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How Quickly Can You See SEO Results?

Posted by drew on June 21, 2015, 6 p.m.

One of the common questions I encounter working in SEO and digital marketing is, “When will I see results?” Clients want to know when their investment will pay off. I spend a lot of time managing client expectations and establishing tracking, so I can adequately report on the results of my optimization.

Today, we’re going to talk about various digital marketing and SEO activities and how those results are tracked (as well as how long it will take to even start seeing results).

When we work with clients who are redesigning their website, we incorporate SEO into each step. We consider SEO when thinking about page design, coding, and content development. We usually use the redesign as an opportunity to revisit the site’s metadata and content, always using a sound keyword strategy to drive these efforts.

It is important to realize that all of these SEO efforts on your new site won’t result in loads more traffic on the day of the launch. When a site launches, we submit a sitemap.xml file to Google Webmaster Tools for re-indexing. This encourages Google to recrawl the site and index any changes that have been made. This isn’t a direct order to Google—meaning we can’t force Google to see, index, or do anything—but it is also in Google’s best interests to have the most up-to-date content in their index. They will usually re-crawl and re-index a site within a few weeks of being submitted.

After your site has been re-indexed, you may start to see shifts in your search rankings. However, you won’t really start to see the full effect of these efforts for potentially 3 months or longer. Throughout that time, you may start to see gradual improvements in rank and traffic. And honestly, these gradual changes are what I aim for (as opposed to sharp changes).

Steady changes signify longevity to me, meaning these results are ones that will be consistent for a while. Sharp changes tend to occur when a black hat SEO has found a new way to game the system. Their tactics may work for a while, but chances are they are cutting corners, providing bad user experience, and employing spammy tactics that will eventually get them punished by Google.

If you are trying to earn more traffic through other methods (social media posting, link building, etc.) then you could see traffic changes relatively quickly. Most social media platforms give businesses a good way to track traffic coming from specific posts, but tracking your link building efforts can take a little more work.

When I do link building for a client, I keep track of all the links I am trying to build. For every webmaster I reach out to or guest blog I post, I make sure I have that written down. Not all webmasters will want to give a link, so I also need to mark which ones are successful. Once they’ve given links, I can track in Google Analytics all of the referral traffic coming from those specific domains.

While link building can work a little bit more quickly, it is generally a more difficult and labor intensive process. Also, links pointing to your site may not help you much if your site itself still needs a lot of work.

If you are interested in learning more about our SEO processes, contact Fusionbox.