How Long Will It Take?

How long will it take?  This is a common question when it comes to web promotion.  How long will it take for my site to be in Google?  How long will it take for me to get to the top spot?  How long will it take for me to start earning money from my website?

These are common questions asked by every single business with a new website.  The problem is that when you have a new web design you are going to be competing for those rankings with everyone and his dog so to speak!

How long will it take to list my site in Google? I have seen a website posted within two hours, the trick here is to get your site linked on a web site that has a page rank of 4 or more.  But then again, I have known it to take two weeks!  Google don’t make any guarantees to this.  Does submitting your site to Google suggest system speed things up?  There is no evidence of this, as Google’s bot works its way through the entire web you will get listed sooner or later.

The easy answer is anytime between 2 hours and 2 weeks, depending on where your website is linked.

How long will it take to get my site to the top spot? The top spot for which keyword I would ask in return.  There are many unscrupulous developers out there who tell there customers that they guarantee them top listing in Google – time and again I have heard this only to discover that the guarantee extends to the business name and geographic location!  Unless your business has a competitor in the same town with the same name, any idiot could get you to the top spot in Google!

If you are looking to get to the top spot for a particular keyword (remember that you should really try to focus on a single keyword to a single page or website) then that depends on how competitive your keyword is.  Do a search in Google and see how many hits it returns.  A point to note here, if you are not in the top 20 you are nowhere as far as your customers are concerned, most people will only search at best the first 2 pages of Google (in most cases on the top 5).  I read somewhere that whilst Google returns possibly millions of hits, you can only view hundreds for a given keyword – worth bearing in mind.

Then there is also the possibility that the fabled Google “sandbox” really does exist and your first years ranking is helped by the Google system, only to be reduced after the first year to a really low ranking – I have yet to be convinced of this or see evidence of it.

How long will it start for me to start earning money from my website? This again is a difficult one to answer, but depends again on what you mean.  Most shopping sites that launch will have family and friends visit and purchase something within the first week or so.  If this is what you mean then the easy answer is that you will sell something within the first week or so!

In reality though, this goes hand in hand with the answer to the above questions, getting into the top ten and ensuring that you have good links, good content and great eye catching offers.

Truthfully, you may never sell anything from your site unless you employ real world marketing techniques.  Can you imagine going along to your local food store and their window display doesn’t change from one week to the next or  they hide their mouthwatering goodies behind a poster that tells you the owners life story?

When people visit your site they are looking for a number of things:

1. The product they have searched for

2. The product they have searched for at a reasonable price (this doesn’t mean the cheapest)

3.  The product they have searched for at a reasonalbe delivery fee (this doesn’t mean free)

4.  The product they have searched for displayed in a number of different views

5.  The product they have searched for described in a manner to convince them they won’t be disappointed

6.  The product they have searched for being sold be a store they can trust (reviews can help here as can a reputable payment system such as worldpay, paypal or nochex (of course if they have a bad experience of either of these then that can go against you!)

7.  The product they have searched for being guaranteed

8.  The product they have searched for will arrive yesterday!  (lets face it, we buy something we want it in our hands!)

The old saying “build it and they will come” really doesn’t apply to a website.  As I have said on a number of occasions, if you put up a site and expect it to do all the work for you – you would be better visiting VistaPrint and paying them £12.50 for 250 business cards and giving them out around town, the odds of getting some business are better than from a website that you don’t market correctly.  If this is your thinking save yourself some money and buy the cards!

Having a real world business helps here.  Businesses such as Amazon, eBay and Google who are true dot com businesses are few and far between.  Personally, I would be looking to use a website as part of my business, I would also get out and market my business traditionally as well as virtually!