As a popular small business SEO agency, we know there’s a lot of confusion around Search Engine Optimisation, AKA SEO. Some believe it’s a dark art, something dodgy that should really be left alone. Some feel it can be easily and quickly manipulated to skew the Google search results. In fact it’s an entirely logical process that helps search engines like Google classify, rank, and rate web pages and other items of online content accurately, with the aim of delivering great search results to users. Bearing that in mind, how long does SEO take before we see results?

The bare basics – How does SEO work?
At its most basic level, both affordable SEO and expensive SEO involve the same thing – using keywords to tell the search engines what a web page is about, so they can serve it up in front of people who are searching for the information.

If you want to buy a yellow dress, for example, you probably type something like ‘buy a yellow dress’ into Google or use voice search to ask your smart speaker ‘where can I buy a yellow dress?.’ Google then surfaces a load of results for sites selling yellow dresses, and off you go. By the same token, if a web page selling yellow dresses didn’t include the words ‘yellow dresses’, Google wouldn’t be able to tell that the page sold yellow dresses. You can see how important keywords are to SEO.  

Is SEO instant, how long does it take?  
While paid ads like AdWords have an instant effect, turning your site visibility on and off like a tap, SEO is different. It’s much more of a journey than a destination and the process is a kin to a marathon not a sprint. SEO is rarely instant, although if you have a totally unique niche product that nobody else sells, it can be. It usually takes time to build up your website’s domain authority, and you can expect a SEO campaign to start producing positive results within 4-12 months however most campaigns last for 12 months or more. Oftentimes we recommend you continue SEO for an indefinite period of time this allows you to maintain your page ranks.

You don’t ‘do’ SEO, finish doing it, and stop. Every business operates in a constantly-changing landscape where new businesses arrive, old ones die, people do marketing, others stop marketing or do less marketing, and the way people market their services changes, too. The result is an awesome, chaotic flux where nothing ever stays the same. This is the landscape you’re selling in.  If you stop marketing you are likely to lose your place to a competitor that is.

There’s more. Keywords themselves can change, new words are invented, and the way people think about and describe products and services can change. You need to keep up and it’s a constant battle, especially when you operate in a very competitive sector.   

The main stages of an SEO campaign
As we’ve mentioned, SEO isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. This is what a good SEO campaign involves.

First you need a thorough website audit. An SEO expert like our popular SEO Agency London will examine your site from an SEO perspective, looking at on-site optimisation first to make sure your pages tick all the right boxes. This involves deep keyword research, where various software tools are used to identify the most popular, competitive keywords that are the most relevant to your particular goods, services and audience.

The next step is to make on-site changes to bring everything up to scratch and relevant to the keywords you want to rank for. Once your on-page optimisation has been maximised it’s time to look at creating new content, a constant stream of exciting, useful, relevant information and insight that’ll please your audience.

We promote this new content, and your optimised existing content, via social media and targeted outreach, using campaigns designed to encourage backlinks. And only then do we complete the classic SEO circle:

  • Create optimised content
  • Promote it
  • Get backlinks
  • Win better search positions because backlinks tell Google you’re pleasing people
  • Get more visitors because Google rewards you with better visibility
  • Create more optimised content
  • Promote it
  • And so on – you see the pattern?

This method is not set in stone though. There are many factors that we must consider if we are to rank a website on the first page of Google. This is likely to include creating new pages and adding content to current pages of your website, we might set up social media accounts or create Youtube videos, reach out to instagram influencers and niche blogs.

Local and national SEO
If you only operate locally, you might benefit from strong local SEO. As a national or international business, you need the right kind of reach. As an SME, affordable SEO for small business is probably your most important and effective long term marketing tool, and as a small Enfield SEO agency in London we do exactly that for a wide variety of clients. If you’d like your business to be more visible, and you’re prepared to wait for the good stuff rather than demand instant SEO results, let’s talk.