SEO is often billed as the Magic Bullet of digital marketing, and for good reason. SEO is quite literally built around the way the internet works. Search engine optimization just reverse engineers the way search engines operate to make sure your website complies with the latest standards.
There’s a reason that business owners spend $80 billion on SEO in the United States alone.
With SEO being hyped up so much – even if it is warranted – this can cause a bit of confusion as to how long it takes for an SEO campaign to start working.
To help set the record straight, here’s a timeline of a standard SEO campaign and its various mile markers.
SEO Campaign Timeline: Month 1
The first month of an SEO campaign is generally the research phase. During this phase, an SEO campaign manager will usually begin by doing keyword research. They’ll also do a site audit on your website to assess your current SERP rankings.
During the research phase, your SEO team will also assess your competitors. This will provide invaluable insights, ranging from additional keywords to potential new customers.
You’ll also talk with your SEO campaign manager to give them an idea of what’s been working in your current digital marketing strategy and what hasn’t been working. You’ll also decide on the scope of your SEO campaign, to decide if you’d like to focus on running a local SEO campaign or a national SEO campaign.
SEO Campaign Timeline: Month 2
The second month of an SEO campaign is when the action begins. The decisions that were made and the options that were discussed in the first month will be put into action. Usually, at this stage, this involves a content marketing strategy and a site overhaul.
The site overhaul usually entails going over the website with a fine-toothed comb to make sure it’s in keeping with the latest SEO standards. Your SEO team will sometimes find opportunities for internal linking, which can help your page rank for certain keywords.
Technical SEO will be assessed as well. Depending on how old your website is, your site may be behind the times in a number of ways. Page load time is far more important than it was even 5 years ago, for instance. Your SEO team will make sure that all of your graphics are optimized so that your page will load as quickly as possible.
Finally, they’ll make sure that your content is in compliance with the latest on-page SEO standards. This is a rather technical discipline that takes a while to master, but it ensures that your website will get picked up by the search engines as efficiently as can be.
SEO Campaign Timeline: Month 3
In the third month of an SEO campaign, the content creation process begins in earnest. You should’ve already started creating optimized content during the last month, so this means you’re starting to have some assets that you can spread around. It also means you have a keyword strategy that you’re following, which will factor into the other moving parts of your content campaign.
During Month 3, your SEO team will begin generating higher-quality content like whitepapers and press releases in addition to the blog posts that they’ve likely already been doing. This is the stage where you start to segue into building backlinks, which is where the real magic of SEO begins to happen.
As you begin to put out authoritative content, you’ll have more opportunities to spread your work around. For example, there are numerous websites that accept press releases. There are sites that aggregate whitepapers, case studies, and such.
This means that people will start to know your name and recognize your brand. Everything’s starting to come together at this point.
SEO Campaign Timeline: Month 4
The fourth month of an SEO campaign is often more of the same while beginning to branch out a bit. The technical revisions are likely still underway, as it takes a while to optimize an entire website. Your SEO team might clean up unsightly web addresses, for instance, to make sure they show up right in the search index.
At this stage, your SEO campaign manager will likely begin to build backlinks. All of the blog content that you’ve generated over the last few months means that you have content that you can spread around. This goes double for your whitepapers and press releases, which means that you’re likely starting to have a reputation in your industry.
During the fourth month, your SEO team might begin finding guest posting opportunities. People may be linking back to your content on their own, as well.
All of these factors mean that by the fourth month you’re likely to start seeing an increase in traffic. Even better, this increase is permanent, which is one of the main advantages of SEO over other types of digital marketing.
SEO Campaign Timeline: Month 5
During the fifth month, you’re ready to start showing off all of your hard work. You’ve got plenty of new content to spread using various inbound marketing techniques. You can spread links to professional job boards, marketing forums, industry link aggregators, and so on.
At this stage, you should start to focus on social media as part of your strategy. You have plenty of things to publicize, as well, which makes it a perfect time to engage in a PR blitz!
As a result, the SEO campaign begins to take on a life of its own. You’ve got a content creation schedule in place. People are starting to know who you are. You’re building your reputation via social media and other channels. Additionally, your audience is likely to be spreading your content around for you at this point.
So there you have it! SEO success isn’t an overnight endeavor, but it doesn’t necessarily take that long either. Keep your expectations realistic, work with an SEO team you can trust, and just keep moving ahead and your site traffic will skyrocket in no time!
Are You Looking For SEO Services?
At Bear Fox Marketing, it is our joy to partner with exceptional companies, working hand-in-hand with you and your team to give you every tool for digital success. Whether you’re looking to launch a detailed SEO campaign or a content marketing push to build your reputation and grow your blog, we’ve got everything you need for your business to flourish and thrive. Get in touch with us today and watch your website soar!