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SEO Expectations: How Long Should I Wait for an SEO Campaign to Take Effect?

The question of how long you could expect an SEO campaign to start taking effect is something commonly asked by many clients. To an extent this is understandable, after all, it is an investment in the improvement of their business and they will want to see physical and financial results as quickly as possible. That being said, it is always important to consider the fact that speed doesn’t necessarily always bring you success.
To get a more rounded and definitive answer to this question, we spoke to one of our Technical Account Managers, Roo Turner, to get a professional insight into how long you should wait to see your SEO campaign take effect:

Q: Realistically, to see tangible positive effects on their SEO campaign, how much time should a client allow?

A: Well, in the first month of the client appointing an SEO agency they should expect to see a jump in growth because of the initial optimisation of their website’s content and metadata, as well as the technical issues with their site that we resolve. However, after this the growth will be slow, it can take many months for their strength to grow.

Q: So what makes this SEO optimisation so slow?

A: The reason for this slowdown is due to how time-consuming the processes are when we are thoroughly optimising and improving the Search Engine Rankings of the client’s website.

Q: What are these processes and why are they so time-consuming?

A: It takes a long time to gather the metadata from the client’s website, which is compounded by websites with a large number of URLs and title tags on these pages – in other words, the bigger the site the longer the site-wide audit.

Following this comes the analysis of competitor sites and a check to discover the clarity of the information on these pages, followed by a check to see whether or not it makes sense or is relevant to the URL. Then, when we have done all of this, there’s the physical act of writing the newly optimised content with the relevant keywords included.

Another variable that can either lengthen or shorten this process is the relationship we have the client and their technical abilities. Often, clients will have a developer for the more technical aspects of the website who will need to approve any changes; this can sometimes cause issues and delays.

All of these processes are completed gradually and at the same time we need to keep in touch with the online developments that can affect the campaign during this time.

Q: Why can SEO campaigns change so much over time?

A: Google often brings out new algorithms which can penalise sites that breach their guidelines or see sites facing penalties for poor links. This can alter our SEO campaigns though, and is something we need to be fully aware of and on top of for the sake of our clients.

Q: What advice would you give to a client considering getting involved with an SEO campaign?

A: First of all, I’d tell them not to believe any companies that promise them super-fast rankings and financial gains. The be-all and end-all is they need to be patient and with a reliable company, then, over a period of months, they will see a big improvement.

To help themselves save time, they should build a platform that is ready for SEO which they can then control to avoid any time-wasting development issues.

So, it seems there is no definitive answer to exactly how long you need to wait for an SEO campaign to take effect, what can be certain though is that there is no quick-fix when it comes to optimisation and creating growth. It really is more a case of biding your time and letting the SEO company thoroughly and effectively do what they do best, and work on making these improvements over time.