One of the most common questions I hear about SEO is: “When will I see results? How long will it take?”

There is no answer to this, because it’s dependent on your current website & your industry & your competitors & your target keywords … the list of variables is endless, so trying to estimate is like trying to pinpoint the moment a cucumber becomes a pickle. 🥒

But even though there is no “answer” …

[Screenshot from The Good Place that reads “There is no “Answer” but Eleanor is the Answer.”]

My answer for when you can expect to see results from SEO is: “Not tomorrow, but not forever.”

There are no “overnight successes” in SEO

If you start working on your SEO today, you won’t skyrocket to the top of Google this month. But if you follow a consistent SEO strategy, within a few months, you WILL see more search, and potentially start getting leads.

Like my student Nancy, who joined my Attract & Activate SEO membership, made changes to her website on Day 1, and within a week had a new corporate client find her for “graphic designer nyc”  & book her for a 5-figure project.

Or like Sandra, who re-wrote her homepage using Attract & Activate’s lessons and within a month is already ranking #7 for a “Notion for Coaches.”

Simple changes can have long-term impact

Even though you can do SEO forever (the results are a little addictive!), you don’t have to.

Kathleen & Sara both joined A&A in September 2018 and finished the program in December … but life happened and they haven’t been able to consistently add new content to their sites. (Many of my members are caregivers for kids, grandkids & aging parents, so their time is incredibly limited.)

In September 2020, Kathleen shared this with me:

The SEO work I put into the site at the end of 2018 when working through the course, plus a couple of tweaks last year, has enabled me to generate enough good leads this year to cover my expenses each month. Obviously this isn’t stacks and stacks of cash, but just having the expenses covered has been a huge blessing this year.

And Sara still ranks #6 for “conversion copywriter” and gets new leads from Google every month.

Even if you stop working the system, SEO will still take care of you … I know this from personal experience too. Since started my business in 2013, I’ve had 2 babies, moved twice, lost a parent, had a chronic illness that resulted in surgery, and now am homeschooling my kindergarteners thanks to COVID. Even when i’ve had to scale back my marketing, Google has my back.

Setting attainable SEO goals

Trying to figure out your SEO goals can be tough. Even though I love SEO & have been writing about it exclusively for 3 years, I don’t ever expect to rank on the top search engine results page for “SEO” — because there are major media companies that own that space with giant content teams singularly devoted to daily updates … and I just don’t have time for that! So within the SEO space, I’ve found niches that I can target & improve. Here’s an example:

I’ve written about SEO for podcasts, including how to use a podcast to boost your domain authority, why you should transcribe your podcast shownotes, and whether your podcast needs its own website. Because of this expertise, I’m ranking for terms like “podcast show notes” & “podcast keyword research” & “podcast seo course.”
It’s also opened marketing opportunities: I’ve been invited as a guest expert on podcast SEO (on a podcast for podcasters, so meta!) and to speak in podcasting courses & at podcast summits about SEO.

If you want to start down the path to consistently, sustainable, qualified visitors findng you on Google, grab your copy of the SEO Starter Kit 👇

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