How Long Does It Take For
SEO To Take Effect?

Blogs | SEO

Published: 07.04.22
Written By: Jess Foster

Table of Contents


A common question amongst people looking to improve their website traffic and ranking on search engines, is how long does it take for SEO to take effect? When am I going to start seeing results? With as many as 3.5 billion searches per day, it’s more important than ever that you implement SEO strategy for your website.

When Can I Expect to See Results From SEO?

Opinions vary between SEO experts, but the average period is 6 to 12 months to start seeing measurable results. This really depends on how much work needs doing to optimise your website for search engines and what you’re overall SEO strategy is.

SEO strategy isn’t a one size fits all, quick fix that happens overnight and gets you to the top spot on search engine results. It’s something that needs working on consistently if you want to see positive results.

If you plan on doing the SEO yourself for example, it may take longer as you’re going to have invest your time to research the best SEO techniques to implement to get positive results from your strategy. If you hire an SEO expert to help with your SEO, you can expect to start seeing those results faster than you would if you did it yourself as they’re going to know what to do to improve your SEO.

Why Does SEO Take so Long?

SEO isn’t just one solution for every website and business, each SEO strategy must be tailored to the individual to suit their targets and needs. It is also something which needs to be constantly looked over and implemented over a long period of time. Search engines algorithms are frequently changing, search terms need updating and new techniques are being used. There are several different steps in the SEO process that need to be considered:

Who Is Doing Your SEO?
This one is pretty straight forward. Are you doing the SEO yourself or are you hiring someone to do it for you? If you are doing it yourself and have minimal to no experience in the field, you should expect it to take longer for your SEO efforts to take effect. This is simply because you might not know the best strategies to apply to your website. You’re going to have to invest a significant amount of time into the research, planning and implementation of SEO strategy.

It’s common practice for a full site audit to be done to establish what needs doing and to evaluate how the website is currently performing. This can be quite a daunting and time-consuming task if you aren’t sure what to look for. That’s why there are SEO experts out there and ready to help you. Someone with more experience in the world of SEO, is going to be able to help you generate those measurable results quicker so you can spend your time in the role that you’re needed.

What Are Your Resources for SEO?
Your resources are going to play a major factor when it comes to your SEO strategy. If you are a larger business that have the assets to hire a team full time to manage your SEO, you can expect to see results faster than a small business who can only hire someone to work on a part time basis.

You’re resources are going to determine what aspects of SEO strategy you can implement. Are you a small local business that is going to focus your efforts on Local SEO? Or are you able to spend more time with your on page SEO?

Allocating more resources, including time as well as money, is going to result in your SEO efforts taking effect quicker.

What Is Your Competition Like?
Your competition in the industry is also going to have an impact on how long your SEO will take to show results. If your business is in a highly competitive market it is going to be harder to achieve the results you’re looking for, often needing to have more resources applied to your SEO campaign.

How Long Does it Take for a New Website to get Traffic?

It’s normal for a new website to start getting traffic within 2 weeks of being set up. It’s important to remember that you will only see low numbers of traffic from your organic reach when your site has initially been set up.

You’re only going to be able to measure the traffic on your website growing if you are being implementing an SEO strategy. Otherwise, your website is going to struggle to compete and not reach your target audience.

If you begin implementing good SEO practices when you are setting up your site, and continue to apply these as your site grows, the quicker you’re going to see an increase in traffic.

How to Measure SEO Progress

There are multiple different statistics you’re going to want to track to measure the progress of your SEO efforts. There are lots of different tools you can use to help you measure these metrics, like Google Analytics, and Google Search Console.

Organic Search Results
You can measure the progress of your SEO by looking into your organic search results. You will see a steady improvement in this over time if your SEO strategy is working.

Using keyword research to target searched for terms and link building to build your domain authority, are going to help you improve your ranking on SERPs and put you in more organic search results.

Click Through Rate
Your click through rate can be used to measure your SEO progress. This is calculated by the amount of people that are clicking on your website in search engine results, against the number of impressions your website is making. It’s calculated by diving the amount of people who click on your website, by the number of impressions your website gets.

If you can see an overall improvement in your click through rate since you began your SEO campaign, then that means what you’re doing is working. Each industry has a different click through rate average so do some research on what you should be aiming for.

It’s important to remember that you’re not going to see results overnight, you’re going to need to consistently implement your SEO campaign over time to get the results you want.

Bounce Rate
One of the aspects of your SEO strategy might be to reduce the bounce rate on your page. Bounce rate represents how many people visit your site, and then leave before going onto another page.

Improving your bounce rate through SEO can be achieved through multiple different ways, improving user experience, reducing loading times, using video content to better engage your audience are all going to help you reduce the bounce rate on your site.

How Can I get SEO Results Fast?

While you might not hit your campaign goals over a short space of time, with SEO being a long term strategy. Certain aspects of SEO are prioritised higher by search engines and may help give you quicker results than others. This is especially the case if you go from doing none at all to implementing a comprehensive SEO plan.

Reducing Page Load Time
Loading times are the biggest reason that people are leaving your website and your bounce rate is high. Research from Google shows that bounce rate increases by 32% as loading time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds. You want to stop people from clicking off your site and there is a way you can do this! Not only that but page speed is a direct ranking factor for search engines.

Luckily there is a website that can help check your loading times and see where improvements can be made. PageSpeed Insights can help you to identify which aspects of your site need improvements in terms of speed. This gives you information for both mobile devices and desktops which is important to remember as mobile devices account for over 50% of the internet’s search traffic.

Build A Quality Linking Structure
Search engines use links to identify new pages and they play a factor in ranking your page. Links from high authority sites to your content are going to improve your domain authority and your overall ranking. 51% of marketers say that it can take 1 to 3 months to see the results of a link building campaign.

While links from high-ranking websites are going to improve your SEO quickly, they are very hard to get. The best way to do this is to create quality content that people want to reference in their own material. A great way of doing this is to use infographics and video that people can include in their content, and link back to you for credit.

It’s worth mentioning you want to make sure you are building quality links to other sites that are relevant to your industry and content. Think of them as recommending you to someone else, you wouldn’t recommend something that’s not reputable and this should apply to your linking structure.


While there is no quick fix when it comes to your websites SEO, it is something that you should be investing in. Whether you are a small business and are managing your own SEO campaign, or a large company who is outsourcing their efforts to a team of SEO experts, you’re going to need to make a concerted effort over a period to see the results you want.

There are lots of things that are going to impact how long it will take to see the results of your SEO, the goals you are aiming for, what point your website is starting from, your resources and how much work needs to be done. All of these things are important aspects to consider when you are waiting to see a return on your investment.

More of our Blogs

Best Practices For Email Marketing

Email marketing is the act of sending commercial messages typically to groups of people via email and is a great marketing tool to connect with your audience. Follow our guide of best practices for email marketing.

Read More »

Let’s Work Together

Ready to start your digital marketing journey? Drop us a message and a member of our team will get back to you.