How Long Does it Take for SEO to Work?

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One of the most common questions that businesses have when starting an SEO strategy is how long it will take to see results. We all know that SEO is not something that happens overnight, but what is a realistic time frame to see results? Three months? Six months?

As with many things in the digital marketing world, there is no hard and fast timeline for when SEO works. It all depends on your website’s history, the industry you are in and where you are ranked on the search results. SEO is a long-term strategy, and it can take anywhere from a few days to over a year to see the results you want.

Quick SEO Fixes Do Exist

Sometimes, a small edit to a page can make a huge difference in where your site ranks. If you need a few easy SEO fixes that will boost your rankings right away, talk to your web developer about what can be done. Usually, quick SEO improvements include things like:

  • Optimizing structured data
  • Migrating to WordPress
  • Redirecting dead links
  • Fixing 404 pages
  • Focusing on mobile first
  • Removing duplicate content

Most SEO Strategies Start Working in 6-12 Months

Even though some SEO fixes can give you a boost in the rankings, SEO is a longer term strategy that takes time to work. In general, you can expect to wait 6-12 months to see the full effect of a search engine optimization strategy. This is what most legitimate SEO companies will ask for.

Waiting 6-12 months is not a bad idea because of the following:

  • Your site may need an overhaul. Often times, a new SEO strategy requires updates to your site. This includes publishing fresh, relevant content with the new keywords, updating evergreen content, inserting metadata, creating relevant links and using alt tags. This takes time to complete.
  • SEO builds on itself. Another reason why SEO requires patience is because it builds on itself over time. As your content becomes more visible, more people will visit your site and spend time on your pages. The better your site performs, the higher it will rank.

SEO is a long-term strategy that continues to show results over time. While it can be frustrating, keep doing what you’re doing. SEO is just one aspect of digital marketing, so use your “waiting time” to focus on other marketing strategies that do bring success to your business.