One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is, “How long will it take for my website to rank number one?” There are numerous factors that go into why a website will rank for certain keyword phrases, but the one that no one really likes to hear is time.
I Don’t Have Time for Time
Yes, even in this wonderful “world of now,” we still have to wait for certain things to take place.
For the majority of quality (relevant) keyword phrases, even with the correct budget and proper marketing focus, it’s still going to require time for your website to have:
- Its on-site changes indexed by search engines
- Links acquired to the website (link-building efforts)
- Said links accounted for by search engines
- And more
Especially if your website is brand new, the remedy is going to be time to allow search engines to recognize, crawl, and index your content.
How Much Time?
There is no special formula or chart to gauge how long it will take for a particular website to rank for a specific keyword phrase. If your keyword is uncompetitive (i.e., no one is trying to rank for it), then you might be able to rank for it within a couple of months or less.
For competitive keywords (i.e., ones that are worth ranking for), it can take up to a year or more. And still, there’s a small possibility of not being able to rank at all.
Each industry or niche differs, so there isn’t a cut-and-dried response. It is worth investigating the competition of your targeted keyword(s) to decide if it is attainable for your website.
What Can I Do to Help Time Along?
I’m not sure that there is a way to “help” time, per se, but there are a few methods that can help you determine a loose time frame. One is to research the competitions’ websites to see how much work you’ll need to put in. If their website has 20,000 links and ranks third for the desired keyword and your website has 11 links and doesn’t rank at all, you can better calculate how much time it will take to equal (and surpass) the competition on that front. (Note: The number of links you have is just one determinate for rankings, but it’s not the only one.)
A good question to ask is, “Why does my website deserve to rank first for [keyword]?” Seriously taking inventory of your website, building up your Web presence and brand, and other Internet marketing-related strategies will be more beneficial than putting a deadline on rankings.