This is one of the most common questions that I get asked and the answer isn’t simple. The time it takes to rank depends on many variables.
So let’s look at the main factors that contribute to this and how you can get a fairly accurate answer of how long it should take your website to rank in Google.
1. You have a lot of competitors
The more competitors you have, the longer it will take to rank. And if all of those competitors have been doing SEO for years, this will add more time.
2. You’re targeting a large geography
Do you want to rank in your local suburb? Or do you want to rank worldwide? The broader you go, the longer it will take.
3. The nature of your industry
Certain industries (usually high priced products, high specialisation – think legal, plastic surgery) are full of companies who spend big dollars on SEO. Enter these markets with a long term view and deep pockets!
4. The design of your website
Google places a high value on how a visitor ‘uses’ a website. Is the information on the site easily found? Do visitors ‘bounce’ off the site and go back or do they spend time and read the content? Does the site take forever to load? Google measures all of this and it determines how your site ranks.
5. The content on your website
There’s no point trying to rank for ‘kitchen builder’ and all your website talks about is ‘bathroom renovations’. Create the best content you can on the topics you want to be found for.
6. The keywords that you’re targeting
Did you know that most traffic (~70%) comes to a website from keywords that get less than 10 searches per month? Sometimes, fixating on a high volume, highly competitive keyword can take you away from the bigger picture. Make sure you write high quality and in depth content – it will bring in 100’s of lower volume keywords to your site, but usually highly highly targeted leads. The lower the search volume of a keyword, the easier it is to rank.
7.You haven’t claimed your listing on Google My Business
If you want to do well in Google, you need to show them that you’re a real business. Sounds like common sense but many don’t do this fundamental step of getting trust from Google. Sign up at https://www.google.com/business/ to claim your listing.
All too common but the easiest to fix. Your website was built and has been left in a no index mode, in other words, it won’t show in Google.
It’s amazing how often I see this and hopefully it’s just an oversight by the web developer (albeit a costly one). Your website is built or updated and it’s been left in a no-index mode, in other words, your site won’t be in Google.
2. Your Site has poor Code or Structure
Does that cheap website builder sound great? Just drag and drop and make a great site. Well it comes at a price. The code that those things output is horrendous and confuses the hell out of Google.
E.g. sites build with free website builder tools like Google Sites, Weebly, Wix or some other drag and drop builder.
3. Your Site Is Hard To Navigate
Does your site look unprofessional? Is it hard to find information or navigate? A poor site will affect how users interact with it.
And a site with poor engagement won’t rank well.
If it’s hard for users of your site to find what they need, it’s likely that Google will have the same problem.
Make everything less than 3 clicks from the homepage and keep the layout easy and simple.
4. There’s a Problem with Your Backlinks
Backlinks (links from other sites) can help or hurt your website.
Do you have enough quality backlinks compared to your competitors? Are they from relevant sites or spammy sites? Is the backlink anchor text diversified? Have you engaged in Black hat SEO in the past?
5. Your website doesn’t have any information…
There’s a fine line between a clean looking website and a websites that has no information on it. Google still isn’t great at reading images and videos – your website needs to have enough textual content on it so Google knows exactly what you do. Also, you don’t want people getting to your site and clicking away because there’s no information on it.
Put yourself in your customers shoes and give them the best answers to their Google search queries. Understand and find out what they need and give it to them – make them engaged with your content.
6. Your Google My Business Page is Vacant and not optimised
Are you a local business? Do you show up on Google Maps? Showing up in the ‘3 pack’ on maps means you’ll get quality traffic.
This is especially important for local businesses and businesses who operate in a specified geography.
Google want to show search results for people in a certain location.
So it makes sense to let Google know exactly which area your business serves.
Filling out your Google my business page fully will go a long way to helping you rank for local search terms such as ‘your service brisbane’.
The Google map listing itself can bring in a lot of good traffic so make sure you have plenty of reviews in there by setting up a system in your business to get such reviews.
7. You’ve had a Bad SEO provider in the past
You’re not the only one. A lot of SEO providers still haven’t moved on from using automation tools to do their work. As a result, they get their client’s sites into a real mess and get them penalised by Google.
A lot of SEO providers still haven’t moved from using automation tools to do their work. And as a result, they get their client’s sites into a real mess by getting penalised by Google.
