In this blog, you’re gonna get a real answer to how long it takes for SEO to start working on a new website. Through my various companies, I get to work with tons of websites. Right now, I have 207 websites under management.
In The Last 12 Months
51 of them were created in the last 12 months. So, Wix SEO experts get to keep their finger on the pulse of how long it takes for a website to start generating traffic after SEO gets supplied. I’ll say one thing first. Things have definitely changed, especially in the last few years.
Let me take you back real quick. The year was 2014. Doing SEO around this time was what you would call easy mode. We used to test the competitiveness of certain niches by building what was known as skeleton sites. They look like this. You’d have a homepage with 300 words of content that you’d get written for $3. You’d put the keyword in the title, once in the first paragraph and once in an H2.
You’d slap a YouTube blog on it for good measure. After that, you’d send a strong backlink directly to the single-page website. In three days’ time, you’d be on page one of Google. That’s how quick and easy it was. These days, as you know, things are a lot different and there are plenty of reasons for it. First, because Google started dropping the quote-unquote, Google Sandbox, on us like it’s no one’s business.
The Sandbox is like a leash that is placed on new websites that prevents them from ranking. Many people argue over whether or not the Sandbox actually exists. Think about it like this. Whenever people start new websites, they typically come prepared with a bunch of keyword research. And if they’ve done a good job, they found some extremely uncompetitive keywords that they’ll first target on their website.
Zero Competition Keywords
Keywords that have literally zero competition. But they start these websites and they start on page billion of Google for these zero competition keywords. That’s a Sandbox. By the way, I’ll give you some tricks to avoid the Sandbox later on in this blog. Next, there’s no other way to put it, there’s just more competition these days.
If you started a blog on golfing in 2010, there are probably just 10,000 golf websites you were competing with. Now, there are probably 500,000. You just can’t slide up the rankings as you used to unless you’re an SEO badass because you’ve been watching my blogs. Another reason it takes longer to get SEO results today is because of the amount of content that’s required in today’s Google environment. If you’re trying to get to the top of Google for a topic like fishing, it’s not enough to write a single article on fishing, and hope you’re gonna do well.
Damn Article In The World
Even if it’s the best damn article in the world on fishing, it’s just not gonna work. Google wants your website to answer multiple questions about fishing in multiple articles, such as how to get a fishing license, what are fishing rods made from, and why beer is so good when you fish. Actually, the last one I made up, but you know it’s true. This concept is called topical authority. When you completely blanket a topic, then Google rewards you because you’ve become an authority on that topic.
How Long Does SEO Take to Work for New Websites?
Starting A New Website With Five Articles
If you’re starting a new website with five articles on fishing, you’re not gonna compete. It’s gonna take time. And finally, the last reason SEO takes longer these days is because of the backlinks. A backlink is when one website links to another with a textual or sometimes image link. Back in 2001, Google founder Larry Page patented his page rank algorithm, which basically detailed how Google was gonna rely heavily on backlinks to determine rankings in the search results. And that commitment to backlink still carries forward today. Sometimes to such a degree that the search results have gone bonkers. If I Google best penis enhancement pills, not because I need to. It’s for demonstration.
If I Google best penis enhancement pills, these top three websites aren’t topical authorities on penises. They’re not even health websites. They’re just websites with a billion backlinks. And they post up content on any subject, they get to the top of Google. That’s how much Google still loves backlinks. When you’re just starting out, this is what you’re up against.
Real Expectation Of How Long SEO Takes
I’m gonna give you a realistic expectation of how long SEO takes to work for a new website. And make sure to stick around to the end because I’m gonna be giving you a bunch of test methodologies that’ll speed up this process significantly. But if I could just ask for a significant favor from you, could you please test the Like button to make sure it shoots out digital confetti? I’ve been appointed to the role of lead like button confetti ambassadors.
I’m looking to spread the word to find folks like yourself. Kidding. But smashing the Like button helps support the channel and makes my day at the same time. So, thanks. I asked this question to the members of the Affiliate SEO Mastermind Facebook group, how long does it take for a brand new website to get traction in Google? Let’s say 5,000 visitors per month.
