When you’re looking to promote your business online and get new customers, you would hope that you push your website live, Google and other search engines immediately notice its presence, and you start getting calls from customers almost immediately. Unfortunately, the reality of SEO is much more complex.
While SEO can sometimes yield quick results for established domains with fresh content, it’s better to think of SEO like a 401k. Your efforts will compound over time and begin delivering greater results the longer you keep contributing to it. A “one and done” approach will seldom, if ever, deliver the results you’re hoping for when promoting your business online.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the factors that influence SEO and your business and how those factors contribute to how long it takes to start seeing real results for your business.
The Short Answer
The short answer to the question of “how long does it take for SEO to start working” is “it depends”. SEO is a deep subject and many factors come into play. Depending on your company’s goals, competition, and customers, it can take four to six months to begin to see real results, especially if you have no real web presence prior to starting your SEO campaign. If you have a new website, new domain name, and new content, but no online business history, it can take a while for the search engines to index your site and build up solid, reputable backlinks.
One of the factors, and often the first you’ll want to tackle, is optimizing the SEO that’s on your site itself. Your website is the heart of your SEO campaign, and needs to be prepared accordingly. The steps you can take when designing – or redesigning – your site can range from simple to complex, but each plays a part in getting your website more views and a higher search engine ranking.
For example, making sure each of your pages have properly implemented title tags and meta data, while avoiding pitfalls such as keyword stuffing, is one critical part to optimizing your site’s SEO performance. These tags help search engines know the kinds of content found on each page of your site, and how you want to present that content to potential customers.
You should also make sure your website has a mobile-optimized component because more and more people are browsing on their phones, rather than their desktops. If they come to your site and see a clunky, desktop-only design that looks terrible on a small screen, they’ll flee your site quickly. Because of this trend, search engines will look on sites with a mobile-optimized counterpart more favorably than ones without.
Your Site’s Content
Your site needs solid content. It needs to be well-written, keyword-rich, and fresh. Your site’s content needs to be the sort of information that customers will find useful and search engines won’t find objectionable. Filling your site with low-quality, duplicate content may be easier to set up, but won’t help your SEO rankings in the long run. Maximizing the quality of your content will help you see results sooner and will also make potential customers more likely to call you than content that’s repetitious or hard to read.
The other component of your site’s content is that it needs to be fresh. Making frequent changes and updates to your site shows that you’re committed to improving your site’s SEO for the long haul, and search engines tend to reward that over the style of site management that consists of dropping the website into the internet and abandoning it forever. Keeping your site’s content fresh is also why every contractor needs to have – and maintain – a blog.
Your Domain Name
There are several SEO-related considerations for your website’s domain name. If your domain name contains natural keywords – such as contracting, renovations, or remodeling – then this might help accelerate your SEO efforts, but it’s not a solution to all your problems. Even domain names rich with keywords can rank terribly, depending on other factors.The age of your domain can also be a consideration. If you have a fresh, new domain name, it can take time for search engines to index the new domain. Conversely, if you’re already indexed with an existing domain name, search engines know where to find your business – and so do customers.
The age of your domain can also be a consideration. If you have a fresh, new domain name, it can take time for search engines to index the new domain. Conversely, if you’re already indexed with an existing domain name, search engines know where to find your business – and so do customers.If you buy an existing domain that was already used by another business – such as if you own the .net and the .com becomes available – you might jump at the chance to pick up the coveted .com address. However, it can take time for the internet to recognize the owner’s new address, much like if a business relocates its office. An additional consideration here is if the former owner of the domain engaged in
If you buy an existing domain that was already used by another business – such as if you own the .net and the .com becomes available – you might jump at the chance to pick up the coveted .com address. However, it can take time for the internet to recognize the owner’s new address, much like if a business relocates its office. An additional consideration here is if the former owner of the domain engaged in unsavory activity and “black hat” tactics that damages the domain’s credibility and causes it to be flagged by search engines. It can take time to undo the bad karma from the domain’s previous life.
Your Competitive Environment
Your competition can have a large effect on your SEO campaign and how long it takes to see results from it. If you offer unique services in an area with almost no competition, you can hope to see results much sooner than if you’re one remodeling contractor in an area with numerous other kitchen and bath contractors. The more businesses that are competing for visibility online, the harder it will be to climb to the top of those keyword searches.
An SEO audit can help you look at the competition in your area, understand who your competitors are, and how you can strengthen your SEO campaign to compete with them. Depending on who your competition is, it might take a longer period of time and a larger investment to dethrone them from the number one result on Google’s search results.
Your competition, and how much they spend on SEO programs including pay-per-click campaigns, can also be a factor in how long it takes to see results from your SEO campaign. If you have a set budget each month, but your competitor is spending twice as much monthly, it can take longer to get higher search rankings. SEO doesn’t happen in a vacuum: everything you do affects your competitors and vice versa.
These have been just a few of the myriad complexities of SEO and how it impacts the time it takes to improve your business’s search results online. Other issues include dealing with various Google search algorithm implementations like Penguin and Panda, keywords and geo-targeting for pay-per-click campaigns, and many others. SEO is a deep subject that can have a serious effect on how many leads your business garners online.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wade into the SEO ocean alone. You can partner with Contractor Dynamics to help improve your business’s SEO campaign. Whether we help you redesign your website in accordance with the latest SEO marketing trends, or we work with you to design a comprehensive SEO marketing strategy, you’ll work with experienced professionals who know what’s out there and how to make SEO work for your business. Contact us today and we’ll help you maximize your chances of success in the online search market.