One of the questions we’re asked most here at Zib Media is “how long will it take for my SEO keywords to reach #1?”
Since rankings can be affected by so many factors, there’s no simple answer. The truth is, there’s no magic formula for securing that top spot and there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever make it to #1. The good news is that there are proven ways to improve your search rankings and give your business the best chance to make it onto page one.
So, what factors influence the speed of ranking? Let’s look at five factors of a solid foundation for SEO success…
1. Domain Age
The general rule is that the older a site is, the more credibility it has with Google. A study by Ahrefs shows that only 22 per cent of sites ranked in the top 10 of Google is under a year old. If a site is new or competing for a high-volume keyword, it will be at an obvious disadvantage, but don’t give up just yet. SEO is about the long game. Continue to employ smart optimisation practices and you’ll find success.
2. Domain Quality
If you want to rank high and stay there, stay away from Black Hat SEO, or any shady practices that might help you to cheat the system. While it might work in the short term, it’s almost guaranteed that Google will eventually penalise your site. Some cases may even result in a ban from the search engine. In the SEO game, cheating is rarely worth the cost, if ever. In addition, ensure that your backlinks and incoming links are high-quality and that you’re not being linked to by any spam sites. If so, you’ll be guilty by association.
3. Site Optimisation
There are several things you can do to optimise your site for Google. Firstly, design your site to be responsive. The majority of all searches are now done on mobile devices. Combine this with Google’s switch to Mobile-first Indexing, and it’s clear why your site needs to display quickly on all browsers and display sizes. If you opt to only design for desktop, your rankings will suffer. Secondly, ensure your site is organised, both for the end user and for Google’s crawlers. Can visitors easily find what they’re looking for? If not, you will need to make some changes to the sitemap.
4. Keyword Competition
Knowing which SEO keywords you’re trying to rank for and how much competition they have is part of the foundation of your SEO strategy. You can perform keyword research using a tool like SEMrush, or hire an expert to do the research for you. Once you know which keywords you’re aiming to rank for, be sure to use them in your site content, in headers, titles, image captions, and in alt text. But be wary of keyword dumping or you could be penalised by Google. The next step is to review the other sites trying to rank for the same keywords. If you’re working in a saturated market, it’s probably going to be difficult, or at least take longer for you to rank. By choosing a secondary keyword or a long-tail keyword, you can increase your chances.
5. Quality Content
Remember that website content exists to inform your users, to make their lives easier, and to address their pain points – not just to help you make sales. If you’re not producing high-quality website content that your users find helpful and want to share, your chances of achieving high rankings are slim to none. Fresh content also tends to rank more quickly. If your site is updated frequently with blog posts or news events, you’ll have the potential to rank much more quickly than a site that’s more static, as search trends follow current events.
While there is no fool-proof recipe for ensuring that your website content will earn the top spot in Google, by consistently producing high-quality content, and following these SEO guidelines, you’ll have a much higher chance at success.
As previously mentioned, on average it will take at least a year for most sites to rank well. Sadly, many marketers give up after only three months. It may be tempting to give up when you don’t see immediate results, but longevity is a key to success with SEO. Creating quality content takes time, as does allowing for that same content to mature so that search engines and users take notice.
If you want to ensure that your content is seen by the right people, book your free consultation with a digital specialist at Zib Media. We’ve helped hundreds of small businesses to find success in the digital marketing game, and we can help you to do the same.