How Long Does It Take to Rank on Google According to Real Life Data?

How Long Does It Take to Rank on Google? (Case Study)

You’ve spent time researching your keywords and writing an awesome post.

All that’s left is to click “Publish” and watch your post shoot right to #1, right?

Except for many businesses, that #1 ranking never comes.

How long should you wait before you decide to adjust your strategy? What can you do to rank faster?

These are essential questions. The general industry consensus is that it takes about 3-6 months to rank high enough to get real organic traffic.

Ouch.

But here’s the good news: You can significantly reduce that time by working on a few simple aspects of your ranking strategy. 

ProRankTracker’s data shows that companies can consistently rank a new post on the top page in just a month or two, and they can bring a good blog post to #1 after just a few weeks with a targeted revamp.

Let’s discuss how you can implement the strategies we’ve discovered with our data to improve your own rankings FAST.

We’ll cover:

What Factors Determine How Long It Takes to Rank on Google

Figuring out how long it takes to rank on Google is essential, but it’s nowhere near as important as learning what speeds up the process.

Navigating the intricate landscape of Google’s search rankings demands a strategic approach. Every step toward that coveted top position requires strategic planning.

But what kind of planning should you do? Some people choose to put out a lot of content and just hope something sticks. Other people pick a few keywords and stick with them through thick and thin.

Here’s the kicker, though: Everything you do to rank your page has to be BETTER than what your opponents are doing. Otherwise, you’ll rank VERY slowly (or maybe not at all).

In this section, we’ll examine the factors that influence the time it takes to achieve a high rank on the SERP.

Value in your content

Back in the old days, you could stuff a post with keywords till it was nonsense and still end up on the first page.

Fortunately for Google searchers, those days are over.

Today’s SERP demands content that grabs searchers’ attention while ALSO educating them and providing some type of value.

What does this all have to do with ranking quickly?

Simply put, if you want to rank quickly, you need to provide more value than your competitors.

With every piece of content you put out, you should do meticulous research to ensure you’re providing your potential customers with something they can’t find elsewhere.

More value = faster ranking

It’s that simple.

Relevance to search intent

Have you ever made a Google search, but the results differed from what you were looking for?

That means the content for that keyword didn’t match your search intent.

What did you do in that scenario?

You didn’t waste your time clicking on results or browsing the top pages. You just made another search!

A cornerstone of effective SEO strategy is aligning content with user search intent. If you can write content that perfectly matches what searchers are looking for, you’ll rank faster.

In other words, every time you write content, you should start the process by researching search intent to write content that aligns with it.

Topical authority

Topical authority means that your website and brand are recognized in your niche for having expertise in your field.

If Google decides that your website has topical authority…

You guessed it. You’ll rank FASTER.

Building topical authority involves:

  • Creating content relating to your areas of expertise
  • Participation with other thought leaders in your field
  • Long-term effort in a focused area

In other words, you have to have a BUNCH of content that focuses on your specific niche. And the more niche your category, the easier it’ll be to build topical authority. For example, if you’re a CRM company for financial advisors, you’re better off focusing your content on CRM topics for financial advisors instead of creating a bunch of random content for CRM or financial advisors.

Strengthening authority will boost visibility AND make readers more likely to engage with your content.

Remember, though, that your topical authority only helps if you have MORE content on your category than your competitors. 

User experience

Even though it’s 2024, we still encounter websites that look like their designers just discovered CSS (or worse, they just discovered HTML).

You know, the ones that look like this website from 1996:

User experience

The user experience is a cornerstone of website performance and search rankings. Don’t ignore it, thinking you’ll make up for it with great content. You need both.

Google prioritizes websites that offer seamless navigation, swift loading times, and an easy user experience.

And while you’re working on getting your website experience up to snuff, make sure that every article you put out has a great reading experience as well by following these tips:

  • Use readable language with plenty of formatting structure like bullet points, lists, and small paragraphs
  • Include relevant images, infographics, and other visual elements
  • Add internal and external links to give readers other helpful resources and context

Unique insights & experiences

If your website has the same content as all your competitors, why would I click on yours instead of theirs?

With ANY business, differentiation from the other businesses in your space is critical to ranking quickly online.

