How long does it take for SEO to work and to rank my website high in the Google Search Engine? This is a question we get asked all the time, is common throughout the SEO industry and is often asked by company owners who need more website visitors for their business.
There is no quick answer without time to analyse the website to be ranked against the competition for the target keywords on the first page of the search engines, with the right level of SEO expertise.
An experienced SEO company can also provide an idea on the required budget and the expected return on investment (ROI) for their business.
Several factors achieve high search engine rankings that can either accelerate the ranking process or slow it down. However, the simple answer is, when a website increases its relevancy, trust and authority for the target keywords, the site will move into the top spots in the search engines.
When the website is at the top, the website visitors increase, along with conversion rates from visitors to enquiries, with an increase in business from the site, which is the ultimate business goal.
The Primary SEO Ranking Factors
We have detailed below the main determining factors that help understand how long a website will take to attain high search engine rankings.
On-Page SEO Ranking Factors
As a website owner wants the best for their business, there’s so much they can do to get great content up on their website that will provide excellent user experience and increase their website’s authority and relevancy in the eyes of Google.
High Quality And Engaging Content
Engaging, informative, relevant and extremely well-written content that relates to your company services and products provides a strong factor to get your website to the top of the search engines.
This targeted content will also help turn people visiting your website into sales enquiries, interested in your services or products.
Content Optimised For The Search Engines
To increase the relevancy of your website, add your primary keywords and related variations (synonyms) to your content, your page headers (H1, H2 and H3 header tags), your page meta titles and either your domain name or the website URL.
Adding keywords, as above, plays a crucial role in helping the search engines understand what your content is about, the niche or industry that you’re in and therefore rank it accordingly.
Internal Linking Your Website Content
Linking your website pages together will help your visitors navigate around your website to easily find what they’re looking for and increase their buying decisions.
These internal links will also help to increase the website relevancy from one page to another and therefore help boost your rankings.
Linking Out To An Authority Site
The search engines like to see you are well connected to other high authority websites relevant to your industry. Therefore linking out to authority sites will help increase the authority of your website.
The search engines cannot see the site images, therefore add an ‘Alt’ tag to each image on your website. The primary purpose of this is to help the visually impaired understand what the image is about, but also helps the search engines understand more about your content.
Technical SEO Factors
Technical Search Engine Optimisation governs how well the search engine spiders can crawl throughout your website and to understand the content and index it accordingly.
If your website is of low technical quality, then this could be detrimental to your search engine rankings. Therefore your website needs to be of a technically high quality to get to the top.
As part of an SEO service, it’s important to carry out various technical website checks with any appropriate changes. These include:
- Page Load Speed – Speed each website page loads.
- Schema – website code providing more info about your business.
- XML Sitemap – map of website pages in XML format.
- SSL Security – website security for encryption of data.
- Mobile-Friendly – easy to use a website on mobile devices.
- Identifying and correcting crawl issues – to ensure the Google spiders can easily crawl throughout your website.
- Checking for duplicate content – ensure your content is unique on all pages and across the Internet.
- Metadata – check for missing, over-optimised or duplicate metadata.
- Internal and External Links – optimise all links and ensure there are no broken links.
- Meta Title & Descriptions – Optimising each page’s meta title and meta descriptions to each target keyword.
Increase Relevancy, Trust And Authority With Off-Page Backlinking
Search engines determine how valuable and important a website is by analysing the authority, trust and relevancy of other sites that link back to the website you want to rank, called backlinks. Backlinks are like a vote of popularity with the more backlinks you have, the more popular your site is.
If your website has backlinks from a relevant website that is recognised and influential in your industry, then this will significantly boost the authority and relevance of your website to significantly increase your search engine rankings.
Likewise, if your website has a lot of poor quality backlinks, then don’t expect your site to get too high in the search engines. Your site will probably be suppressed or even will drop-down a significant amount of positions.
Backlinks are very similar to the way a business increases its credibility by using client reviews and recommendations of services and products.
When a customer or client likes the work you’ve done, they won’t hesitate to spread the word to colleagues and friends about your services.
How Long Does It Take To Show Results With SEO
Below gives you an idea of the factors involved to determine how long it would take to show results with SEO:
How long has your website been online, or is it completely new?
There are only 4% of websites less than one-year-old and on the 1st page of Google.
How strong are the competing websites on the 1st page of Google for your target keywords?
A keyword that has many words targeted to a small town will have less competition compared to a national keyword that targets the whole country.
Does your target keywords appear in your domain or within your website’s page URL?
Having the keyword in either the domain or the URL is a strong signal to Google (and your potential customers) what your pages are about to be able to index accordingly.
How big is your marketing budget?
How much can your company afford to invest in your website’s SEO (backlinks, high-quality content and more) and how fast are you working on the related tasks?
What’s your website’s current trust and authority?
What’s your website’s current trust and authority in your industry and how many other relevant and trusted sites link to your website, compared to the competition?
To answer the question, how long will my website take to rank top in the google search engine, it all comes down to a combination of the factors mentioned above.
There is no specific timeframe for how long your website will take to get the top of the search engines as every SEO campaign has different variables, even if it is in the same industry.
In simplistic terms, it depends on the competition relative to your website. The less competitive a keyword is (i.e. the strength of the other sites on the 1st page of Google), the faster you get to the top. The stronger the competition, the longer its takes.
Typically a local SEO campaign can take in the region of 6 to 8 months, while a national keyword that has stiffer competition can take up to 12 to 24 months.
Rank Your Website For Success With The Help From A Professional SEO Agency
Using the assistance of an experienced SEO company that has a vast amount of knowledge and experience in optimising websites for the most critical ranking factors, will give you the best and quickest return on your investment over many years to come.
You need to allow the SEO agency time to organically get your website on the 1st page of the search results. Each month the agency provides you with regular reports on the search engine marketing performance, so you can see how well the SEO is working.
For long term growth, build your company asset with search engine optimisation (SEO) and enjoy consistent business through your website for many years to come.