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How Long Does Digital Marketing Take to “Work”?

In a rush to see results? When it comes to digital marketing, many are. “How long will it take to rise in the search rankings?” “How long until I’ve doubled my website traffic?

Just put together a digital marketing strategy and the leads will roll in, right? Not quite. Digital marketing is not a “quick fix.” It’s not a one-and-done effort and results don’t happen overnight. Search engine optimization (SEO), brand awareness, and conversion optimization are investments in the long-term health of your brand’s online presence.

Any time estimate or prediction will vary based on industry, history of your site, and your competition. You should be skeptical of any “expert” that puts a date on results, as there are many factors that are simply outside of a marketer’s hands

Also keep in mind that digital marketing can’t cover up flaws or problems within your company or business model. But if you have a good product or service, you should expect to see a solid long-term return on investment. How long will that take?

How Long Does SEO Take to See Results?

There is no magic switch to drive more traffic from search engines. Optimization for local, small, and mid-sized businesses takes time, patience, and hard work. According to Maile Ohye, formerly of Google, it takes SEO companies four months to a year to see the results of what they are doing.

To ensure you’re giving yourself the best chances at improving search engine exposure, you can try to apply these SEO tactics:

  • Ensure your website is able to be indexed and crawled by search engines
  • Ensure all pages have proper title tags and meta descriptions
  • Focus on writing high-quality content that is highly relevant to specific search queries
  • Ensure that your website is mobile friendly and the user experience is smooth
  • Build high-quality external links back to your site

How Long Does Content Marketing Take to See Results?

Content marketing is another longer-term tactic in the world of digital marketing and is critical to helping you boost your SEO efforts. Between products/services pages and blog posts, HubSpot found that websites with 100 to 200 pages will generate 2.5 times as many leads as those with 50 pages or fewer.

However, it can be time consuming to write all that content. Between ideating topics to actually writing the content and reviewing it, Orbit Media found that it can take the average writer as long as six or more hours to complete a typical post. Thus, your timeline for seeing content marketing ROI will be gradual and pick up over time.

How Long Does Digital Advertising Take to See Results?

Compared with other tactics, digital advertising is where you’ll tend to see faster results. Once you have a Google Ads account or a Facebook Ads account set up, you can be running paid advertising in no time. Keep in mind that creating ad content, identifying and refining target audience, and performing A/B testing to find out what works will take time.

Budget can also be a factor here. The more money you are willing to invest in digital advertising, the quicker you will likely begin to see a return on investment. While not typical, we’ve seen some businesses generate conversions (e.g. call, click, form, download, etc.) within as little as a day of running their campaign.

Generally, running a digital ad campaign for a few months is recommended. This allows you to gain ad frequency with your audience, meaning they’ll see your ad multiple times, increase the possible influence it has on the viewer. A longer time period also gives you a better data set with which to make decisions. After a month, or even a few months, you’ll have a good sense of which creative performs better and which channels and keywords are performing well.

Because so many of the major ad platforms (think Google, Facebook, etc.) use advanced algorithms to optimize ad rotation and allow advertisers to focus on a goal (i.e. traffic, conversions, etc.), these networks need the data to support their algorithm. That takes time. If you’ve run a campaign for a week and haven’t generated any “conversions” (however you define that), the advertising network won’t yet know how to optimize your campaign for future conversions.

Ready to See Digital Marketing ROI?

While you can’t always plan hard-and-fast deadlines for your digital marketing goals, you can start implementing the tactics like the ones listed above to generate more traffic, conversions, and leads for your business. Need a hand? Aztek’s team of experts can recommend and implement the digital marketing solutions to maximize your investment. Let's start a conversation today.