I get this question posed to me constantly and rightly so that a potential client asks. Unfortunately there is no accurate answer without having more information. A thorough website evaluation is required to even attempt answering this question. Even after I complete the evaluation, it is a very difficult question to answer with any accuracy. When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, there are just too many variables.
Why is it important to be on page one of Google? How’s this for an answer…
Here are some of the criteria that determines “How Long” to get to page one.
Getting a first position for “mortgage” is significantly more difficult than getting it for “home mortgage for 2nd property in the Poconos”. The broader a keyword is, the harder it is to rank for it.
Where is your website now for these terms?
Ranking a new website is a lot harder than ranking one that is 10 years old, has 1,000 incoming links, and several pages of great content.
This could make all the difference. I check how much website optimization the top ten websites have been doing for a few key phrases. If they’ve been doing SEO for several years, it will take us much more time to outrank them.
It is one thing is to rank first for “Catering Services in Bucks County” and a different thing is to rank for “best catering services”. Rankings for local markets can be achieved sooner assuming competition is not highly optimized, whereas national or regional markets will take much longer.
What is my answer when asked…How Long?
First I say “it depends” and we explain all the items above. Then I will do some research, a site evaluation and then I can make an estimate for the first few keyword phrases. If we think it’s going to take 8 months, I will say that it could take anywhere between 9 and 18 months. But imagine how upset they would be if we told them 8 months and it actually takes 10.
A Word of Warning
There are a number of Search Engine Optimization companies that will tell you whatever it takes to get your business. They may even promise you Page 1 of Google in the first three months if that’s what you want to hear. Three months down the road, you’ll be in position #165 and they will have taken a big chunk of your money. They will blame Google for changing their algorithm and your competitors for doing more SEO than you.
You need to be patient when you hire an SEO company. Look at the trends and insist upon some reporting and measurments. If you don’t see any progress at all, fire them. But give them time to get you to that promised land of Page One. Google only has 10 top results and chances are that all those 10 websites have been doing SEO for a long time. It will take you a while to get there too.Share with us your Success Stories and SEO Challenges