Understanding SEO and How Long it May Take for Results to Show

How long will it take before I start seeing results?

This is a question that almost every SEO agency has had to answer. Every client asks this question because, let’s face it, the only reason why clients come to these agencies is because they want to see some results.

So it is only natural for them to want to know just how long it will take for them to begin to see these results they so desire.

Our focus in this article is to address this very subject.

We want to address the issues that many clients do not get to consider, factors that they should indeed consider to enable them really understand how to manage their expectations with regards to how long it will take for them to begin to see results from their SEO campaigns.

Let’s get right to it…

Understanding what you are Up Against

First, there are some basics that every website owner who is engaged in any form of SEO campaign or about to get one started should be aware of. To lay a better background, let’s remind ourselves of what SEO is again in the first place.

Search engine optimization covers a set of activities and strategies that are put in place to achieve one major end result – better ranking on search engines.

That means that when a person searches for something related to a keyword or keywords your site is targeting, you want your site to come up among the top 10 in the results – preferably the first spot.

Now here’s the thing. In this article here, you can see that as at January 2019 there were about 1,518 207 412 (over 1.5 billion) websites on the World Wide Web.

Now, each of those websites want exactly the same thing you want.

Yes, all websites do not target the same keywords, but in many cases, at least a few millions will be targeting keywords similar to yours if not the same.

This is one of the reasons why keyword research is very critical. The keyword research will show you how much competition there is for a keyword.

Let’s assume that the keyword you are targeting it not very competitive and you don’t have hundreds of million other sites competing for those same keywords, you will at least have a few million competing websites.

With this background laid, we can now look at the factors that will affect how quickly (or not) you begin to see results.

Factors that Affect How Long it Takes Results to Show

SEO Strategy

There are some important things that can affect how soon results will begin to come in.  Top among these is how quickly the site gets fully optimized. This therefore means that the first question should rather be how long does search engine optimization take?

The truth is that this process is an on-going one. You must always keep optimizing your site if you want it to keep performing well.

All of that said, let’s now quickly look at a few of the important factors that can affect both how long full SEO optimization takes and how long it will take to begin to bear fruit by way of results.


This is the first thing to be considered. How much you have to spend will determine a lot of things.

There are tools and services that you will require. These will cost some money so the amount of money made available will determine how much of these tools and services can be retained and also for how long they can be used.


The next factor to be put into consideration is the level of competition in your niche and for the keyword(s) you are optimizing for.

Obviously if you are going for a highly competitive keyword, you can expect to spend more money and time before you can begin to see any significant results.

Thankfully, highly competitive keywords are also highly rewarding so with a good strategy you can get a handsome return on your investment. We already mentioned above that keyword research is at the heart of any search engine optimization campaign.

Effective Implementation of SEO Strategies

In SEO, it’s not just about effort. It is a combination of both effort and knowledge. You have to be making effort in the right direction.

It is therefore important that the right strategies be effectively implemented. If you do not get your strategy right from the get go, you will most certainly wait forever for any results to show.

Website Type

The type of website you have is also another factor that can impact things. Search engines love content so websites that have tons of good quality content are likely to rank a lot faster than those without much content.

The reason for this is that while the website with loads of content can fully maximize both on-site and off-site SEO strategies, those with little to no content will rely mainly on off-site strategies.


Before embarking on an SEO campaign, understand that it is not magic and it is not an overnight success strategy.

If you are in it to build for the long term, you need to go through deliberate processes that may not have instant results but will benefit your business for many years to come.

We understand that you want quick results, you must however be careful of any agency that promises ultra-fast results. Some folks engage in black hat practices that could get your website banned.

Slow but steady is a motto that will serve you well in this journey.

Affilaite Disclaimer - The post you are reading might contain few affiliate links, that states if you buy any product clicking on those links I may receive a small commission out of it, no additional cost to you at all. This way you are helping me running this site effectively. I share unbiased view-point from my personal experience. Full Disclaimer

Man Behind the Blog - Navin Rao

Blogger | WordPress Savvy

Navin Author
A WordPress Savvy, Content Strategist and creator of this blog. At QuestionCage we talk about Technology, SEO, WordPress to make your blogging venture much successful and eventually let the passive money to flow in.

Along with QC, I maintain my personal blog NavinRao.com as well, where I share my experiences and tips only on WordPress.

4 thoughts on “Understanding SEO and How Long it May Take for Results to Show”

  1. Navin,

    I am into web designing in Singapore. I have also done some SEO and digital marketing services to my existing clients. In which, I often find it complicated to make them understand – SEO will take some time to render results. Nothing will happen overnight.
    Fortunately, the analytics are helping us to keep us high that we are on the right track in SEO or not. Hope, these type of articles will help me to share it to clients to explain how long will it take to get results is SEO depending on various factors.

  2. Hey Navin,

    Good article bro!

    As you mentioned rightly, It is easier to rank those keywords which have low competition but usually, brands don’t like this way. We all want our main competitive keywords to rank top on search engines. SEO is a mixed package where we have to cover each aspect seriously, however, content plays a great role to achieve that success. As long as we are up to it, we have good chances to learn and grow.

    Take care…!!!

  3. Hi Navin,
    I find that ranking for easier long tail keywords is fairly easy, even with today’s level of competition.
    Unfortunately, the most lucrative keywords are hardest to rank for and we all want those. The answer is to set your aim high, keep your early expectations low and keep plugging away. As long as you don’t give up, you’ re going to make it, and sometimes you get lucky and get it sooner that you could’ve dreamed in wildest of dreams.

    • Yeah Nikola. Its all about patience. There is no certain time to get SEO results. It’s all about picking the right keywords.

      That’s the reason i always think, keyword research is half of the SEO. Its not about just volume. Keywords should be analyzed in each an every aspect. Keyword intent should be the main focus, even if it has less searches.

      Now a days, targeting one particular keyword, not going to make sense. Even if we have a particular seed keyword, we need to make sure that that keyword has enough searches around that LSI keywords. Ranking on more keywords for the same blog post is always fruitful.


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