Are you a new business owner? If so, then you are probably a new website owner as well. And with that said, you are probably very anxious to have Google recognize you and steer some traffic in your direction! Am I right? Unfortunately, SEO is much different now than they were in the past, and for Google to rank a website proves to be even more challenging than in previous years. Luckily, there are ways to get recognized and get that much-needed traffic coming your way, but you will need to be patient. As you will soon find out- how long it takes for SEO to work on your website depends on many factors.
How Long Does It Take for SEO To Start Working?
Ok, so let’s just pull the bandage off and dive right in. According to Forbes, the average time for SEO to start working on a new site is between four and six months. This is the time it will take if everything is done correctly to begin to see traction- but that can depend on many factors. Every industry is different as well so, because of the complexity of SEO, there is no real definitive answer for any one individual. So, what are the factors for Google to rank a website?
First, before answering that question- let’s rewire your thinking. Being “ranked” by Google matters, but that should not be the only metric that you focus on. Your focus- or your question rather, should be, “how long will it take for SEO to start generating sales and leads.” To rank a website is easy and is an output that many SEO firms can sell you on because of the instant gratification of seeing your site at the top. But, being at the top is useless if no sales are leads are being generated, which is the objective correct?
So, now that that is cleared up, let’s go back to answering the question of what the factors for Google are to rank a website.
- How old is your website?
- Has any SEO been done on it in the past, and if so, how much?
- How much content does your website have?
- Are you actively working on new content?
- Is your website secure? Is it accessible to Google crawlers?
- Are you using HTTPS vs. HTTP?
- Are you implementing link-building strategies?
- Is keyword research being used? If so, how much?
- Is your robots.txt blocking the right pages? Are they allowing access to the right ones?
- Is your website fast in load time?
- Is your website mobile friendly?
- Do you have authoritative content?
These are all factors that Google uses to determine how to rank a website. This can all be frustrating and overwhelming, but keep in mind that no two websites are the same- even if in the same industry and targeting the same audience. With a little hard work and patience in a few areas, your website will get to the top and with the outcome that you want, which is sales and leads.
Keyword research is the heart and soul to any business, or should I say, the success of that business. With over 1.7 billion websites in existence, you must do your part to stand out to Google, and implementing correct keyword research is a viable way to rank a website. In the past, only a few keywords were needed to bring in traffic. Companies of that era did not have to deal with the multitude of competition as modern-day businesses. Now, five or six keywords will not suffice- to rank a website, a list of 50-100 keywords or more will be needed depending on the site and its intentions. Literally, each page should target at least two or three keywords per page.
Types of Keywords to Help Rank a Website
It is important to keep in mind that there is not just one keyword nor a small group of keywords that are going to get traffic to your site. Instead, long-tail keyword research will yield better traction- they convert better. To rank a website on Google, you must first be found by the users that are potentially searching for you and your content. Simply put, today, SEO is driven more by natural language. Meaning, more people are now doing searches in the way of questions than three or four keywords.
Think of using a device such as Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa. People have now turned to speaking more specific searches in more detail rather than typing them to find answers faster. These types of keywords and keyword phrases are much easier to rank for due to the competition not being as high. Also, these longer and more detailed natural language searches are more relevant because they yield more searches than your traditional one or two keywords.
The objective is to keep up with constant changes when it comes to keyword research to have Google rank a website faster. Forget the past where the focus was only on a few keywords that remained the same. The focus now should be more on natural language searches, which could change and grow rapidly over time. Remember, it is about knowing what the user is interested in and being able to answer those questions the fastest, and the only way to know is to keep up with the times.
In the past, an article could be written with a few keywords sprinkled in, and Google would rank a website automatically. However, current day, Google takes a much smarter approach when it comes to keyword density. Google has changed their expectations somewhat and avoids websites that use the same keyword as well as the one’s that overuses a keyword which is better known as keyword stuffing. To improve rankings, they will not rank a website with low-quality content as high because the main priority is to deliver high quality and useful content to its users.
The thought is that the website with the longer articles will be ranked the highest, and that is just not the case anymore. Google is not that interested anymore about the word count to rank a website. It is about creating the best user experience and providing the fastest answers to what the user is asking- this is what will get you into Google’s good graces. So, whether that is done in 2000 words or 200 words- and without shoving in keywords is the website that will do well.
How Often to Post New Content
There are many opinions on when to post new content. Some myths are that content should be published slowly so that it will not look “unnatural” to Google. Surprisingly, to some, this myth has been debunked by Google themselves! The truth is, the sooner you get out great content, the sooner Google will rank a website. Waiting will only prolong your SEO to gain traction, so publish your content immediately to get that positive impact on your rankings as soon as possible! Maintaining a consistent publishing schedule will show Google that new content is being published regularly, which encourages spiders to crawl your content more frequently as well as bringing users back more frequently. This will help in your SEO efforts and will also send positive signals to Google.
Wanting to have a cut and dry answer as to how long SEO will begin working on your new website is normal. However, you must be patient and have realistic expectations during this complex process. Google will rank a website based on many algorithms that they have set in place, and if your priority is the user rather than optimizing for Google- your time at the top will without question soon become a reality.