How Long Does it take to Rank on the First Page of Google?
I constantly get this question from new or prospective clients. When I hear this, I know the client who is signing up may be unhappy in 30 days when they’re not ranking on the first page for their difficult keywords.
With only 8% of search traffic making it to the second page of Google’s search results page, it’s pretty obvious that rankings do matter a lot – and this takes dedication and time. When you’re considering investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) / Pay-Per-Click (PPC), many website owners are wondering how they can get their website on page 1 of Google’s search engine, and exactly how to get to that #1 position that pulls in the most traffic.
The short answer is that no one can tell you exactly how all of this works, not even the people working at Google (unless you have Matt Cutts on speed dial). But I’m not here to leave you an unclear answer. So, please keep reading.
We’re not Google
In addition to Google updating their search algorithm all the time, they also have 2 types of crawlers; a fresh crawler and a deep crawler. The fresh crawler sends tiny amounts of fresh information back to their home base. The deep crawler, which is more predictable, is the main crawler that sends back larger amounts of information back to the search engine. Then there is the calculation and valuation time to inspect every link, every page, and every website and then rank those against billions of search queries.
In short, no one (not even Google employees) knows the exact formula that helps websites rank at the top of the search engines.
What we can do is take an analysis of a top competitor of ours and write down a detailed plan that they did and push it towards our own website. After this, we can get a basic time frame of what will happen and how long it may take to rank a website. In addition, we can adjust the plan to favor some different keywords and pull traffic in from less competitive areas while also targeting the same keywords our competitors are.
Websites Quality Affects Its Success
If your website isn’t seen as an authority and you don’t update it very often with fresh content, it may take a while to rank up. In addition, if your website has obtained a penalty, you have to assess exactly what the issues are and fix it. After you fixed the issue, you need to submit a reconsideration request before you can begin to be seen as an authority in your field and Google considers you for their search engine again.
We Don’t Control Your Competition
By designing a game plan to increase your rankings and bring in traffic and sales, we know that your competitors will be pushed down since not everyone can be at the top. However, it’s very likely your competitors aren’t just going to stand there and watch you trample over them.
Assume your competitors have already been doing SEO and marketing, you will now need to do the right amount of work to match them and a little added work to surpass them. Sometimes a competitor has a few years head start and it could take a longer time for them to see you as a threat. Additional resources can help, but sometimes it just takes the slow, persistent, and aggregated authority built over time to rise in the search rankings.
Well, What If I Don’t Want To Wait For Results?
I understand you want to see an instant ROI on your investment, but that doesn’t happen when you’re doing SEO for your website/business. It takes a technical know-how of the search engines to push it to the top. To do this, you need to show Google that you are the top dog and that you should be put at #1 in their search results for every keyword related to your website. You also need to show your visitors that you are the best deal around with the best content, services and/or products at the best price.
SEO Doesn’t Have a Start and Stop Date
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long term ranking and branding technique that is ongoing. It defines your audience, learns what they are looking for, engages with them, nurtures that relationship, and in return, rewards you with their business. By understanding this, you’ll realize that it doesn’t matter how long it takes to get to the first page of a certain ranking because you will know that just getting ranked isn’t the only thing.
Now Forget Everything Above…
With all stated above in mind, here are some ballpark figures you can use.
Low to Medium Difficulty – With a good consistent strategy and no other major website issues, it is reasonable to expect that in 3-6 months you’ll be in the top 10 search results for your keywords. As said before, this also depends on your competition who isn’t going to just sit and watch your rank over them.
High Difficulty – Due to the high amount of competition, a highly difficult niche can take at least a year to see page one results. People don’t like to hear that, but it’s true. You can shorten this time frame by using PPC (paid advertising) to get to the top.
Extremely Difficult – It’s possible that you will never see the first page of Google. And it could be out of reach for some small businesses because the cost of doing the SEO or outsourcing it is too much to be funded. For a larger company in an extremely difficult niche, it could take several people working together in a team to achieve top rankings.
If you get to the top of page 1 easily it’s probably because that keyword isn’t targeted by your competition since it doesn’t get any traffic and click-throughs. If you’re getting traffic from the wrong audience, it’s a waste. And if you are getting the right traffic from the right audience but you can’t convert them, nothing matters.
Instead, think about how you can cater to your audience and give them something of substance. If it’s content, make sure it’s engaging and makes the reader want to read another page. If it’s a service, make sure your copy is engaging and makes the potential client want to sign up. If it’s a product, make it the best it can be and price it competitively.
Also, be the quickest to respond and most informative when talking to prospective clients via email or inside your support system. People will be more likely to pay you more money if they get a response from you that is more than just a one or two-word answer. Answer follow up questions that you know they are going to ask. Respond quickly, within 30 minutes, and your sales will increase.
If you are looking to optimize your website and rank higher on search engines, please check out our SEO Packages.
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