WHY does SEO take so long?! Because of this.

WHY does SEO take so long?! Because of this.

Ah.. The question of the hour, “Why does SEO take so long?!”

This question is bound to come up during the early stages of any SEO process. When your small business invests, you want to see an ROI- the quicker the better.

It’s not uncommon to receive a variety of vague answers for this from your SEO firm. We’re here to clear the air and finally explain why SEO takes so dang long.

Keyword research is more complicated than you think.

Unfortunately many marketers’ idea of keyword research is entering your website information into Google’s Keyword Planner and exporting the list of keywords it spits out.

If your #SEO firm can conduct keyword research in 5 minutes flat.. You’ve got a problem. #seotips via


We’re not saying the Keyword Planner is a bad tool. In fact, it’s a great tool! It just shouldn’t be the only tool. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Competition score is for bids on paid ads, not competition in organic results.
  • Average monthly search volume is heavily rounded, sometimes by more than 10,000 searches per month.
  • Many keywords are hidden, in one example Moz found that 35% of most trafficked keywords were not shown in the Keyword Planner.
keyword planner seo

Think about who Google created the Keyword Planner tool for: people bidding on paid ads. Not people optimizing for organic search results.

So what does the right kind of keyword research include?

Effective keyword research uses a variety of resources. As of now, there are tools for automating the process but nothing is right on the money yet. This is mainly because most of them pull in data from Google’s Keyword Planner, which we already know has its faults.

If your SEO consultant actually cares about your small business ranking and not just handing over a list of useless general keywords, they’ll take the time to manually pick through and utilize different sources.

Creating good content takes a while.

SEO-driven content has many different facets.

For blogs, you need to target the right keywords, the right amount of times, without engaging in “keyword stuffing” or spam tactics. In addition to this you should have correct header tags, meta descriptions, title tags, image alt tags, and most importantly, maintain content quality and usefulness to readers.

You get what you put in. If you invest in quality, evergreen content, it’ll aid your #SEO efforts perpetually. #seotips


Not only do you want to produce quality content so your small business doesn’t sound like a nincompoop, Google tracks the bounce rate of each page of your website.

Bounce rate: When a user views one page of your website and leaves without viewing another. To Google this means that people had poor user-experience or maybe they didn’t like your content.

If your marketer has also mapped out your sales funnel and a strategy to increase conversion, you will have CTAs placed in appropriate places to target audiences interested in that particular content piece.

So yes, while it’s true your small business can race to push out as many blogs as possible, SEO-driven content takes a bit.

Procuring backlinks involves outside forces.

Backlinks: Links from other websites to your own.

Backlinks are an endorsement. When someone links to your site it means they trust & find your content useful. #seotips


While you can’t force anyone to link to you, there are a number of ways to encourage them.

  • Contact webmasters to notify them of broken links, suggest your related link as a replacement.
  • Create images like infographics with embed code included to make it easy for others to share it and link back.
  • Promote your content on social media and encourage others to do so too.
  • Interviewing experts in your industry will help you reach a whole new audience, the expert’s circle is sure to link to the article as well.
  • Ensuring your content is informative to the point that others will actually want to share it.

Since backlinks involve many factors that are out of your marketer’s control, they usually take quite a while to grow.

Also note that backlinks can be a double edged sword if spammy websites are linking to yours. Whether it be someone attempting to get you to visit their website after seeing their backlink, or a particularly nasty competitor trying to get your website banned, spammy backlinks are out there.

Google’s ranking process has many moving parts.

Competition in search engines is only growing. Google’s popularity is due to their commitment to providing searchers with the results they want. They are so successful at this because of the complex algorithm they use to rank websites.

Google’s former head of webspam, Matt Cutts, has been on leave for a couple of years now, but his basic explanation of Google search is still valid:

Sometimes Google will switch up their algorithm when you least expect it. Your SEO firm may decide to shift efforts and emphasize a different approach depending on Google’s 500-600 algorithm updates each year.

In order to prove your website’s worth to Google and satisfy their standards for ranking, it takes effort and time. One thing we can assure you is this: The ROI will be worth your wait!

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