It would be rad if I had a straight answer for you, and say:
“It takes 4 weeks, 2 days, 5 hours, 17 minutes and 24 seconds to see your SEO strategy kicking into high gear.”
Even if there was a way to give you an average time for SEO results to kick in, it would be meaningless.
Each website is different, as well as goals for specific SEO projects. They have to battle with hundreds of ranking signals in order to rise in the SERPs.
If you are willing to rank for a highly competitive keyword from scratch, it may take 6 months or even a year. Local and smaller niche businesses would need considerably less time. In this case, you may see results in weeks.
So, you’re telling me this question is irrelevant right?
Well, not quite.
All I’m saying is that giving the exact number is irrelevant, and often impossible.
What I can say is that the results are heavily dependent on numerous factors. These include the authority of your website, website’s age, backlinks, and many more.
What is a website authority and how does it influence my SEO?
Authority is the level of trust Google puts in your site and domain.
Yes, that’s right. Google has a measurement unit for trust. High authority domains see the SEO results easier and in less time.
An authority depends mostly on the domain’s age, content quality and referring backlinks. Every backlink works like a vote of confidence for the domain.
So, my first recommendation would be – work on your authority.
Build a network of relevant, high-quality backlinks and strive to be a reference in your domain. And as this process may get tough through time, don’t lose hope.
Now, we’ll give this broad topic a certain simplification. We’ll start by looking at the types of SEO modifications we can perform on a site.
Then, based on our experience, you’ll see how much time it could take to yield results.
First off, page title
The page title is a sneaky little bugger.
It looks like nothing and hides at the top of your browser tabs. Mostly it shows in Google’s SERPs only, as the blue organic snippet title.
Besides a title’s deceiving discreetness, it wields enormous SEO power. Change one word in your title, and you might see how fast will Google reevaluates your rankings.
Now, it depends on your authority and Google’s crawl rate. But in essence, Page Title changes will result in pretty fast SERP reactions. I have witnessed changes happening in less than a day.
Content adaptation on an existing page
Rewriting your content?
All on-page adaptations are difficult. They are heavily dependent on your authority, as well as Google’s mood.
This should be faster than creating a new page. It’s because the page is already known by Google and they’ve tested its usefulness.
It’s safe to say that results for this type of SEO work will yield gradually over weeks or months.
Creation of new pages
You identified an awesome opportunity and you want to create a webpage for it?
First off, it depends on how frequently Google crawls your website. The faster it crawls, the faster it can consider your new page.
You can speed up this process by asking Google to visit a specific page through a search console. This is particularly useful if your website is not well known, and with low authority.
Ok, but you want an estimate, right?
Now, this depends on many factors. Some of them are:
- Your website’s authority
- The quality of the content
- The usefulness of the page/content
- Page’s UX
- Internal linking
- Other various optimization factors
In one case, I’ve witnessed a 2-year-old article finally reaching the top positions on Google. I would attribute this to the context of the page.
When content creation started with that client, we didn’t have much of it related to a topic. After 2 years of work and article publishing, Google finally acknowledged the effort. The search engine realized that there were dozens of high-quality articles worth reading (as well as ranking).
Fixing technical issues
At least one where I can give a straight answer! Well, sort of.
Depending on the technical quirk you fix, results can be instantaneous.
For example, imagine that your webmaster has put a no-index on a popular page by accident. As a consequence, your page disappeared from Google results.
If you react quickly you can erase this no index and direct Google to recrawl the page. The page might not reappear instantaneously at its original position. However, it will be reindexed quite quickly. The page will gradually regain its former glory during the next weeks.
Fixing 4xx errors on your website, limiting 3xx redirects and other maintenance won’t give fast results. This will pay off in the long run, as it helps Google allocate its resources to the right pages of your website.
Now on to the mammoth of SEO optimizations – improving your authority through link building.
You’ve probably heard about the famous black hat and white hat tactics. Yet if you ask Google, neither of these are appropriate. In (Google’s) theory, the only legit way would be through the completely natural linking.
That means you’re not supposed to influence your rankings with either of these techniques.
This makes perfect sense for Google. They use that data to evaluate a website’s worth.
But in practice, I’ve seen many high-quality websites that are indefinitely ignored due to a lack of external links.
So, my take on this is simple. Do whatever is necessary, as long as you know that your website is worth it. Also, don’t forget about the quality of your links. Trash backlinks aren’t relevant, and they won’t do any good to your ranking.
Ok, so you have a great quality website. You’ve worked hard on link building.
How fast can I see the results?
Well, it depends on the quality of the links you managed to snap. If you’ve had a successful link building campaign, it will help you in a matter of weeks. And it will help quite a lot.
It is not uncommon to see that your traffic doubled after a great link building campaign.
To see results from the SEO work on your website, it might take anything from one week to one year.
Many factors influence that time span. The main ones are the complexity of a project and the past work that you’ve done (if any).
If your site is having a decent ranking, it will take less time to see the results. Also, if you’re constantly working on it, Google will have more reasons to crawl your pages more frequently.
And of course, if you’re making just a minor change to your website, it won’t take a while for Google to update it. With big projects, we have just the opposite situation. If you’re fixing big technical issues or building content from scratch, it may take a while.
And as a final thought, we want you to understand that SEO is a long-term business. It does pay off, and it pays off well, but it’s ungrateful to expect solid and lasting results overnight.