How Long Does SEO Take to Show Results?

Lady sitting at desk measuring how long SEO takes to show results

In an age of instant gratification — when information appears at your fingertips in nano-seconds – it can be hard to put your shoulder to worthy efforts that build over time and produce significant long-term payoffs.  But that’s what a wise person must do when forging their online marketing efforts.  With the right search engine optimization, or SEO, elements in place, your website can effectively attract new clients to your law firm, but it won’t happen overnight.

You have to set it up and let everything simmer for a while before the fruits of your marketing team’s labor come into view. After that, it’s just a matter of fine-tuning your efforts to continue capturing your fair share of the market.


Although that might sound like quite an undertaking, it’s a worthy goal.  And done right, it will produce lasting results that surge your law firm’s visibility and convert website visitors into actionable leads.  Let’s take a closer look at how that happens.

A Successful SEO Campaign Takes Time

Although it’s possible to start to see search engine optimization results in just four months, most law firms have to keep at it for at least 6 to 12 months to truly see the fruits of their labors. The total amount of time it takes depends on the overall quality of your current website.

In the initial months, your marketing team should create keyword-rich content for your web pages and blogs, and then promote them across all your preferred channels. To perform at its best, the content will have keywords in all the right places, inbound and outbound links, and SEO images, infographics, and other visuals. The meta titles and descriptions must have the focus keywords as well and clearly describe what’s on the page.

Once that’s done, you can start resolving other factors that might be impacting your SEO results. As your website becomes aligned with best SEO practices, the search engines will increasingly “notice” your site and bring up your pages in search results for your targeted queries.

Factors That Impact Search Engine Optimization

Even with the highest quality SEO content, the following factors can keep search engines from ranking your pages at the top of the search results.

1.   Domain Authority

Search engines aim to provide their users with the best experience possible as they seek answers to their queries. Over time, they’ve discovered that websites with a good domain authority score are more likely to speak to the needs of their users.

To increase the authority of your domain, you need to have an organized website architecture, quality links throughout, and helpful pillar content. Your marketing team will also need to keep a close eye on your website to remove bad links and release fresh, new content.

2.   Website Speed

If your web pages do not load fast enough, your visitors will back out fast, leaving search engines thinking your site is broken. And in a way, it is. But how slow is too slow? On average, web pages must load within five seconds to keep visitors from quickly hitting the back button.

The faster, the better.  You may need to change the back-end programming on your website to increase its speed.  It’s possible to get your pages to load within just two seconds, making your site faster than 75% of other pages on the web.

3.   Backlink Quality

Backlinks help your law firm’s website rank for all your most important keywords by increasing trust in your brand. To get backlinks, you need authoritative sites to “point to” content on your website via linking, which is definitely no easy feat.

To boost the quality of your backlinks, you should perform an audit to see which sites are linking to your website now. Are they high-quality or low-quality sites?  Remember, you receive a boost from high-domain-authority sites that are linking to your site.  The rest is just clutter.  You want to create content that wins you quality links while weeding out the ones that might tank the trustworthiness of your own site.

Since these factors can have such a big impact on SEO results, marketing agencies for law firms always strive to resolve your website’s issues. If your website pages load slowly, for example, then marketers must do whatever it takes to increase the speed of your site.

Always remember, it’s a process. SEO is a long-term marketing strategy – it isn’t something that happens overnight.  It requires diligence, consistency, and patience, just as all good things do.  But if you implement an effective SEO strategy and manage it over time, the payoff can be sensational and endure for months and years to come.

SEO is a long-term marketing strategy that requires significant effort upfront. 

Done right, it can pay off in spades.

How to Tell When Your SEO Efforts are Working

After putting all the right elements into place, all that’s left to do is wait for results to appear. You need to give the search engines time to crawl your site and gauge its ability to satisfy the search queries linked to each keyword.  With a focus on the long game, it’s important to understand your firm’s key performance indicators and assess your company goals.  These work in tandem to produce the results you’re looking for.

Understanding Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are the absolute best way to gauge the success of your SEO marketing program. These metrics update monthly, allowing your marketing team to chart your progress over time.

Each month, your marketing team may look at:

  • Organic traffic: The total number of people who land on your site from the search results pages
  • Keyword rank: Where your page ranks on the search results pages for each target keyword
  • Search visibility: How often your domain appears when people search for your keywords
  • Pages per session: The overall number of pages your site visitors go to before leaving
  • Bounce rate: How many people leave your website without clicking on any other links

In addition, your marketing team should track leads and conversions to directly gauge how well your visitors interact with your site. Leads include people who sign up for your newsletter, fill out the contact form, or simply make a call to your law firm. Conversions are the total number of people that find you through your SEO efforts and become clients.

Evaluating Company Goals

Your company goals matter, too, of course, so your marketing team will gauge your ability to meet those metrics as well. You’ll need to define which goals are most important to you to kickstart this process.

You might want to closely watch:

  • How many phone calls you get weekly
  • Number of new clients gained each month
  • Total amount of revenue earned every quarter

By seeing growth in any of those areas, you know your marketing efforts are on the right track. All along the way, you should continually revise and hone your approach to make sure you’re meeting all the right metrics.  You might add new keywords to the mix, dream up better content, or simply improve the function of your site on an ongoing basis.

An SEO Agency Dedicated to Lawyers Can Boost Your Results

If all of this sounds a bit overwhelming, it can be.  Lawyers are busy representing clients and arguing in front of juries, and they often don’t have time to focus exclusively on marketing their firm.  That’s where an SEO agency dedicated to lawyers can help.  If you’d like to kick your search engine optimization efforts into high gear, consider partnering with Gladiator Law Marketing.  As an SEO agency tailored to law firms, we can help your brand stand out from the crowd and keep clients coming your way. Our team can handle everything from creating keyword-rich website content and adding metadata to increasing the speed of your website and improving its architecture.  We have many satisfied clients who are thrilled with the SEO strategies we’ve created for their firms.


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