SEO ROI: When Can I Expect Results?

search engine optimization on computer screen

Your business currently ranks number 89 for one of the keywords most relevant to your business. In fact, if your online business were a storefront establishment, it would be more like a back-alley shop than a corner store based on the amount of traffic you’re currently generating. 


The good news? Your current online ranking doesn’t have to define your business’ present or future success—not as long as SEO services are at your disposal. 

Research shows that agencies and brands across the United States shelled out an estimated $79 billion-plus for services related to SEO in 2020. And this is expected to continue in 2021 and beyond because SEO is a consistently proven way to generate a steady organic traffic flow.

The question is, when exactly can you expect an ROI from SEO? Here’s a rundown on how quickly you can expect to dominate search engine results, as well as what factors to consider when determining both long-term and short-term goals for SEO.

When to Expect SEO ROI Results

As a general rule of thumb, you probably will not see an immediate ROI from the efforts you make with SEO. For instance, don’t expect your business to reach the number one ranking for a competitive keyword within your first SEO week, month, or even year. Why? Because SEO requires effort and time. 

The key search engines of MSN, Yahoo, and Google have complicated algorithms that determine which online sites are displayed for specific phrases and keywords. Google’s algorithm in particular assesses the quality of a website based on factors such as the site’s usability, trust, topical relevance, use of backlinks, and page load speed. 

So, although you might begin to see some increases in traffic within one month, this traffic boost likely won’t be near what it needs to be to make up for your expenses—not yet. Rather, you may begin to see measurable results at the three- to the six-month mark. And these results will grow with time.

When to Expect a Profit from Your SEO Efforts

If you are consistently paying the same amount for SEO services each month, you will eventually reach an SEO ROI turning point—the point where your ROI actually becomes positive. Your results in the early stage of your SEO campaign—within the first year—will put you on the path to breaking even. However, it may take you between one year and two years to finally break even and see a positive SEO ROI.

So, what does it mean if you are not seeing great success during this timeframe? It does not necessarily mean that anything is wrong with the SEO campaign you are using. It simply means that your competitor landscape, as it pertains to SEO, is probably more competitive than initially estimated. 

In this case, you might need to re-evaluate your SEO budget. Even though you may be spending around $10,000 per month on your SEO efforts, your competitor could be spending double that amount. Alternatively, you may need to choose another SEO service vendor that has a track record of consistently getting results for its clients.

Variables That Will Affect Your SEO ROI

Aside from the competitiveness of your business’ niche, multiple factors will ultimately impact your SEO ROI, including the strategic choices you and your SEO vendor make from the start. For example, you could begin by targeting a single important keyword phrase. Alternatively, you could gamble with numerous keywords. These keywords need to be highly competitive and high-traffic ones to catapult your website to a high online ranking.

Yet another factor to consider when navigating SEO is the angle and the channels you choose to take with your SEO. For instance, you could focus on short-form or long-form content on your website. You could also choose to publish guest blogs on either major or small publication networks to point online users to your website. You and your SEO vendor will also need to explore the various social media platforms at your disposal and determine which ones to use, as well as how active you should be with these outlets.

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SEO ROI: The Importance of Getting on Page One

Remember that as you spend money, time, and effort on SEO, your chief goal should be to get your business’ website on page one. That’s because according to research, more than 90% of web traffic goes to website links on page one of Google results. 

Of course, starting out, your website URL might fail to reach page one, or if you reach it, your ranking might apply only to low-traffic, non-competitive keywords. 

For instance, let’s say that you move to rank number 11 from rank number 89 for your top keyword. You likely won’t experience any increase in traffic to your site because your highly prized keyword still does not rank on the first page. However, if you move from rank number 11 to rank number five, you might notice a percentage jump in web traffic for that particular keyword. Then, if you finally reach rank number two and make the leap to rank number one, you could increase your website traffic exponentially for your highly valued keyword.

With the right SEO vendor, you can be well on your way to reaching page one. Just don’t expect that to happen overnight. Patience is key during any successful SEO campaign.

Tap into the Power of SEO and Experience a Strong ROI Today!

If you are looking to boost your website ranking, now couldn’t be a better time to start investing in SEO services. As a whole, SEO remains one of the top investments you could make for your enterprise due to the potentially healthy ROI associated with it over the long haul. 

With the right SEO company, you can increase your chances of getting your business found online. Start your search for the best SEO company today at, all while considering the above-mentioned factors for determining the most appropriate long-term and short-term SEO goals in 2021 and beyond.