You should start seeing your website move up in the Google search results within a couple of months, and absolutely within 6 months.
The speed at which you move up on the search results and how high you get depends on how many awesome websites are above you in the search engine results. How established are those companies? How good are their websites?
You can get a good idea of how quickly you'll move up the search results by spending 10 minutes behind your computer. Type in the keywords that someone would use to find a company like your own.
Let's say that your website finally shows up at the end of Page 4. Now look who's above you: are the companies that show ahead of you random or awkward websites? If they are, then the chances are that you’ll jump past those pretty quickly after you’ve completed your initial SEO work.
But to break into Page 3, Page 2, and finally to Page 1 of Google Search results can be much harder. Those websites and companies might have worked really hard to get there, so you'll have to work even hard to get ranked above them.
Here are two examples to illustrate the competitive environments of two different industries:
- SageHospice.org - This is one of our clients. A year after we launched the website, and they are on Page 1 for almost the popular keywords searches. :)
- smithHOUSE.co - This website that you are on right now is ranked #14 on Google search results for “Branding Phoenix.” We’ve been at this for 4 years now. :(
So why were we able to get a client who does hospice care on Page 1, but we can’t get our own website onto Page 1?
It’s because it’s hard for smithHOUSE to break through to Page 1 in our industry because all we do all day is web stuff. We are competing with 1000s of others, where our client was competing with fewer than 20 local companies in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe.
The point here is that all good SEO work should show movement upward on Google's search results. Your ability to earn you way on Page 1 depends mostly on the competitive environment of your industry.