How Long Does It Take To Get Results With SEO?

August 13, 2014

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Base Camp Training How Long Does It Take To Get Results With SEO

Have you been told that results take time in Search Engine Optimization? Or been put off taking the SEO plunge by lengthy and thus costly 12-month minimum contracts? Well, more often than not it doesn’t take anywhere near that long for a good SEO provider to get results.

While it is true that in some cases it may take months for a website to be ranked, it is certainly also true that results can be almost instantaneous. When we take on new clients at SEO Sherpa, we usually expect to move them significantly (our average is 184 places) in less than a month.

Since all customers are different, some sites may take a little longer, and some will take less. In essence, every site will have a different timeframe in which to expect results, but an SEO provider who tells you it will take a year, then precedes to lock you into a 12-month contract probably isn’t going to get you great results, no matter how long you give them.

So, in that case, how do you know when to expect results for your website? How do you know if a potential SEO provider is being honest and realistic, or just signing you up for a lengthy minimum contract when in truth they know they’ll never achieve great results? It just depends on a few factors.

These factors will influence how quickly your site will rank:

The age of your domain. Quite simply, Google prefers older sites as it considers them to be more reputable.

Your Domain Authority. Domain Authority is a measure of how reputable a site is from 0-100. If you have high-quality content on multiple pages of your site, and you have many relevant high-authority sites referencing your site in their content, then this should equal  good Domain Authority.

Previous SEO work was done. If no SEO work has ever been done on your site, then obviously it will take longer to rank your site highly than if your SEO just needs tweaking.

Your competition. If you have strong competition with lots of SEO in place, it will take more time and resources to outrank them.

How Long Does It Take To Get Results With SEO

The key phrases you are aiming for. If you are wanting to be ranked for a short, popular keyphrase (known in the business as short-tail), such as something like “credit card”, it may take an enormous investment of time, energy, and resources for your site to see a difference in rankings. If, however, you are wishing to target a more specific phrase, such as “best deals on credit cards UAE”, it will be far easier to improve your rankings for that phrase. A good SEO company will be able to recommend valuable key phrases for your website based on stringent SEO principles.

So, you’ve probably got an idea now whether to expect an instant turnaround, or whether your site may need more work than some to get itself a higher ranking.

In that case, what kind of contract should I look for?

I’d recommend looking at contracts of around 5-6 months. As I said before, results may not be instantaneous, so just doing SEO for one or two months will probably not pay off. However, if you’ve picked a quality provider you should be seeing significant improvements in your ranking by the 5-month mark, even if you are up against stiff competition, or have never done SEO before.


There are several factors that influence where Google ranks your website and how quickly Search Engine Optimisation takes effect. A reputable SEO company will analyse your website and SEO (and that of your competitors) and will provide an honest assessment of your potential return from SEO and how quickly you can expect results.

Results can be fast (we’ve proved that), but they can also take time. Find an SEO agency who are honest about expected results and avoid long-term contracts.

Need helping to choose a reputable SEO company? Download our Truth About SEO Companies Guide which contains valuable advice on choosing and SEO provider and a step by guide to interviewing potential companies. Instant Download Link

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James Reynolds

About the author: James Reynolds is passionate about helping you get more traffic and sales from search engines.

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