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How Long Does SEO Take to Show the Results You Need?

seo expert uk

One of the first questions we are often asked about SEO (aside from how much it costs!), is how quickly we expect to see results. 

Unfortunately, people outside of the SEO industry believe that the moment they optimize their web content and use keywords, that their website will immediately show up on search engines. 

Sadly this isn’t the case and we dispel these misconceptions below and explain how SEO works, and when you can expect to see results.

Factors Affecting SEO

There are many factors that affect your SEO and how quickly you can expect to see results and it’s important to understand them so you can set your expectations accordingly:

Loading speeds

Google hates slow page loading speeds and this can have a negative impact on your SEO results. You can use various tools like PageSpeed Insights to show where you could improve loading times.

Content quality

General content quality is hugely important and this relates to the accuracy of your written copy, images, and other media. Essentially your content should be readable, engaging, and relevant to your business.

Page reliability

Page reliability relates to your authority, trustworthiness, relevance, and the influence Google perceives that you have. The higher your reliability, the quicker you may see SEO results.

Image usage

Images contribute to SEO and can be useful for adding keywords to Alt tags (this is a piece of descriptive alternative text shown if the user cannot see or display images).

Keyword usage

Keywords are obviously incredibly important in SEO and if you only use short-term keywords that are harder to rank for it could take longer to see results as opposed to using less-competitive long-tail keywords.


If you have lots of competitors with excellent websites and optimized content it could take longer for your SEO results to show.

Website age

Older websites often get SEO results quicker as they already have an established series of backlinks and web presence that Google can utilize.

How to Check Your SEO

It’s no good implementing SEO and having no way to check if what you are doing is actually any good! Luckily, there is a plethora of excellent tools and plugins available that show you if you are on the right track and these include: 

  • SEO plugins for platforms like WordPress 
  • SEO analysis tools 
  • General analytical tools 
  • Keyword research tools 

WordPress has some excellent plugins like YOAST SEO and Rank Math that show you if your web pages are optimized properly. Other analytical tools like Google Analytics have a broader scope and allow you to see important website metrics like traffic, bounce rates, and CTR which are all good SEO indicators. 

Using keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner also helps show if the keywords you are using in your SEO campaigns are working and how difficult they are to rank for. All of this information you gather helps paint a picture of the quality of your SEO and can help estimate how quickly you can expect to see results.

When Can I Expect to See SEO Results?

Statistics and business insight show that you can typically expect to see SEO results in 4-12 months after implementation. You have to remember that this is just an average and your business could experience something completely different. There are many factors that affect SEO so while one business could see results in as little as a month, another might not see results until 12 months due to increased competition or the fact they have a newer website. 

The key is to trust your SEO expert in the UK and make a commitment for the long term. You have to be willing to make that initial investment and allow for the fact that you won’t make an immediate return.

Although SEO Isn’t Instant, it is Worth the Investment

Don’t get discouraged by the fact that it can take 4-12 months to see serious SEO results. May things in business are not instant but the investment is still worth it. SEO is one such case and once you start to see the results, you will be glad that you made the push to optimize your content and make SEO part of your marketing strategy.

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.