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How Long Does It Take for SEO to Start Working?

One of the most frequent questions from clients of a digital marketing firm is “When will my search engine business rankings increase?”, or “How long does it take for SEO to start working?”

Google analytics dashboard on tablet

Business owners know the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as part of their online marketing strategy. They also understand that SEO strategies make it easier for search engines to find them, rank them higher, thereby increasing traffic to their website.

So how long do you have to wait before you see results? The short answer is “it depends”.

There are many variables to optimizing your website, however three specific criteria play a significant role: competition, inbound links, and content.

Competition

Depending on your product or service, there will be varying degrees of demand. The more competing webpages you’re up against, the longer it will take to see results. Depending on how well your competition’s SEO strategies perform, the longer it will take for you to rise in rankings.

If you are spending a great deal of time and effort developing and implementing your SEO strategies, you can be sure your competitors are doing so as well. Every time you post a new blog, your competitor may be doing the same.

Inbound links

The volume of inbound links to your website play a huge role. The quality of those links, the speed in which you gain those links, and historically have gained them also has an effect. The speed at which you earn links should have a relatively stable growth pattern. A sudden increase in links looks unnatural. If your link-building follows Google’s guidelines, that should happen naturally.

A large number of high-quality, high-authority inbound links (also referred to as backlinks) will flag site-crawlers, indicating that your website is an authority in your particular field. It’s almost like gaining a referral from someone for your product or service.

Content

Quality content matters a lot. High-quality content is original, relevant, authoritative, factual, grammatically correct and engaging. Your web pages need have no minimum or even ideal length. They just have to answer the question or solve the user’s problem.

A business blog is a great way to become a resource for information in your field that you add to on a regular basis. Blogs are a great way to increase traffic to your website.

Keep in mind that newer pages don’t rank as well as older ones. This graph shows that the average top 10 ranking page is at least 2 ½ years old.

Google top 10 average age of page graph

Despite this, new content should be added to your website on a regular publishing schedule.

This encourages search engine spiders to crawl your site more frequently and speed up your SEO efforts. Also, users will return to your site more frequently looking for new content, further sending signals to search engines of the popularity of your site. User engagement is built and gauged over time.

SEO is An Investment

Ultimately, you need to be prepared to invest several months to a year before seeing the results of your SEO efforts. Why?  Search engines take multiple factors into account when ranking webpages. For example, Google uses over 200 ranking factors in their search algorithm! The takeaway is this: SEO can have a significant impact on the success of your business, so it is worth the investment of time and money!

Key Digital Marketing Statistics to Take From 2018

2018 was a big year for SEO. Google’s constantly-changing search algorithm evaluates over 200 ranking factors, and SEO is an increasingly complex science. We’ve compiled a list of statistics that stood out in 2018 to adapt to your marketing efforts in 2019.

2018 digital marketing statistics

Better content can increase traffic by up to 2,000%

Content should be your number one priority.

Last year, we witnessed just how big an impact content has on your overall digital marketing and SEO efforts. Informative, high-quality content is the pillar of a successful SEO strategy. The better the content, the more traffic it will drive to your site.

Strategically creating website content around a keyword or set of keywords is the first step in attracting traffic to your site. Blogs are an important piece of content that can work magic for increasing traffic. There are roughly 250 million blogs online right now!

Google is responsible for 96% of all smartphone search traffic and 94% of the total organic traffic

Yes, you read that right. 96%. Only 4% of all smartphone search traffic happens on alternative search engines.

Thus, it’s of utmost importance to have a mobile-friendly and Google-friendly website to ensure users have a seamless experience. As far as we can tell, this statistic will only increase in the years to come. If your website isn’t mobile of Google-friendly, you’ll be left in the dust.

Search Engines drive 93% of website traffic

Think about this for a moment. Almost 93% of web traffic comes through search engines, and just about 75% of all searchers click a link on the first page of their search results, never bothering to move on to page two.

So, how can you get your business to rank on the search engine’s first page? You’ll need three things:

  • Time
  • Patience
  • A solid search engine optimization strategy

SEO is the leading driver of organic search ranking performance on a search engine results page. Before digital marketing took off, most marketing firms would create a brochure, meet with prospective clients and expect reasonable growth throughout their business. These days, that’s just not effective.

Today’s fastest-growing businesses are capitalizing on the digital marketing environment, and SEO plays an integral role. This will definitely be the case as we move into 2019.

WordPress accounts for 27% of websites around the world, but less than half of WordPress sites are up to date

What does this tell us? That it’s important to optimize your website for maximum performance. So, how do we do this?

  • SEO-friendly URLs:
    • Google gives more weight to the first 3-5 words in your URL. Be sure to choose wisely!
  • Titles optimized for SEO:
    • Title tags are one of the most important factors of on-page SEO. For best results, start your title with your keyword, or place it in the beginning.
  • Add modifiers to your titles
    • Descriptive words like ‘best’ and ‘review’ are examples.
  • Optimize your meta descriptions
    • Your description should complement your title. It should contain your main keyword as well.
  • Eliminate thin content
    • When we talk about thin content, we usually think of its effect on search engine ranking, but you should also be mindful of how it impacts your clients or customers. Here’s how to fix it.

SEO has a 14.6% conversion rate compared to 1.7% for traditional outbound methods.

Cold-calling and direct mail are things of the past.

In 2018, we saw a 14.6% rate of conversion in SEO marketing.

That’s high.

SEO is such an effective method, in comparison to mail or cold-calling because it’s a direct response to the things people are searching for. SEO strategies can be tailored to your specific target demographic, much more so than marketing techniques of the past.

The average attention span in 2018 is 8 seconds

8 seconds. That’s how long you have to attract a potential customer.

Each year, that time is getting shorter and shorter as a result of the brain’s ‘digitized lifestyle,’ For example, the average attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds.

This means that your website, SEO strategy and social media efforts must grab the attention of the user instantly.

Looking to learn more about SEO and how it can impact your business? Contact us today to chat about your online strategy.

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