But how do you differentiate yourself when so many businesses compete for the same customers?

Share the experience that only you have. Instead of talking in generalities, share personal anecdotes to enlighten your readers. Share your unique perspective on things. 

Google is increasingly shifting toward a value-based ranking system, so being unique and valuable means faster ranking times. It’s impossible to overstate how important it is to provide your customers with something unique and valuable they can’t find anywhere else!

How Long Does It Take to Rank on Google? Real Data from ProRankTracker!

That’s enough theory! Let’s look at some real-life examples.

I’ve personally been using ProRankTracker to track my SEO clients’ rankings for the past 4 years, so we have TONS of data about how long it takes to rank on Google.

In this section, we’ll examine 7 real examples of ProRankTracker data to finally answer the question of how quickly you can expect to rank on Google.

Example 1: Launched to #1 by a revamp in a few days

This ProRankTracker blog post was published years ago, but it was hovering around rank 15.

In March 2023, we made 1 tiny change to the post–we changed the title to more closely match search intent – and it jumped from rank 15 to 5!

Example 1: Launched to #1 by a Revamp

Seeing that this post had the potential to rank #1, we did a complete revamp in September of 2023.

A few days after that revamp went live, this post jumped from rank 5 to the top spot. It’s hovered in the top 2 or 3 spots since then.

Example 2: Boosted to number 1 in 7 days after a revamp

This ProRankTracker blog post had been hovering around the 5th rank since it was published years ago.

Again, we saw the potential to bring this to number 1, so we revamped it and published the updated version on September 4, 2023. 

Example 2: Boosted to Number 1 a Week After a Revamp

As you can see from the chart above, it took 7 days after this revamp was published for it to reach the top spot.

Example 3: 2 Months to rank #1 for main keyword with a new blog post

This new post was for a CRM company, and it was published in September 2020.

Within two months, this post reached number one for its main keyword!Example 3: 2 Months to #1 for Main Keyword

This is the perfect example of why picking the right keywords (which we’ll discuss later in this article) is so important. If you pick the right keywords, you can quickly get that coveted top spot, as this article did!

Example 4: 3 Months to rank #1 for a main keyword with a new blog post

This post was written for a company that offers employee scheduling software for healthcare companies, and it was initially published in February 2023.

Example 4: 3 Months to Rank #1 for Main Keyword

Without any edits or revamps, the post reached the top spot on Google three months later.

Here’s the behind-the-scenes info: They had previously published 20 blog posts on employee scheduling and healthcare topics, giving their website enough topical authority to quickly get this post to #1.

Example 5: 4 Months for a new post to reach page 1

This post was published in November 2023, and it initially saw a drop in rank. However, it began to climb without any editing.

Example 5: 4 Months for New Post to Reach Page 1

4 months later, by March 2024, this post reached the top page. A month later, in April 2024, it peaked at the 2nd rank. Since then, it has consistently ranked at number 3.

Not every post will reach #1 for every keyword, but this post was still able to start providing significant traffic within just a few months of being published!

Example 6: 2 Months for a new blog post to reach page 1

A social media SaaS company published this blog article in July 2023 with the main keyword of “Instagram content strategy.”

Example 6: 2 Months for a New Post to Reach Page 1

2 months later, this post broke into the top page of Google, meaning that its visibility and CTR jumped MASSIVELY.

Example 7: Revamp brings old blog post to #1 in 1 month

This last example is another post by a social media company. They had published this article years ago, but the post had never performed well.

In February 2024, they did a total revamp of the post. Only a month later, it jumped straight to #1!

Example 7: Revamp Brings Old Post to #1 in 1 Month

This is another example of how consistently working to establish topical authority can make it MUCH easier to rank your posts quickly. This company spent another couple of years churching out high-quality posts, allowing this revamp to perform well so quickly.

6 Strategies to Rank Your Posts Faster on Google

We’ve examined factors affecting your ranking speed and some real-life data to support our claims.

Now, let’s make this ultra-practical and discuss how to replicate this success in your websites.

Ranking quickly can seem like a mystery at first, but it’s all the result of implementing specific strategies to help signal to the Google algorithm that your page is valuable, unique, authoritative, and relevant.

