Marketing always has been and always will be a long game, and that is especially true when talking about search engine optimization (SEO). The business of marketing is identical to farming. No farmer expects to put seeds in the ground and yield a harvest the next day.

When Can I Expect to See Results from My SEO Marketing Strategy?

Marketing always has been and always will be a long game, and that is especially true when talking about search engine optimization (SEO). The business of marketing is identical to farming. No farmer expects to put seeds in the ground and yield a harvest the next day.

The same is true with getting results from your SEO marketing strategy. And, just like farming, your SEO strategy is about careful planning, timing & execution, as well as monitoring Google search trends to get the end result you’re seeking, which in your case, is motivated sellers visiting your website.

For this reason, the most successful people in real estate investment marketing are the ones who are always thinking six to 12 months down the road. They realize that the strategy they create today will eventually pay off - but not tomorrow, and probably not next week or even next month. This is the reality of marketing and why digital marketing agencies spend a lot of time thinking about long-term marketing strategies for real estate investors.

There is a huge misconception about digital marketing that plagues real estate investors. It is simply this:

that digital marketing - simply because it’s digital - can and should give you overnight results.

But it’s simply not true, and there are logical reasons why.

Below, we cover two things centered around this topic:

  1. How quickly you can expect your SEO strategy to yield results
  2. Why It takes that long

When Will My SEO Strategy Start Seeing Results?

How quickly your REI SEO strategy starts to pay off depends on a lot of factors, which we cover below. It is impossible for any marketing team - in-house or outsourced - to guarantee when you’ll start seeing results. However, there is enough data from various sources that suggests certain timelines are reasonable to expect.

Keep in mind, if you’re looking for instant motivated seller leads and don’t already have an established, well-ranking website, SEO alone isn’t going to provide that for you. You will likely want to incorporate outbound strategies such as cold calling or direct mail. Alternatively, if you prefer online inbound leads, running paid ad campaigns on platforms such as Google and Facebook will give you a much quicker lead flow.

According to experts at SEMRush, Moz, Yoast, Surfer SEO, Forbes, Google Analytics, and nearly every other leading marketing firm, you should expect to see results from your SEO strategy within 3 to 12 months. Here’s a breakdown of what leading experts say:


Expected Timeline

SEMRush 6 to 12 months
Neil Patel 3 months
WebFX 6 Months
Forbes 4 to 6 months
Search Engine Journal 4 to 12 months 6 to 12 months
Surfer SEO 4 to 6 months

Quick Timeline

To give you a better understanding of the timeline, let’s look at a month-to-month analysis:

Month 1

During the first month, the marketing team gets to work either structuring or restructuring your website. Tasks include performing a complete SEO analysis, setting up your accounts, writing the content for your site, and setting up all frontend and backend SEO and infrastructure. The team also sets up or updates your social media accounts.

Month 2

If your SEO plan does not require an overhaul or redesign, you’ll likely spend Month 2 implementing on-page SEO. For local businesses, this may also involve localization and build out of local listings. You may optimize existing content and create new content, like web pages and blog articles.

Month 3

Your 3rd month of implementing SEO will likely involve technical optimization, additional content creation, localization (if applicable), and link building. If optimized effectively, your website may start to show an increase in rankings and organic traffic. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) occurs at this stage if you want to turn that traffic into new leads or sales.

Month 4

By Month 4 your marketing team has a clear idea of your SEO objectives for the coming months. This will be based on the results of your earlier audit, intermittent audits, keyword research, and competitor research. Continued content creation and link building will also influence your site’s traffic and performance.

Month 5 to 6

Five to six months into your SEO strategy, you will have some insight into how your site is performing and what content users engage with most. Your strategy will involve creating new content, promoting this content, and improving conversion on-site. Monthly analytics reports will help you keep track of keyword rankings and organic traffic.

Year 1

After the first year, the team will take inventory of what’s working well on your site and what can be improved. SEO audit tools will help you identify technical and on-page issues, so you can address these as part of your regular site maintenance. At this time, you may also expand your content strategy based on new keywords or locations.

Year 2

At year 2, you’ve already gone through two annual cycles of your SEO strategy. You’ll be able to see Year Over Year (YoY) growth and traffic trends. Take these learnings and apply them to your future SEO strategy. Look at what your competitors are doing - both on-site and off - to find new opportunities to improve your SEO and content.

Why Does SEO Take So Long?

As you probably already know, digital marketing for real estate investment companies isn’t cheap, especially if you don’t want to put your strategy into the hands of an overseas virtual assistant. Chances are, you have a sizable budget already carved out for your SEO strategy. And because you’re spending all that money, you want results.

Therefore, it’s easy to get impatient due to the size of your budget. So, it’s no surprise that you would ask,

“Why is it taking so long to get results?”

It’s a fair question and one that deserves an answer that you can swallow.

