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By this point, you probably have a pretty general idea of SEO and understand the importance of it for your business. You know what it is and have covered the basics. In a world where instant gratification has become quite common, you’d expect the same with SEO, right?

Wrong.

Unfortunately, SEO isn’t quite as gratifying as binge watching a whole season (or 7 seasons) of Game of Thrones. SEO is more along the lines of a movie series. Remember in the early 2000’s when the very first Harry Potter came out? If you’re like me, you went to see it in theaters and came out shaking with excitement for the next (at the time) 6 films but had to wait something like 10 years to satisfy that need. Now SEO won’t take 10 years to get to where you need to be, but it’s important to understand that it will take time and you will need to be patient. A solid time frame I often tell clients is 3-6 months but even this depends on competition.

So theres your timeframe but let’s dig into the some of the “whys” of why it actually is so time dependent:

SEO is nothing new at this point. With that being said, there are plenty of companies who have invested a ton of time and resources building their SEO. It’s actually a lot more work than people think, just like trying to get back in shape. There are so many components to focus on now ranging from your basic SEO elements of on page changes to more technical SEO like leveraging browser caching to building out a content strategy. There a hundred different things that can be done and you need to check the boxes with some being more difficult and time consuming than others.

I’m a big fan of analogies so I want you to think of your SEO like a house. But not just any house. Let’s say your house (or website in this sense) is a single room shack with an outhouse. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a place to live and will do for the time being. As you spend more time working (on your SEO) you gain more money and decide to build a second room, lets say a living room. 2 months later, you land a new client at work and you’re able build a full marble bathroom with heated toilet seats. 6 months later, you get a promotion so you build out a kitchen. You get the idea? Fast forward 3 years. You’re the CEO of your company and you’re in a 5,000 square foot, 2 story home with a game room, home theater, (wo)man cave, outdoor pool, have had some landscaping done and overall is a pretty impressive home. You’ve worked hard during those 3 years but you’ve made continual & gradual improvements to your home (website) and now have the nicest house in the neighborhood (dominating SERPs) and all the kids (customers) around now want to come to your house for Halloween. (Halloween may not be the best reference here as I’m sure you’re not giving away your products/services for free but you get the point.) The point is, it’s a process to build your SEO. It takes time, hard work and dedication before you’re able to benefit from the results.

On top of all these resources, effort and work you’re investing into you SEO, we then need to discuss the time it takes Search Engines to crawl your site. It takes 2-3 weeks (this is case by case and sometimes takes longer/shorter to do) for Google to crawl your site. What does this mean? Google has these creepy little robotic spiders crawling around the web identifying websites, what they’re about, how powerful they are and about a million other metrics. They notice website issues like your 7th grade English teacher noted errors in your freshly written essays with red ink. These spiders then take what they’ve learned about your site back to the mother web faster than a text message is sent. If and when you decide to change information on your site, it’s first and foremost going to take time for those spiders to review your site again.

Summary:

As you can see per the above, it takes time to build your SEO presence. I’m not saying it will take three years to get to where you want to be as it’s highly dependent on how competitive your market is, but know that you’ll need to be patient and that a typical timeline to START seeing improvements is 3-9 months. If you do it, and do it right, you’ll be hard pressed to be “evicted” from the SERPs.