Why SEO takes time

or How long does SEO take to work?

These are two of the most common questions I get asked. “Why does seo take time ?” Usually by first time customers who are dealing with optimising their website and wanting to understand what they are paying for, why they should do seo work as an ongoing expense. And usually it is the first or second question people have on their list. It isn’t hard to understand why, getting your website traffic takes time, it costs money, effort and information, making sure everything lines up across the many different places on the web your business can be found and that your website and its pages all have the technical details right.

The Answer

Pretty sure you didn’t expect the answer this early on. But it is fairly simple to answer for any website and any industry. So here it, the answer to how long it takes is, It depends.

SEO Takes Time

That time varies and it depends on your industry. It depends on how long your website has been around, how much content is on it, how much previous SEO work has been done and it depends. Probably not the answer you were looking or hoping for. But that’s the way it is. Good SEO, long term, productive, getting leads and sales SEO depends on a multitude of factors, each of which need to be accounted for. I’ll go over a few below so you have an idea of what is involved.


How many competitors do you have in your marketplace? How many of those competitors are competing in search results to get more customers.

If you thought about or investigated using seo to increase your businesses leads, your competitors have already done it. And for the phrases and keywords that you are probably thinking about. Especially if those competitors have been in business longer than you have. They know that SEO takes time to work and that good SEO takes time to see the results in the number of new leads and conversions. They are out there trying to compete, win clients and customers and survive, just like you and your business.

Competing against these businesses is not impossible though. SEO like any other aspect of your business requires focus and maintenance to maintain rankings. The quality of the content and efforts you are using to get into the search results also will have an influence on how well you do just as much as being persistent and patient.


The information and data you provide on your pages has a direct influence on how your website does. We should all know by now that having the right sort of content that speaks to and provides information to users/potential customers clearly, carries information that users can use, and they are looking for will get you traffic.

Length of content is not so much an issue if that content is clear, readable and is relevant. This is the sort of content that will work.

The reason content can hold up ranking is websites, especially younger websites, tend to have less of it. And for the keywords/phrases that they would like to be found for in SERPs. Quality content takes time to create, produce and be found by other sites. The content that you produce for your website also needs to be able to answer the “Search Intent” of the user and not just the keyword they typed in, to find your page too. It has to be relevant to what the customer is looking for in the first place.

Links and Citations

How many links that lead back to your website, and the text used for those links still has a great amount of influence on how well your site does in SERPs.

Links, also known as backlinks are from outside domains, that link back to your content on your website. These outside or referring domains, especially if coming from high authority websites, are like a vote of confidence in your content and add to the authority and relevance of the content in the ranking algorithms search engines use to rank your website. The more votes, the better the authority and confidence that the content is popular and worth presenting to more users. The higher the quality domains that link to your content the better.

Citations are mentions of your business that do not have a clickable link back to your content. These don’t carry the same sort of weight as backlinks but are still considered a vote, especially if the page your business is mentioned on has the same sort of relevant content. Citations can take longer to be found by search engines.

Having other sites find and link to the content that you have put out there on the web will help boost the profile of your site, though acquiring these links and citations take time.


SEO takes time. That time is dependent on several factors. The time SEO for your site needs is dependant on:

  • Competitors
  • Links & Citations
  • Content

Each of these can greatly influence the length of time and the difficulty you have in getting your website or page into the results and getting people to see your content.

Working on your business website seo is important. People use the web to research, understand and purchase and if your site isn’t able to be seen or found then you just aren’t going to get customers. Which is why, starting to optimise your site, working on your content, links and citations is just as important as answering the work phone.

It does take time, effort, and yes money to be found.

If you want to understand more about how your website is doing compared to your competition or just need help finding out how your website is ranked, contact us today.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

My Posts

What does SEO do for you?

Basic Definitions First SEO Definition: Search Engine Optimisation is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic – potential customers coming to a site – by increasing how often a website is seen by users of a web search engine Other definitions: Analytics: Software/code that allows you to track position, visits, keywords […]

What is Search Intention ?

And why it matters in SEO Search intention or user intent, query intent or keyword intent refers to the meaning, the reason or what the user doing the search actually is looking for. A user enters a keyword into a search query form to answer a question that they have. That question maybe who in […]

Leave a comment