It’s a question that often comes up during initial customer contacts or prospecting… So we’ve decided to dedicate an article to it.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) has become an essential part of any effective marketing strategy. But the question remains: how long does SEO take to produce tangible results? You need to have a clear understanding of all the areas of analysis and optimisation before you can begin to put a figure on this time (and therefore the associated budget). Of course, the time will depend on the size (number of pages/url) of your website and your ambitions.

I. Understanding SEO: an overview

SEO is not just a set of techniques to be applied, but a global approach that requires a deep understanding of many factors and several axes.

les axes du SEO

A. What is SEO?

SEO is a strategy that aims to improve a website’s visibility on search engines. It involves optimising the internal and external elements of a site to attract, engage and convert organic traffic. There are several ways of looking at a website:

  • Yours (your strategy)
  • Your customers (their needs, the problems they encounter, etc.)
  • Google’s vision: how Google sees and navigates your site and understands its content.

B. Why is SEO important?

SEO is vital because it ensures that your website is visible on search engines. The more visible your site is, the more likely you are to attract potential visitors. In addition, SEO can help build trust and credibility for your brand through ereputation or customer reviews.

II. How long does SEO take?

The duration of SEO can vary considerably depending on a number of factors.

A. Basic factors

1. Age of the site
An older website with a history of trust with search engines may see results more quickly than a newer site as it has potential authority in the eyes of Google.

2. Content quality
High quality content that meets user expectations is a key factor in improving search engine rankings.

3. Technical optimisation
The level of technical optimisation of your site, including site speed, structured markup, site security, etc., can also affect SEO time. Clearly, a site that hasn’t had its content or technology revised for 10 years will have a harder time being optimised than a site created 3 years ago using WordPress, for example. We’re talking about agility here: because Google standards change and you have to adapt to them over time.

B. How long does it take to see results?

In general, you can start to see the first results within 4 to 6 months of the start of your SEO efforts. However, for more substantial results, it can take up to 12 months or more.

Many SEO agencies neglect quick wins that optimise site visibility in 24 hours (Google my business for example), or fixing broken external links, the html title and H1 of the home page… key elements with a direct impact. A good agency will know how to prioritise all this.

III. The key stages of SEO

A. Keyword research (15 days to 1 month)

Keyword research is the first step in understanding what your target audience is looking for online. This involves using keyword research tools to identify terms relevant to your sector or niche.

B. On-Page Optimisation (1 to 4 months depending on site technology)

On-page optimisation involves improving the technical aspects of your website, including site speed, site architecture, structured markup, etc.

C. Creation of quality content (1 to 3 months)

Quality content is essential for attracting and engaging users. It is important to create content that meets the needs of your audience and is optimised for search engines.

D. Off-Page Optimisation (1 to 12 months depending on ambition and budget)

Off-page optimisation concerns activities outside your website that can improve your online visibility, such as link building, marketing on social networks, etc.

E. Analysis and adjustment

Analysis and adjustment involves monitoring your SEO results, analysing the data and adjusting your strategy accordingly.

Our vision at Poleetic

It’s important to understand that SEO is a long-term process that requires patience and constant commitment. With a well-planned and executed strategy, you can start to see results within 4-6 months. However, to achieve lasting and significant results, you should expect to invest at least 12 months in your SEO efforts. It’s a journey, not a destination, and it’s worth doing well.