Are you a small business owner and you have recently started investing in your SEO? Has it been a few months and you are starting to feel anxious about whether or not this is actually going to work or if you’ve been scammed?
If so, stick about and give this article a read. We’ll share an honest assessment of how long you need to invest in SEO before you can see an attractive and sustainable ROI. Here’s what you need to know…
How Long Does SEO Take To Deliver An Roi?
There are a number of different factors that can influence the speed and success rate of your SEO and it can vary significantly. As a rule of thumb however, quality SEO practices with a reputable digital marketing agency should (hopefully) yield positive results in approximately 4 to 6-months.
That said, in some cases (depending on the level of competition and how much you are investing), it can take up to a year and beyond.
Particularly if you are in a highly competitive industry and you are focusing on short-tail keywords, outranking your competitors could take much longer (up to 4 years and over).
The important thing to recognise is that SEO is not a “one off” practice. If you start seeing positive results and then give up on your SEO, those rankings will soon begin to drop as your competitors continue working on their own.
Similarly, if you give up on your SEO too soon, you could end up quitting just weeks before your efforts start to pay off.
SEO is a marathon and you need to continue investing and growing if you are to get the most out of it.
Which Factors Influence SEO Speed And Your Overall Success?
Again, there are a wide variety of different factors that can influence the speed at which your SEO takes to start showing positive movement, the sustainability of your ROI, and indeed your overall success rate. Let’s take a closer look…
- Competition: the level of competition is the biggest influencing factor in this regard. If you are in a fairly niche industry and you are targeting long-tail keywords with low competition, you will likely be able to see positive results in a much shorter time frame. And of course, the more competition there is in your industry (and your chosen keywords), the more difficult it will be to make your mark and outshine your top competitors. This is why it’s important to have a diverse SEO strategy that focuses on a multitude of different keywords with varying levels of competition and complexity.
- Quality: the quality of your SEO efforts is paramount. If you are paying very little with a cheap digital marketing agency, not only could you end up needing much longer to see results – it might not even work, full stop. As such, when choosing a digital marketing agency to invest in, you should do your due-diligence and ensure that they have the reputation to back up their ‘bold claims’. Request previous case studies before signing on the dotted line because if a prospective digital marketing agency has delivered results for their clients before, then you will feel more confident in their ability to do the same for you.
- Your products / services’ cost mark-up: as for your ROI, your products or services are an important factor. For example, if you have a huge mark-up on your products (e.g., you’re selling hot tubs at $8,000 USD a pop), then all you need is to be selling 2 or 3 products a month as a direct result of your SEO efforts (which is measurable via Google analytics) to For example, if you have a huge mark-up on your products (e.g., you’re selling hot tubs at $8,000 USD a pop), then all you need is to be selling 2 or 3 products a month as a direct result of your SEO efforts (which is measurable via Google analytics) to start seeing a massive return on your investment. However, if you have low-cost items with a much smaller margin, you’ll need to be selling a lot more products before you can experience an attractive and sustainable ROI.
- Your commitment: you must commit to your SEO if you are to succeed. SEO in its nature has a ‘snowball effect’ that requires time and patience to benefit from. If you give up after a few months (or take a break from your SEO), then you will not be able to actualise its true potential. Assuming that you were ruthless when choosing an SEO agency to invest in, you should give them the time and space they need to deliver for you. However, if you have already waited longer than 6 months and your SEO agency has been unable to show much in the way of positive movement at all, it might be worth exploring your other options.
What Metrics Can You Observe To Gauge SEO Success?
If you are getting itchy feet and want to see for yourself just how well your current SEO efforts are doing, which SEO metrics can you observe? Here are some tips for measuring your success:
- Impressions: how many times an internet user has seen your content / links / ads.
- Clicks: how many times an internet user has interacted with your content and found themselves on your website.
- Organic traffic: how much traffic comes to your website via a google search.
- # of ranking pages: how many pages you have ranking well in a google serp (search engine results page).
- # of backlinks: how many links you have from other relevant sources pointing to your website.
- Website referrals: how much traffic comes to your website via other websites and sources.
- Domain authority: how relevant your website is for specific industry-related subject matter.
- Page authority: how relevant your pages are for specific industry-related subject matter.
- Brand mentions: how often your brand and business is mentioned and referenced to on other websites.
- Conversion rate: how many page visitors end up taking positive action and converting into customers.
The primary purpose of SEO is to have as many people coming through to your website as possible, ultimately making a purchase and becoming loyal, paying customers. If you can measure the above metrics and they are all showing improvement, then your SEO is indeed working.
It might feel slow going at first, but if you can see a positive moment it’s almost certainly worth hanging in there!
One of the most frustrating things about SEO is the fact that it can take a long time to actually work. As such, many business owners make the mistake of giving up too soon – right before things were about to take off for them.
The best thing about SEO? When things eventually do start slotting into place, it can be one of the most rewarding and transformative experiences ever.
So, take a breath and relax. Assuming you were diligent in your research before investing in your current SEO agency, you shouldn’t have any issues.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.