Most SEO agencies will answer this question with "It Depends".
That's how I've always answered it. I mean there are so many variables involved when considering the many types of websites out there in many different markets.
In fact, I've written an SEO case study on this topic previously.
However, when it comes to the people I've chosen to serve, that is young Shopify brands, I can answer this with much more certainty.
What do I mean by results?
Firstly it's important to define what we mean by results. Some people who aren't familiar with how SEO works may think it means "I'm ranking #1 for my keywords immediately"
The practical reality in wildly different and competitive markets is a little more nuanced.
For young Shopify brands, new to a market, SEO success depends on there being an existing level of search volume for their products and their product categories.
It's this existing search volume we are targeting to rank for.
At the same time, it's important to recognise that in today's SEO landscape, there are some keyword terms that will be impossible to rank for, even in the long term.
It's also important that you recognise that it takes time to climb the rankings.
So the way I define SEO results is as follows:
- Your Shopify site starts ranking for keyword terms that you have chosen to target, whether that ranking is on page 1 or page 5. Starting to rank for a term means you are in the game and can only go up. So, keyword ranking is a measure of success.
- At some point, your site will rank on page 1 for relevant terms and those rankings will bring visitors to your site. This is referred to as organic traffic. Increased organic traffic from your SEO efforts is a measure of success.
- If your Shopify site has the requisite level of trust it will convert the organic traffic into sales. Sales from organic traffic are a measure of success.
- If you are implementing the brand-building strategies we teach in the Shopify SEO Accelerator, you will see an increase in the number of people searching for you by name. This increase in branded search volume is a measure of success. Branded search is great because it typically converts into sales at a higher rate than non-branded search.
When we work with young Shopify brands in our SEO Accelerator we focus on helping them implement the key steps that will allow their sites to start ranking as quickly as possible.
So how quickly will I see results from my SEO?
These are my very general guidelines. Every business is different and has different advantages. Some may have strong social followings that can be leveraged for SEO benefit.
One to Two Weeks
Within one to two weeks of optimising a poorly or non-optimised Shopify catalogue, you can expect to start ranking for many of your target keyword terms.
They typically will not be on page 1; but now you are ranking, you can work on improving those rankings.
If you run a promotional outreach campaign or promotion designed to get people talking about you, sharing your content or reviewing your products, you can expect to see an increase in branded search almost immediately. Don't let anyone tell you that branded searches are not an SEO goal. It is because you should always be able to rank #1 for your brand name. Competitive industries like custom home builders and others will need to start here and build branded search before working on non-branded search.
Two to three months
Within two to three months you can expect to see organic traffic and sales from your rankings for keywords relating to your products.
If you have a large product catalogue, you have many more opportunities to rank, get traffic and make sales.