Setting Expectations: What is the Average SEO Results Time Frame for Success? (and how I almost got fired)

What is the Average SEO Results Time Frame for Success

Think back to the last time you committed to getting in shape and it didn’t pan out. How long did you give your efforts? Days? Weeks? Months? Perhaps you gave up because you just weren’t seeing results and it wasn’t worth the time or effort. Excitement of the decision passed and boredom set in.

Well, experts say that most people give up and quit exercising right before the big changes are about to happen. Perhaps unrealistic expectations were to blame. Or you were measuring the wrong things, like numbers on the scale instead of heart rate tracking.

The same is true with SEO. Many people wonder just how long does SEO take to show results.

The truth is, most people give up on SEO jjjuuuussssttt before results roll in. They chalk it up to saying SEO failed. They didn’t realize that SEO is like working out – it generally takes a few months before your toned, sculpted SEO muscles come in as a result of your hard work.

Personal Story About SEO Stick-tuit-ivness and How I Almost Got Sacked

I’d like to share with you a personal story. Three months into my current gig as in-house SEO consultant, my client sat me down and told me that unless they started seeing results soon they were going to have to find a new solution.


But I convinced him to stick it out and that we needed to keep at it. And over the long-term, consistently we’ve built some awesome results. Here are some exciting stats we’ve seen from Q1-Q3 2013:

  • Organic website visits: Increased 102%
  • Blog post visits: Increased 482%
  • Product sales brought in from SEO increased 84%

SEO takes time. It really takes optimizing your website with practical, commercially-oriented keywords, and then consistently writing keyword-driven blog posts a minimum of once a week. Including good SEO copywriting best practices of internal linking, writing optimized title tags and meta descriptions, etc.

Give me 3 months of doing this, people. I guarantee your SEO muscles will be much bigger than they were.

This isn’t easy, I understand. We’re a society that demands instant results. But it’s why most SEO companies require a 6-month (or longer) contract. It’s why in my SEO consulting program I train businesses for 6 months.

So I have 2 pieces of advice to achieve SEO success as quickly as possible:

  1. Stay in action
  2. Speed up your decision making

The road to methodical, successful SEO looks something like this: make a decision, act…make a decision, act…make a decision, act…make a decision, act…MEASURE…make more decisions, act…make more decisions, act…and on and on. I guarantee the excitement will wear off. It’s not sexy. But push through the boredom plateau and you’ll see results on the other side.

To sum up, seeing SEO is not about “hurry up and wait.” It’s about staying in action and staying committed to the course. Be a faster decision maker and keep moving.

Photo Credit: Leshaines 123

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Jenny Munn

Jenny is an independent Digital Marketer and SEO Consultant with more than 10 years of experience helping companies and content creators generate brand awareness, traffic, and conversions with SEO. She is a frequent speaker and is on the faculty for the AMA (American Marketing Association) and has taught SEO to thousands of marketers over the past 10 years.

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