How Long Does It Take To Get Results From Paid Search Or SEO?

How Long Does It Take To Get Results From Paid Search Or SEO?

The three main types of online media are paid, earned and owned. Each of them have different timelines in terms of results.

Paid Advertising Paid advertising (such as the popular Google Ads) can be created and launched very quickly. You can theoretically have a paid campaign running in a few hours and reaching your target audience. However, the drawback to this method is that you are constrained by cash. This paid reach lasts only for as long as you pay for it – and it can be expensive. Examples of paid media include:

  • Google Adds
  • Google Display
  • Remarketing
  • Facebook advertising
  • Banner advertising (Anyone still do this?)

Expected timeframe for results: Possibly hours

Earned Media

Earned media needs to be earned (surprise!). This term tends to refer to SEO and organic search channels. Earned media has a longer burn for its ROI, as it typically takes 3 – 6 months to fully kick in. However, the long-term payoff for earned media can be far better than paid: not only are the volumes are greater, but it’s longer lasting. This is why earned media makes more financial sense in the long term.

Main example:

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Expected timeframe for results: 3 – 6 months

Owned Media

Owned media refers to the content which you own the rights to and that you communicate through your own channels. This includes blogging, articles, and any resources that you create for your customers (content marketing). The speed of return on investment depends on the frequency and quality of content, as this will determine the value to your customers.. Owned media is likely to share a similar time frame to earned media for ROI.The more valuable your customers find your content, the more likely they are to share it with other potential customers, and the more likely to be persuaded to use your services. Owned media can also positively influence your earned media through promoting online business credibility, which in turns helps to build a stronger brand.


  • Blogging
  • Content marketing
  • Social media communities
  • Video content
  • Podcasts

Expected timeframe for results: 3 – 6 months

Aside from the type of online media that you choose to use, there are a number of other factors you should consider such as your goals, time, and budget which all affect the campaign time frame and will be different for your business. If you’d like to find out more about online marketing and how it could help your business, please feel free to get in touch – we’d love to help!