How Long Does It Take SEO To Start Working?

September 16, 2019


From the tone of this question, I’ll assume you are a business owner looking to invest in SEO for the first time. Otherwise, you are an impatient business owner who’s wondering when he’d start seeing his goals achieved.

Did you set a specific ROI you ought to have achieved? Or an estimated number of organic visitors to your site?

Once you’ve carried out your on-page and off-page SEO tactics, it’s only a matter of time before you begin to wonder “How long does it take SEO to start working?”

First, I’ll give you a short answer that suits your fancy, then proceed to what makes SEO duration unpredictable

How Long Does It Take For SEO To Start Working: The Short Answer


The consensus among SEO marketers is 4-6 months before you begin to see significant results as reinforced by Forbes.

That’s a lot of time, right? Considering the amount of work you’ve put in over the months.

For the most part, companies are looking out for the wrong metric, such as ranking higher, instead of conversions. The worst part is, they expect to see tangible results in the first few months.

Now, the real answer depends on these factors I’ll briefly go through below (not an exclusive list)

How Long Does It Take For SEO To Start Working? The Definitive Answer

Domain Age & Niche Competition

If you own a business in an industry that already had many authority or established websites, it will take longer to see the results of your SEO.

Old domains that have been around for years have more backlinks than newer domains and benefit from SEO efforts quickly.

Needless to say, it will take you longer to rank in an industry with highly competitive keywords. To see faster results and get around the fierce competition, select long-tail keywords.

Content Quality


If you want to see faster SEO results, you need to dish out content on your site regularly. Of course, with white hat  SEO tactics that’ll include links, relevant images and information.

Long text content has proved to yield better SEO results. In other words, you have a better chance of ranking if you produce 2000-word content over 500-word articles.

SEO has gone past stuffing your site with keywords to see faster results. In fact, this will only get you penalized.

Produce relevant content and ensure you optimize them correctly.

On-Page and Off-Page SEO

The results of your SEO strategy will depend a lot on your on-page and off-page strategy. On-page SEO is usually the first thing marketers check, and if done correctly, may yield results in a few days. Try to make changes to your meta tags, alt texts, headers, etc. in line with the latest Google algorithm updates.

On the other hand, off-page SEO takes a little more time to produce results. It’s also more technical, and business owners don’t pay much attention to it, despite being more effective.

Link Building

As I’ve said earlier, domain names or websites with more relevant links are likely to quick SEO results. However, link building in itself is time-consuming but obviously pays off.

Build backlinks to authoritative websites in your content and, gradually, you’ll start seeing results. Again, it won’t happen as fast as you think.

Also, try to tap into social media marketing to promote your business and build links. Influencer marketing is a great way to see faster results.