So you have briefed yourself on the benefits of natural SEO, and you understand that it’s necessary if you want long-term success in the search results. But, unlike Pay-Per-Click Campaigns (like AdWords), natural SEO does take some time. Because a strong SEO strategy relies on valuable content and quality backlinks, you obviously can’t take your website from page 50 to page 1 overnight. Okay, fine. So how long do you have to wait?
Surely, that’s not what you wanted to hear, but this is not a one-size-fits-all answer. There are a lot of variables involved, and you can’t even control a lot of them. To put it simply, natural SEO is like the tortoise in the race, and we all know how that story ends. It may seem like a slow start, but in the end, you come out on top.
But the good news is you will start to see an improvement in just a few weeks.
Just like when you are losing weight, you don’t expect the end result immediately, but you want to know your efforts are doing something. These short-term results will motivate you to keep working, knowing your goal will eventually be achieved. With natural SEO, you can expect this all-important progress after a week or two. Once your initial fixes are made (cleaning up your sitemap, putting in some internal linking, indexing things properly, adding in some meta tags, etc.), you just have to wait for Google to crawl and index your site. You may not be on the first page at this point, but you will definitely be able to see that you are headed in the right direction.
So how long does it take to reach those coveted top spots?
It can take anywhere from three months up to a year or more. It is not black and white, and it all depends on three things:
- Starting Point – Clearly, the current condition of your website plays a big role in how long it will take you to get to the top. If you already have a well-maintained blog with loyal followers and a decent number of backlinks, you will notice results much quicker than someone starting from scratch. And if you have been penalized for some black hat SEO techniques, your mountain is even steeper.
- Industry & Competition– The type of work you are in determines how specific your keywords need to be. If you are a dentist in a small town, you will have much more targeted keywords (i.e., less competition) versus a nationwide alarm company. Of course, anyone can do geo-targeting, so the more specific you can make your keywords, the faster you will be able to see results. You want to avoid competing with the money-falling-from-the-sky companies if at all possible.
- Amount of Work – Finally, the amount of effort you put into your natural SEO strategy makes a big difference. Obviously. You can’t expect to post one blog a month and move up as quickly as someone posting three times per week.
Even though it may seem like all of your blog postings and optimization strategies are for nothing at the beginning, it is crucial that you stick with it.