In it for the Long Haul

How long does it really take to see results with search engine optimization?

So you’ve had your site restructured and optimized for the search engines. The fruits of your labor should start pouring in any time now, right? Not really. You see, search engine optimization is not a magic bean that will get your site to the top of the search engines in the blink of an eye. Rather, it is carefully applied information science that takes time for the search engines to recognize and reward.

So, how long will it take for your site to see first page results?

While every case is different, most reputable SEO companies will tell you that it takes 6-9 months to see first page results after starting the optimization of your site.  Some sites may show faster or slower results depending on what they’re trying to accomplish with their search engine optimization. To better understand how long it might take to see first page results when you optimize your Web site, be sure to talk to your SEO company. They will be able to provide you with reasonable expectations to have based on your current Web site and search engine optimization goals.

Remember, search engine optimization is not a quick fix, but a long term strategy to keep your site within easy reach of your potential customers or clients. It demands precise internal structuring, well-crafted design and patience. Below are a couple of things you need to be aware of when having your Web site optimized for the search engines:

Search engines need time to “re-crawl” your site.

Search engines determine what sites are the most relevant for any given key word phrase by “crawling” through Web sites to see what they’re about (see Helping Spiders Crawl through your Web Site). Since there are literally millions of Web sites out there, the search engines may not immediately notice changes that you’ve made to your site. In fact, your Web site may only get crawled four or five times a year. Waiting for the spiders to get to your site is part of what can make search engine optimization a long process.

Search engines need time to trust you.

Optimizing your site is really the process of building credibility with the search engines—and as with any relationship, trust takes time to build. One thing that search engines are looking for are Web sites that stand the test of time, not fly-by-night Web sites that are relevant today and irrelevant tomorrow.  This can make it difficult for new Web sites to see quick results, as the search engines are waiting for these sites to season.

Search engines need to see other sites linking to yours.

Search engines are also looking for sites that come highly recommended by other credible Web sites. Search engines measure this by the quantity and quality of inbound links; that is, the links that are pointing to your Web site from other sites. This means it can take a bit of time for your site to reap the benefits of having a solid linking strategy as the search engines must have time to crawl all of the sites that link to yours.

The main thing to keep in mind as you embark on your journey of success online is that search engine optimization demands careful tending and time to do well. Like a garden, once you plant the seeds your job is not done. If you want to reap the benefits of fresh garden vegetables, you must do the weeding and the watering and protect them from scavenging animals. If you want to continue to reap a harvest, the process must continue year after year.

If you have questions about optimizing your site, our search engine optimization specialists are happy to provide you with the information you need. Just give us a call at 888-437-3737!