As a business owner, it’s likely that one of the first questions you ask when devising a digital marketing strategy is ”how long does SEO take?”. But if you’re looking for a straightforward answer, be prepared to be disappointed – it’s not clear cut. Today, our digital marketing experts here in Nottingham will walk you through the SEO journey, from timeframes to expectations. You’ll glean insights into how long it takes to boost traffic, how many hours you should spend on your SEO each week and what parts of your website might need considering to help you stand the best chance of success. Here’s out advice on how long SEO takes and what to bear in mind.

Set realistic expectations

An SEO strategy won’t work overnight. But for established brands, it should show slow progression over time. Most experts estimate that it takes around 6 months for traffic to increase, and anywhere from 12-24 months for full results to develop. And our team of digital marketing experts agrees. Typically, 6-12 months is a good benchmark for seeing results.

But what about new websites? Coming into the market puts them at an immediate disadvantage, especially against brands who already prioritise and budget for an SEO strategy. They’ll have to start from scratch to find, target and engage their audience and to build credibility through methods like reviews and backlinks. Professional digital marketers think a new website can take up to 12 months to start gaining traffic.

One more thing. Small businesses which haven’t used much SEO before might see a spike when they first begin to update their website. As we often say, the only way is up.

Take time and effort

Remember that SEO isn’t a one-time trick. It’s more of a habit. Think of it as being a bit like a car. You’ll need to wash that car now and then – possibly even tinker away under the hood and top up the oil and washer fluid. That’s the small adjustments you might make to keywords, your regular content updates, your tweaks to loading speed and the site sweeps that spot broken links. Every so often, you’ll check the mileage – really getting into the figures to see if your car’s running as it should. And then there’s the annual MOT, where you’ll run through all the data with a fine toothcomb and create a new strategy for the year ahead. Our digital marketing experts constantly consider these things for our own website, so you know we practice what we preach.

Understand algorithms

There’s another angle to consider, too. Google – like any large search engine company – frequently updates its algorithms. It learns and grows all the time, meaning the way it organically ranks websites also changes. What might work one day might not work with the next update. Add into the mix that your competitors are also vying for top spot on search engine results pages, and you have to think about whether your work is ever truly done. But working with a digital marketing agency – like our team in Nottingham – can keep you ahead of the curve, as we constantly research what’s new and changing in the sector.

Don’t forget Google Ads

Any digital marketer worth their salt will advise you to try a mix of Google Ads and organic SEO. In other words, as well as investing time and effort into your organic SEO strategy – like adding keywords to your content – you’ll benefit from using keywords in a Google Ad. The process involves placing ads on Google’s search engine results pages, putting you at the top of the flock. Combining organic SEO with Google Ads covers both bases and ensures your SEO is bulletproof. As a digital marketing agency, we can advise you on the perfect balance.

Put it all together

When you start creating your SEO strategy –  or asking digital marketing experts like us to create one for you – you’ll need to think about influencing factors, like:

– How much content you have and where the gaps lie

– How often you’ll need to add or update content

– How established your website and/or brand is online

– How your website generally performs

– What keywords and phrases are ranking

– What are your competitors doing

With everything in place, you’ll need to be prepared to wait for results to grow – and not throw in the towel if it’s taking longer than you expected.

Contact Cosmetic Digital for a laser-focused SEO strategy

If you’re ready to commit to a long-term SEO strategy, we want to work with you. Our social media experts, senior designers, content specialists and web developers all play a crucial role in helping your website run smoothly, rank highly and engage easily for a well-rounded SEO strategy. So whether it’s your first time considering digital marketing or you need a fresh perspective, our digital marketing agency in Nottingham can help.

Get in touch with the team today through our contact form or call 01159 140640.