If every search engine optimisation company had a crystal ball and could answer any client question, defining the exact timeframe to ranking improvements, they would arguably be the most sought after.
Every single client will at some stage pose the question, "When can I expect to see some change in my rankings?" or "When will my website be ranked on the 1st page of Google?"
Given the exact strategies implemented within search engine optimisation remain an enigma to many business owners, this question is not quite that simple to answer, as people do not understand what the SEO efforts entail in man-hours, nor the manner in which search engines index websites.
The Catch-22 in the situation is that no SEO company can fully divulge the exact strategy it implements, as this would be like handing over its intellectual property on a silver platter.
The following factors will impact the speed of SEO ranking increases:
– Industry competitiveness – if your website operates in a significantly competitive industry, such as the 'car rental' industry which places a great emphasis on its online strategy, ranking increases will require more time and complex strategies.
– Nature & size of competitors – charity organisations (.org), higher education bodies (.edu) and government websites (.gov) are viewed by the search engines to hold more weight, importance and relevance, thus making it more difficult to outrank them.
– Keywords selected – if your google SEO strategy is built around core keywords on which every business in your industry wants to rank, it will take more time to increase ranking positions. I.e.: "fingerfood" is more difficult to rank, versus "Melbourne fingerfood".
– Domain age – if your website has just been built, hosted and the search engines have just indexed it, your website domain (URL) does not hold as much relevance or recognition as competitor websites that have been online for years
– Current ranking positions – If your website is currently ranking out of the top 100 positions on the search engines for relevant keywords, the implementation of SEO tactics will show ranking increases faster than if your site already ranks in the top 10 positions. Once your website is competing against the best, the rate of improvement is slower given your competitors are implementing concurrent strategies to your SEO efforts.
– Inbound links – If there are only a couple of inbound links pointing to your website, the link building strategy needs to be developed carefully over a set timeframe. It is not possible to drastically increase links, as the search engines will view this activity suspiciously, thus requiring greater patience in ranking increases.
– Your budget – This is not always easy to explain to clients, but the reality is that in a service based industry, the number of man-hours that an SEO company can direct to your project is directly proportional to the amount of money you are paying for the service. A client paying $400 a month cannot expect the same level and number of strategies implemented over a given period of time as a $1000 client.