How long does it take to climb the search engine ladder with SEO.

19 January 2024

It's a marathon...not a sprint

SEO involves both long-term strategies and short-term victories.

Google has designed its algorithm to favour websites that have gradually established ‘authority.’ Websites must demonstrate their worthiness to attract customer traffic.

Several factors contribute to this ‘authority,’ including the age of the website, the quality of its content, the quantity and quality of backlinks, technical aspects of the website, and additional signals like social presence and reviews.

These factors accumulate over time, explaining why SEO is a time-intensive process. The duration depends on three key factors:

  • The speed at which you build authority, with quicker progress being more favourable.
  • The competitiveness of the targeted SEO market.
  • Adhering to practices endorsed by Google while avoiding actions it disapproves of.

Let’s delve into the second factor β€” the competitiveness of the SEO market. Essentially, this refers to the number of websites actively optimising for the terms you aim to rank for.

A general guide:

The more searches for a keyword – the higher its SEO competitiveness – the longer time to rank/the more authority needed.

Considering this, we often encourage small businesses to write blogs targeting less competitive keywords, as they cater to users seeking specific information or niche services.

Now, with the educational aspect covered, let’s provide some general timeframes for SEO:

  • A well-crafted blog can start attracting traffic within 1-2 months.
  • Optimising a product/service/homepage with a low-competition keyword may lead to ranking within 3-6 months.
  • For a medium-competition keyword, expect to rank within 6-12 months.
  • High-competition keywords may take 12+ months to rank.

These timeframes are based on past experiences and general SEO timelines. Results depend on the quality and quantity of the SEO efforts.

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