How long before I start seeing results from my SEO effort?

How long before I start seeing results from my SEO effort?
Neil Patel, a thought leader in the SEO space, said it so well, in a recent video, that I am posting the transcript for the benefit of my SEO clients.

How Long Does SEO Take to Work For a New Website?

“This is by far my most frequently asked question that I get, “Hey Neil, my website is new and I’m still not seeing a lot of visitors. How long before I start seeing results from my SEO effort?”
When you’re putting all this time and effort into making your website to get to the top, you’re anxious, you want to see results right away, don’t you?
Hi everyone, I’m Neil Patel and in this video I’m going to break down the question of how long does SEO take to work for a new website.
… SEO used to be easy.  Following a specific formula would get you to the top of page one…  Back in the day I could get a top of page one in a few months, maybe even six months at the latest for the head terms for segments like auto insurance and credit cards.  But nowadays SEO is super competitive.  There’s over a billion blogs on the web.  There’s roughly one blog for every seven people. And there’s even more websites on the web.  So when you combine all of that, it makes sense on why SEO is so hard.  Now Google has a (lot of sites) to choose from to figure out which website they’re going to place on top.  In other words, they can be super picky, when five or 10 years ago they couldn’t be as picky.
Keyword Research

So first, let’s start by seeing how SEO has changed over the years.  Keyword research is one of the big areas of change.  The market is far more competitive than it used to be.  There are literally thousands of websites, if not millions of websites created every single day.  As of January 1st, there’re over 1.7 billion websites online.  That’s a lot of competition!  It used to be that you could focus on five or six keywords, or maybe even ten, and those keywords would bring in most of your site traffic.  Companies used to be able to focus on small groups of generic keywords and see great results.  The reality now is, it’s a lot different.  Websites now must have a list of 50 to 100 keywords or more depending on the site.  And at bare minimum each page on your site is going to need to be targeted at least at one keyword.  However, in most cases you will actually need three or four keywords per page.

SEO and Importance of Content

Now, the next thing that’s changed is content.  It used to be that you can simply write an article and implement the keyword a fair number of times and Google automatically would rank you, a.k.a. QR density, right?  The more you put the keyword in your page, the more they know the topic of that that page and then you’re ranked.  Now that doesn’t necessarily flow naturally.  And it didn’t really work well for users.  Hence, Google doesn’t look at density the same way anymore.  Google has gotten smarter, and they changed their expectations a bit.  They’re not just looking at a site shoving in the same keyword and stuffing it, ruining the searchers’ experience.  They made some big changes to improve their rankings by not showing low-quality content as high.  So now when you’re writing content, it’s not about that keyword in there.  Naturally it’ll be in there and other synonyms will be there too.  Google can tell, because they have a big dictionary and thesaurus to pull from.  They know what the article is about even if you don’t have that keyword in there.  Their main priority is to deliver a high quality content and keeping the search intent in mind.

Remember when someone types in a search query it usually is a question, right?  It’s not necessarily specifically a question with a question mark, but when someone does a Google search they’re looking for an answer to what ever they typed in.  If your page does that, provides that answer with that content, you’re in their good graces.  If you don’t (answer important questions), you’re not going to do well.

So don’t just shove in keywords within your content and write long articles just because, hey, people say Google wants 2,000-word articles ranked at the top.  It’s not about word count.  It’s about providing what the users are looking for as quick as possible.  If you do that in 500 words, 2,000 words, 5,000 words, whatever it may be, whoever does it in the easiest form for the user, without shoving in keywords, will create the best user experience. That’s who’s going to do well.
So how long does it take to rank on Google?  Well, are you ready for this?  The answer is… it depends.  I know it’s frustrating, right?  According to Forbes, the average it takes for a new site to start seeing some traction in service is four to six months.  However, because there’re so many factors in SEO, there is no definitive answer.

Every industry is different as well.  It’s easier to rank for a plumber in a localized city than it is to rank for auto insurance nationally.  On average, based on my experience, even if you’re starting a new website, and you’re actively working on your content, on page SEO, and link building – it can take roughly six months before you start seeing results.
It doesn’t mean in six months you’re going to rank at the top and get what you want, but it usually takes six months to start seeing traction.  The best way to start seeing the traction faster is going after the long tail phrases which convert better than head terms.  So if you want to rank faster, there’s some important SEO factors that you need to know if you want to rank.
The first thing we should look at is your site.  Is it secure?  Is it accessible to Google crawlers?  Are you using HTTPS?  Is your robots.txt blocking the right pages and allowing the access to the right ones?  Are you using a site map and submitting it to Google Webmaster tool so Google can crawl on your pages?  Is your website fast in load time?  If it’s fast, not only it’s going to boost your rankings, because (page speed) is a part of their algorithm.  …Mobile speed time and desktop speed time also affect conversions as well.

The other thing that you need to look at is, is your site mobile-friendly?  Did you know that over a half of searches on Google are done by mobile devices?  If your website doesn’t look nice on a mobile device, like iPhone or Android devices, don’t expect them to rank it high up.

Another thing that you have to look at is do you have authoritative content?  Right?  If you just have a me-too content, it won’t cut it.  Google doesn’t want the same regurgitated content over and over again.  They want you to provide something that’s unique, that people haven’t read before.  Every time I blog on something new we’re seeing on average 47.6% more traffic than when we blog on something that’s been regurgitated and is old.  So in other words, try to blog on something that’s new, that people haven’t seen before.  I know it’s frustrating, but the world has changed and, yes, there still is new stuff that people are learning about.  Not everything has been written even though there’s been over a billion blogs on the web.

Another thing you need to look at is quality backlinks.  Getting links from authoritative sites is one thing.  If those sites are emulated you’re not going to do as well.  Are you creating amazing content?  Are you creating enough content to attract right type of links?  Are you creating amazing products and services to get more links?  Do you know what section of my site gets more links than any other?  It’s actually Ubersuggest.  Did you know I generated over 10,000 backlinks alone just to Ubersuggest?  I’m not going out there asking people for links, they’re just linking to me and it’s attracting them.

Another thing I want you to look at is social signals.  Even though social signals have no effect on ranking according to Google, there is a correlation between pages that rank high and have a decent number of social signals.

Remember, Google wants to rank pages at the top that people love.  So if people love a page, they’re more likely to link to it.  They’re more likely to share your content on the social web, right?  They wouldn’t just say, “Hey, I’m going to link to it, but I would never share it.”  They go hand in hand.

The other thing that you need to look at is do you have your business information listed?  Especially if you’re a local business.  You need to claim your Google My Business profile.  You need Yelp reviews, Google reviews, and a good Better Business Bureau page.  The more reviews you can attract the better off you are.
The big takeaway is, when you do the right things, and you go above and beyond, and put the user first, you’re going to rank faster than if you just try to optimize your page for Google and not put the user first.

If you need help with your SEO, check out my ad agency, Neil Patel Digital.  Thank you for watching…  Please share the video and like it!”
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EndNote:  A word to the wise:  If you can afford Neil Patel then by all means hire him!  But if your company doesn’t have the kind of budget to hire Neil Patel… I know a guy 😉  Hit me up to find out how affordable SEO work can be.  I may not be Neil Patel… But they don’t call me the Toledo SEO Wizard for nothing!

If you have time to watch the video, go ahead and subscribe to Neil Patel’s Youtube channel while you are at it!

Source:  Patel, N, 2020  “How Long Does SEO Take to Work For a New Website?”  Published on Youtube at and retrieved online April 6, 2020.