How long did it take for SEO to start working for you?

How long did it take for your landing pages and SEO articles to get organic search traffic?

And how did you go strategically about your SEO strategy to hasten the ranking process?

Would love to know about the timeline, backlinking process and SEO content creation efforts.

When it comes to ranking, SEO content that always ranks best have the following elements:

  • Blog posts and landing pages have more than 1k words or more.
  • Good interlinking process hasten the ranking time. So, for example, if you want to rank for "transactional emails", you're going t need to link internal and external pages relating to "transactional emails".

I actually did a mini-study on this. In an article on two interrelated topics, namely "speed up audio" and "slow down audio", I've included links for "speed up audio" but not the latter. The result was that the content started ranking for "speed up audio" after a 3 weeks. For "slow down audio", it ranked after 2 months.

  • Skimmable content

  • Emphasis on facts, figures and frameworks

For some reason, IH didn't publish the second part of my post, lol. Anyway, here are some things that I've discovered can make the ranking process faster and can shave off weeks:

  • Target below 20KD keywords. Typical.
  • Republishing old content that's creeping up the SERPs can push its ranking from 22 to 3 in less than a week. This happened to the content we've made with MentorCruise: https://mentorcruise.com/blog/meaning-and-definition-mentorship/
  • Use Frase or Clearscope, but don't rely on them for content depth.
  • Fix your internal linking structure and include links in your article.
  • At least hyperlink the target keyword once to a relevant page. The page could be yours.
  • Make sure your article has more than 1k words.
  • Put the target keyword in the first sentence.
  • Ideally have images titled with the target keyword.
  • Keyword optimization works.
  1. 3

    My insights:

    In the beginning, it typically takes 3 to 6 months for (low-competition) content to start ranking well on Google.

    After covering a whole bunch of topics related to your niche, new content will rank in 2 to 3 months, or even faster as Google "trusts" the site more.

    Interlinking is definitely a great way to speed up the indexing process, and promoting your content on the web does too, but competition is the most important factor.

    Backlinking is always put on the spotlight, but they are redundant and unnecessary if the keywords that you're targeting are low in competition.

    1. 1

      Yep, by low competition we're talking about keywords below 20 KD right?

      And by competition, you mean in terms of the DR of other domains right? I noticed that the number of results for a keyword also contributes to the speed at which Google indexes your website.

  2. 2

    I heard that new domains are sandboxed, so it can take up to 7 months to get any traction on SERP.

  3. 2

    Almost 9 months for me since I'm in the YMYL space. That said I definitely messed up my internal linking, so it took way too long for my content to get indexed.

  4. 2

    Affiliate website I started in Aug 2018: started with a homepage and around 19 posts (9 info articles + 10 review articles).

    Review articles were all at least 1K words, with info posts between 1.5K and 2K. After starting the site, I put it on ice then came back to it in the 3rd month (Oct), and began rewriting all of the articles and also adding more at a steady pace.

    Only in the 5th month (Jan 2019) did I start to get a trickle of visitors, but this was by no means steady as on many days I'd have zero active users.

    In the middle of the 6th month (Feb) a sudden and rising stream of daily active users came to the site. This number peaked at 732 daily active users at the beginning of Sep, then the site got hit by the Google algorithm update of Sep 24, 2019 (slicing traffic in half).

    Until the update I had focused purely on on-page SEO, by sometimes rewriting articles (which always seemed to boost rankings and visitors) and adding many new info articles for low-competition keywords (also added review articles but not nearly as many as info posts).

    Also did an internal linking campaign where I increased internal linking among articles (especially from info to money posts) but didn't exaggerate this and kept the "internal link graph" natural looking.

    After the update, I took a hard look and saw the site had no EAT, so I created a site persona with photo on every page and also built backlinks steadily (around 3 or 4 per month), besides continuing to add content.

    I also created social media accounts and put a lot of focus on Pinterest but unfortunately this hasn't brought more visitors, so I stopped promoting entirely on social media.

