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As more and more businesses begin to explore and understand the possibilities that SEO has to offer their company, one looming question begs an answer:

Whether it be in hesitation, excitement, or pure curiosity, this seemingly simple question has companies that are interested in SEO at the edge of their seats when deciding what the next step is to improve their search engine ranking.

You may have heard that an SEO campaign can produce quality results in 30 days. Or maybe you heard that 30 days wasn’t enough time, but 90 days is. Guess what?

You’re wrong.

There is too much necessary work, strategy, and planning put into an effective SEO campaign to see quality results in 30-90 days. If you’re still hopeful in this 30-90 day myth, ask yourself: Was my business built in 30 days? Hell, even 90 days?

We know you’re brilliant, hard-working, and intuitive, but a top-of-the-line SEO campaign cannot be integrated and utilized to produce quality results in that short amount of time. In order to do so, an SEO campaign must research, strategize, plan, organize, develop, integrate, and implement a variety of tools and procedures that are distinct to your business before blue-ribbon results start waltzing through your door.

So, let’s ask the million dollar question again: How long does SEO take?

Good thing you asked the experts about the SEO timeline.

Simply put, integrating an SEO campaign into your company’s DNA takes around 4-12 months.

In those 4-12 months, there is a wide range of services done to produce the kind of results you want to see.

We feel it is important for companies new to SEO to understand what these services are and their duration in your company’s journey towards a high ranking in search engine results.

Let’s jump into a look at the three steps of an SEO campaign:

Step 1: On-Page SEO – Setting the Foundation (1-2 months)

During the first step of your SEO integration, it’s necessary to focus on a well-devised game plan for your SEO campaign. When creating said game plan, it’s important to focus on a few key mini-steps: strategize, research, audit, and implement.

The first order of business in starting your SEO campaign is creating a strategy. Determining and setting realistic and timely goals is key for a smooth operating SEO campaign. If deadlines are consistently unmet, your business suffers in a multitude of ways. So, ensure your business and those running your SEO campaign are meeting deadlines.

The next very important mini-step is a combo- keyword research and discovery.

Researching which keywords your buyer persona is inputting into search engines is key in strategizing your website’s search result ranking. Keyword research takes around 10 days to complete and moves into the development of keyword strategy.

With these keyword discoveries, an SEO campaign assembles a keyword strategy to grow organic traffic towards your site. Embedding keywords into your site and site’s content boost the likelihood that your business’ website ranks higher on Google’s search result page.

Following the keyword research, an on-site audit (what we like to call a battle audit) is next in line. A website audit is crucial in organizing and optimizing your website for Google’s site ranking. It’s similar to when you’re cleaning your house for important guests coming to visit- you want things uncluttered, organized, and comfortable so your visitors stick around and enjoy their time. And that’s what our battle audit does for your business’ site. It tidies up your website in a way that optimizes it for Google’s site ranking, while increasing user interface experience.

Our battle audit takes two weeks to complete and another two weeks to implement. How long does SEO take to see results? Well, when the audit is done, you won’t begin to see results for another 6-8 weeks while Google crawls pages in order to reindex them for ranking.

In the first two months of your campaign, the keyword research and audit implementation help compile information to be kept in mind when heading into the next step of an SEO campaign: off-page execution.

Step 2: Off-Page Execution (4-6 months)

Once your SEO campaign has begun to implicate certain research and strategy into your business’ website, the time comes to enter into the off-page execution step of the SEO campaign plan.

Towards the tail end of the first few months, an SEO strategy begins to execute a game plan. In this chunk of 4-6 months, numerous services are carried out to boost your continued presence and exposure in front of potential online leads.

Let’s take a look at a few of these key SEO resources:

Link Building

One of the SEO services implemented into your business’ off page optimization strategy is link building. Known to be one of the most aspects of an SEO campaign, our link building process lasts the duration of this 4-6 month step.

Search engines crawl websites for links in order to discover new web pages and determine how high a page should rank. The quality of keywords and content on the page, as well as the number of links redirecting to that page from external links,  are key factors in ranking at the top of the charts.

After the 4-6 month period of link building, we reassess the process and determine if redirection of the process is in order. While doing all of this link building, the SEO campaign continues execution with the creation and publication of content.

Content

We called this section “Off-Page Execution”, but the best ongoing SEO campaigns also include keyword-rich content production on a month-to-month basis.

Why? The SEO best practice is simple: the more relevant and specific, quality content on your website, the better.

In the first stages of planning your SEO timeline campaign, you should always consider what kind of content should be created, a timeline for creating that content, and a schedule for releasing the content on your site. Posting frequently naturally engages site visitors, reduces bounce rate, boosts search traffic, and potentially lifts the site’s search results placement.

By continuously working on adding new content, web pages can attract search engines to stop by and check the site, which increases the opportunity for your site to increase in search ranking, as well as displays your business’ expertise of the market.

Social Signals

Consistently utilized throughout the duration of our SEO campaign, social signals play a vital part in the 4-12 month journey.

The use of social signals is the way of sending signals to Google regarding engagement and interaction with your website via major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. As tweets, posts, and updates contain a link with a blog post or content offered on your website, signals are sent to Google that show your business and it’s platforms (website, blog, social media outlets) as one cohesive unit.

We find it important for your business to consistently engage with customers and possible future customers via social media outlets, continuing to analyze social media engagement and adjust accordingly throughout the duration of a campaign.

Step 3: Analyze and Optimize (4-6 months)

If the impression hasn’t already been made… SEO takes time.

The latter half of the 4-12 month SEO journey focuses on analysis and optimization of the campaign’s first half. It takes time for the planning, strategy, content, and execution to be created, developed, and implemented into your business. As the ball starts rolling, results appear and data is ready to be analyzed.

Your SEO campaigners analyze how things like keyword integration, content posts, social media platforms, and the like are boosting site traffic and visitor engagement. SEO metrics such as keyword ranking, link building, website traffic, and conversion rates are examined in order for adjustments to be made to continually better metric data.

You might be thinking: Why does it take 4-6 months to analyze data and adjust accordingly? Couldn’t we finish it in a week or two?

You could have an analytic expert jump into the data and do their thing, however, once they’re done, is the data worthless for further analysis?

Nope. SEO takes time.

Continuing the process of analyzing data and optimizing your website is an incredibly crucial service in an SEO campaign. Implementing minor tweaks and adjustments throughout the entirety of the campaign keeps your website in tip-top shape.

Search engines control the SEO ranking systems and are constantly changing the way things are ranked. Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines have been known to change their ranking ways overnight. Without a consistent eye on these kinds of changes, as well as consistently optimizing your site and content for these search engine rank changes, your business could get lost in the search engine either.

 

So, how long does SEO take?

Chances are, your business is your pride and joy. Or it was until it stopped doing so well and you watched your competitors out-do you.

In either case, as the world watches the Internet act as the biggest marketplace for the discovery and utilization of businesses, it’s essential that your business is at the forefront of search results when the world comes knockin’. Just remember SEO takes time.

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Author
Pablo Villalpando

Pablo holds a BA in Sociology and is a Bilingual SEO Strategist for Victorious. He was recently featured in "Real Research: Research Methods Sociology Students Can Use" by CSU, Chico Professor Liahna Gordon. He is fortunate to enjoy a career path through analytics, digital marketing, and social psychology. His passions include Mexican food, his 4-year-old lab Chia, and astronomy.

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