How Long Do Results Take?
The tempting answer, to coin an old phrase is “how long is a piece of string?”, so simply it’s almost impossible to say for the obvious reason that all sites are different and have different histories as well as starting places. As a general rule though, results should be start to be seen by 3 months, with very good results in the following 4th to 6th months. If this seems long compared to what you are being promised or read elsewhere then we can just go back to the first answer.
A lot of S.E.O agencies are promising very short times to get to page 1 from very poor starting places (e.g. a young site with not much content and no links), but this is either to lure you in (after all the sooner you are there the sooner your business can see a return) or it might signify bad practice (cheating or using black hat techniques that try to trick Google). This may work for a short time, but as previously mentioned Google is very smart, and like the long arm of the law will catch up with you. Your site can then get punished and you will be worse off than when you started having lost not only time and money, but making it harder afterwards.
Sometimes though, a very healthy site can see almost instant results just from clever optimisation. The opposite is also true, an unoptimised site can rank well with good back links alone (but this will take longer). We have seen some sites hit page 1 for multiple competitive key terms in a month, while others can take 6 months with terms appearing slowly but consistently. There are so many factors as previously mentioned, let alone how competitive your market is and what your competition is doing each month. Also things like your budget compared to your industry and competition is always going to be a factor as well as getting everything right as mistakes can slow down the process.
So to sum up, most sites take 3 to 6 months which reflects in our package times as we try to not set false expectations. But it can sometimes be quicker and sometimes be slower. And if that isn’t as clear as mud, we don’t what is. But at least as an S.E.O company we are honest.