How long does SEO take?


Are you looking to invest your money in a marketing strategy that’s proven to deliver ROI?

With a 14.6% conversion rate compared to just a 1.7% conversion rate of traditional outbound marketing, SEO is your answer.

Not only that, but SEO leads cost 61% less than traditional outbound leads. So not only does the extra traffic and leads make you money, but as an advertising strategy SEO saves you money too.

But here’s the catch – SEO isn’t a quick fix, a magic bullet, or a short cut.

It’s a long-term strategy for business owners who want to create a business that succeeds year after year. 

If you’re looking for a get rich quick scheme, or instant results to try and make a buck tomorrow, this marketing strategy isn’t for you.

But if you’re ready to become a long-term success, here’s what you need to know…

There are THREE factors that will determine how long your SEO campaign takes to be successful.

  • Your competition
  • Your inbound links
  • Your content

Win in each of these battles against your competition and see your rankings improve.

So, let’s dive into each one and see what it means for you.


If you’re selling a niche product in a small market you probably won’t face much competition.

In contrast, if you’re selling products that a larger group of people are interested in, in a larger market, then you are going to face a higher level of competition based on this demand.

For example, an electrician servicing a small local market would face less competition than a national finance lender.

This will affect your timeline for SEO success. With more businesses competing for a small number of spaces you’ll have to work harder for results.

In short – the greater the competition, the longer it will take to outrank them. 

Inbound Links

The number of links you accumulate will play a major role in your overall SEO success.

Generally speaking, the more links to your website, the better your SEO rankings. But it’s not just about the numbers.

A large number of low-quality links from low-quality sites can actually make your rankings worse. This will slow down your timeline for success and make it even harder for you to achieve the rankings, traffic and conversion goals you set for yourself.

By focusing on high-quality links from high-quality websites you’ll be ticking two boxes that will help your SEO campaign to become successful:

a). Your rankings on Google will improve

b). You will create new streams of traffic to interact with your site, which will improve your Google rankings.

That’s a win-win.

However, the speed at which you gain backlinks AND the speed you have historically gained backlinks will impact the success of your SEO campaign.

Google may see a rapid increase in backlinks as an unnatural attempt to manipulate rankings, so it’s vital you build your backlink portfolio slowly to ensure your rankings climb steadily – as opposed to climb rapidly and drop just as rapidly once Google finds out!

This is your goal: This increase in backlinks appears natural to Google. It reflects a steady influx of backlinks acquired naturally and is your most effective approach to reach the top of Google…


This might be acceptable: This increase in backlinks looks slightly unnatural, but if the spikes reflect recent media coverage, a new product launch, or a great marketing campaign, it could still be considered natural…


This is not acceptable: This increase in backlinks shows an attempt to manipulate Google’s rankings and will end up hurting your business in the long-run if you encounter a penalty from Google…

So while you want to earn high-quality backlinks to improve your rankings, you have to balance this with the speed at which you earn backlinks. Aim for stable growth over time and your rankings will improve, without the risk of dropping once you get to the top.


Your site content will play a major role in how quickly you see results. But it’s not enough to post anything. Your content must be high-quality.

In 2019 it’s not going to move the needle to create endless 300 word articles.

That’s not to say every piece of content has to be a 3,000 word masterpiece. In fact there’s no ideal length. If you can get your message across in fewer words you should.

Your content has to satisfy the needs of your site visitors, and solve a problem.

Unlike the speed of backlinks which should be earned on a gradual gradient, you can (and should) publish content with regularity.

The quicker you put it out in the digital world, the quicker it can start improving your rankings once people begin to interact with, share, and enjoy it.

It’s worth noting that the age of your website will also impact your timeline of SEO success. Newer pages tend to take longer to rank than older pages. So if you’ve just launched your business and created a new website, patience is your best friend.

When can I expect to see results from my SEO campaign?

You’ve probably heard it said that SEO can take 6 months to show results. And that’s mostly true.

But it doesn’t tell the entire story.

In certain situations you can see your rankings improve before the magic 6 month mark. While super competitive industries may take longer.

If you create quality content that people want to engage with, if you earn high-quality backlinks on a natural growth timeline, and if you find ways to outsmart your competition in your industry you may see results in the short-term. But what you’re doing for the long-term success of your business is far more valuable…

You will be ticking all the boxes of a successful SEO campaign. So when you do reach the #1 spot, as long as you maintain your SEO campaign it will be extremely difficult for your competitors to remove you.

That means more site traffic, more leads, and more conversions.

And isn’t that worth waiting for?

So while you can’t predict exactly when your rankings will improve for any given keyword, you can work towards gaining an advantage in the 3 battlegrounds that matter – competition, inbound links and content.

Tick these boxes and start to not only start seeing your rankings improve, but set yourself up at the top of Google for the long-term too.