On the Internet, everything feels like it should be instantaneous. And when it’s not, it’s hard not to feel like Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – which is why SEO is often a test of patience.

Ideally all of your search engine optimization efforts would pay off overnight, but that’s not how it works. There’s a number of factors that influence SEO and how quickly one might see success in search, and not all of them are even in your control.

So Why Does SEO Take So Long?

SEO-Race2First of all, you’ve probably got some competitors standing in your way. There’s a very high chance that someone is already ranking for whatever keywords or search terms you’d like to show up for. And because they are already on page one, they’ve got a bit of a head start.

Which brings me to the second hurdle. Google and other search engines reward historical value. This doesn’t just mean the age of a domain; it also encompasses how long a site has been producing relevant content and the quality of links that have been pointed its way over time. (FYI – There’s no quick way to do link building, slow and steady always wins this race).

Even once you get in the SEO game — producing your own quality content and earning links — Google needs to come along, crawl your site and index any new pages that have been created. This process doesn’t typically take too long, but it still doesn’t happen the minute you hit publish. So once again, you’re left playing the waiting game while someone else is inevitably chomping at the bit to see immediate ROI for the shiny new strategy you’ve put in place.

So what do you do? Well, first of all, it’s important to set realistic expectations; it’s not uncommon for SEO efforts to take a couple of months to really pay off. But beyond that, just keep plugging away. Google rewards relevancy and credibility, so the more you build up your online content, the more likely it is for people to find you in search, engage with your brand, and link to your site.

But if you still don’t feel like waiting, here are three other things you can do to give your website a bit of a boost:

  1. Try paid search – the right amount of money will get you page one visibility, immediately.
  2. Be social – share the content you’ve created with your fans, followers, and online networks.
  3. Fetch As Google – in Webmaster Tools you can essentially give Google the heads up that you’ve made changes or added content to your site and, in a way, request them to come back to crawl and re-index your site sooner rather than later.

If you’re interested in implementing an SEO strategy or need help producing quality content for your website, contact PCG Digital Marketing at 732-450-8200 for a free SEO assessment.

About the Author

Jamie Paton is a Project Manager at PCG Digital Marketing by day and a TV connoisseur by night. As an SEO strategist she spends a lot of quality time on social media sites and with Google Analytics and Search Console.