How long does SEO take to show results?

Category - SEO

Ask any SEO professional any question, and they’re likely to give you a two-word answer: it depends.

We know, it’s frustrating. Trying to pin an SEO pro down to a concrete answer is like trying to catch a jelly.

Trust us when we say we’re not just trying to be difficult. How long SEO takes to show results depends on so many different factors – so it’s tricky to give you a concrete answer.

But we can try and give you a ballpark figure for how long SEO takes, and explain why it takes the amount of time that it does to work.

How long does SEO take?

Let’s first look at what the industry experts say:

  • Semrush is an industry-leading SEO tool, and they reckon SEO takes 6-12 months to start showing results and increasing traffic.
  • Ahrefs is an online SEO resource. According to a social media poll they ran, most users reported SEO results after 3-6 months of activity.
  • Our own experience tells us that your web pages will start to move up the rankings in 2-5 months, and some should start to hit page one within 6-9 months, but ideally 12 months for a full review. You can also use our timeline for SEO success below;

An image displaying a chart showing a typical SEO chart.

Based on the above, we can say that an investment in SEO takes around six months to start showing results. As ever, however, this time frame depends on so many factors, including:

  • your budget
  • how old your domain is
  • your website authority
  • how much content do you produce
  • how much competition there is
  • your social media presence
  • the speed and usability of your website
  • your industry
  • your aims
  • your SEO professional
  • and much, much more!

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important factors.

Factors affecting SEO

You’re competing with other companies

You’re not the only company thinking about SEO as a digital marketer. You’re not the only company investing in SEO. And you’re certainly not the only company expecting results from SEO efforts.

Not only do you have to think about SEO, but you have to make sure your efforts are better than thousands of other competitors. Better content. A quicker website. More link building. Great target keywords. More authority. It’s difficult!

It takes time for search engines to index your content

There are a lot of things you can do to give your search ranking a quick hit. You can fix on-site errors, such as broken links or a missing sitemap. You can optimise your website speed and improve the UX.

But these things will only give your site a small SEO boost. Aspects like backlinks, quality content and social media shares take time to accumulate, and it takes time for Google to take these things into account. That’s why hiring the right technical SEO is incredibly important!

It takes time to build credibility & become an authority

SEO comes down to credibility. When you search for something online, Google will display the most credible results at the top of the search results. And credibility takes time to accumulate.

For example, let’s say you’re looking for a new internet provider. If you see an established industry name and a brand new company offering the same speed internet for the same price, who are you going to go for? We would guess the credible, established name. It’s the same principle for SEO.

How do you know if your SEO strategy is working?

So, it might take a little bit of time before you start seeing the benefits of SEO. But that doesn’t mean nothing is happening. If you know where to look, you should be able to see incremental improvements every 7 days.

Google Search Console

The first place you should start to see improvements is in Google Search Console. On Search Console, you can see where each of your web pages ranks on Google, as well as the number of hits each one gets.

You can also see how many impressions each page receives, meaning you can tinker with underperforming pages and double down on your best-performing ones.

Google Analytics

It’s all well and good seeing impressions and search rankings improving, but website traffic remains one of the most important SEO metrics. Head into your Google Analytics and you’ll see how much of your traffic is coming from people searching using Google.

Google Analytics should be your best friend here, as you can save a lot of time and effort by understanding the metrics. By understanding this fantastic tool, you can uncover valuable data about your audience to determine which channels drive most of the organic traffic to your website.

Semrush, Moz and other SEO tools

If you’re willing to spend some money, you can get more in-depth analytics using some paid-for tools.

You might start with Semrush or Moz. These tools break down your SEO website profile, including your domain authority, backlinks, ranking and much more. They can give you detailed advice about where your website SEO stands, and give you pointers on how to improve it.

But look. For us, SEO comes down to one thing: revenue. We can point to search rankings and traffic, but if SEO isn’t getting you any more revenue then it’s difficult to justify your investment. The way you truly measure whether SEO is working for you is through your revenue.

How can I get quicker results from SEO?

Like a lot of things in life, the more you put into it, the more you’ll expect to see results from SEO.

That could mean extra time. That could mean extra resources. Or, of course, it could mean extra money. If you put more into your SEO then yes, it’s possible to get faster results. But there are never any guarantees.

If you want instant traffic to your site then there is always the option of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. However, this approach is strictly short-term, and the traffic you’re likely to get is lower quality and less likely to grow your revenue than organic SEO.

Your best option is to invest in professional SEO. Find someone who knows their SEO onions, has a proven track record and has taken the time to understand your business. Give them time, give them room to grow with you, and your business, and the results will come. As for how long that will take?

It depends, of course.

Looking to rank better in search engines?

If you’re looking for an international SEO agency to provide you with professional SEO services, book a growth audit.


Whether your desired reach is local or global, hiring us to help you rank number one in search engine results is the best investment you can make. Contact us today, and let’s get started!

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