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How Long Does SEO Take?

Updated: Apr 15

All businesses want to know the impact of their investment in SEO and how long it can reasonably take to see success.

But what is SEO Success...

SEO success is about meeting your goals and KPIs. While the goal is to boost return on investment within a specific time frame, KPIs in SEO can be increasing organic traffic to your website, boosting online visibility, achieving top search engine rankings and more.

The fact is, SEO is slower than paid search or media. However, while it takes time, SEO efforts can produce long-lasting results.

Why SEO Success is Not Immediate?

Historically Search Engines have been manipulated by marketers to cheat their way to the top, often referred to as black hat.

Search engines focus on satisfying the user intent and, therefore, must ensure websites of the utmost relevance and quality appear on their search engine listings.

Hence, it can take time for search engines to test and trust sites before ranking them in their search engine listings.

Three Pillars of SEO Success

The following components of SEO are vital to ensure that search engines can crawl and index a website.

Technical SEO

Any technical error of any form can drive both users and search engine bots away from your website. This is why a technical audit must be conducted at the beginning to fix bugs at the earliest stage. Technical SEO includes checking on the following components and more.

  • Page speed

  • Duplicate content

  • Canonicalisation

  • Structured data

  • XML sitemaps

  • Hreflang

  • Core Web Vitals


Content is one of the top search engine ranking factors. This is because Google prioritises fetching the best search results for a user query over anything else.

Creating low-quality content means it takes longer to see expected SEO results. In the worst-case scenario, it may not happen.

Hence, high-quality content must match the user intent and addresses search queries accordingly.

When it comes to publishing new content on a website, ensure that a consistent schedule is adhered to for two reasons.

One, this signals to Google that you regularly add new content to your website.

Two, it prompts more visitors to return to your website frequently, which denotes a great user experience.


Creating backlinks improves the credibility of your website.

Backlinks tell Google that your site is a reliable source of information.

However, note that spammy link-building practices for high rankings don't work, but if Google's guidelines have been adhered to, it will produce a more significant SEO impact.

Factors Determining the Time Frame for SEO Results

The time frame to show SEO results depends on the following factors.

Website History

Website history can influence the time taken to see SEO results.

For instance, a new website should take more time than an already established one. This is because an existing website will have built domain authority and backlinks.

However, it also doesn't always mean that an established website can lead the way in SEO because it depends on various factors such as search engine penalties, algorithm updates and much more.


The competition in your industry or business is essential when optimising your website for search engines.

The more the competition, the longer you need to take your website to the top of SERPs.

Channelling SEO efforts and finding innovative ways to perform better than the other industry players will speed up SEO performance.

Keyword Targeting

Keywords aid you in ranking for relevant user searches online. Identification of keywords based on keyword search volume, popularity and user intent needs can be performed.

Poor keyword targeting may cost time and produce a negative SEO impact.

Website Structure & Design

Website design and URL structure also play a crucial role when optimising the website for search engines like Google.

Suppose a user finds it complicated to navigate between different landing pages of your website or meets a dead-end displaying a 404 error because of a broken link. In that case, the website is certainly not user-friendly. Furthermore, Google isn't fond of web pages that don't advocate a smooth user experience.

Optimising these components of a website is mandatory, especially if you want to boost SEO progress.

Also, running a mobile-friendly test ensures that you cater to visitors who access a website from a mobile browser.

To learn how MindArc can help you with your SEO strategy, don't hesitate to contact us. 

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