How long does it take to rank – One Week? One Month? One Year? Longer?

You have signed up for an Organic Search Engine Marketing Program with; your website has launched and you are excited to begin seeing results. So, just when should you expect to see those top rankings you are looking for? Although patience is key, when and how you rank can depend on a number of important factors. 

1) Are your keywords Competitive or Non-Competitive

If your target search results are not competitive you may be able to rank within a few weeks of your website and optimization program’s launch – even if your domain and site is brand new. However, with the growth of the Internet, there are very few uncompetitive categories remaining.

2) Is your Website and/or Domain Name new?

Google (and the other search engines) treats new websites as new businesses. Many of the top ranked websites have been providing Internet users with valued information for years. It takes time to build that same credibility and trust. The search engines watch a new site, monitor them for their value, and make sure that the new sites are practicing proper SEO methods, are not spam, and are not trying to manipulate their results. In other words, you have to earn your position for keyword searches. While the search engines do not always get this right, they do work hard to provide clients with the best matched websites for their search query.
It will probably take at least a year to catch up to already established websites, especially if they are practicing good Search Engine Optimization methods and are link building. Even if you have a great marketing idea that will help you build many organic links, if your competition is a large corporation, a household name etc. it will take much longer to out-rank them, if ever.

3) How Much Time is Spent on Link Building?

New websites require slow and steady link development over time. While it may seem easy to take part in one of those “Get 100 links in an hour” advertising schemes, these mass-submission marketing methods only serve to penalize your website in the future. It is best to grow your links and popularity manually and over time. For instance, if you grow x links this month, then next month you will want to create x more links, and so on. It does not matter how new or old your website is; link-building should be done regularly.

4) What is your Domain Name?

A domain name that is an exact match to your keyword phrase may be able to provide ranking benefits in some search relevancy algorithms, but not necessarily in Google. While this can expedite the ranking process, it is largely dependent on the nature and competitiveness of the search results.

5) How many Hours of Work will it take?

Organic Search Engine marketing is an ongoing process. Even when target rankings are achieved, there is still work involved to maintain the results and to keep up on and implement new search engine optimization practices.

Websites with non-competitive keywords could begin ranking in a few weeks after 4 hours of initial SEO work, followed by a couple hours per month thereafter. Of course, the website has to be utilizing search engine friendly code and navigation practices.

For websites with competitive search results, we could spend hundreds of hours of SEO work and still not see the results we are looking for. In other words, the number of hours that need to be spent is in direct correlation with the competitiveness of your keywords and search results and the age of your domain/website. Your success is our success, which is why we work hard to help you achieve those top rankings.

6) What Other Factors Influence When I will See Results?

Competitive keywords, age and time play a big role in when you will see results; however, there are other factors that influence rankings, including:

  • Not only do you want to look at the age of your competitors websites, but you also want to look at how hard they are working on their online marketing campaigns. We track their current link count, link growth and inbound link quality. We also check their social marketing activity and the partners they associate with.
  • Your Internet Marketing Budget has a role in your success. How much are your clients investing and how is their money allocated? Does your budget allow for implementation of all SEO recommendations?
  • Your off-line branding can help with website traffic. In addition, if your brand is more focused or narrow you may see results more quickly.
  • Is your website adapting to the ever-changing technology? You may launch your site in June and by July there may be a new technology or a changed SEO practice. How flexible you are with your online marketing strategies can help influence ranking.
  • Of course, a little passion never hurts. If you are passionate about your business or topic, it will come out through your website, your content, your blogs and your newsletters. While passion alone may not influence your results, when you combine it with hard work top rankings could come faster.

One of the most important SEO practices is competition analysis because it really does play a role in when and where your website will rank well. It is our job to analyze what your competition is doing in terms of their organic search engine marketing strategy and then utilize that knowledge for the benefit of YOUR strategy. For the websites that are already ranking where you want to be, it takes hard work, determination, knowledge, and time to overtake them. Patience is key.

The average time it takes to start seeing really good ranking results is about a year; however, as noted above, there are so many other factors that can play a role in determining when and where your website will rank. With search-engine friendly web design, proper SEO development, and a little bit of patience you will see your website climb the rankings. An investment (time and budget) in organic search engine marketing is a long-term marketing strategy and, if done well, can offer far greater returns on investment than most other media outlets.