How Long Does SEO Take?

3-6 months is the answer you will hear from most the SEO companies in Melbourne. The replies you get back from the clients sound something like this: can you speed the process up and rank my website quicker? Why does it take so long to rank my site? My competitor who is sitting on page 1 somehow got there very quickly, can you do that for me as well? Why do I have to keep on paying you whilst I am not on page 1 from my main keywords?  These are all good questions but the solutions are quite complicated and this can lead to very frustrated clients who do not fully understand the SEO process and why it takes time to establish a solid SEO foundation.

So following are so of the main reasons why it could take time to see really good results from your SEO campaign. If after reading this you still have any questions please get in touch with us here at SEO Melbourne Experts on 1800 916 191.

How old is your domain name?

Is you domain name older than your main rivals online. Is your website address brand new or is it just a few months old? If so this means you have to essentially go to the back of the queue and wait for Google to start indexing the links we will create. This is what takes time. New websites and new domains are like seeds in the ground, you need to add lots of water and give then lots of TLC before they turn into flowering beauties. You cannot launch a new website and expect it to be ranking for your core keywords within a couple of weeks. IT WON’T HAPPEN.

If you are thinking that you can simply build a website and rank it in competitive niches like; home loans, travel insurance, cosmetic surgeons or carpet cleaners you can think again. Ranking for these terms can take years!  Having said that, if your business is in a less competitive area ( and you do have a new website) then we can look at more local, suburban search rankings within 3-4 months. If you have an existing, older URL, this process may be sooner. Basically, the older the website address the quicker it will start to see the benefits of an SEO campaign.

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How is your on page SEO?

If your website has many on page fixes that need doing or the site was cheaply built without any SEO planning, this could be a reason why your site is not ranking and why the SEO process is taking longer. If there are serious ‘on page’ non Google compliant elements of your website that we have to correct this will slow down the SEO process. WHY? Because, we have to get in there and fix the mess up, wait for Google to reindex the new pages and then it’s a matter of wait n see what happens. This is why I always stress to client’s that they need to get their website professionally designed and developed. Free web templates and off the shelf web packages do not work and will HINDER ALL OUR SEO efforts. So if you are wondering why your SEO is taking so long, you need to firstly audit your current site for any basic faults.

Existing sites that have been built with a healthy budget will still need to be audited and have constant SEO tweaks for optimum SEO performance. You will need to be always evolving the site with new technologies and content to keep up with the ever changing digital landscape. If you think that a website is a set and forget solution to all your worries then you are sorrily mistaken. To rank and be consistently performing well online you need to be 100% attentive to the digital space, consumer behaviour & Google’s expectations.  Ignoring this will simply prolong any further rankings.

Does your site suffer from any Google penalties?

This is a serious issue and we are often asked to come in and fix the mess created by dodgy work from past SEO agencies. More often than not, the practices they would have implemented such as spammy link building activities or over optimisation of keywords would have resulted in a Google penalty. If you have never heard this term before, you are lucky. If your website has suddenly plummeted in the rankings then most likely your site has been penalised. This can take months to fix and is a good reason why SEO rankings take time. Penalties by Google mean that  toxic inbound links were built and all point towards your URL. In my opinion, if the link building has been going on for years then it might be better to abandon the URL altogether and start again. This is a painful and miserable experience and again this is why you should avoid any type of SEO agency that appears even remotely dodgy. If they mention the words SEO Ranking Guarantees, ditch then ASAP. We get about 1-2 calls per day from people who have suffered at the hands of these SEO cowboys.

If we have to come in and repair rankings slumps from past poor SEO efforts, then this is going to add time to the campaign.

Spammy, over optimised web content

In the same way link build can get you into trouble (if it’s inorganic), so too can poorly worded website content. If there are far too many pages that seem to repeat themselves over and over again, in the hope of somehow manipulating rank, this will reduce any SEO efforts and prolong rankings. What needs to be done is each page rewritten so it reads naturally, restructure all the pages for optimal user experience, and then wait n see what happens. Remember, all these delays are costing you time and money. So if you website has not been fully built with an SEO strategy in place, then you are looking at lengthier ranking periods.

How competitive is your niche

Are you wanting to be on page 1 for keywords like travel insurance or home loans? If you are then the time it can take to rank these keywords will be a lot longer than long tale, easier to rank phrases, such as home loans Hawthorn or Toorak Lawyers. If your SEO agency is trying to go for really hard, extremely competitive search terms, expect this to take well over 12 months. To see quicker rankings, go for the long tail phrases.

In the early days of SEO, many agencies could bypass Google by spamming the hell and over optimising core competitive words. Many companies, saw their rankings rise very quickly, but these types of practices have since been outlawed by Google and now it’s a matter of doing everything slowly and methodically – this is the MAIN # 1 reason why ranking time frames will take longer than in previous years.

Let’s look at the home loan keywords as an example. Realistically, how could you expect to rank for this when you have the likes of Aussie Home Loans, Wizard Home Loans and others who have years of SEO and back linking as a head start. To compete  here, you really have to have a long term goal and it cannot be limited to only SEO. You will have to look at other channels and marketing platforms such as hitting your social media as well as content marketing.

The strength of your Competition

 If your direct competition has been on page 1 for ages and has had a compliant SEO campaign running then you need to be extremely patient to get even close to them. Again, think about the home loan analogy. Google will only rank your website if it sees a strong and steady approach to you back linking. This is the ONLY WAY you will ever rank and this all takes time. Quick rankings in less than 3 months will cause problems. This is a fact.