If you’ve just invested in brand new, SEO-friendly webpages (SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’), you’re probably wondering how long it will take for your investment to pay off. There are thousands of factors that can affect how long it will take your new webpages to start appearing on the first page of Google’s search results so it can vary widely. However, to give you an idea of what to expect, real data indicates it takes, on average, about 100 days for a new webpage to rank well.
What are the main factors that affect how long it takes to rank well on Google?
The above data is for websites with an average domain raking of 49.6 and an average of 25 referring domains. So, if you’ve got a higher domain ranking and more quality websites are linking to your webpages, then you can probably get there faster. If your domain ranking is lower and/or you don’t have many other websites linking to you, then it will likely take you much longer to rank well (and you may never rank well).
‘Domain ranking’ (also referred to as ‘domain authority’ or your ‘domain score’) is a measure of how much authority Google thinks your website has. ‘Referring domains’ are other websites that have linked to your website.
Note, if you’ve created a brand new website, your domain ranking will start off pretty low so it’s going to take you longer to rank well. However, the data in this study shows that your domain ranking doesn’t have a huge impact on the speed at which you can rank well. Note though that Google prefers older websites. So while your website is less than six months old, your ranking improvements will be slower because of this factor — when your website is less than six months old, the speed at which you climb the search engine results pages (SERPs) rankings will be limited more by the age of your website than by your low domain ranking.
To look at it another way, Ahrefs did a study and found that only 22% of pages that ranked in the top 10 positions in the SERPs were one year old or younger, and this drops to less than 2% for position one. In the same study, they found that only 5.7% of new websites ranked in the top 10 on the SERPs within one year and only 19.5% made it to the top 11-100 in the first year. The vast majority (more than 70%) of all websites will not make it into the top 100 positions on the SERPs within one year of being seen by Google.
How to find your domain ranking and investigate your backlink profile
You can check your domain ranking on Ubersuggest by typing your domain name into the search field. Webpages from the website in the below example will take longer to rank in Google because the domain ranking is quite low.
You can also see how many links are pointing at your website (backlinks) and how many websites are linking to your website (referring domains) on Ubersuggest. Again, the website in the below example isn’t doing so well in this area.
Important things to bear in mind
Large websites rank faster than small websites
It’s worth noting that larger websites have more content and so provide more opportunities for other websites to link to them. That means they’re much more likely to rank faster.
Fresh content can rank faster
Google now prefers ‘fresh’ content because it’s more likely to be up-to-date and thus more likely to serve its users’ needs. New content gets a bit of a ranking boost which decays over time as the content ages. Content that’s about trending and newsworthy topics also gets a boost. And there are many other factors that Google takes into consideration.
This means if you have a blog and you publish content to it regularly, your webpages are likely to progress up the SERPs more quickly because Google will like that you have more fresh content. Interestingly, Neil Patel’s study also shows you can use Google’s preference for fresh content to optimise your link building efforts — link building efforts you make in the first 1.8 months after publishing a new webpage (when it’s freshest) will help your pages rank more quickly than the efforts you make after this time.
Ranking well isn’t what you should be focusing on
Now that we’ve sorted all that out, you may be surprised to learn that ranking well isn’t the thing you should be focusing on. Yes, high search ranking should drive more traffic to your website so you have more prospects learning about what you offer. But if no one buys your products/services, then this doesn’t help you very much.
So what you really want to know is how long will it take for your new webpages to start generating leads and sales? And that depends on even more variables.
If you’ve invested in conversion-driven copy, then your writer will have done what they can to encourage readers to buy whatever it is that you’re selling. But this copy can only go so far. You need quality, well-targeted content funnels to nurture prospects along the entire sales funnel. And, of course, your products/services need to be in demand.
If it takes about 100 days to rank well on Google, SEO experts agree it takes around four to six months to start seeing sales-related results from new webpages. And these results should build over time if you’re adding fresh content to your website regularly and reliably and you’re promoting your content consistently and strategically.
Here are the key points from this article:
- If you have an existing website that’s of reasonable quality, it’s likely to take around 100 days to rank well on Google.
- If you have a new website, it’s likely to take at least 12-18 months to start ranking on Google and you’ll need to do a lot of work to ensure you rank well.
- Ranking on Google shouldn’t be your only concern. If you want your website to perform well, it also needs to generate leads and sales.
- It takes around 4-6 months for new web content to start generating sales-related results.
So, bearing all this in mind, what should you do now that you’ve got your new webpages? You need to give your website a helping hand. Here are just some of the really important things you could focus on next:
- If you service particular geographic areas, make sure your Google My Business profile is optimised. This will improve your ability to rank well in ‘local searches’. (As an example, this will help you show up on the map search results that show up on the first SERP.)
- If you have an e-commerce website, make sure you optimise your category pages and product pages. These should be optimised for sales conversion and search engine visibility.
- Regardless of the type of website you have, you should start promoting your website. This could be on social media or through other digital channels (email, forums etc.). It could be through offline channels (you might do some in-person networking, talk at events, hand out business cards, deliver flyers etc.).
- All websites can also benefit from more content and this article just touches on the importance of having regular, fresh content. If your website is the bear minimum in terms of an online presence, content is the real ‘meat’ of your online presence. You could start a blog, gather email addresses and set up a mailing list, start a podcast or set up a YouTube channel. There are lots of different types of content you could produce so you should spend some time thinking about what’s best for your business.
- All websites need backlinks. So you should start approaching websites with suggestions for how they could link to your website to provide value to their own website visitors. Of course, the more content you have, the easier it will be to find other websites that could benefit from linking to something on your website. But while you just have a basic website, you can at least get your website listed on relevant service directories and online catalogues.
And most importantly of all, you should have a detailed strategy that will guide you through all these marketing efforts.