Usually in this case, we have to make a decision to either start again on new domain or disavow all the links and wait for the shackles to be lifted.
8. You Have Multiple Websites for the Same Business
In the old days, businesses did quite well with multiple sites all targeting a different location or service. These days Google like seeing just one site for a business.
re </span> the take way is just make the one site, structure it intelligently for all your services and put great content all in the one place.
9. Your Content is Plagiarised
“Don’t scrape your entire site’s content from another site or multiple sites. For your blog posts it’s ok to post an article from another site and credit it appropriately.”
10. Your ‘On Page SEO’ is Not Optimised
Getting technical here but this includes setting up your pages and posts correctly with titles, meta descriptions, image tags, H tags…the list goes on.
11. You Might be Getting Traffic!
You may be getting traffic but people aren’t contacting you for many reasons – does the content put them off? Does your site give the impression of an unreliable business? Make sure your traffic is converting.
Are you sure there aren’t people coming to the site?
SEO is not a one-off activity but rather a marketing channel that should be monitored and optimised over time. This infographic outlines some compelling facts as to why you need to think of SEO as an essential ongoing part of your marketing plan.
1. SEO is Always Changing
Google changes it’s algorithm 500-600 times a year. If you don’t have anyone looking after it and keeping up with or anticipating the changes, your website will be left in the dark.
Most competitive industries have full time SEO agencies or in-house staff optimising their web presence. In fact, in 2016, companies spent more than $65 billion on SEO. You’ll need to keep doing SEO to stay competitive in your market.
4. SEO Compounds Over Time
Like a good investment, the returns on SEO will compound over time.
Traffic will slowly build, then new keywords and opportunities will be discovered and the whole thing snow balls. If you keep up a good SEO campaign, you’ll find that with the familiarity and constant testing and tweaking by your (good) SEO consultant, will enable many more wins to occur than short term changes.
Your SEO expert will learn your industry and your competitors and this cumulative knowledge will help your business in the long run.
“Whatever results you’re getting at 6 months should be considerably less than what you’re getting at 12 months.” – Forbes
5. SEO is a Marketing Channel
If you stop marketing, you lose customers. Google traffic is still the number one lead source for many businesses – if most of your business or a good chunk of it comes from Google organic search, you need a qualified SEO specialist to look after it, maintain it and continually optimise this channel.
If you stop after 3 months because of poor results then your expectations were wrong at the outset.
The reality is, it takes around 3 months for your SEO to fix past mistakes. And the SEO you do today won’t take effect for a month or 2. Do proper research, technical SEO and develop an ongoing SEO plan.
8. Stopping and Starting Can Raise Alarm Bells to Google
Link velocity is the rate at which links are pointed at your site. If your SEO is helping you build links and then you stop, this will ring alarm bells for Google and tell them that either your site is losing credibility.
Update: Link velocity isn’t a problem in 2020. As long as the links you get are legitimate, it really doesn’t matter how fast you get them, it all counts.
Within as little as 4 months Will has my business ranking 1st place for so many frequently search terms in the competitive cosmetic tattooing industry and my inquiries have surged. He is a great communicator, more than happy to answer questions and presents your results monthly in an easy to understand report. Super impressed with his expertise and customer service, would not use anyone else!
23:06 01 Jul 20
In a competitive industry, we've been able to achieve and maintain our page 1 Google rankings thanks to Will's SEO support. I highly recommend Will for anyone looking to get more visitors to their website. He's the best in the business as far as i'm concerned. Nick Reed - Director H A Reed Locksmiths & Brisbane Safes
06:11 29 May 19
22:55 23 Apr 19
Awesome SEO service
Snanispaw's Home Made Emporium
02:41 18 Apr 19
02:35 18 Apr 19
Very knowledgeable, consistent and ethical SEO specialist.
21:16 18 May 17
Brilliant work. Would and have recommended Will to others.
08:28 28 Sep 16
I have been using Will's services for a number of years and have always found him to be responsive and supportive to my inquiries. I have dealt with other IT operators in the past only to be found wanting. I have and continue to recommend Will to any other business operators looking for a responsible IT professional.
06:12 16 Feb 15
Thanks Will Your service was excellent, you did everything that you said you would with regards to up grading my website, you were always contactable and very helpful I would have no hesitation recommending youAndrew