SEO is the marketing channel that is most undervalued.
It has a meager budget compared to PPC or television advertising.
Furthermore, it must strive to justify its existence.
Not any longer.
This article will teach you seven tried-and-true methods for explaining the value of SEO.
Why most SEO reporting needs to be scrapped
Search marketers with limited resources rarely do themselves a favor. They provide data-heavy reports devoid of context.
Many read more like annual reports, with numbers and symbols everywhere. However, these reports do not incorporate business-relevant metrics.
For example, traffic may be decreasing. However, due to a change in SERP structure, it may be lower for everyone in the industry.
Or, what if your business is seasonal? Your report will indicate a decline that is not your responsibility.
In general, SEOs provide clients with excessive data that they neither value nor comprehend.
It is time to alter this model and provide stakeholders with data they can comprehend and value.
Consider sales figures with prudence.
It is common for SEOs to assert a variety of revenue outcomes.
This disregards the company’s brand, product, social media, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, and any other form of marketing.
In reality, both search and consumer acquisition are complex endeavors.
My parents, who are in their seventies, have just made their first Amazon purchase. It required a gift certificate.
If an Amazon SEO professional wishes to include my mother’s purchase in their analytics victories, that is acceptable.
But it’s a deception. Gift cards prompted a navigational search and made purchases risk-free.
SEOs have a tendency to become fixated on competing with other channels for budget, and we’ll take any victories we can.
However, while revenue may be something you can demonstrate, it is not your default metric.
People make purchases for a variety of purposes. Additionally, they abandon carriages for many others.
Therefore, include conversion data in your reports, but make sure the client realizes that this is website performance and not necessarily SEO performance.
There are numerous factors that influence sales, and website traffic is rarely the sole factor.
This brings us to the metrics that demonstrate SEO’s value.
Traffic comparison with the nearest competitor
Search is a marketing channel occupied by competing brands.
Comparison will be your greatest tool for proving SEO’s worth.
By highlighting how your client’s competitors perform in search, you can demonstrate the value of SEO by bringing them ahead of the competition.
Comparison can be made in numerous methods.
Create a chart comparing the traffic of your client’s website to that of a competitor for this initial assessment.
The opponent with whom they compete most frequently.
Consider using a simple bar chart. There is nothing quite like a goal to pursue.
As you surpass them, continually switch competitors. This will assist the consumer in focusing on near-term achievements.
The proportion of inquiry interest
The proportion of searches is a metric. Les Binet and the IPA proposed as a cost-effective method of measuring brand efficacy a method that Les Binet and the IPA proposed. It is also an easy metric to calculate.
You can use Google Trends to compare your brand’s and your competitors’ search interest and to calculate your market share.
This is not ideal for SEO, as it displays search as a channel. This indicates that all of your marketing contributes to this number, but it is a useful metric for:
- Demonstrate how your marketing influences your business.
- Warn you, particularly when there is a decline in search interest share. This data can give you six months’ notice of a change in your business’s success, allowing you to take appropriate action.
The proportion of search volume
Share of search interest indicates how intrigued people are in your brand (relative to the competition), but what if your brand is small? What about only search traffic?
Thankfully, search volume share is here to save the day.
Now, tools such as Semrush and Ahrefs make this observation simple.
Log into one of them, list your organic competitors, and compare your organic search share with theirs.
Although I am unaware of any SEOs conducting tests in this area, I believe (based on my experience) that search volume and search interest will tend to follow a similar path.
If you observe a decline in traffic across your informational, brand, consumer intent, and non-brand searches, it is likely that you need to take marketing action.
Branded search volume
Every business will generate two categories of traffic: brand and non-brand.
While an increase in branded traffic is unlikely to be your responsibility.
Depending on your business, the SEO’s role may include capturing it.
Obviously, there are numerous methods to accomplish this, but it is beyond the scope of this article to elaborate.
Capturing as much brand traffic as possible guarantees that you will be visible to consumers.
Branded search traffic is an excellent metric to demonstrate to key stakeholders. Additionally, it can be utilized to inform other marketing channels and aid in the planning of marketing activities.
This is one reason why your SEO team should be present at all marketing meetings. They have data that benefits all parties.
Informational inquiry for the ‘Messy middle’
Google has previously covered the murky middle of search. It is a paradigm of how people utilize search engines to make purchases and decisions.
To paraphrase their research, individuals investigate a topic, conduct research, and then evaluate their choices.
This indicates that it is advantageous for your business to appear during the customer’s investigation voyage.
Therefore, answering crucial queries during the customer’s research phase is a valuable SEO strategy.
And one that can be demonstrated using analytics.
Now, you won’t want to give your clients a spreadsheet (unless they specifically request one), but a straightforward screenshot of Search Console data will suffice.
Alternately, you can generate a more attractive chart using spreadsheet reports.
Enhanced physical accessibility
Physical accessibility indicates the convenience and simplicity with which a consumer can purchase your brand.
And sure, these are your purchasing terms, the ones you’re probably bidding on and spending a fortune on PPC.
These are the metrics you can monitor and present to clients you are ranking for. Once ranked, you can experiment with decreasing PPC spend to decrease CPL.
I recommend keeping note of both your client’s PPC keywords and their organic rankings. Create a monthly chart displaying your organic rankings for these terms for the client.
New visitor acquisition
New visitor acquisition is perhaps the most controversial yet valuable metric that is neglected.
New visitors are the foundation of any website, so identifying the source of this traffic is essential.
Because it demonstrates that your company is being introduced to new prospects, which is how a brand grows.
The report covers: Your new closest friend
Even though Google provides you with analytics data, you do not have to use it all for SEO reports.
The data appears to the majority of customers as a collection of integers, causing confusion. Your expertise is required to interpret this data in a meaningful manner for customers.
Give them the figures, but I recommend that you also provide a cover report.
A basic, one-page report that emphasizes the information presented in the preceding section (or any metrics of your choosing).
This will not only reduce your reporting time, but it will also demonstrate your skill in identifying pertinent information.
We are SEO experts. This knowledge must permeate every aspect of SEO, including reporting.
And by contextualizing your data, you will increase its perceived value.
In other words, if your client reporting calls are not engaging, discover a method to make the data significantly more pertinent, and they will be.