How Long Does Local SEO Take and why so much BS?
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How Long Does Local SEO Take and why so much BS?

calender and dates pictureWhy is it that there is so much BS surrounding what is really a very simple question – how long will my local SEO take?

This post was inspired by two amazing posts by Phil Rozek of titled: How Long Local SEO Takes: the Short Version and How Long Does Local-Search Visibility Take, please check them out (I also include Phils infographic summarising some answers at the bottom of my post).

The reason I am writing this post as it was some very poor answers to this very question that inspired me to enter into the world of SEO.

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So much BS in answering one very simple question!

Before I officially entered the world of SEO I was running a local bicycle retailer, and we interviewed a number of local companies with a view to them undertaking our web marketing.

“So how long will it take” I asked each company?

The companies I interviewed just did not have a consistent answer to this question, and timescales were quoted from one week to six months!!

So all I can say is there is a lot of BS surrounding this question which I have experienced first hand, and I believe that it is these wrong answers to this question which is one of the primary reasons for the many negative experiences many local businesses have has with SEO.

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Why is this question so important?

Customers just want to know, realistically what to expect – how much they are going to need to invest and the timescales for a likely return.

SEO consultants need to understand the answer to this question so they can hand hold their customers along the journey without the disruption of unhappy customers along the way.

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So why is there so much BS?

picture of a salesmanI think there are two main drivers: (1) easier to make the sale with short timescales and (2) SEO consultants do not actually know how to answer the question.

(1) More Sales

Lets face it, if you tell a client its going to take 3 weeks to feature well in Google compared to 3, 6 or 12 months, you are telling the customer what they want to hear and therefore you are likely to get more sales.Though it does not take a genius to work out what happens after  month when results are not shooting up the rankings, soon everyone is unhappy. The daft thing is, that in many cases all that needs to happen is for a bit more time to pass, and the improvements will start to show.

(2) Don’t know how to answer

I’m not suggesting here that everyone in SEO is a “snake oil salesman” for that is just not the case. I do though believe that many SEO’s and web designers simply do not know how to answer the question; and that’s because there is not a simple answer. You just have a look at Phils posts to realise that there are many factors that affect timescales, many of which the SEO has absolutely no control over

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My conclusion is that Local SEO’s are not bad people

So my conclusion is that all Local SEO’s are not all bad people, but that we work in an industry that has never really been able to articulate a decent response to this question.

Well that was until now:

Google Local Timescale

Thanks Phil.

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jonIf you are looking to drive more leads from the internet for your business, we pride ourselves in being honest, upfront, and driving excellent results, hence the reason why we have so many great testimonials. So if you would like an honest assessment of what it will take to drive more customers to your business, and how long, we offer you our Free SEO Consultation.

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  1. Phil Rozek says:

    Great stuff, Jon. I think I and the other people who contributed to the long version of the post have pretty much beat the poor horse dead, so I really like the other dimensions you bring up here. Like *why* some SEOs dodge the timetable question, and why others fudge it.

    Your “personal” angle was interesting, too. It would be neat to know more about how you transitioned from the bike shop (maybe you’re still there, moonlighting) to local SEO.

    Thanks for doing a great job of continuing this “how long” conversation – and for the nice mentions!

    • Jonathon Monk says:

      Hi Phil

      Thanks for your comment.

      I left the bike shop as I was never really cut out for retail and started to feel really passionate about SEO.

      So I am now concentrating completely on Local SEO and Max Your Web and in fact will be meeting some of your fellow Local SEO countrymen at the Local U Advanced Local SEO Workshop in Baltiomore in a few weeks in March.

      I feel the UK is at least two years behind the US in Local SEO at the moment, typically being the local Web Design Co that “does a bit of SEO”! So I really want to change this – just so many local business owners getting a bad deal.

      Thanks a lot


  2. Nick says:

    Hi Jon,

    I really liked this post as a great follow up to Phil’s and your website in general. I’ve just subscribed to the RSS feed.

    You make some really good points and I share your frustration. I constantly see “snake oil salesman” that give absurd guarantees on results. The other day, I saw a website that gave a “1 day guarantee” – Unbelievable!

    I try to be honest with potential clients and explain that it depends on a lot of factors so they can shape their expectation accordingly.

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