Let’s look at 6 strategies to help your pages rank faster than ever.

Pick the Right Keywords

Low competition, especially keywords that fit the keyword golden ratio

Keywords are central to SEO, making them incredibly important if you want to rank quickly.

Before you write a single word, conduct thorough keyword research to identify terms that are relevant to your content AND that have low competition.

One of the best ways to identify whether a keyword will be easy to rank for is by using the golden ratio. If the number of allintitle results divided by the search volume of your keyword is less than 0.25, you should be able to rank for that keyword very quickly.

Golden ratio

Pick the Right Keywords

However, you shouldn’t only target keywords that fit the golden ratio. Targeting some more competitive keywords can round out your strategy and help you get more traffic, especially after building out your topical authority.

The best way to find new keywords is to use dedicated tools like ProRankTracker’s Keyword Suggestions or Rankings Discovery tools to look for valuable keywords with low competition (or that you might already rank for).

Create supportive content to build topical authority

Not EVERY piece you write will be #1 on the SERP.

That’s OK.

Much of your content should be designed around building your topical authority in your niche, which will help ALL your ranks improve more quickly.

Google prioritizes websites that demonstrate topical authority on specific subjects, so you can’t expect to write a few posts and land in the top spot.

Instead, expand your content strategy to include supportive content that covers various aspects of your niche or industry. This could include comprehensive guides, tutorials, case studies, and infographics.

The more supportive content you write, the higher your topical authority. The higher your topical authority is, the faster your content will rank.

Outdo the Competition

Remember: Ranking isn’t just about providing value–it’s about providing MORE value than your competitors.

Analyze your competitors’ content and SEO strategies to identify areas where you can outperform them. Look for gaps in their content:

  • Topics they haven’t covered
  • Keywords they haven’t targeted
  • Areas where they have articles, but the articles are weak

Thorough competitor research should become a staple of your SEO strategy. You can use tools like ProRankTracker to track your competitors more closely to identify areas where they have gaps in their strategy.

By offering superior content that addresses the needs of your audience more effectively, you can rank more quickly.

Revamp Your Best Posts

Your posts often travel up the SERP and settle at the top of the second page or bottom of the first page. 

Don’t let that go to waste!

Identify your top-performing posts and figure out what you can improve about them to push them up the SERP even further!

  • Update outdated information
  • Optimize meta tags and headlines
  • Add relevant visual elements to enhance user engagement
  • Improve the reader experience
  • Add more value (more points, examples, data, etc.)

By revitalizing your best-performing content, you can take advantage of a great article and give it that last little boost it needs to hit the top spot.

Track Your Ranks Religiously

Monitoring your search engine rankings is essential for assessing the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and improving them as needed.

Reviewing your ranking metrics regularly in a tool like ProRankTracker allows you to adjust your strategy, capitalize on emerging opportunities, and address ranking drops.

One of the best ways to stay informed about your ranks is with automated reports and notifications.

Daily rank tracking

For example, ProRankTacker has more than 20 types of reports and notifications that help you quickly realize when something changes so you can make strategic adjustments.

By quickly responding to changes in the SEO landscape, you can maintain a competitive edge and help your pages rank faster.

Building backlinks

SEO has changed a ton in the past 10 years.

Backlinks used to be the belle of the ball, and everyone was scrambling to get as many quality backlinks as they could. Google rewarded websites that had a lot of backlinks with high ranks.

That’s no longer the case. Google recently confirmed that backlinks aren’t essential AFTER acquiring a few high-quality links.

However, you still MUST have a good base of high-quality backlinks–it just doesn’t matter if you have a bazillion like it used to.

So, what does that mean for you?

Collaborate with others in your field to develop a strong backlink profile, but don’t waste your time making backlinks the center of your SEO strategy. Try the following methods to build some quality backlinks:

  • Reach out to (non-competitor) businesses in your niche to create guest posts.
  • Create content that provides extremely high value, and backlinks will naturally follow.
  • Build strong relationships with other professionals in your industry, then leverage those relationships to get relevant backlinks.

How to Use ProRankTracker to Track Your Ranks (and Rank Faster!)

If you want to boost your ranks quickly, you need to know your current ranks.

In other words, you can’t improve your ranks if you don’t even know what they are!

