How Long Does SEO Take?

One of the most common questions I get as an SEO professional is “How long does SEO take?”

It’s also one of the most frustrating questions because, while clients understandably want a definitive answer, there is simply no way to provide one due to all of the variables involved.

This is because, in addition to all of the variables that play a role in the optimization of your own website, you also have to evaluate those same variables in your competitors’ optimization efforts.

This can make an already complex question infinitely more difficult to answer.

To steal a line from “Pawn Stars”:

“Best I can do is…”

The best I can do is give you a range of four months up to a year.

That range is based on three key variables that determine how long your SEO will take, which are:

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It’s important to point out that even with the data behind these variables, there is no formula to answer this question.

However, there is a lot more to answering it than simple guesswork.

Figuring out how long your SEO will take comes down to first evaluating the data behind these three variables, beginning the work and evaluating how quickly you begin to see results, and then extrapolating that to get an idea how long it might take to hit a particular position.

The Role of Competition in How Long SEO Takes

If you’re selling something like salmon-flavored breakfast cereal, you probably won’t face any competition.

However, those of us selling products and…

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