One of the most frequently asked questions that I get when meeting with potential clients in my free consultations is 'how long does SEO take?' This is a perfectly reasonable question to ask, as there is a monetary and time expenditure required in order to do SEO, so it's reasonable to ask when there will be a return on investment.
As much as I know about SEO and as much as I can teach you, I always have to suck up my pride and say, "I don't know". How long is a piece of string? A problem with SEO and not knowing how long it will take to have an effect is because it's somewhat out of our control. We can do all of the work to make our websites as optimised as possible, but we still have to wait until Google indexes our websites for any changes to even begin to happen.
When will Google index your website? I don't know. It could be tomorrow, it might not be until a month from now. Then, after that month, it might take another month or so before Google starts to improve your rankings.
Google rankings are based on the search engine's belief in a website's expertise in a subject. It will rank the websites it believes to have the most experrtise at the top, with each webstie following perceived to have slightly less expertise. So, if you're taking your website from Zero SEO to Maximum SEO, you're still a newcomer on the block. You still have to prove your expertise is better than the websites that have already been doing their SEO work, even though you're new here.
So, does that mean that there's no point doing SEO if we don't know the answer to how long does SEO take?
Of course not. SEO is a long term investment, something that won't give you much NOW, but something your future self will benefit from. And yes, that makes it hard to be motivated to do.
Ever heard of the instant gratification monkey?
It’s a little concept from Wait But Why that describes why we procrastinate - basically, for some of us the Monkey is in charge of our decision-making, and is desperate for things that have IMMEDIATE IMPACT. It’s seeking those DINGS from social media, rather than being able to sit down and work on something for long term gain.
That little Monkey is a huge enemy of SEO. SEO is for sure a long term strategy, because the way Google works is that it may not even notice the improvements you make for months after the fact. You implement your optimised content, add your innerlinks, start updating your navigation and then….nothing? Not until Google deigns to come look, on its own terms of course.
The Monkey absolutely HATES this. It wants results and it wants them NOW! Knowing that it will take time to see those results makes it hard to recognise the value of doing something now - when we could be getting notifications from social media RIGHT NOW.
All this to say, that when you ignore the Instant Gratification Monkey and do the groundwork on your SEO, there will be a time when the results are visible. And on that day? Pride will swell within you, the increased traffic clearly visible, the sales from your website growing.
Now that’s a much more intoxicating sense of accomplishment than that of the Monkey’s wildest dreams.
The best time to start was six months ago. The second best time to start is today! Contact me to find out how to get that good good feeling of accomplishment with your SEO! Whether you wanna learn how to do it yourself with one of my SEO Ultimate Guides or have it done for you with a website seo package, I will guide you into the best possible path for you.