Exactly how long does SEO take? Three Weeks…The End.

by DEAN on May 12, 2015
No, thats not true, I was kidding right there.  The length of time your marketing campaign takes depends on many factors.  In this post I am going to address some of the more impactful and important factors that play into a successful campaign to help determine about how long it would take for you to compete in the same space.  There are a lot of factors to consider, I am going to address a few of the major ones first.

Your goal

What exactly your intention?  I think few people actually define exactly what they want to get out of their web presence.  They know they need to be in that space, they just don’t define a strong action paln prior to starting their campaigns.  Consider some of these questions when trying to define your goals.
  • What action do you want your visitors to take when they arrive on your site?
  • What message are you OR do you want to convey to new visitors?
  • Is your message unique
  • Do you have enough "stickiness" to have new visitors hang around?
  • What keywords to you want to be identified by?
  • Are you looking to rank locally, nationally or globally?
Define these elements so you know how to craft the rest of your efforts moving forward.  If you have a Call To Action for you vistors, should it relate to the keywords you are planning on ranking for?  Or, is there an email address or phone number that needs to be clearly visible and actionable?

Website, Webpage or Microsite, What Do You Have?

Do you have a website, web page or microsifte you are looking to move up in rankings?  This matters for many reasons.  Typically, websites with large footprints (many pages) have a tendency to rank higher than single web pages.  Why?  Because search engines want to return results that are the most relevant to their search users, it provides value when user finds valuable and informational content that they are seeking.  Websites with active qulaity blogs, a news section or a website well organized with current relevant content is gold for search engines.

Using your favorite search engine, typing in “movie times” and getting content related to "knitting instruction" is bad business for search engines.  Relevant search returns are critical.  

If you have a website great start! 

If you have a webpage or a microsite which maybe something a franchisee may have, make sure you can add content to it moving forward. 

If your site is new and short on content, don’t worry, with some strategic planning you can get that site to grow and work for you.


Selecting the keywords or terms you want to be identified for is not as straight forward as it sounds. There is a plan and strategy that should be applied when selecting keywords.  Picking the wrong terms or keywords can make your journey much more difficult while selecting the right ones will yeild quicker results.  I will address keywords in a separate post as this topic in itself can have some decent depth to it.  In general though, high volume low competition keywords are preferred but rare.  

In addition, while it is important to understand the role of keywords, Long Tail key terms are also very important to understand and Google updates would indicate that topics in general are playing a larger role in ranking well.

A word of caution!  The keyword concept is often used by SEO sales teams to drum up panic within a business owners pschye, don’t get scared into generic statements such as “we see you aren’t ranking for some terms you should be”.  Although that statement may have some truth to it, it may lack relevance.  If you are a local bakery and you don’t rank for the term “Your City Bakery” there may be concern.  Be sure if you receive this type of sales pitch, make sure you are speaking in terms of relevant terms to your business.

Research using a tool such as the  SEO Books Keyword Tool to start exploring what terms work best for your business.


This is another part of the analysis that should be done in the planning stage of your strategy.  If you have a very competitive market with companies that are ranking well in your space, you can count on your rise to the top to take a little longer.  With little or no competition, the results should happen much quicker.  The fact is that competition matters.  Your competitive landscape should be understood and monitored throughout your efforts.

What should be extracted from that analysis?  

Some of the major factors for consideration are the elements of your competitions presence like:
  • The type, quantity and quality of the links they have acquired.  
  • How old their domain is and how long it is registered for. 
  • The quality ranking of their website
  • Their social media presence
Once the factors are studied, a baseline can be established and depending on your overall strategy, a sense of how long movement on your website ranking will take.  

Keep in mind, every strategy is unique to each business.  Social media, content types and messaging should be your plan, not a replica of your competitors.   As a general rule, I like to scope out a six month plan and adjust from there.  Additionally, achieving your position is one factore, keeping it is another.  Inbound Marketing is like, well...any marketing.  Typically for it to be successful it needs to be a part of your overall business plan.  You can start small and increase your inbound plan as your business grows along with your budget.  Slow and steady wins the race in this case!