One of the primary benefits of search engine optimization is that it has some of the highest return on the investment in the digital marketing industry. Leads from an SEO campaign close at 15%, which is 12% higher than the conversion rate for outbound leads, which are leads where you disrupt someone’s attention to tell them what you have to offer, rather than with SEO where the potential customer is searching for exactly what it is you sell. So what’s the catch? Why doesn’t everyone do it? Why not Google/Facebook Ads instead? The answers are it is difficult to find an agency that does quality work.. And it takes time. We are in an age where instant gratification is more common than it has ever been and the thought of putting money into a marketing campaign where you may not see the results for 3.. 6.. Or even 12 months can be a scary thought for those who haven’t had a lot of experience with getting their businesses marketing on point. Many businesses rely on traditional methods such as billboard and phone book advertising, or word of mouth. Referral work is hands down the best kind of lead to receive, but it can take years or even a decade before your referral network grows to the point of you being able to create a stable, full time business from it. As we’ve discussed ad nauseam in this blog, billboard advertising and phone book advertising is an inferior form of advertising in this day and age. So you’re thinking of getting into the world of digital marketing and you’ve heard that you “need” SEO? The next thing you learn is that it takes time to rank in the search engines. Then the exact next thought you have is.. How long will it take?? Business owners want to know when they’re going to see the results of their investment (of course!). Consider this article a primer for addressing that question. The Answer You’ve Been Waiting For.. The short answer is, you should see results within a 6 to 12 month period. There are no shortcuts to SEO anymore. It takes months of hard, consistent work to get real results. Google’s algorithm is incredibly intelligent and you aren’t able to just jam your website at the top of Google, even if your business is massive offline. By results, we mean you should see an increase in website traffic leading to an increase in sales and new customers from your website. It is quite impossible to give exact numbers as to what your results will look like, but what we can show are past successful experiences in comparable situations. We can also tell by the amount of people searching for your keywords, that we chose to target for ranking, what the amount of traffic for your website could look like. Factors Affecting Time Frame Search Volume vs Competition There are several factors that affect the time frame of a keyword to rank in Google. While it is not an exact science that you can nail down to the day, the one thing that will determine ranking difficulty is the competition. Every keyword has a search volume (number of searches for that keyword per month) and an amount of competition (number of websites competing specifically for that keyword). The super board keywords such as “Best web designer in America” are going to be HYPER competitive. That will be hundreds of thousands of dollars of work and potentially years of time to rank for. The amount of people competing for such a lucrative keyword is staggering. Whereas a keyword such as “best web designer in ludington, MI” will be a lot easier to rank for as there is not a nationwide amount of competition, but there will also be less search volume for that keyword. Domain Age The longer your website has been around, with activity, and other platforms and websites citing links to your website, the more “authority” your website will have in Google's eyes. They don’t tell us exactly what the secret sauce is to this authority score they give (they never do) but the marketing industry has determined that there are certain factors affecting it. One of these factors is the age of the domain. A brand new domain just purchased off of GoDaddy or Google Domains will require more effort to rank as it has not been established already in the online space. If you have a website that has been around for 8 years and is fairly active, starting an SEO campaign on it will be a lot easier to get results with than one that is brand new. Consistency of Effort With all the strategies that can be implemented to begin ranking your website (backlinking, content creation, listings creation, Google My Business optimization), it takes a long term, continual and consistent effort to reap the rewards. Google does not serve up websites forever that were incredibly active in their eyes that suddenly turned inactive. This is giving the signal to Google that this website is no longer in operation or is no longer relevant. It’s like literally telling Google “no one's home, go away!”. We do not want to tell Google to go away! If you implement an SEO strategy, know that it is going to take long term consistent effort to get the rankings where you want them, and get them to stay there. As you begin to move up the page rankings, your competition may notice as well and start to do something about it. Once an SEO campaign has begun, the best thing you can do to protect that investment is to keep it going, adjust as the competition adjusts and have a vigilant strategy to monitor what keywords, content, and pages require attention and which ones are doing well with less effort. While SEO has some of the best return on investment in the entire digital marketing space, the effort that goes into it is complicated and massive. If you’d like to learn more about our SEO strategies and how they’ve helped business in the past expand, grow, and result in the hiring of new employees and business maximizing profits year over year, we would love to chat. Use the contact form below this article to get in touch with us.