These days, it’s hardly surprising that most people search online to find a local business. In fact, last year, just 9% of people said they hadn’t done an internet search to find one.
When your website starts ranking highly, there will be a drastic increase in the visitors to your website from organic search engines. These will be people who are actively looking for what your business is offering. If someone has searched for “Coffee shops in Manchester” and they end up on the website for your coffee shop, chances are they want to buy some coffee. So SEO doesn’t just target more people, it targets the right people, who want what you’re selling!
Once you are getting more visitors to your site, you still have to make sure that they chose to do business with you. Because the end goal here isn’t to rank #1 or to get X number of page views, it’s to win over new customers.
I’ve started doing SEO, when will I see the results?
The simplest, but also most frustrating answer is: it depends. SEO is a long term investment. Like a steam train, it takes a bit of time to get going, but once it’s up to speed it has a lot of momentum. That speed and momentum depends on where your website is at and what level of effort your competition are making, but it’s going to take a few months before you see anything at all.
Why is there a delay in SEO results?
Here are a few of the reasons there is always a bit of a time lag between investing in SEO and getting more business from more people visiting your website.
- Firstly, you can’t dive straight into SEO. You need to do a fair bit of research before you can even start; assessing which keywords to use, analysing the current state of a website and looking at who else you’re competing against. SEO professionals use sophisticated software tools to collect and analyse tons of data about the things people search for and how your website currently performs.
- Even after you’ve planned and completed some work to improve your SEO, the results aren’t instant. Google and other search engines have a lot of websites to keep track of – it’s a number in the billions. When changes are made to a website you can ask Google to come and have a look at the changes you’ve made but it may take a little while for them to get round to it. If Google hasn’t noticed that you’ve made your website better, it isn’t going to rank more highly. Many SEO tasks involve building links to your website, so Google would have to keep track of wherever those changes have been made too.
- Search engines are trying to decide which is the best website to place highly. One aspect of your website that they look at is how long, and how frequently it’s been active. A website that is slowly but steadily making small updates for a long time is going to look better than a new website that has suddenly done loads of stuff, but only for a couple of months. Consistency is key here, and this is why little and often carries more weight than a big splurge of investment now and then.
As a rough estimate, it may take a month to get started, perform all the research, create a strategy and start carrying out the work. Once the first few pieces of work have been completed out, it will probably take another 2-3 months for your website to make a detectable progress in rankings reports. In general, the time scale is in months, not days and weeks.
SEO is all about building momentum. There is a big time lag, often estimated to be 10 weeks, between SEO work being completed and seeing the SEO results materialise in the form of your website links appearing higher up the lists. This means that even if you suddenly stopped investing in SEO, your website would keep climbing for a little, and then hold steady for a bit. When (or if) you started back up again, it would take a while to kick in again, but you would not be starting from scratch.