier content marketing agency that uses data to craft content that your audience (and search engines) will love.

Give us a call at (231) 922-9977 or reach out to us online to discuss an SEO and content marketing strategy for your business.

Up Next

Name: Hanna Lee-Kleb Position: Account Manager What’s your average day like at Oneupweb? Checking emails and responding to clients first thing, then catching up on specific projects either over the phone or via Slack. It’s off to the races from there! Tell us about your favorite Oneupweb moment. When I first started it was the...

Read More