How Long Does It Take SEO To Work (And Do I Really Need It)?

Getting Started

As a team that specializes in SEO, we get a lot of questions about it. Lots of people what to know the cost, benefit, and outcome of implementing SEO practices in their website.


One of the most common questions we are asked is “Does my website really need SEO?” and a second question quickly follows: “How long does it take SEO to work?”
If you’ve found yourself questioning “What is SEO?” or “Does my website really need SEO?” or even “How long does it take SEO to work?” then you’ve come to the right place. 
First, let’s tackle question number 1, and go over some SEO basics. 

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

SEO is the process of getting more organic website traffic from search engine queries. In plain English, it’s the process of optimizing your online content so that search engines like to display it as a top results for searches of a certain keyword. 

For your business to succeed, it’s important that your content is showing up in the first page on a search engine results page (SERP), and ideally you want to rank within the first five listings.

According to a study in 2014, more than 67% of all clicks on SERPS go to the top five listings. In the last five years, that percentage has only gotten higher. 

Why Does SEO Matter?

In the current digital age, SEO is imperative to the success of your online business. These days, most people take to the internet for just about every query and need they have. In fact, 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine. 

Google contains limitless information. The downside to limitless information is that not all of that information is relevant, or even accurate. 

So you’ve just started a business, and have a great product to share with the world. How do you compete with all that limitless information? By implementing SEO practices to get your website ranking within the first few listings of search engine results.

You need to show Google (and the billions of daily internet users) that you are an authority in your field, you are a trustworthy business owner, and you have something valuable to offer. 

If you fail to implement SEO practices, it will be almost impossible for your website to rank well in SERP and you’ll have difficulty generating any organic traffic.

You can try to promote yourself through just social media and paid ads, but 51% of all website traffic comes from organic search results and your business will need that organic traffic to truly thrive.

How Does SEO Work?

Not long ago, the process for getting your website noticed organically wasn’t that difficult.

A search engine user would have a question about a specific product or topic, they would type in 2 or 3 words related to that topic, and a list of results would appear.

The common practice for online website owners was to identify 5 to 10 keywords that were relevant to their business, got the most traffic, and weren’t very competitive. 

By consistently using these 5 -10 keywords people found some measurable success in ranking well in Google, and driving traffic to their site. 

 

In today’s digital age, long-tail search is king. When someone approaches a search engine to find out more information on a topic or a product that they’re interested in, they use natural language, normal questions, to find out more. 

For example: A few years ago, if you were interested in finding someone to build a website for you, you might Google “web developer” and find some satisfactory results. Today, you might type something like “Best web developing agency in Oregon” to find more precise results. 

The key to today’s SEO practices is to find long-tail keyword phrases that are:

1. Relevant to what people are searching for

2. Have a low level of competitiveness

3. Have a med-high search volume per month

How Long Does It Take SEO To Work?

Unfortunately, the answer for the question of “how long does it take SEO to work?” is that there is no quick answer. SEO is an extremely effective tool, but it also is a process that builds upon itself. It can take time to see results. 

But we have a few tips that will set you on the path to start seeing an increase in your site rankings and organic traffic. 

Build 5-10 Links Per Month

Link building is an SEO strategy that has seen incredible success. If you’re wanting to start ranking higher in SERPs, you will need to start implementing some link building methods. 

 

A backlink takes place when one website mentions another website and links to it. These backlinks are links from outside domains, essentially siting you as a valuable resource. Each backlink acts as a kind of “vote” for your webpage. The more backlinks you receive from reliable, trusted websites, the more authority you will appear to have, and the better your website will perform in search rankings and visibility. 

For some basic tips and tricks on building links, check out this quick video from The Deep End.

We also have a blog post with some great tips for building your own backlink strategy. Check out here

Write Keyword-Rich Content

Content is key for any SEO strategy. In order for Google to determine that you are a relevant and trustworthy source, you must be consistently creating relevant and credible content. 

A blog is a great platform that you can use to distribute relevant, authoritative, keyword-rich content for your target audience and for Google.
 

A blog can seem like a daunting task, especially to those of us who aren’t writers. But blogging has been proven to be one of the most effective ways of adding content to your site. In fact, websites with a blog have 434% more indexed pages in SERPs than websites without a blog.

Neil Patel, one of the leading SEO specialists in the industry, says that posting at least one blog post a week is a sure way of creating more content for Google to analyze and index in their search results.

And the more pages that Google indexes, the greater the number of high-quality leads will find you in organic search results. 

Promote Your Content On Social Media

Social media is another great way to create relevant content, and it’s also an incredible resource for some free advertising. 

According to a study by Statista, there are 2.77 billion people who use social media daily. 

Out of all these users, as many as 51% of people have admitted to clicking on a piece of content that’s promoting a website, and 48% have purchased something after seeing a piece of advertising content.  

If you’re not making use of the largest online platforms for marketing, then you’re missing an opportunity for a high click through rate, and a high return on your investment.

Wrapping Up

Like we said before, if you’re looking for exact dates to answer your question of how long does it take SEO to work, you’ll probably be disappointed. 

But we can offer you a rough estimate of what your SEO journey should look like. If you’re following our SEO tips by building links, writing quality relevant content, and promoting your business through social media, you should be able to expect success in the next few months. 

So, how long does it take SEO to work? 

In roughly 6 months you should be getting lots of organic traffic from your keyword rich content, like blog posts.

Within 1 year you should see a noticeable increase to website traffic and conversions. If you’re managing your SEO the right way, your increase rates should be significant, somewhere around a 200-300% increase.


By 2 years, you should see the culminating effect of your SEO growth.
 You’ve built your authority and trust within Google, and Google knows that you’re a reputable site, consistently creating lots of content that’s relevant to what people are searching for on the internet.

After you’ve established your credibility with Google, and you have lots of content that is frequently viewed and visited by organic traffic, it will be much easier for your content to start ranking consistently. 

At this point in your SEO journey, you should be generating more leads than you can handle, and your number of site visitors from organic search results should be significantly higher than even the 1 year mark. 

Analyze Your Data

The last key factor of SEO is this: analyze, analyze, analyze. If you’re not monitor your impressions and keeping track of your site visitors, there’s really no way to know if your SEO strategy is working. Make sure you’re investing in a good analytics system, such as Google Analytics or Hubspot Analytics. 

This will help you understand where your traffic is coming from. It will help you identify your best and most popular content, and it can also help you realize where site visitors might be getting lost and redirecting away from your page.

Keep an eye on your impressions. If your impressions aren’t going up consistently (especially at the 6 month), you might not be implementing SEO correctly. 

Are You Stuck?

SEO can be a complex organism, and it takes a lot of work and fine tuning. As experts with over a decade spent in the industry, we know it from experience. If you’re not sure where to begin, or you’re stuck somewhere in the middle of your SEO journey, don’t hesitate to reach out! Have you been implementing SEO practices and still not seeing any results? We can help with that, too. 

At epicShops our mission is to be a digital agency that helps our customers make money. When you’re making money, it means your customers are happy. When your customers are happy, you’re happy. When our clients are happy, we’re happy. It’s a win-win-win. Let us know how we can help you turn your SEO journey into a win!