To answer this question, we need to ask what exactly we’re waiting for. SEO has a lot of moving parts, with each part working at its own pace.
In this blog post, I’ll take you through the time it takes for SEO to:
- Index a new web page
- Rank a keyword (any position)
- Rank a keyword on page one
- Start to see traffic
- Start to make money
Indexing is when Google has recognized a web page and will show it in their search results. Before anything happens for your SEO, your pages must be indexed.
Once your page is indexed, it will start collecting data. That data is used to help rank you for keywords and bring traffic to your website.
Indexing is fast. You can have pages indexed as quick as 5 minutes. On average, though, it can take up to a day or two.
If your page is not being indexed, it could mean there is an underlying issue in your technical SEO.
Rank a Keyword (Anywhere)
Getting a new website ranked for keywords takes months. There is a good reason for this. A brand new website has zero proof that it exists, let alone what it talks about.
Google needs to see some signs that it can trust you first. How do you do that, build up an online presence. Create social accounts and mention your website everywhere.
Google will pick up all the signals you’re putting out, then build a profile around your content and the users you’re engaging.
Only when they have a strong idea of who you are and what your goal is, will they be able to assist you in reaching your target audience.
Rank a Keyword on Page One
There is good news and bad news.
The bad news: Ranking your keyword on page one requires a bit of work unless you get lucky. You need to have really good content, optimize it right, and get some backlinks.
The good news: There is a lot of luck going around. Just put in the work and you’ll get tons of page one keywords.
The time it takes to get on page one depends on the individual keyword you’re ranking for. I’ve gotten hundreds of page one keywords in as little as 12 hours. Tougher keywords, the ones with hundreds of competitors and high search volume, took as long as 4-6 months (but were worth it).
Start to See Traffic
As soon as you’ve ranked a single keyword on page one, you will start to see traffic coming to your website. In many cases, you can even start seeing traffic from keywords that are on page two.
Keywords on page 2 will move and down as each day passes. It is possible to have a keyword sit on page 1 for a day.
The amount of traffic you get from a keyword depends on how often it is searched. If a keyword is being searched 1,000 times each month, you can expect to see at least 100 of that coming to your site if you were on the first page. Even more if you’re in the top positions (1, 2, or 3).
Start to Make Money
A website will start to make money from SEO once the traffic is built up enough. If the traffic is being sent to a store, then chances are that store will make some sales. If the traffic is directed to content in the form of blog posts or videos, they can be shown ads.
The best money is will always come from sales. Whether you are selling your own product, or referring someone else’s, you will always earn more than what you would showing ads on your content.
Not every website can push sales, so they show ads. This is one of the easiest methods for making money with SEO. Content that doesn’t push sales is not competitive. There are billions of keywords up for grabs. If you produce content around those keywords, you can get traffic and show ads.