It’s the question everyone wants the answer to–how long does SEO take to show results? After all, if you’re investing money into it every month, you should want to know the answer–and rightfully so. Ask any SEO expert though, and you might get different answers.

Let’s save you some time up front–if you’re talking to any SEO expert that guarantees results within just a couple months, run in the opposite direction. No one has the inside information on Google, and there is no secret sauce to ranking on Google within just a couple months. SEO is a long, ongoing process that is impossible to guarantee tangible results in a short period of time.

Generally speaking, SEO takes at least 6 months to see any tangible progress for an already established website. For a brand new domain, it might be a year until you really start to see traction. It is, of course, impossible to assign a universal timeline to every website, since the content and competition will be different for everyone. In order to really gauge growth, you first need to determine what your goals are.

Determining SEO Goals

In order to measure growth, you first need to decide what it is you’re looking to gain from SEO, and the KPIs you’re going to use to measure it. If you’re looking to simply get more traction on your website, that’s easily measured by looking at traffic to all your pages. If you want to gain revenue through your website, you’ll need to take a look at the lead-generating pages on your site.

This doesn’t mean that you’re looking to achieve your goals in the first 6 months, but you should be looking for at least some progress towards your goal in the first 6 months, whether that’s by impressions on Search Console, traffic to a specific page measured in Analytics, or an increase in phone calls from Google Business Profile.

Ranking vs. Indexing

Ranking your content shouldn’t be confused for indexing. When Google ranks content, it’s generally considered to be on the first page of the SERPs for a specific keyword. When Google indexes content, it simply acknowledges its existence and it is ready to show that content to potential searchers. While ranking doesn’t have a set timeline associated with it, indexing content should only take somewhere between a few days and up to a month.

Is SEO Worth It?

SEO is the most important investment you could make for your website, however, you need to be willing to allocate the time necessary to make it worth it. For a brand new website, continually maintaining SEO efforts for at least a year is the bare minimum. This includes technical SEO, content, and where you can, backlinks–and while we won’t guarantee you any results, our SEO services are done right, and should help you move towards your set goals. Contact us today to get started!