UPDATE — How Long Does it Take to Rank a Website in Google?

The speed that websites rank in Google’s search results has changed since I last talked about it.

Many of the factors are the same, but the way in which those factors affect the expected timeline has changed.

Almost every person I talk to asks me how long it will take, so chances are very good that you’re wondering that yourself.

Contact me if you’d like a free SEO analysis and recommendations.

Watch the video below for more details!

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Approximate Transcription:

Hello. David Hood here. The Dallas SEO Geek. This video is about how long does it take to rank in Google. This is an update from a video I shot over a year ago, and things have changed. It still does depend greatly on a lot of different factors, and I’m going to discuss those factors in a second. This funny thing from Socrates, “It depends.” There’s a lot of different … There’s so many different moving parts here, and even the same two businesses that are in the same exact market, targeting the same exact market, can have wildly different expectations, and opportunities with SEO.

One thing to make a note of: Google has slowed things down. This is really important, and it was … Google was already testing the patience of people, because it still … It did take time before, and so you’re going to have to be even more patient now. What I have seen is … Let’s say I did one thing for a website, one really powerful thing, it might take six months for that … The full effects of that to come into play. I do that one thing, and that one thing only, and then over the next six months I see that the rankings slowly increase until they stabilize.  Now that’s not how it always works, but that’s how it works a lot of the time, and so you just have to be patient. Especially if it’s competitive, especially if you have a new site, and even more so if you aren’t going to be very aggressive with it. I’d say at least six months to get full credit for an action that I take, and that what I would expect.

How long does the project take? I would say about six to 12 months normally. That’s the normal project, regular level competition, regular level of aggressiveness. It can take a lot longer if you’re not aggressive, or if it’s super-competitive, and that’s something that we would discuss if you were to ask me to work on your project.

The problem with this number also is that, “How do you define rank in Google? What about your brand name?” You should rank for that pretty much [immediately 00:01:48], so that’s not really what it counts for. Super long-tail search phrases, so like very specific searches. They rank a lot faster, so you can … Those can sometimes rank in two, three, four months, and still drive valuable traffic. How does it take, this is how I would define this, to see significant, and obvious improvements in your search engine ranking in Google? Ranking for a couple of long-tails isn’t necessarily what I would consider to be ranking. Again there’s so many different keywords. There’s so many different ways you could look at this. You can look at the super long-tail, you can also look at the really … The most competitive searches you’re going after, and there’s going to be a wide range of speeds for each one of those, for those two ends of the spectrum.

Let’s go and look over the questions that help you understand all of the different factors, and this isn’t even everything. This is not an all-inclusive list, but this is quite a bit. Where are you now? If you’re ranking number 11th it’s the first and second page. Getting to first page is going to be a lot easier than if you’re nowhere or page three. This tells you what is Google think of your site now? Are you a nobody? Do they even know you exist? Do they have you indexed? Are you ranking already? There’s a lot of different things to consider here.

What kind of online assets do you have to leverage for SEO? There’s certain things that you can have. Let’s say you had a super popular social media account. That can help a little bit with SEO depending on a lot of factors. It’s not critical, and sometimes it doesn’t do a whole lot from … It’s not take you from nowhere to number one, or on the first page, but it can give you a little bit of a boost.

What kind of competition do you face? This is wildly different. You can have super-low competition, and there’s super-high competition. The difference is astronomical. The super-low is maybe 10,000 times less competitive than super-competitive, right? Then how aggressive do you want to be? I offer different levels depending on your project, and if you pick the more aggressive level, then you can expect to rank faster. If you pick the less aggressive level then it’s slower, right? Pretty simple stuff. Is your team willing to put a little bit of energy into the process? You or your team. This is important, because you can’t … There’s not going to be anybody out there to write the check to, and then not do anything else in rank.

I’m going to need some feedback. I’m going to need to look at your search phrases, look at your market, try to understand your market to a certain degree, and get some feedback. Not only that but you’re going to have to create some copy. That’s not a service I provide. I don’t provide copy-writing services. If there’s a new page that needs to be made that we’re trying to target, a specific sub-section of your market, you’re going to need create content. Now I can … You can be very slim. It can be just five sentences, but your team needs to be able to put a little bit of energy into it. This is more up-front. After the first couple of months usually there’s little to nothing that you need to do, assuming you did what you’re supposed to do in the first month or two.

On what kind of opportunities are there for you, we discussed this a little bit already. How ambitious do you want to be? Now this is different than aggressive. Ambitious has more to do with how much of your market do you want to swallow? If you’re going after a lot of different parts of your market, trying to really take in a wide range of keywords, it’s going to take longer to rank. If you want to focus very narrowly on this set, this kind of keyword, this set of keywords then it’s going to be faster to rank. Pretty simple.

How easy is it to map out the concepts of your site? Sometimes the concepts are complicated, and it’s hard to put the pieces together, and that just takes longer. It takes more back and forth between me, and you, or your team. That’s fine. That’s just part of the process, and this has to do with, “How deep does the keyword research go? Does it go really deep? Are there many, many unique concepts?” Sometimes that’s true. Sometimes there’s concepts, sub-concepts, sub-sub concepts, sub-sub-sub-sub concepts, and it just goes really deep for your market.

Sometimes it’s just like look there’s only … There’s a bunch of different keywords, but they’re all saying five different things. That’s really all there is. There’s only really five different ways to type what we’re looking for. That’s something to consider, right? That’s going to be faster to put up, but slower to rank. If you have deep keyword research then you’re going to have more long-tails, and those long-tails are actually going to help bigger ones rank, so you’re going to have more pages, and that can help you rank, but the first process takes a little longer.

In summary I’d say about six to 12 months. That’s the quick answer, but keep in mind that there’s a lot of different factors here. It can take 18 months sometimes. Something really competitive, and maybe you didn’t go as aggressively as we’d like, or you have a couple of competitors come in, and make it really hard. It can take longer than 12 months. I have had rankings happen within just a few months. That does happen, and on a regular basis. You never know exactly until you get in, and do it, and you have to … You can see here it’s like, “Why can’t I give you just one answer? Why is it still kind of vague?” Hopefully all these different questions help you understand why it’s not a simple answer.

If you’d really like to know contact me, and I’ll do a free analysis for your website. I’ll be able to give you a little bit more of a precise answer, but it still won’t be perfect until we get in, and there’s still others things that would be unknowns as we start the project, but at least it’ll still be closer. Thanks for watching, and have a great day. Bye.

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