How long does it take to get results with Search Engine Optimisation?

This is a question that we get asked frequently. In part it’s because some SEO practices can get short term boosts quickly – but they are not sustainable and will almost always result in your site being penalised. If you’ve been approached by individuals or companies promising to boost your site ranking in a couple of weeks, it can be a tempting proposition. But we strongly advise that you do not take up these kinds of offers.

Here are the factors that affect the time taken to achieve solid results and the realistic time frames that you should expect.

One of the biggest factors in ranking your site is the keyword competition. It’s important to carry out proper keyword research to find out the likely traffic you will gain and the competitiveness of the keywords. For example it’s easier to rank for ‘Dentist Belfast’ than to rank for ‘Dentist’ nationally and easier again to rank for something like ‘dental implant Belfast’. Trying to rank for a poor choice of keyword is probably the biggest mistake you can make – there’s no point investing time and money in improving your ranking for terms that are super competitive if you are not going to get the hoped for outputs. A smart choice of keywords to target should mean a shorter time frame for seeing results.

Do you have a brand new website? Google prefers older websites – they are considered more reputable. If you have an established site but want to change the domain name it’s important that you carry out the redirects from the old URL in the correct way so that you maintain all of your historical SEO work.

Have you done any SEO work before? If so, then results are going to be faster than if you’ve never done anything. SEO is not a short term fix, it’s a long term strategy.

Other factors like how active you are on social media for your business will also have a contributing factor.

So, having said all that, what are realistic expectations for the time it takes to get results?

We advise that it takes about 3 months to see initial results (some movement in rankings), 6 months to see noticeable results (an increase in enquiries, increased traffic to your site) and up to 12 months for significant results.

Once you do see significant results, the return on investment is well worth it and the positive affect on your business will be long lasting.