I’m talking about normal SEO here. Nothing that will speed up the process. No 301 redirects, no expired domains, and none of the fancy tricks that’ll show you at the end of this blog. Why do I put 5,000 visitors per month as a threshold? It’s a good number. You can make some money with 5,000 visitors per month. A lot of money if you’re in the right niche.
Let’s take a look at the results. A huge majority of the voters selected six to 12 months as the answer. 74% of the voters to be precise. That’s a lot. And in my experience, they’re right. Most of the websites that I work on will start to turn the corner within this time period. But there are definitely some exceptions, which I’ll show you shortly. Six to 12 months of building content and links will eventually jump you out of the Sandbox and get you moving up the ranking, scoring that sweet, sweet traffic. The next category coming in at 17% was the one to six-month range. So, we definitely have people that are getting results in less than six months.
5k Per Month Visits
I can say to myself I certainly have websites that squeak by the 5k per month mark in less than six months. And that’s without using any fancy tricks. I’ll show you one of ’em soon. That said, breaking the six-month barrier is more the exception than the rule. Next, we have the 12 to 18th-month category coming in at 6%. Do you know what I think about the people that voted for this category? They suck. Absolutely terrible. Worst SEOs on the planet.
What I think is these are folks that are answering honestly and not letting ego drive their votes. And if you’re in any super competitive niche, it’s extremely normal to take at least a year to get traction, for myself included. Then, we have the two-year plus category with 2% of the votes. That depends on the category with 0.7%, which successfully points out that you should always have a healthy breakfast and anti-glare monitor.
Is SEO Takes 18 To 24 Month?
The 18 to 24-month category with 0.4%. And a less than a one-month category with one vote from the guy with the biggest (beep) on the planet. So, what are my thoughts on these votes? I almost completely agree. In my experience, most of the time, sites take six to 12 months. Sometimes I get lucky with a six-month site because of a variety of factors, which I’ll discuss soon. And sometimes, it takes longer than a year because of other factors, which will also get too soon.
Six to 12 months, if you’re doing everything right, is very typical. Here’s a table showing the time to hit 5k traffic for the last five sites I’ve started from scratch. Keep in mind that these sites are in various niches with various levels of competition. But the average has been 8.6 months, which falls in line with the results in the poll. That said, I have this site here that I’ve been working on for about four months that’s in a super competitive niche. It should hit 5k traffic next month, but this is using one of the speed-up techniques that’ll show later.
Rankings Depend On a Few Factors
Ultimately, it depends. How long it takes to get to the top of Google depends on a few factors. And here’s how those factors will adjust the time it takes for SEO to kick in. Remember before we talked about the Google Sandbox where Google places a leash on your site in the beginning phases? The Sandbox, just by itself, typically lasts two to four months. If you can avoid the Google Sandbox or at least shorten its duration, you can expect to get 5k traffic in the one to six-month range. We’ll discuss techniques for this later.
Level Of Competition
Next, the level of competition you face is a huge factor in how long it takes for SEO to work. If you go straight for the heavyweight keywords and try to rank on day one for stuff like credit repair, this is gonna extend the time it takes to get results to more than two years. But if you start small and start going for long tail keywords, such as how do I get outta credit card debt in Austin, Texas, you’re gonna begin stacking up small wins. Each of them adds to your overall website traffic. If you do this correctly and you publish fast, you can expect to break into the six to 12-month category.
If you start competing on the national level for stuff like how to start a business, you’re gonna be up against the best, simply because there’s more search traffic at the national level. But if you localize your keywords to say how to start a business in Las Vegas, you’re gonna get traffic faster. Enough local keywords can get you 5k traffic in the six to 12-month range. Likewise, if you take your SEO to foreign countries, the competition is lower as well but not necessarily the search traffic. For example, 212 million people live in Brazil and they Google the out of things.
Choosing the right foreign country can reduce the time down to the six to 12-month range as well. But the factor that makes the most difference is your SEO methods. What types of techniques do you use can get your results in less than one month. Just look at this flag pull of a traffic route my buddy sent over. Note that the tactics were about to get into are considered advanced SEO and that the ones that will get you results way faster than the norm.
The first strategy is to do whatever you can to avoid or at the very least reduce the amount of time you’re stuck in the Google Sandbox. The Sandbox exists for two reasons. First, you don’t have any link authority as a new website. No links, no authority. Second, because you haven’t built any trust yet. As a new website, Google trusts you less than Johnny Depp trusts Amber Heard. The way you solve this is with backlinks and not just any backlinks.