Keep in mind that there is no single factor that determines ROI or how long it will take for your digital marketing team’s efforts to pay off. Instead, highly effective websites depend on a variety of factors that you need to understand a little better.

Keyword Difficulty

Keyword difficulty (or “competition”) is a metric that your team uses to determine how difficult it is to rank for a keyword. Assessing keyword difficulty can help you determine whether or not it's worth your time and money to optimize an organic page for keywords.

Keyword difficulty indicates the number and quality of backlinks to the top ten pages in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for that keyword - or how competitive those pages are based on how strong their backlinks are.

SEO keyword tools gauge the “competitiveness” of a SERP by looking at the domain authorities (or domain ratings) and page authorities (or URL ratings) of the indexed pages.

The biggest challenge for SEO specialists is finding the right balance between keywords that are highly popular and keywords that give your website leverage in Google search results.

Here’s what you basically need to understand:

The keyword “Sell my house fast” may be the most popular keyword in your area. So you might be tempted to set it as your primary keyword. But, if it’s the most popular keyword, that means everybody’s using it. So, you’re competing against all the other real estate investors using that word.

A better strategy may be to use a keyword that is not so competitive like “We pay cash for houses in [your city]”. It may not be the most popular keyword. However, it could help you rank better if your competitors are not using it as much.

Inbound Links

An inbound link is a link coming from another site to your own website. Inbound is generally used by the person receiving the link. Inbound links are also referred to as backlinks. While the concept of inbound links is easy to understand, it is incredibly difficult to master. Plus, it’s a time consuming process.

However, when applied properly to your website, inbound links can be rewarding.

The biggest challenge to inbound links is developing relationships with other webmasters who are willing to add links to your website on their website.

As you might guess, the goal is to find websites that pull in lots of traffic to give your links greater visibility. More inbound links will help you achieve SEO success more quickly. But they also have to be good quality and come from websites that are relevant to your business.

Domain Age and Authority

Before we go too deeply into this one, let’s define the terms.

Domain Age

How old your website’s domain or URL is. It’s how long your domain has existed. Google can verify your domain’s age from the WHOIS registration data or by crawling your website.

Domain Authority

Predicts how likely your website is to rank in search engine results. Domain authority scores range from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater likelihood of ranking.

Although your domain authority score does not directly influence your SEO ranking, it can still impact the results of your SEO campaigns. Higher domain authority scores usually correlate with higher search engine rankings.

Your Domain Authority is important because it is representative of how you rank on search engines. It helps you better understand your site's credibility in the eyes of the search engines and you can see how you compare to your competition.

Website Update, Promotion, and Engagement

There is no such thing as a finished website. Your site will always be in a state of flux, as you add, delete, or update content and structure. Whether you are adding blogs, services, images, news, pages, or other elements, you should always have something new to offer your audience.

Furthermore, you need to promote every site update. For example, if you do a weekly blog, you should promote it on every online platform you occupy. Announce the blog on your social media sites, partner sites, email campaigns, text messages, and everywhere else.

If you add a new web page, the whole world needs to know about it. You may think that the new problem page you added to your site is insignificant or that viewers will just pick up on it. However, if you don’t promote the problem page, you miss out on reaching an entirely new audience.

The bottom line is that if you don’t promote and update your website regularly, it won’t rank. Google rewards sites that contain fresh content regularly.

Where Do You Go from Here?

Now that you have a better understanding of SEO strategy, the SEO timeline, and what contributes to your website’s performance, you may be wondering how to move forward.

If you are like most real estate investors, you outsource your marketing efforts to a digital marketing agency for real estate investors.

The best place to start is by sitting down with the digital marketing team and having an open and honest conversation about what to expect over the next 12 months. A trustworthy marketer will speak candidly about the SEO process and dispel any false misconceptions about your website’s performance.

The marketing team will (and should) keep you updated with analysis and reports on how well your SEO strategy is working. At Freedom Leads, we typically schedule monthly meetings to keep you in the loop so that there are never any surprises and you know what to expect.

Last, it is understandable that you may feel that you are wasting your marketing dollars because you don’t see instant results. However, you need to understand that marketing is a long-term proposition with few early wins. Don’t quit in the middle of your marketing campaign. As mentioned earlier, if you need leads right now, consider running paid ad campaigns while your SEO strategy matures early on.

If you bounce around from one marketing agency to another, you’ll never see a marketing strategy come to fruition. That’s where you waste thousands of dollars and never get a return on your investment.

Buy One to Three More Houses Every Month With Our Motivated Seller Prospects Online Marketing Program

Freedom Leads can help you get more qualified, motivated seller leads through various paid and organic online marketing strategies. Learn more about how we can help you implement the Motivated Seller Prospects Online Marketing Program in your area.

To check the availability of your market, fill out our application form or contact us at 877-399-2259, and we will walk you through the process. We only work with a limited number of investors per area, so claim your market today!