When we talk about SEO, the most common question that appears in everyone’s mind is how long does SEO take to show results. 

Every business wants to know when they’re going to see the results of their investment, but SEO is something different, it isn’t like paid media where you can see the results instantly or in a short period. SEO takes time to give results. 

In this article, we will know and break down the stereotypes that only paid services can make you rank on the Search Engines Result Page(SERP). We will also look at the factors that impact the period SEO takes to gain results by using SEO strategies. 


In this guide, we will answer this question and break down the factors that impact the length of time it takes to see results from an SEO strategy. We’ll specifically look at how a successful SEO looks like. 

When it comes to putting the SEO strategy together, it’s common to also put the campaign goals and KPIs together. 

  • Goals are the outcomes that are wanted to be achieved. 
  • KPIs are the metrics that demonstrate the progress towards your goals. 

Both are important measures of success and the ultimate efforts of your efforts. Commonly, these are something that looks like: 

  • Goals: To achieve an increase in revenue through a set amount over 12 months.
  • KPIs: Growth in rankings, visibility, organic traffic, or impressions. 

 Of course, setting all these goals is all about putting measurable yet realistic targets in place. 

SEO should show its results in a minimum of 3-months and a maximum of 9-12 months. 

SEO is not a strategy for showing instant results. It takes time to gain traffic on your site organically. SEO takes a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 9-12 months to show its results. By the word result, we mean a significant increase in traffic and assigned conversions or leads. This doesn’t automatically mean that you will achieve your goals by this point, but any business that starts investing in SEO should be expected to be able to see the progress within this lapse of time. 

It is not possible to provide an accurate guess or estimate based upon analyzing a website’s ongoing performance and the proposed strategy. There’s no get-away from the fact that the time taken by SEO strategies to work is not finite. Google, Yahoo, and other search engines want to show the best result for any search query, and it takes sufficient time to get the deserving ones ranked.  

If you work with the correct strategy in place, 3 to 9 months is enough time to make the impacts of SEO efforts visible and be able to explain the ongoing investment into the growth. 

The factors on which the period of SEO success depends

The following factors determine the period of SEO results:

  1. The History Of Your Website- Whether you’re working on a new domain or not, it is still one of the key factors that impact the lapse of time taken to see SEO results. A new domain usually takes longer to show results than an older and established one. It is because it hasn’t yet earned any backlink or built up any authority. Comparatively, an established domain will normally earn at least to an extent of authority and have some pointing backlinks. 

A new domain can expect to see the results within 9 to 12 months rather than 3 to 9 months. 

However, an already established domain doesn’t usually mean that you’ll see the results faster. You won’t see results faster if your domain has previously been affected by any penalty, core algorithm update, or had any SEO work that is against google’s webmaster guidelines. 

While working on a project, it is always a good idea to build up a scene of the site’s history. While you might get an idea of the performance of your website through analyzing the impressions on Google Search Console. You can quickly figure this out with the help of different tools. If a website has lost visibility it can take longer than 12 months to see results in the queue with the previous performance.      

  1. The Competition- Results can be seen faster in low-level competition fields and the lower level of search queries competition than the higher competitive ones. The higher the competition, the longer it will take to get your business ranked on the Search Engine Results Page(SERP). If you want to rank yourself higher than your competitor then you have to work harder than your competitor is doing and use more efficient techniques than your competitor.    

You need to keep a check on your competitor and how they’re maintaining their position and their visibility. You have to be careful with the strategies and projections you’re using while competing against someone. 

  1. Your Resources- You can neither control your website’s history nor the competition but what you can usually control is the assigned resources toward an SEO project. It is important for you to understand how the resources are playing a huge role in the length of time it takes to check the results from a campaign. You’ll be able to see the results faster if you’ll be able to assign more resources towards an SEO project. The most important resource you have to assign is time. The more time you’ll invest, the better and faster results will be shown.   

Why does it take so long for SEO to give results?

Since SEO is not a single strategy, it consists of various sub-strategies. Google takes time to determine a few things about your website like:

  • How many backlinks are there on your webpage. 
  • If you’re using your keywords in legitimate contexts. 
  • What images are there on your website.
  • How long does it take to load your webpage.
  • The relevancy of your content on your webpage to a user’s search. 
  • The search intent your webpage caters to. 
  • Whether your information is reliable and trustworthy or not.   

The three Silos of SEO success and how it impacts the time taken?

Technical SEO: You can not get smooth and fast SEO results if your site is having technical issues. They need to be resolved as soon as possible. 

Technical SEO includes:

  • Speed of your website
  • Canonicalization
  • Structured data
  • Duplicate content
  • XML sitemaps
  • Indexing and crawling 
  • Hreflang and more. 

Resolving issues in these areas will have a bigger impact than others. Technical issues should always be fixed on priority.  

Content: Content is known as the king of your website and the fact is that according to google it comes under the main 3 ranking factors of the website. 

Google’s main goal is to serve the best result for an asked search query. It is important for you to keep it a priority of creating great content that matches your searcher’s query. But always keep one thing in your mind that what your users want and what are your competitors showing. Try to do something better than them.    

Backlinks: Along with the content, backlinks are also considered in Google’s top three ranking factors. These are the indicators of popularity and trust and they also have the ability to change your website’s ranking. Consequently, the links are the significant votes of confidence between the two websites but you should be careful because the chances of earning quality backlinks are rare.