Just how long does it take to rank for keywords? In the SEO world, it really depends on your website’s quality and relevance to keywords that you wish to secure. In other words:

  • How much search engine trust you have
  • How much domain and page authority you have
  • How strong your brand is / online presence / reputation
  • How many people are talking about you (and how much influence they may have)
  • How much relevant content you have
  • How many search engine compatibility requirements your website meets
  • and many other factors.

Keyword Competition / Difficulty, Website Quality and Relevancy Requirements and Workload

If you have met the website quality requirements / ranking factors like the above, it will be easier to rank for keywords, even competitive ones in comparison to a website that is new or a website that has been hit by one or more Google penalties. With that in mind, some of the SEO strategy remains the same (core things like keyword research, structure, content planning, etc but damage cleanup if triggered by a penalty will require additional work). The amount of depth / work you need to do is different, especially if hit by a penalty or if your website doesn’t have a lot of authority or search engine trust. This usually is the case with new websites. Keyword difficulty / competition is also a factor in how much work you will need to do in order to secure your keyword of choice.

Create a Content Strategy – Keyword Research, Website Structure and Content Writing

With each scenario, you will want to create a content strategy. First, start out by researching different and relevant things that people are searching for, about the keyword you want to secure. You may wish to have a main page targeting the keyword you want and then write some relevant blog posts and link to that main page. You can also have a bunch of blog posts about that keyword, as well as a post about the keyword itself. Sometimes you will need one page to rank for a keyword, other times you may need 20 pages. If you optimize correctly and meet certain criteria (mainly domain and brand authority), the work load will be lighter in order to secure and maintain your keyword for many years to come.

You will need to develop a website structure based around your targeted keyword, and think about how your internal linking will work before you start to publish your new content.

On Page SEO – How to Integrate Keywords Into Content, Metadata and Images

Once content is taken care of, you will want to do on page SEO (OPSEO). In other words, you will need to add in keywords to your content in the following areas:

  • Page title
  • Meta description
  • Meta keywords (not much weight with Google)
  • Headings h1, h2s, h3
  • Alt tag
  • Image name
  • Image caption
  • Image title
  • Image description
  • Text
  • Links

Using Smart Internal Links is Key – Introverted Link Building

Internal linking is an important part of ranking for keywords. You choose your link placements, anchor text and text formatting wisely in order for it to work. Too much, too little, wrong text, wrong formatting, wrong content type (text, image – saturation specifically) etc could either hurt or help you rank for the keywords you want. It is all about balance with SEO, especially links, weather they are inbound, internal or outbound.

Careful and Strategic Link Building – Build Links Where They Make Sense

Links carry a lot of weight in comparison to other ranking factors, so it is critical to build them carefully. For this reason it is smart to keep your internal linking natural and only build links where they make sense. The same is true for keywords. You really don’t want to over-do it, to the point where your content is difficult to read or where it becomes overly-obvious that you are adding in keywords.

Content Scheduling / Timing, Variety and Conversions

Timing with adding new content can also make a difference, and it is a good idea to mix fun content with SEO content and industry knowledge content. You will also want to angle your content towards your services so that you can convert your traffic into sales. It is also a good idea to write content and use internal linking and keyword targeting to lead a visitor through a series of targeted webpages which speaks to each step in their decision making process.

Conversion Optimization – Analyze Visitor Behavior

You can take this a step further and analyze visitor behaviour in Google Analytics so that entrance pages match keyword queries and that there is enough information on the page to keep a visitor from bouncing (leaving your website). Sometimes website errors are overlooked and this can play a big role in conversion optimization if an important page is returning a 404 / isn’t found. It is a good idea to clean up your website errors each month. Having broken links can also cause you to lose keyword rankings and decrease your traffic.

How Search Engines Work – Match Queries to Most Current, Popular, Relevant Information

SEO is based on algorithms and ranking signals. It requires many years of experience and a deep understanding of how search engines work in order to achieve great results. Search engines have put these factors in place in order to help the preponderance of relevant pages among irrelevant or spammy pages show up higher in their SEPRs so that end users find what they are looking for. For this reason, ranking factors are based on what visitors want to see / what will give them a good experience.

How Long Does It Take to Rank for Keywords? Contact Our Top SEO Specialist to Find Out!

Search engines work very hard to keep their SERPs (search engine result pages) free of spam. So back to the burning question: Just how long does it take to rank for keywords? Given the above, it could take anywhere from a few days to a year to rank for a specific keyword. We are an inbound marketing company in Vancouver  and have over 18 years of online marketing experience. If you have a specific keyword in mind, send us an email or call / text 604-779-8438 and our and our top SEO Specialist will get back to you with an estimate that matches your timeline, budget and any internal resources you wish to use.

About the Author

SEO Candyland

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