Why Does SEO Take So Long? Realistic SEO Results

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ongoing process where a variety of methods are used to boost website traffic, conversions and brand awareness. This is mainly done by improving the site’s ranking on a search engine results page. When it comes to the expectations of SEO it must be understood that SEO is an investment that takes time. Businesses should not solely focus on its site’s rank but also the conversions that have come from SEO work; more web traffic equals more sales. Therefore we must acknowledge the influences and factors to a site’s ranking; including the website’s foundation, penalties the site has accrued, and natural fluctuations.  


 SEO mind map


Setting up a long-lasting foundation

The foundation of a website is vital to the judgement and timing of expected SEO results. A website’s age, content and links are important factors that influence rankings. Why does age matter? If you’ve recently launched a website it is not going to rank highly in Google straight away because according to Google your site will have zero authority. In this case the website would have to go through in-depth and enduring SEO work to organically build authority. On the other hand if your site has been around for a while and has had past SEO work done, then your approach would be based on maintenance and development. Some of the work involved would include finding and resolving bad links, building high-quality links, optimizing images, refining page content and meta descriptions, and determining if you need to recover from any penalties.


Recovering from and avoiding penalties

Penalties are a tough thing to escape or hide from because they can detrimentally effect your site. Google has brought out updated versions of its algorithm such as Panda and Penguin who particularly target weak content and bad links. Until somewhat recently, companies used to take a black hat approach to SEO without getting penalised by Google. This involved buying and setting up bad links on poor websites to gain near-instant high organic ranks. However, Google clued in on this and started to heavily penalise these business’ websites who in turn lost their authority and ranking and had to completely re-vamp and restructure their sites. Consequently it would be wise to check if your site is still suffering from old penalties and if so your first goal for SEO should involve repairing and restoring your site’s high standard. 


On the contrary, there is the white hat strategy which slowly optimises site content, links and structure over time to produce long-term, sustainable results. Although this process can take up to 3-9 months depending on the state of your website it is well worth the wait. The reputable strategy best avoids penalties by putting in positive SEO work that is recognised by Google and in turn dramatically gains revenue from rises in traffic. By maintaining sophisticated, quality SEO work your company will only be minimally effected when fluctuations occur.


Dealing with Fluctuations

It is perfectly normal for your rank to be influenced by fluctuations. Fluctuations naturally occur based on a variety of causes such as your competitors SEO work, the time of season, or new popular keywords being searched. Luckily, good SEO can subtlety control fluctuations by maintaining a strong foundation, constantly monitoring and managing your site, being actively involved in your niche’s latest news on social media, as well as building quality backlinks from reputable industry sites. By putting in the long hard yards your site will either increase rank or stay in the same ranking zone rather than radically dropping when these fluctuations occur.



So what we’ve learnt is that the quality SEO approach is the best way to go for developing good, long-term SEO ranks and conversion for your company. Although this method will take longer and involve a lot of work- the eventual benefits will be extraordinary.