SEO/Website Traffic – How long does it take?

SEO takes time. I have been working on a site for a long time. And it really feels like a lonnnng time. So I am wondering how long did it take you to get the amount of traffic to your website that you have now?

My story is the following and I’ll be referring to my other site ESLinsider and not to this blog that I have just started. I owned the url on a one page site since 2009. It’s incarnation of content took a long time and then I had developers build this video based site for ESL teachers. Originally it was a private membership site. It was completed at the end of 2010. After it was completed I was hopeful to get some traffic.

The thing is traffic didn’t come. I tried Adwords, but that was a huge unsuccessful expense. I realized that the developers didn’t do any SEO, like metatags and titles. So I had to learn how to do that and then I learned I needed to get links. So I got a few links and then a little traffic from forums. I found more forums, a few article sites and Yahoo Answers, but I still wasn’t getting much traffic. After nearly a year of little success selling access to my site I gave up on the selling and I made it free.

So then I put my videos (over 100) on Youtube and rebuilt the site myself, embedding the videos in my site, so that it was fully public and no longer behind a login. That was around the end of 2011. That added like 130 pages to my site and links, so I thought for sure I would be getting some traffic fairly soon.

I used the following methods for generating traffic and links:

  • Forum posting
  • Q&A sites
  • Youtube
  • Tried Facebook
  • Article sites

But I still saw little to no search engine traffic. Around April 2012 one of my articles on Hubpages got on the first page and that article started to get traffic. A few months later that one article was getting as much traffic as the rest of my site. I think the reason why it was getting traffic was that:

  1. I had linked to it from a page 7 ranked site with my choice keyword in the anchor text.
  2. It had been there for nearly 8 months.

So that article and another on Hubpages started to generate search engine traffic, but I don’t recommend article sites for traffic and you can read more about that here.

A sample of my current traffic is this (Jun 20-Jul 21, 2012):

  • Unique visitors: 2,633 (This was over 4,400 until I ripped my articles off of Hubpages)
  • Page views: 11,330

The most I ever got was over 4,400 unique visitors. So my site has been online for more than a year and a half. However, it’s been in it’s current form since the start of 2012. So then let’s say it’s been nearly 7 months. So tough to say, but I could say it’s taken at least seven months to get that much traffic.

And you know what? I have worked hard on it and put a lot of time into it. Granted I am no expert, but I have to say that I have read a number of books on SEO, website traffic and marketing. But these numbers are pretty low especially when one would like to earn money from Adsense. So all I can say is that it is not easy and that it takes time.

There have been moments where I’ll get discouraged or ticked off and assume I have created something not as a great as I originally thought. But then I’ll look at the numbers and see a growing amount of return visitors and direct visits. So then I know that I have created something of value for some people.

So how about you? I would love to hear your story and…

How long has it taken you to get the amount of traffic that you have now?

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