Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long term marketing investment you make in your business. SEO is a broad term and it means different things to different people. But one thing is for sure: We can all agree on the expected outcomes of search engine optimization – (1) higher search engine rankings and (2) more traffic from qualified visitors.
Most marketing niches with a reasonable budget and a knowledgeable SEO team on their side can achieve Google first page ranking for one or more keywords within 120 - 180 days. Ranking #1 can take much longer (from 6 months to several years), depending on how strong the #1 site is and how active they are with maintaining their rankings. Normally what happens is when a business achieves the number 1 ranking consistently they get "fat and happy", which leaves an opportunity for other businesses looking to move into that spot. The reality of search engine optimization is there isn't a finish line because the process never ends.
Small businesses who see the best results from SEO have a few things in common: (1) They create quality content, (2) they create high quality citations/ backlinks, and (3) they commit to SEO for the long haul.
SEO's benefits are long lasting. It is easier to keep a #1 ranking than it is to achieve a #1 ranking and once you achieve multiple #1 rankings, you are locked in to a permanent flow of organic traffic that can last a long time and dramatically impact the growth of your business.