How long does it take for SEO to kick in?

We're tackling SEO on our own for our online business. We've done keyword research, produced content that's relevant with keywords, tried to get backlinks and completed all on-page and on-site SEO.

How long does SEO take to start working and start seeing organic traffic increase (people googling and landing on your page)? Obviously, we don't expect overnight success but be good to know if our SEO efforts are working in the right direction after several months. 

Top voted answer
Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

I would say a few factors will determine how quickly you start seeing an impact. Have you started sharing the new and improved site enhancements across social media and e-newsletters to your current customers / audience? Have you launched any new search or social media ads to try to bring in new traffic?

The main things that matter are getting current customers to share more and getting them to return more frequently. If you have a relatively large existing user base you could see improvements relatively quickly (several weeks) if you have a smaller user base it may take awhile.

For search indexes it really depends how quickly they re-index the pages. New pages should help in the listings.

Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson, CEO at

How fast your site will rank in the search results (and where) will depend on a number of factors. The domain authority, page authority, site content, backlinks, and niche market you are in are some of the most important factors to keep an eye on.

After having some activity to your site, it should automatically get picked up and indexed by Google. The same applies for all of your new content and pages as well.

I highly recommend you focus on the content promotion of your content more than anything else. There are currently more than a billion active websites on the internet today and all of them are creating content. If you want to stand out from the crowd, not only do you need to create better content, you also need to do better promotion and content marketing than your competition as well.

You can use any of these SEO tools to keep an eye on both your own progress, while also keeping an eye on the competition. Also, make sure you stay extremely niche focused with your content and audience targeting.

Philip Brookes

Philip Brookes, Director at

Hi anonymous,

To stick directly to the point you've queried - if you're doing the right things, you can often see *some* marginal improvement within a week or two. Use Google's Search Console (previously called Webmaster Tools) to check how frequently your site is indexed and to manually submit pages. And to track progress properly, use a tool like to monitor your rankings.

But we always say to our clients that you should expect a delay of at least a month or two for any substantial gains.

So yes, you should undoubtedly be able to see if your "SEO efforts are working in the right direction after several months".

Bear in mind, also, that some aspects of SEO must, by definition, take time - for example, if you suddenly post 25 guest posts around the web and then let everything go quiet again, Google doesn't pay you much heed. But if you are a consistent contributor to relevant sites on an ongoing basis, the regular appearance of new (high quality) articles that link back to you will help boost your position - this won't happen overnight as Google need to be able to observe the trend.

Once you start to get a little momentum, each new step you take will usually produce tangible improvements in specific keyword rankings within a few days. The progress is slowest when you're new.

When it comes to questions of how to accelerate your progress, that's another topic which I won't delve into here! :)

James Parnwell

James Parnwell, Managing Director at

Top 30% Ecommerce

Hi there,

A typical rule of thumb would be between 4 and 12 months. However, there are a lot of factors that go into getting results. It sounds like you have all the main bases covered so be patient and i'm sure you'll see some results.


Jim Moustakas

Jim Moustakas at

You will definetly see some changes in your organic traffic within 2 - 4 weeks of making a significant chnage or upload of a blog. Make sure though that you always include some quality back links as well as relavent internal links within your website. I find that less is more, i mean if you write a good quality article with lots of information that people will find usefull is far better than writting 10 short articles that mean nothing to nobody. Best of luck with this, it can be lots of fun when you see results from your efforts. 

James Norquay

James Norquay, SEO Director at

SEO Results are based on hoe competitive your industry is you are targeting if you are targeting Fishing Shop Newcastle it is not going to be as competitive as Home Loans Sydney for example so getting traction is usually based on a industry basis also if you are working with a brand new site that can also make the process slower. Add in low quality past work you can even be more behind =)

Now how long does SEO take to kick it it depends on numerous factors such as how well your site is set up, how good your link profile is, how in depth your content is, user engagement factors and many other things.

A good basis to see SEO results from work completed is 3-6 months, for competitive industries it could be 6-12 months if you have a authoritative domain it will be quicker if you have a brand new site it will be slower.

Quentin Aisbett

Quentin Aisbett, Founder at

Obviously we have some general consensus in that there's varying factors and I completely agree. So I won't repeat what others have said but perhaps this study by ahrefs will contribute to the discussion.

They analysed 2 million random keywords and found that only 5.7% of all studied pages ranked in the Top10 search results within 1 year for at least 1 keyword. The majority of these getting into the Top 10 in 2 - 6 months.

All the best!

Narine Poghosyan

Narine Poghosyan, Manager at

Top 10% App Development Get quote

Agree with all of the answers! If you have really corrected all the technical issues, and your website DA/DR is growing with each backlink, this means you are on the right way, just keep doing it.
Of course with every Google Update, you need to analyze and learn what's new in SEO.
 Quentin Aisbett, I bookmarked the blog, seems very interesting.