By Dan York

You’ve got all your SEO best practices in place, and now you’re wondering the same question as many before you: How long before I see results?

This is one of the questions I’m asked the most, and it’s a tricky one — anyone in this business will tell you that — but here is the short and quick answer: Three to six months (ish).

Answering that question is like answering this question from a homeowner: “How much will this water damage restoration cost?” It’s hard to answer until you assess all of the damage. There are many variables to look at, walls to open up, etc.

What we do is similar. Most of our clients have used four to five SEO companies prior to us, some of which have done some very damaging things to their websites and online reputations, which must be repaired. This of course adds time to what’s needed to get your SEO program working.

Gauging SEO time

Again, there are many variables to understand why estimates on a timetable for SEO to work are so varied, but here are a few things we look at when assessing how long it will take to get SEO done right:

  • Damage done to your website,
  • Damage done to your online reputation,
  • Bad SEO techniques that needs to be corrected on and off of your website,
  • Regional differences such as weather conditions, etc.
  • Local populations,
  • Local competition,
  • Age of your website,

This is just a handful. But even addressing just these can provide some sort of reasonable estimate of time to get an SEO program working.

Insider’s view

We had a client once whose SEO program took nine months to even get him up and making money. That’s a pretty long leap of faith for a new client with no previous relationship to trust in. He’d had a lot of bad SEO in his history, but once we got it all corrected for the long haul, we nailed it. We are now one of his top sources of income for the last six years.

Some friendly advice: Don’t do shortcuts. If you do, you’ll make less money at some point; I promise.

You’ve all been in a homeowner’s house where the last restoration guy did a terrible job that you now have to fix. Our business is similar. We see those incompetent jobs done with little to no effort all the time. We’ve fixed hundreds of them. But you can see why there are so many variables as to how long it takes to get an SEO program working; every case is (and should be) viewed and assessed individually, not lumped into every other project someone has priced out. Again, you can expect reasonable results anywhere from three to six months if done well and no serious damage control is needed.

Remember this because it’s important: SEO marketing programs are yours — you own them. It is a long-term marketing strategy for you. This is where the people who aren’t calling their insurance companies are going to find you, so it is 100 percent worth your time and investment. This adds value to your company, whereas other, short-term marketing programs do not. SEO is a vital part of your marketing strategy today. Do not underestimate it or under invest in it.

Dan York is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Stellar-eMarketing and is a seasoned entrepreneur, Internet marketing expert and administrative and marketing consultant, as well as a veteran public speaker. More information is found on York’s websites: and