How Long Does It Take to Rank?

This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most difficult to answer. Let me explain…

Can I Rank in One Month?

You’ll find plenty of SEOs that are willing to rank you very quickly. Some will even offer guarantees – no ranking, no fee. However, you should ask yourself whether this is something you really want and how beneficial it will be.

Firstly, you need to consider is what search term you’re trying to rank for. Many of the less reputable companies achieve quick ranking by persuading you that a very niche keyword (long tail keyword) is the best way to go. For example, many you export widgets worldwide from your Boise, Idaho factory. The SEO ranks you highly for “widgets boise Idaho” and you’re surprised that the local population of 200,000 people doesn’t want to buy lots of them.

Secondly, although this is fortunately becoming less prevalent, you need to know exactly how the SEO intends to rank you. If you check out our SEO Packages, you’ll find plenty of well-proven, safe techniques for website ranking. However, there are lots of fast-ranking techniques that do not comply with Google Guidelines. Yes, these may rank you well for a short time, but you may soon find yourself with a manual penalty.

Competition & Existing Website

I am constantly amazed by the one-size-fits-all SEO companies. When it comes to website ranking, “it all depends” on the strength of your competition and the marketability of your existing website.

Believe it, or not, it’s actually harder to rank a site for, say, “personal injury attorney new york” than it is for, say, “estate planning attorney cedar rapids”. If you’re trying to target the former and paying a flat SEO rate, you should not expect to rank quickly, if ever.

Of course, some of this also depends on your existing website. Perhaps you already have the top-ranking website for “dui attorney new york” and simply want to add personal injury as a new practice area. This will still take time and effort, but is much easier than starting from scratch.

So, How Long?

I’ve only touched on a couple of elements that determine the length of time it takes. There are many more; it’s actually quite complex, which is why you’ll find so many articles covering this topic, including a great article from Ahrefs that concluded 95% of newly published pages do not make it to the top 10 within a year.

If you’re embarking on SEO, remember that it’s a long-term strategy. Perhaps some keywords will rank quicker than others, but don’t expect to see any return until a you appear on the first page for each keyword – page two of the search results is still the best place to hide a dead body!

If you have a good SEO company, they will be focused on helping you to create new business revenue through a combination of good keyword research, site optimization, link building, and conversion optimization. Obviously, you need to rank well, and most SEOs will endeavor to show this through some form of ranking report. As long as you can see progress – a positive trend that won’t necessary improve every month – keep doing the same things until you’re successful.