With many of the search engine optimization engagements we embark on with clients, we often get asked one of these three questions about Google search engine optimization and ranking results.
These include questions such as:
- How fast can I rank?
- How much time does it take to rank on Google?
- How long does it take to see results from SEO?
So we thought we would address these questions in a blog post to help clarify this long debated SEO topic.
What Google Says About Time To Rank
You already know that Google commands approximately 92% of all worldwide online searches – Bing and Yahoo pale in comparison. But what does it mean to rank high in Google in 2020, and how fast can a website get ranked?
Google themselves say it takes 3-6 months for a website to notice an SEO ranking increase. As a general rule, Google’s 3-6 month timeframe may be true if you are starting your SEO from scratch, or have a new website.
What We Say About Time To Rank
How fast your website will get to the top of the search results really boils down to three things – which we will address below.
#1 Your Websites E-A-T
In our previous article we talked about SEO and website E-A-T. This is an acronym that aligns with what the search engine giant is looking for to determine rankings: expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Strategies to increase your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness can be summed up in one word – consistency. Consistently creating great content, and consistently earning high-quality inbound links (which comes from creating great content) will help increase the trustworthiness of your website.
Note: The opposite is also true, creating thin generic content, and buying or getting low quality links will hurt your trustworthiness – thus impacting your rankings and brand value.
So what does this have to do with how long it takes to see results from SEO or get ranked? Websites that have consistently proven themselves as experts, authoritative, and trustworthy about a topic usually earn rankings quicker than those which have not proven themselves, or those that have taken shortcuts to artificially inflate their E-A-T.
#2 Your Competition
As we know, SEO, and marketing as a whole, does not take place in a vacuum. This means that while you may be optimizing your website and earning inbound links, your competition is probably doing the same thing – and Google is tweaking their algorithm. Because of this, it’s your job to create more value for your users than you competition is.
The more value you create – by creating data-based/unique long-form content, and having a great website experience – the more likely your website is to increase it’s E-A-T, and not only rank quicker than other websites, but retain those rankings longer.
Your Goal: Do a competitive audit before starting your SEO campaign is so important – it helps determine your strategic approach.
#3 The Keyword Target
The final aspect of SEO that determines how quickly you’ll get to the top of the search results is the keyword you are targeting.
Ranking quickly for brand related keywords will most likely be the easiest, and what Google will initially rank your website for. However, ranking for general or head-terms will take longer. Head-terms require much more E-A-T than long tail keywords and phrases – and in many cases are not worth the ROI to spend time targeting.
Your Goal: Having a defined keyword strategy outlined for not only determining keyword targets, but finding gaps in targets and content sets.