I found a certain sequence of backlinks. Starting with super trustworthy social links, then sequence follow-ups of the guest post will significantly reduce your time spent in the box. I’ve left a length in the description to a blog where I fully lay out how to do this. So, make sure to check it out after you finish here. The second methodology will seriously skyrocket your website right out of the gate. And that’s to launch a website with a ton of content that’s topically relevant to your niche.
One could call this a topical authority launch. This is what’s gonna get you vertical traffic like you see here This process starts with creating a topical map. You need to do research to figure out every piece of content that’s required to give you a topical authority in your niche. The great thing about this is that the research can be done literally for free. You’ll get content ideas from the people also ask section in the Google search result for your main keyword, Google’s auto-complete function, the related searches at the bottom of the search result, and good old fashion intuition.
Create A Topical Map
It includes a section on how to create a topical map, so make sure to check it out after this blog. After you created the topical map, it’s time to get writing. You can write it yourself, of course, hire a writer, or perhaps dive into one of the many AI content tools on the market. The third methodology is to leverage the avalanche technique. The avalanche technique was coined by C.
Carter from Builders Society and is used in practice by many SEOs, including myself and Kyle Roof. The theory boils down to this. There’s a concept called traffic tiers. Depending on how much traffic you have on your site, you’re able to rank for certain keywords in your tier easily. If you shoot for keywords that are too difficult, then sure you can write them but you’re not gonna get traffic for them anytime soon. So, it’s within your best interest to only go for keywords at your level.
As you guess, the key here is to figure out which keywords to start with. Go to Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer and type in your main keyword for your niche. Click on Matching Terms, then filter for keyword difficulty, KD, between zero and 10. This will give you a huge list of super easy keywords to start with. Get cracking on these. And then, eventually, you’ll get more traffic which will allow you to move up a traffic tier and then go for harder keywords.
Eventually, you’ll start snowballing. Kyle Roof and I discussed the avalanche technique in an interview I had with him on my channel. Make sure to check it out. Next on our list, we have content optimization. And I mean fully optimizing your content for Google when you write it. If every article on your site is perfectly optimized, you’ll rank very quickly. This whole concept of quality content is complete (beep). People think of that if you just write content that’s so good, Google will notice it and push you to the top of the results. Think about it. Google’s a robot, an algorithm.
Read Your Content
It can’t read your content as if it’s a piece of Shakespeare. What it does instead is looks for certain words, entities, and phrases in various places in your content and at certain frequencies. If you write a piece of content on fishing, what it’s gonna do is check your content against the other articles on page one for that keyword and compare you on factors such as how many words of content were written, were keywords added to the title H2s and H3s, did you use related words like saltwater, freshwater, and fishing line, how often do you use those words, and so forth.
That’s why I love Surfer for content optimization. It looks at the other articles on page one and gives you a writing platform to write your article so you give Google exactly what it wants to see. Check out my onsite optimization checklist blog after you finish up here. Link in the description. Next, we have expired domains. Instead of starting your website on a brand new domain with no backlinks, start it on an aged domain with lots of backlinks. I recently launched a website on an expired domain a month ago. Check out how many of these keywords marked new are already on page two of Google.
All of the aged domains I use for SEO have come from Odys. Odys is great because they audit their domains for both quality and penalties. You’re not gonna buy a crappy site from Odys. They also have a huge selection of niches to choose from. For example, if you wanted to start a website in the health niche, just type health here at the top and you’ll find tons of domains. But the best thing is that Odys domains don’t have a dropping history.
Google Doesn’t Reset The Backlink Equity
Use the link of the description to sign up to Odys with a hundred dollars in free store credit. You also help support the channel. Next, we have 301 redirects. It’s a quick way to instantly build a ton of links to your site in a natural way. A 301 is when you tell Google that domain A doesn’t exist anymore. It now lives in domain B. So, send all the backlinks from A to B pronto.
I did two 301 redirects to this site, one in June and one in December. Look how the referring domain count went vertical on these dates. I’ll be releasing a blog soon on 301 redirects, so make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it. Then, we have PBN links. PBN stands for a private blog network. Note, that this is definitely not a White Hat SEO technique.