When it comes to timeframes, the only definitively true answer anyone can give is ‘it depends’.
The truth is, there’s no formula for figuring out how long your page will take to rank. In some rare instances, it can happen in as little as weeks – in most others, it’s a long-term process that can take months.
Your Google ranking is important to you – it’s why you’re investing in an SEO strategy, after all. While our Melbourne SEO experts guarantee results, it’s impossible to guarantee a timeframe to go with it.
That said, thanks to modern analytics and data, we have a good idea of what influences your search engine rankings.
In the study, Ahrefs broke down the different factors that can affect how quickly a website rises in a SERPs ranking.
In this blog, our Melbourne SEO experts are going to walk you through the different factors so you can have a better idea of the sort of timeframe needed to rank your site.
Factors that affect search engine optimisation in Melbourne
The Ahrefs study found that there were two main factors that contributed significantly to a websites ability to rank high:
- Website age
- Keywords chosen
By no means are these the only factors – in addition, Ahrefs also tracked some interesting information about the speed with which sites managed to rank well.
In our experience however, it’s these two that have some of the greatest impact on how long it takes your site to rank.
Newer websites take longer to rank
One of the key factors that had always been discussed as affecting the speed at which your site ranks is the age of the site.
According to the research done Ahrefs, the average age of pages in the top 10 organic results (that is to say, on the first page of results) is two years, and that the average age of pages in the number one spot on SERPs was three years old.
The key takeaway? It takes time – the same research also showed that only 5.7% of new sites will appear on the first page of Google for at least one keyword within a year.
As such, if you’re building a brand-new website as part of your SEO strategy, don’t expect many of your pages to break the first page of Google within the first 12 months.
Of course, the opposite is also true – if you have an existing website, you may see quicker results.
In our experience, this is all thanks to a little thing we in the business call “domain authority”.
Like the name suggests, this is a measure of your website’s overall credibility and trustworthiness, with more authoritative sites having a much easier time ranking.
This is the reason Wikipedia and news websites tend to be among the top results for most searches.
While entirely new websites need to spend time building that credibility with a well thought-out content strategy, existing websites have a certain level of domain authority already built-in.
Sure, it may not be as authoritative as Wikipedia or IMDb, but it’s certainly enough to give you a head start in your SEO strategy and can cut down the amount of time it takes to rank.
Your choice of keywords impacts how long it takes to rank
We have said over and over again – when it comes to SEO, you need to pick your battles.
The most effective SEO strategies are the ones that target specific keywords and which focus on getting your site found for specific searches.
Therefore, your choice of keywords has a considerable impact on how long it will take to rank.As we’ve said in the past, the two key factors that matter the most when choosing keywords (besides relevance to your business, of course) are:
- Search volume: how many people are searching for that specific keyword (average number of searches per month)
- Search competition: how many other websites are also ranking for the keywords you’re targeting
When it comes to how long it takes your site to rank, search competition is the more important one.
Here’s an example: type in “search engine optimisation”. What do you get? 243 million results – that’s a lot of other sites you’ll be fighting with for first page results.
Now type on “search engine optimisation Melbourne”. All of a sudden, that number has dropped down to a little over half a million – still a lot, but a massive improvement over the first search.
Naturally, the first search is a lot harder to rank for than the second!
You don’t just have to take our word for it, either – the Ahrefs study also monitored the likelihood of ranking well for different levels of competition.
What they found was that of the 5.7% of pages that ranked in the top 10 within one year, only 0.3% ranked that quickly for a keyword with high volume and competition, meaning that the majority of these page 1 results were for lower competition searches.
The statistics showed that it was much easier to rank quickly if you were careful with your keyword selection, and targeted low competition words.
It’s important to remember however that terms like “low competition” are relative – the internet is a big place, after all.
It’s also important to remember that low competition doesn’t always mean low search volumes. What’s more, volume is relative – for niche industries, 50 searches a month can be a lot of potential eyeballs.
What’s the key takeaway from this study?
Has this study given a definitive timeline of how long it will take you to rank for a keyword?
However, it has hopefully given you a better idea of what sort of timeframe to expect given how old your website is, and what keywords you’re targeting.
What’s more, this can also give you some pointers about how you should approach your SEO strategy.
The best thing to do however is to consult a Melbourne SEO agency to discuss a strategy that will raise your ranking as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Melbourne SEO specialists
Our online marketing experts have been delivering high quality leads and sales for our clients ever since 2006.
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For search engine optimisation in Melbourne that works, get in touch with iformat.