How Long Does SEO Actually Take To Work?

When providing local SEO services, one of the most popular questions we are asked is ‘How long will SEO take to work?’  A valid question, but a question that relies entirely on several variables. Good things take time, but if you know what you’re doing it’s usually much quicker. Think of it like driving to a destination you’ve never visited before, sure you have Sat Nav but it takes longer than it would for someone who takes that route everyday. Our clients don’t have the time or extensive SEO knowledge to improve their search engine rankings, that’s why they use the leading SEO agency in Hampshire – us.

A good example of how to produce a longstanding SEO strategy is to run your own link network. Our client Duck 2 Water wanted to optimise their site for RYA Powerboat Level 2 courses which itself wasn’t impossible but needed some careful planning.

SEO takes time, it’s not a one-size-fits-all process. There are many variables that can affect the length of your SEO journey. The industry your business is in plays a big role. There’s quite a difference between a local Southampton business selling artisan soap and a huge organisation like Samsung. Obviously they both have different audiences, but I would wager that it’s considerably easier to start ranking for Artisan Soap than it is for Smartphones. 

Once you’ve established how saturated the market is, you can focus your attention on your audience. Who are your audience and what do they need from you? Understanding your audience is key to the next step of your SEO adventure – Content. 

Content can be used to set you apart from your competitors. It’s a clever way to engage with your audience and provide them with insights into who you are as a business. People love authenticity, and if you can convey this in your blog and communicate effectively with your audience – you’re on the right track. If the thought of curating engaging blog content absolutely terrifies you – hire a copywriter. This will really speed up the process. 

Once you’ve got heaps of helpful blog content on your website, the traffic will start to trickle in. Now, if you want to supercharge this – you’ll need to build backlinks. A backlink is the link from one website to another, the more backlinks you have the more knowledgeable your website appears and as such will then be ranked higher. There are a few different ways of building backlinks, you can publish links on guest blogs, forums, online directories – to name a few. But keep in mind that it needs to be relevant to what your business does and not spammy. Spammy is bad, it will see your website rank lower and have a detrimental effect on your website traffic.

Backlinks can also be built by publishing interesting blogs with helpful content, your audience will share it and link to your content from other websites.

SEO is a bit of a long-game if you don’t know what you’re doing. If someone tells you that they will have your website ranking for your chosen keywords in a matter of weeks, I would ask them if they also sell snake oil. 

At a minimum your SEO efforts should take 2-3 months to see some tangible results. It takes work, it’s not a case of writing a couple of blogs and then leaving it for six months. It needs constant attention to be truly successful. 

The secret to SEO? Keyword research, analysing your audience, regular high-quality content, website optimisation and backlinks. If this sounds like too much work, we agree, it is, that’s why we offer local SEO services spanning Southampton, Hampshire and beyond. Let’s chat and see how we can help your online presence grow.