Well hello there! The SEO Strategists at Dealer Inspire are on a mission to provide the answers to all the SEO questions that our clients most frequently ask us, and “how long does it really take to see SEO results?” may rank #1.
While it would be easy to answer that question by saying “it depends” and calling it a day, that’s not what we do here at Dealer Inspire. What we do is critical, analytical deep dives to solve problems, get results, and answer questions — so let’s get started.
SEO RESULTS TIME FRAME
While it’s absolutely accurate to say there’s no set answer to how long it takes before you start seeing organic improvements from your SEO efforts, most subject-matter experts agree that it typically takes four to six months:
- “Generally speaking, websites can see results in 4 to 6 months.” – SEO Mechanic
- “Many SEO firms will tell you that it takes 4 to 6 months to start seeing results. That’s generally accurate, but bear in mind … SEO results grow over time.” – Forbes
- “You might begin seeing improvements in organic ranking and an increase in traffic for keyword topics with little competition in just a few weeks. On the other hand, moderately competitive topics might takes months, while highly competitive phrases could even take one year or more!” – Search Engine Journal
Again, we could end this blog post right here, and say “there’s your answer”. But nah, let’s take a look at our own data…
AUTOMOTIVE SEO RESULTS WITH DEALER INSPIRE
To start, let’s kick down the door of secrecy and bring a level of transparency that you’re just not going to get anywhere else. We can confidently say, with Dealer Inspire SEO services, our clients see organic growth within the first one to three months, which will continue to grow over time.
After just 3 months of SEO services, Dealer Inspire clients see:
- a 7% average month-over-month increase in organic sessions
- a 25% average month-over-month increase in organic conversions
Sessions and conversions then continue to consistently grow over time after this immediate improvement.
So why are we seeing results for our clients within the first three months? It’s important to remember that SEO isn’t just content and keywords. There are other aspects of SEO where our clients typically see a much faster uptick in traffic from the results of our work.
WEBSITE PLATFORM OPTIMIZATION (TECHNICAL SEO)
For example, we provide SEO services for clients regardless of which web platform they use. Often times when working on a non-DI website, we discover quite a few technical issues that can prevent a website from reaching its full organic potential, such as:
- needless redirect chains
- 404 errors
- non relevant pages that are bloating the index
- page speed issues
- and improper use of Schema markup.
All of these technical challenges — when properly diagnosed and fixed — can quickly lead to an improved search presence within the first month or so.
Local search optimization is another area where our clients will see an improved presence on search engines pretty quickly if they previously hadn’t optimized this aspect of their SEO. By optimizing a client’s Google My Business page along with the various other local listing directories on the web in addition to optimizing core website pages for local search results, our client’s business listings and relevant web pages begin appearing in more search results within a month after optimizing for local, leading to an uptick in web visits, phone calls and even store visits!
It’s the content and keyword aspects of SEO where it will take a little longer before you see the direct benefit, especially in the highly competitive automotive retail vertical. So while we generally see improvement right away, we also understand that our best results are yet to come (because we create original, kick-ass content). In the end, all of our SEO efforts work together and benefit from each other as time goes on as we continue to update, add to, and refine your SEO strategy.
WHY DOES SEO TAKE SO LONG?
When it comes down to it, SEO is a tricky game. Just take a look at the Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors.
There is so much to do when it comes to SEO, and so much is out of an SEO’s control. Look at the chart above and think about competition, link building, reviews, social media history, and the many other factors that take time to really control or change — if you can even control or change those factors at all.
Now I’m not trying to walk back everything I said above as our results speak for themselves. It’s just really important to understand that there are dozens upon dozens of ranking factors and signals that ultimately determine the overall organic health of your website.
I feel it helps if you think about SEO like real estate. You buy property (your domain name), you build a tiny house (your website) on that property, it gains some value (hooray!). You expand your tiny house (kick-ass content) and you clean up the yard with some fancy landscaping (on page optimization), and your house value has now doubled.
But then, one day and quite unexpectedly…
…the housing market crashes (algorithm update), nothing you can do about that, but a few weeks later, after cleaning up and finishing the flooded basement (ongoing optimization), redoing the out-of-date bathrooms (technical audit & fixes), and expanding your house more (kick-ass content), your home value has gotten back on track and that chart is pointing right back up.
Because there are so many factors when it comes to SEO, results are not linear (the housing market crash analogy above). A chart for organic growth is not going to steadily rise at an expected rate month over month. Things happen to make that chart a bit staggered. People aren’t going to search for a new car if there is a hurricane coming towards them, Google may change their algorithm without any warning, a dealership can scale back its branded advertising leading to diminished brand awareness, users may take an internet break over the holiday, and so on.
So, while SEO does indeed take time, it’s not unreasonable to expect some improvement right away with a continually improving organic search engine presence over the weeks and months to come.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and now have a better understanding of SEO timetables and expectations. See you next time!