How long does it take to improve Google rankings?

You’ve decided to pour some of your budget and time into search engine optimisation (SEO). You’re targeting specific keywords, making changes to your website and paying people to help you maximise your SEO efforts. When should you expect to start climbing the Google rankings?

The answer isn’t as simple as you might hope. Depending on the intensity of your SEO campaign and rollout, it can take anywhere between 6 months and a couple of years to start seeing big jumps in your Google rankings. Some websites have multiplied their organic traffic by 10 within a year, others struggle to gain an extra thousand visitors.

It all depends on the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and on the skills and knowledge of those whom you choose to help. The best SEOs do charge more for their services but the results will be thorough and long-lasting. Of course, there are ways that you can improve your SEO rankings by yourself, but the results may take longer to see.

The first three months are crucial

When you first start an SEO overhaul, you should expect to see more traffic coming to your website in three months. Even if it’s just 100 more visitors a month, you should start to notice growth within the first three months of the campaign.

If you’re not seeing any changes in your impressions by the three-month mark, you need to reconsider your campaign. You may need to visit all your web pages again and make sure the right tags are included, your meta descriptions are well-written, you images have all the right meta information. Ensure that you’re targeting the right keywords for each page.

If your competitors are ranking higher than you, take a look at their websites and see what they’re doing differently. Look at their content, how often they post new articles and what keywords they’re mentioning in their content. You might be able to spot something new that could improve your own rankings.

Six months should be a turning point for your rankings

After six months, you should definitely see a rise in organic traffic from Google. Your Google Analytics data will show you where your traffic comes from, so keep track of your sources.

You should also start ranking for keywords other than your brand name after the first six months. This means that you should have a lot of content on your site that targets keywords besides your brand name. You should see a rise in Google rankings for other keywords that you’ve chosen to target.

A couple of years is needed to feature on the first page of Google’s rankings

After a year, your website should be climbing the ranks nicely. After two years, you should notice a large improvement in organic traffic than when you first started.

Two years is a good amount of time to build authority and trust with your audience and Google. You should start to feature on the first two pages of Google if you’ve targeted the right keywords and if your website services a niche market.

After two years, your website should have generated a number of external backlinks, you should have a lot of unique content and your social media audiences should serve as a major traffic source for your website. You should have an invested audience who share your content and link back to it in their own blogs and websites.

To achieve the growth outlined above, you should aim to publish at least one article per week on your website (one per day is even better). You should share each article on social media and aim to generate at least five links from other websites per month.


Sorted Design Agency is a creative company that constantly looks for solutions to other people’s problems. These problems come mostly in the visual format, such as graphic design, logo and illustration, but we’re experts in brand development, website design, and digital SEO campaigns as well.


Based in Pretoria and Cape Town, Sorted has been in the content marketing industry since 2006. We assist your company with its corporate identity by communicating core values through content and articles written for your website, blog and news area. This content is supported by AdWords and social advertising, which facilitates wider reach and audience growth. Turn your website into a business tool.


Sorted also owns two other businesses; InkFish Print Studio – a printing company that handles a range of promotional materials for businesses and other services for individual customers, and Pampiri + Kie – a gifts and stationery store selling online and in-store. Both of these companies operate from Cape Town and Pretoria.


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