WordPress SEO In 5 Minutes-When Does An Investment In SEO Pay Off?
This is a frequent question that our SEO experts get asked. The short answer is that it depends on a few factors; there is no one-answer-fits-all. It can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months upto a year for results to start showing up. SEO does take time. Anybody who tells you otherwise is definitely not using Google approved guidelines. In this article, our SEO experts tell you when you can expect an investment in SEO to pay off.
Before we proceed, we need to understand what does ‘start to show results’ mean. Let’s assume your SEO says you will see results for traffic in 6 months. It means that you will start seeing improvements in traffic in 6 months. It does not mean that you will achieve your traffic goals within 6 months. SEO is a slow but steady and continuously running vehicle for results delivery, unlike methods like PPC. A PPC (pay-per-click) ad brings in instant traffic. But once clicked, it is done – you cannot use it again. A well-optimised post may not bring an instant increase in traffic, but you will continue to get steady traffic for months and even years.
A good SEO strategy does not just increase your rank on a SERP; it increases your online visibility, organic traffic, leads and conversions. SEO is an ongoing effort. How long your SEO strategy starts to show results depends on quite a few factors.
Factors that affect SEO results timelines
A new domain will understandably take a longer time to show SEO results. This is because a new domain takes more time to earn backlinks and build authority. Older sites also usually have a substantial and well-defined collection of content, which naturally earns them more links.
Keyword competitiveness plays an important role in SEO success. If you are trying to rank for generic terms like ‘IT services’, you are competing with hundreds of thousands of websites. Specific keywords that target a niche audience, say, ‘cybersecurity for healthcare provider in Perth’ will have a lower competition.
Generic keywords may have a high search volume, but they are also more difficult to rank. Specific keyphrases may have lower search volumes, but they create more potential leads. If your business is competing for high-volume keywords, SEO may take a longer time to start showing results.
If you are trying to rank for a highly competitive keyword, you are probably in a highly competitive industry. Understandably, older websites with long-term SEO strategy will have an edge over a new site just starting with SEO. A highly niche business might see faster results than a highly competitive industry with bigger and established players.
You should analyse the SEO strategy of the competition to understand what you are competing against. This will help you form your own strategies to compete and outdo your competition.
Backlinks are essential for SEO. It is a sign of authority – your content is considered valuable to be linked to. While internal linking between your website pages is in your control, external links need to be earned. To do that you need a vast amount of quality content, which needs to be promoted well. That is a hugely time-consuming activity.
It is not easy to build a good link profile fast. So, if Google sees a jump in your link profile, it will be very suspicious. Any unnatural linking is considered manipulative by Google. It is therefore crucial that you stay clear of black hat link building tactics.
Technical SEO relates to factors that affect your site’s loading speed, crawling, duplicate content, redirects loops etc. There are a lot of factors involved in technical SEO. Anything that affects your site’s performance will delay SEO bringing in results, even if all other elements are in place.
For example, you may have a great content library with a good link profile. But if you have unknowingly blocked the site or a web page from being crawled, it will not show up in search results.
Depending on how severe the penalty was, it can sometimes take upto a year for your site to do well in the SERPs again. If your site has been de-indexed, it is tough to get back on search results, even with the best of SEO.
SEO takes time and it is best to build up your ranking patiently, rather than fall for quick results and lose your site completely.
SEO is first and foremost about content. There is no alternative to quality content that meets the needs of the users. Period. Your web content also needs to be promoted well for it to reach a wider audience. But do not expect to see a surge in your traffic within a few days of posting an awesome content that has been splashed all over your social accounts.
A well thought out content strategy takes time to execute. It also takes time to show results. But it is a one-time investment that is totally worth the investment.
Index – The database where a crawler stores the data from the pages it has crawled.
Redirect loops – When two pages of a website get redirected to each other, causing the search bots to get caught in a loop.
Crawling – It is the name given to the process by which Google searchbots visit and analyse the content on a page. In simpler terms, crawling = visiting a site.
Backlinks – Also known as inbound link or incoming links. When one website mentions another site, and links to it, it is called a backlink.