    Now the site gets many more active users, but the biggest lesson for me was how to get over an algorithm update.

    1. 2

      For us, we launched in June and didn't rank at all until 2~3 months, but then our traffic started constantly grow and now we're at 2.6k clicks/month on the search console.

      We have literally 0 backlinks, but mostly our articles focus on low competition keywords.

      1. 2

        "We have literally 0 backlinks, but mostly our articles focus on low competition keywords."

        Haha, this is not true. Your tool has inherent SEO virality to it, so any content that you post will rank fast.

        1. 1

          Hey Julian! Sorry for the late reply

          I don't do any marketing for SmartForms, this was for a SaaS I run in Brazil. Maybe that's why, regional SEO is way easier to rank, but I also found it so hard to get backlinks, it's way easier for English-based websites hahah

      2. 2

        Niiiiiiiice, just had a snoop at your profile. Would love for you to post your SEO experiences here as an individual comment! Really interested how you leveraged Pinterest.

        1. 1

          Not anything new or better than you guys do at Embarque, for sure. Just keyword research in ahrefs and writing articles with 1500~2500 words for keywords with low competition and

    2. 1

      Great insights, Greg! Could you elaborate on the persona you've made? Did it make any changes on your rankings?

      Are you seeing actual purchase conversions from your SEO efforts?

      1. 1

        Hey, glad you found it useful! Something I didn't mention above, is that after the algorithm update, I looked at sites ranking for the main buyer keywords and noticed none of them used product comparison tables, so I stripped these out (going against conventional wisdom that product comparison tables are always better... so one should definitely check out searcher intent first).

        Recently though, it seems Google updated its searcher intent again and product tables are in vogue, so now I'll have to put them back in, sigh.

        The persona is fake, and uses a stock image (today I'd use thispersondoesnotexist instead). Before I put in the persona with photo, the conversion rate on the Amazon dashboard hovered around 2-3% on avg. It then went up to 11-13%). Adding the persona was actually the last major change I made to the template, so I believe it directly impacted the conversion rate.

      2. 1

        SEO content republishing is definitely something many people overlook!

        We've republished a content for MentorCruise, which jumped from 22 to top 5 2 days after republishing!


        1. 1

          Yes I saw similar results - and believe refreshing/updating content is something Google loves.

          1. 1

            Really helpful both of you, thank you! Question with refreshing / updating - are you mainly just going into the same post, editing, and then hitting publish again (to the same URL)? Or are you taking the entire post, copying it into a new post, making edits in the new, and publishing it under a new title/url?

            We have ~60 articles on our blog but I'm not seeing a ton of organic traffic. Wondering if I should focus on writing new, or republishing, or if I'm doing something else wrong... any feedback would be very appreciated! https://www.lifeintelligence.io/blog

            1. 1

              Hey @jc_lifeintelligence, once I create a URL I'm loathe to change it, if for any reason than I'll have to 301 redirect it if it's already gotten some traffic. And I hate having more redirects than necessary as their accumulation may impact server performance.

              So I go through the entire post and sometimes rewrite just certain sections, or start afresh and rewrite the entire article (the latter is more costly so I don't do that often). Then I hit republish with the new date. And yes I rewrite titles/metadescriptions regularly to experiment with getting higher CTR.

              1. 1

                Awesome, very clear. Thank you Greg!

                1. 1

                  As for the 2nd question I contacted you

  5. 1

    The challenge of making a search query more natural and relevant to users searching for information is increasing every year. Naturally, it makes a difference for which site SEO is done- large or small. The main feature of SEO promotion of large sites is working with a vast number of pages. All pages should rank well according to search queries. In this case, SEO site optimization becomes even more valuable because the site becomes more universal in terms of search engines. The success of SEO and the speed of results depend on the affordable link building service.

  6. 1

    If you have a newer site, it's going to take time.

    BUT, depending on what's holding you back, a tiny tweak can turn around an entire site almost overnight:

    Fast seo results graph

    👉 More on that here.

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