This question comes up a lot for us during the sales process, and it’s a totally reasonable one to ask. If you’re considering investing in SEO, you want to know how long it’s going to take you to see positive ROI, right? Often, though, this question is kind of missing something, which is that SEO isn’t just a one-off, but a process. Think of it this way - 'winning' at SEO is like winning a marathon. Here's how:

 
In the same sense as you can’t really say “it’ll take you this long, and this many months of training, before you can win a marathon,” you can’t really say “SEO takes 3 months,” though you could say “based on your website and your competition, we predict this amount of improvement in 3 months.” To give a clearer idea of when you might be able to start your SEO marathon, here's a quick overview of your training regimen:
  • Months 1-2: Technical audit. Think of this as a minor medical check-up.
  • Months 1-2: Keyword research and mapping. To return to our marathon analogy, keyword mapping is kind of like finding out where the marathon is, booking your spot, and changing out of your work clothes and into running shoes.
  • Months 2 and on: Content marketing and outreach. This is your Rocky-style training montage - it's what helps you catch up to (and eventually exceed) your competition.
  • Ongoing: Reporting. So you can measure your results as you go.

Clearly we're just scratching the surface here, which is why we've put together an e-book called ‘How Long Does SEO Take?’ This answers that very question, using a series of brief case studies to show how long each phase of an SEO engagement takes, and what kinds of results they can lead to.