Firstly, let us start with what is involved in SEO, this will give us a good scope to assess the time that it takes to carry out SEO activities on a monthly basic.
But what is SEO? This is a term used for search engine optimisation for a search directory provider such as Google, or Bing. Let us use Google as an example, there are over 200 ranking factors that Google uses to determine relevancy and listings in search results. Meeting these ranking requirements contribute to improving search listing results.
Imagine the time it would take to meet even half of the ranking factors? In addition, there are also algorithms used by search engines to assess a sites relevancy for search queries carried out by a user. These nifty algorithms scour the web and cross reference ranking factors for relevancy, and those that meet algorithms requirements are listed on page 1 (most relevant) downwards by relevancy, so by the time you reach page 1000 the relevancy of the results will probably not be as inspiring.
Another note, to make at this point is that not all websites are indexed (submitted to a search directory to be included in search results) in the first place. You need to be in it to win it. Do not forget to submit yours!
Not only do we need to consider the factors that a search engine may have to deem relevancy in search results. We also need to consider the competition! Essentially there is only 1 top spot, and there are many businesses that are investing heavily into SEO efforts to improve their chances of reaching the top spots.
But why? If people can still see you on other pages? Good question. There has been significant research carried out on user journey in search listings, and research has found that most engagement on search results happen on the first few pages, and of those results, most of the engagement by users is on the first page, with a staggering 75%* of clicks happening on the first 3 listings of the first page alone. That leaves 25% for the rest of the pages in search results.
With percentages like that no wonder businesses are keen to get their businesses as high up the listings as possible.
So, you see competition can also impact the time it takes to see SEO results. At this point it might be useful to throw in that there are different SEO plans, some are more aggressive and may see a business pushing to improve against ranking factors by things like daily blogs posts, keywords optimisation and more.
Now that we have looked at SEO as an overview and some things that can impact SEO results, we can now look at how long it could take to see change. SEO can take anywhere between a few months to over a year to see significant results. This is down to the competitive nature of your market, search engine algorithms, and the amount of investment you are putting into your campaign.