That’s where a specialized rank tracking tool like ProRankTracker comes in.

ProRankTracker allows you to keep track of all your ranks (and your competitors’ ranks) so you can make strategic adjustments to boost your ranks even faster.

Let’s discuss how to use ProRankTracker to improve your ranks quickly.

Do Keyword Research with Keyword Suggestions and Rankings Discovery

As we mentioned earlier, keyword research is at the core of ranking on Google quickly. If you pick the right keywords, ranking is MUCH easier.

ProRankTracker offers 2 distinct tools to help you pick better keywords: the Keyword Suggestions tool and the Rankings Discovery tool.

The Keyword Suggestions tool takes your current keyword strategy and suggests highly relevant long-tail keywords that you can use to expand your strategy and rank faster.

Do Keyword Research with Keyword Suggestions and Rankings Discovery

The Rankings Discovery tool scours the internet for keywords that you’re ALREADY ranking for, but not tracking yet. You can then quickly add those keywords to your tracking list and put a little effort in to boost those ranks rapidly.

The Rankings Discovery tool

Both of these tools accomplish 2 essential goals:

  1. Find new high-value keywords
  2. Decrease the time it takes to find a new keyword and rank on the first page for that keyword

Establish an Automated Reporting Schedule

If you want to improve your ranks quickly, you MUST constantly be updated on where you’re ranking. 

That’s where automated reports come in.

Automated email rank tracking reports

ProRankTracker allows you to create custom reports from more than 20 report types, each providing a different perspective on your current ranking progress.

Establish an Automated Reporting Schedule

For example, drop notifications will automatically send you a notification when any of your URLs rank drops for a given keyword.

Other reports allow you to get broad overviews of your ranks or in-depth and detailed comparisons of your performance compared to your competitors.

However, the most critical part of reports is that you USE them consistently. ProRankTracker allows you to generate UNLIMITED reports regardless of the plan you have, so you can establish the perfect reporting schedule for your business without worrying about incurring any unexpected fees.

Track Historical Data

Part of learning how to rank faster is taking a look back at your previous articles and assessing what strategies helped them rank quickly.

Historical data allows you to see EXACTLY how your ranks have changed over time, which you can then correlate to strategies and figure out how to replicate your success.

Throughout this article, we’ve shown you the historical data from real ProRankTracker clients’ Daily View. The Daily View allows you to set a date range and see how your ranks have changed.

Track Historical Data

Another great source of historical data is the Full SERPs view, which allows you to compare all the pages that rank for a given keyword. You can trace any page’s progress to see how the SERP has changed.

 Full SERPs view

Using multiple methods to gather historical data, like the ones above and historical reports, will give you a well-rounded understanding of how your strategies affect your ranks. As you gather this data, you’ll understand better how to improve your ranks even faster.

Keep Your Eye on the Competition

We’ve emphasized throughout this article the importance of being better than your competitors. 

If you provide more value than your competitors, you will outrank them.

ProRankTracker is a great way to watch your competition and see exactly how their ranks compare to yours.

Use the 5 different Rankings Views to keep track of your opponents’ ranks for your targeted keywords.

Keep Your Eye on the Competition

You can also set up competitor reports that allow you to assess exactly how well your strategy compares to your competition’s.

FAQ

How long does it take to rank #1 on Google?

It depends on your strategy! However, if you follow the tips in this article, you can rank #1 on Google within a couple of months of creating a targeted blog article or an excellent revamp.

How can I rank faster on Google?

The best way to rank faster on Google is to provide more value than your competitors. Google rewards valuable content, so do your research to ensure you’re providing more value than your opponents, and you should see your ranks increase quickly.

Can you pay Google to rank higher?

You can pay Google to publish an ad that will appear at the top of the SERP. However, you can’t pay Google to improve your ranks. There’s a time and place for ads, but they should never replace an organic content strategy.

Read to Track Your Keyword Rankings?

Ranking is hard, and it can seem like it takes forever.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you see that taking simple steps to improve your online presence can help you quickly launch your content to the top page of Google.

Rank tracking is a crucial part of this process, which is why we recommend signing up for a ProRankTracker free trial to see how much it can help your business.

Good luck!