SEO: How Long Does it Really Take?

Haven’t we all heard that question: “How long does it take for SEO to work?” Let’s be honest, the answer is always a frustrating shrug and “I don’t know” which is not helpful at all.

So, here’s the thing. SEO is like making a visit to the doctor looking for a symptom. There are many reasons for you feeling sick, and SEO is something similar. There are a dozen more factors that can affect how long it will take to see results.
We are here to give an approximate answer. Here’s a breakdown of factors to consider.

Technical Fixes:

  • Have a simple issue with your website like a missing title tag? Search engines can identify a fix within 24 hours, especially for websites that are more established.
  • Bigger websites tend to get crawled more often by search engines, so they might see results faster. For smaller sites, it could take longer.
  • Bigger websites have a tendency to get crawled more by search engines, so they might see results faster. It could take way longer for smaller websites.
  • If there’s a bigger problem which has stuck around for a while (like an accidental deindexed page), it could be months before google reindexes it.

New Projects and Content

  • Are you planning to launch a new page or product category? It might take some time for search engines to find it and index it. A website’s authority plays a huge role in how fast it can happen.
  • The bigger challenge? It is often a lengthy task to get approval for a new SEO initiative than the actual implementation of it. Large companies with other teams involved can take months to launch something simple.

The Catch-22:

  • The websites which are well-established might see a quicker impact from SEO but the process of launching content can be slower due to internal approval processes.
  • Smaller sites might take less time to launch new content, but they might not see results quickly because of less authority.

The Importance of Realistic Expectations

Picture this: you find a super relevant keyword that your website is missing from its title tag. Easy fix, right? Well, it might take months to get approval from all the necessary teams to make that change. But once the change is made, the impact can be dramatic – even ranking in the top 3 for that keyword within days and driving significant traffic.

The Key Takeaway

It depends on many factors how long SEO might take.Search engines might recognize the efforts of SEO quickly, but the real impact depends on your website’s authority and how quickly the efforts can be implemented.

The Best Answer

So, when a client asks you about SEO timelines, be upfront. Explain that search engines can pick up on SEO efforts quickly, but the traffic impact depends on their website’s authority. Provide an educated guess based on those factors. But most importantly, set realistic expectations about how long it might take to get those recommended changes launched internally.