The speed at which SEO improvements take effect depends on a couple of factors. The first is the kind of SEO that is being done. For example, changes to local SEO take place much faster than they do on the wider web. Accordingly, any improvements made to local SEO also take effect faster. This can make it hard to maintain one’s ranking on a local level. So local SEO needs to be a constant process of tracking and responding to these ever-changing rankings.
Changes on the wider web take longer to manifest and most firms generally estimate a 4 – 6 month window. This comes with one important caveat though, this window is when you should start to see those changes taking effect.
As with local SEO, there are some changes that can be made to a site that can give you a ranking bump much faster. A good example of this is if you fix something on your site for which Google has penalized you in the past. When you resubmit your improved site to Google, you may see your site rank higher. However, obviously this type of circumstance does not apply to everyone.
The important thing to bear in mind though, is that SEO results accumulate over time – it’s not a “once and done” kind of deal. Well done SEO is about creating a great site with great content and keeping it great, so you don’t get just a higher ranking, but those all-important leads and sales.