When we are discussing SEO with potential clients, one of the biggest concerns is the time frame for achieving results. Many business owners have no clear expectations for search engine success, but they are wary of getting tied into a long-term contract. As anyone who works in SEO understands, there is no certain way of knowing when your goals will be met. However, being able to set some realistic expectations is of an essence!

 Analyse the Market

Before you can begin to understand the level of competition in a market, it is essential you perform some analysis. SEO is constantly changing, but having an idea of the relevant keywords to your industry is still vital. Generating a list of appropriate keywords is a good start, but it is just as important that you study the level of competition for these search terms. If you have a budget for your project, running some tests using paid traffic will be even more helpful. Pay per click tests can show you what the best converting keywords are, saving you valuable time in your SEO efforts.

Select Long-Term and Short-Term Strategies

Unless you are in a very small niche, most markets will have a selection of keywords and marketing strategies that vary in their competitiveness. Subsequently, it can be helpful to focus attention on a number of long-term and short-term strategies. You may have a core group of keywords that could take six months or more to generate results, but there could be a secondary group that can yield almost instant success. By targeting these different keyword groups, results can be allowed to grow over the term of optimisation process.

Vary the Content Strategy

While most of your work will be focused on the main website, it can be effective to design a content strategy that targets feeder sites. These feeder sites could be social media accounts, video sites, or guest blogs, but they should have their own domain authority. This authority will allow you to rank quickly in the search engines for the less competitive terms. Growing your own website will be the ultimate goal, but many third-party websites already have a lot of traffic you can tap into and provide yourself with some initial results.

Regardless of your SEO experience, there is no certain way of knowing how long it will take to achieve results in the search engines. However, by performing an analysis of the market, along with a varied strategic approach, you can feel confident that your approach will be successful. With a strong plan in place, identifying SEO time frame, makes the whole process far simpler.

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