How Long Before I See Results From My Inbound Marketing Efforts?

That’s the number one question I get about Inbound Marketing services we offer.  How long before I see results from my inbound marketing efforts?  The easy answer is – 12 to 18 months.  Typically though, that is not what a CEO wants to hear.  So let’s take a little closer look into the variables that can change that time frame dramatically, for the good or for the bad.

Factor #1 – Existing authority level of the website

That’s right, the more established your website is when we start work, the better off you will be.  If on the other hand, you are starting with a brand new website and worse, did not properly SEO (Search Engine Optimize) the website content, URL structure, linking structure and site maps…well then we are in for a bit of a slower start.  Lot’s of tools (like Open Site Explorer) are out there to help you determine what your existing domain authority level is.

Factor #2 – Existing social media reach

Having an existing fan/follower base that is ready, willing and able to share the new content can also be a huge factor in seeing results faster.  The more people that already like/follow you, the higher the chance that your new content will get shared and linked to.  Another sub-factor in this category is how many social media “influencers” are following you?  Believe it or not, one Facebook “like”, one “Re-Tweet” or just one “+1” from the right social media influencer and you could suddenly find yourself to be an authoritative resource for thousands.

Factor #3 – Blogging platform matters

Yes – The blogging platform you choose to market and share your content from DOES matter!  We are not going to go through the list of options, let’s just say that your blogging platform should have the following abilities (at a minimum):

  • Be able to allow installation of social media share buttons
  • Be able to allow email subscriptions
  • Be able to allow custom URL structures
  • Be able to allow commenting
  • Be able to allow add-on security plugins
  • Be able to allow rich media content (images and video) to your blog posts
  • Be able to allow custom SEO Titles, Meta Tag and Keyword strategies
  • Be able to allow analytics for tracking and reporting progress

Factor #4 – Competition in your market

This factor is totally out of your control, however, it needs to be mentioned because your if your market competition is way ahead of you on content development and social reach it will be a lot harder to catch up.  In cases where competition is just way too tough to break-in through the front door, it’s always a good idea to work around to the side entrances of the target market and build your traffic and authority level there.  This allows two things to happen.  First, your content ranks faster because you are working on long tail keywords and traffic sources your competitors are not.  Second, it allows you to build your domain authority without tipping your hat to the competition about your inbound marketing and content strategy.

So, from these two factors, we can look at two separate and unique case studies based on their existing website authority and social media reach and get a better idea of what you can expect as far as timeline for inbound marketing to be effective.

*Notes about these sites – Both sites are Click Finders actual client case studies.  Both sites are considered to have medium to high level competition in their respective market and both sites participated fully in their inbound marketing program (meaning they helped with content strategy, content review prior to publishing and implemented all recommendations on their existing sites as outlined in an SEO review by Click Finders).

Site #1 – Medium Competition, average authority, minimal SEO work required, average social media reach.

Inbound Marketing Results | click finders

Case Study #1 | Click Finders

As you can see from this example, the website in question had an average website to start with and saw slight traffic bumps in the first 3 months.  Month 4 is where we really started to see some nice traffic lift and by months 6-9 we were really starting to “take-off”.

Site #2 – Medium Competition, low authority, lots of SEO work required, zero social media reach.

Inbound Marketing Case Study #1 | click finders

Case Study #2 | Click Finders

As you can see form this example, the website in question had a lower than average website to begin with and saw minimal traffic increase in the first 6-8 months.  Once we ramped up some good content and got their social media reach to acceptable levels though, traffic really started to jump and we predict catching and or passing site #1 in the next 6-8 months if they stay committed to the process.

So here you can see very clearly the difference in traffic generation based on the criteria we laid out above.  Either way, we feel like both sites ended up winning back by month 12 compared to where they were before we started their respective content marketing plans.

We hope you enjoyed this article and that it gave you some insight into how long it will take before you see results from your inbound marketing programs!  Because the short answer is, it depends!

Click here to learn more about Inbound Marketing or contact us TODAY for a FREE complimentary website marketing analysis!


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  1. Jess Timberlan

    Wow…this explains a LOT and taught me a lot!

    Is this something you can improve the results on? Can you get there faster than 9 months?

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. Lucy

    Awesome post.Really thank you! Much obliged.

  3. Ken

    Excellent. Impressed.


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