July 21, 2023

How Long Does SEO Take?

A Simple, Straightforward Guide for Business Owners

Ever wondered how long SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, takes? You're not alone. SEO is key for businesses. It helps your website appear on search engines like Google. When customers look for products or services, you want them to find you, right?

But SEO can be confusing. And time matters a lot in business. So, we've written this guide to clear things up. It's a simple, straight-to-the-point guide for business owners like you. And we're going to make it even easier by using a real-life example—a project we worked on for a client called Crafty Builds.

We'll walk through their SEO journey and give you a clear idea of how long it took. You'll see the steps we took to help Crafty Builds stand out online.

What is SEO?

You've probably heard of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. But what does it mean, really? Google defines it as the process of making your site better for search engines. But let's break that down further.

Imagine you've built a store, filled it with products, and now you want people to visit. The SEO process is like the map you create to guide people to your store. It's about structuring your website and tailoring its content to draw in your ideal customers. It's about getting your website to pop up higher on Google when someone types in a related search.

The results of good SEO are like votes of confidence. The more time people spend on your website, the more they link to it, and the more people visit, the better it looks to Google. It's like telling Google, "Hey, this website is worth showing to more people." From my experience websites can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to see any considerable change.

But attracting people is only part of the journey. Once they're on your site, you want them to take action, right? Maybe make a purchase or give you their email. That's where tools like HotJar come in. You can use it to see what people do on your site and make improvements. The goal? Better conversions—turning more visitors into customers. It's a cycle of changes, data collection, strategy, and testing. You keep going until you see the results you want.

In the next sections, we'll dig deeper into SEO, its timeline, and how it helped one of our clients, Crafty Builds, grow their online visibility.

Determining factors in SEO timeline

One thing to keep in mind is that SEO is not a one-size-fits-all process. Just like no two businesses are the same, no two SEO projects are identical. What worked for our client, Crafty Builds, may not work for you in the exact same way. Here's why:

  • Industry: Your industry shapes your customer's expectations. For example, if you run a high-end restaurant, your customers expect to see your menu, make reservations and place orders online. While SEO is crucial in every industry, how you apply it may require creativity. Maybe you write recipe blogs for busy parents, turning them into future customers. Your industry will play a major role in shaping your SEO strategy.
  • Keyword Difficulty: Keywords are what people type into Google when they're looking for something. The difficulty in ranking for specific keywords is your competition. With Crafty Builds, we started by targeting low competition keywords. This approach helped us attract some traffic initially and slowly rank for more difficult keywords like "minecraft builds website". Remember, every small step can contribute to a bigger goal.
  • Target Audience: Who are you trying to reach? Crafty Builds' audience was Minecraft players, specifically those who enjoyed building. By understanding their audience, we were able to structure their website and content to cater to their needs. When you align your website with your audience's interests, they're more likely to stay, which signals to Google that your site is worth showing more often.
  • Search Intent: What is your audience looking for? For instance, someone typing "king’s throne minecraft" into Google probably wants to learn how to build a throne in Minecraft. Understanding this intent can help you create content that meets your audience's needs.

Remember, your SEO timeline will be unique to your business and depend on these factors. But don't worry - with the right strategy, you can improve your SEO outcomes and get results faster. So, let's dive deeper into how this works.

Client case study: Crafty Builds SEO

Crafty Builds, our client, operates a niche gaming website that features step-by-step Minecraft build tutorials. When launching their new platform, they identified a market opportunity to serve the Minecraft build community with a simple, user-friendly website experience.

We started our SEO process with Crafty Builds by defining their target audience, focusing on Minecraft builders. Understanding their preferences, expectations, and skill levels was a key step in creating a website that could meet their specific needs - this customer-centric approach is the heart of effective SEO.

The insights gained about the target audience influenced how we structured Crafty Builds' website. We formatted the build pages to resemble product pages, equipping users with all necessary information for their builds. This not only attracted users but also increased their dwell time, a positive signal for SEO.

The proof was in the pudding. Crafty Builds saw steady traffic from day one. Over the first eight months, the website averaged 865 visitors each month. Then, the number began to climb—50% growth month after month, hitting a record 1,992 visitors last month alone.

Now, let's take a walk down memory lane and look at the key milestones in Crafty Builds' SEO journey:

June 2022: Picture a launch day buzzing with anticipation. The website was unveiled with 60 builds, and we took to Reddit's r/detailcraft community. The goal was to stoke interest and start the traffic ball rolling.

Numbers for June 2022

July 2022: The momentum was building. As we continued our engagement on Reddit and added 20 fresh builds, we could see Google referrals creeping up—a sign that we were on the right track.

Numbers for July 2022

August 2022: By now, Google was second in line for website referrals. We didn't rest. More Reddit posts, another 16 builds added, a growing community on Discord, and partnerships with content creators—Crafty Builds was making waves.

Numbers for August 2022

September 2022: Here's when we saw the fruits of our labor. After four months of tireless efforts, Google traffic saw a considerable leap. We eased off Reddit and focused on creating articles that spotlighted build pages, giving visitors more reasons to explore the website.

Numbers for September 2022

Fast forward to June 2023: The strategy had evolved—content creation pivoted towards specific keywords. An example? Our most popular build, "medieval king's throne," had attracted 1.5k visitors.

Numbers for June 2023

We took this cue to create an article, "Minecraft medieval castle building guide: How to create an epic castle." It was a hit, with several builds incorporated into a castle, pulling in 177 visitors on its own.

The top build "medieval kings throne" was used to then write a guide all about Minecraft castles to pull in additional traffic.

As the Crafty Builds case illustrates, a thorough understanding of your audience, combined with content tailored to their needs, can lead to SEO success. It's a game of patience, but with the right moves, the rewards can be sustainable and significant.

Why patience is key in SEO

As a business owner, it's understandable that you want to see quick results. But here's the catch with SEO—it's a marathon, not a sprint. Your investment in SEO is a commitment to a long-term strategy that gradually, yet significantly, enhances your online visibility.

Take our work with Crafty Builds as an example. Success didn't come overnight. It was born out of countless hours spent understanding their ideal visitor, crafting the perfect content strategy, and then patiently waiting to see it take off.

But it wasn't a 'set it and forget it' operation. SEO is an active process that needs consistent effort and upkeep. Just like a garden that needs regular watering and pruning to flourish, your SEO strategy also needs continuous care to stay on top of its game.

We created content, monitored the response, and then optimized based on our learnings. It's this cycle of strategize, execute, review, and optimize that drives SEO success. And remember, the key ingredient in this recipe is patience. So, brace yourself for a rewarding journey that takes time but leads to sustainable and substantial growth.

As we reach the end of our SEO journey, it's important to circle back to the key takeaways. SEO isn't a sprint; it's more of a marathon, requiring patience, a strategic mindset, and continuous effort. Quick fixes or overnight miracles rarely exist in the world of SEO. Instead, it's all about crafting a tailored approach, understanding your audience, and delivering content that resonates with them, while aligning with search engine guidelines.

Schedule a free website audit.