• John Walker

How long will it take to get website traffic from SEO?



If you’re doing search engine optimization (SEO) of your website, you’re counting on generating increased traffic to your website. And your first question is: “How long will it take?”


I’ll give you the traditional answer to this question. But let me also propose a different way of measuring SEO value.


Traditional SEO Wisdom:

According to a survey by Morningscore, it takes six months to see an increase in traffic from SEO and full results can be seen after 12-24 months. Their survey data seems sound, and the findings are consistent with industry wisdom.


However, there are several things that are misleading about this insight. First, each SEO program can vary a lot by scope and industry. One firm may devote a concerted effort to SEO for years while another may just dabble in it. And second, different industries vary a lot in how rich the SEO opportunities are. For example, if you’re optimizing for the phrase “ventless gas fireplace,” you have a good shot at gaining high rankings on search engines. If you’re chasing the term “car insurance quotes” you face an impossible task.


But there is another reason I don’t like this answer; it ignores the immediate value that SEO tactics can deliver.


A Different Way of Measuring SEO Value:

My approach to SEO seeks to gain immediate marketing value rather than waiting and hoping that website traffic increases in the long term. What I mean by that is that the majority of SEO tactics that I implement have multiple benefits, some of which are immediate. Here’s what I mean.


  • Making your website fast, mobile responsive and easy to index, makes it better for users. It also helps with SEO.

  • Creating great website content improves the user experience and positions you as an industry authority. It’s also good for SEO.

  • Building backlinks is a great way to connect with industry partners and it can result in immediate referral traffic. It’s also a helpful SEO tactic.


So these are examples of SEO tactics that are also just good digital marketing tactics because doing them delivers immediate value.


They are also tactics that are worth investing in even if SEO is not something that’s mission-critical to your business because they’re good for marketing while also being good for SEO. Do them now because you don’t have to wait 12 months to see value.


This post was written by John Walker, Principal at J. Walker Marketing, a marketing consultancy. Contact John directly to discuss your marketing challenges.