How long does SEO take?

The frustrating truth is that good search engine optimization takes time. It offers excellent long term ROI, but little to no results upfront. A quality SEO campaign will help your page rank and traffic grow organically over time.

Google can take weeks and even months to index websites, especially those on brand new domains. And, depending on a variety of factors, climbing the ranks for a given search term can take a while as well. Those factors include:

  • Age of domain name
  • Age of real content on that domain name
  • Existence of any current penalties against the domain name
  • Number of competitors with quality SEO
  • Quality of those competitors’ SEO

It can take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years to achieve a page 1 rank for a given search term, depending on the level of competition for that search. That’s not to say you can’t achieve a good rank somewhat quickly, but topping established competitors who also have great SEO usually requires a great deal of patience.

Pro tip: if you need to drive strong traffic within a more limited timeframe, such as for an upcoming event, I recommend utilizing PPC (pay per click) ads instead. This is an effective alternative to SEO if you need instant traffic for a limited time and can’t afford to wait for traffic to increase organically.