How to demonstrate Search Engine Optimization’s return on investment and total company impact

Explain what it means to be successful and how to accomplish it. 

It takes a lot of effort to write a winning SEO proposal for a new lead. You must evaluate their SEO potential, determine the best SEO plan for them, and demonstrate the business value you can provide. Then you must explain it to the client in a way that makes sense to them. 

Many ideas leap right to how the agency can help the lead, but there’s a key step missing.

To make your business case persuasive, you must first comprehend what success looks like for your potential client. Then you’ll be able to communicate with them in their own language, whether it’s income, transactions, conversions, or traffic. 

What you should do, according to Kevin Gibbons, CEO and creator of Re:signal and SEO monitor Masterclass educator, is tie your activity back to critical business results. There will be no genuine alignment if you can’t comprehend and communicate what success is and why they need SEO

How to demonstrate Search Engine Optimization’s return on investment and total company impact

A trustworthy forecasting system, according to Gibbons, makes all the difference in this situation. As he puts it, a well-executed forecast will assist you in defining:

  • The WHY = What success for the company and its development potential could look like. 
  • The HOW = The important market segments into which the client can expand. 
  • The WHAT = The steps your agency needs to take to attain those business goals.

If the what is simple, the why and how are also simple when the appropriate prediction is in place: 

Establish a realistic business development strategy. 

You won’t know where you’ll wind up if you don’t have the greater picture behind your SEO proposal defined. “The prediction serves as a good reminder of why you’re doing this in the first place,” Gibbons adds. 

This is the stage where you create a forecasting scenario to get a good idea of the size of the opportunity. You can assess not just whether the lead is fit for your agency, but also whether SEO is the best option for the lead’s existing company potential.

“You must instill confidence in them that the outcomes are achievable. It’s unlikely that a new retail company with limited organic visibility and poor brand awareness/reputation will be able to rank competitively for “sportswear” or “skirts” overnight, according to Gibbons.

“Your prediction model should consider your current opportunity vs the size of the market and break it down into manageable bite sizes so that you can eventually devour that elephant – but you start with one manageable bite at a time,” he says. 

The forecasting technique of SEOmonitor enables you to model the data while taking into consideration all of the relevant elements that influence your target keywords, resulting in a realistic scenario:

  • The CTR value is the average CTR curve for the top 10 locations on each SERP feature and device combination. 
  • The non-brand organic traffic inertial trend, based solely on search seasonality (as if the website’s rankings would remain static). 
  • The search trend of the keywords included in the Forecast from year to year. 
  • The impact of long-tail keyword ranking increases (not included in the prediction) on traffic.

Determine the client’s potential for growth

How you compile your initial market and search landscape investigation also informs the “why” that drives your forecast and SEO plan. 

The strong foundation for your scenarios will be narrowing down your keyword list and identifying where the SEO chances are. Your forecasts will be misleading if your forecasting input isn’t up to par. 

You must know where you’re going in a strategic manner:

From keyword research to keyword strategy, we’ve got you covered

This is how you can conceive of the entire framework: 

  • Keyword research is the data you’ll use to curate, arrange, and prioritize your content. 
  • The keyword strategy is the result – keyword groups that have been whittled down and categorized to guide your action plan and forecasting base. 

This approach will help you maximize the impact of your SEO efforts and avoid wasting both your agency’s and your client’s resources. 

However, you’ll need a correct diagnosis of the client’s current situation and the problem you’re trying to solve with SEO to do so.

Create a map of the client’s business

For your understanding of the business, the client’s website categories and buyer personas are critical. You can conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) study of their product or service categories to determine which are the most prevalent in contrast to their competitors in the search environment. 

The customer may request that you focus on specific categories, but you may show them where their strengths are by being proactive.

This perspective, when combined with the buyer journey, will provide you with the foundation for evaluating demand and search intent, which is critical for determining the correct diagnosis. Consider what search queries the target audience used and reverse engineer the SERPs and the attributes Google promotes to have a better understanding of demand. 

Let’s have a look at an example.

Let’s pretend your client is a small fashion designer with a new website. It won’t make sense to compete with big retailers (such as GAP and others) on broad keywords like “dresses” or “jeans” right away. However, because the designer’s expertise is customisation, you see a possibility for “custom cocktail dresses” or “custom black dresses.” Answering the search intent with content marketing at each stage of the journey will prove to be a crucial aspect of your diagnostic and action plan: awareness (“little black dress for body shape”), interest (“best black dress”), and consideration (“custom black dress price”).

Make a map of the client’s SEO possibilities

Aside from aligning website categories to demand, there are a slew of other methods for finding SEO opportunities. 

Start with the high-opportunity keywords you discovered throughout your research phase – the ones with the simplest path to the top and the most potential traffic once there. 

You may assess which of your desired keywords have missing landing pages or cannibalization concerns and begin repairing them right away.

Then there’s the issue of timing: recognizing seasonal keywords and employing them as they approach their peak is another low-hanging fruit, as long as you time them correctly. Some are easy, such as holiday and season-related items and services. The ones that are industry-specific will give you the upper hand. 

Let’s use an example once more for clarity’s sake.

Your customer is an online bookstore that is gearing up for the summer. Of course, questions like “great summer vacation reads” or “books to bring to the beach” will be answered. However, there may be high-opportunity keywords associated with an exclusive event or book signed by the author, or new editorial debuts for the summer months that are seasonally and industry-specific.

With comprehensive filtering features to indicate keywords with issues, low difficulty, high opportunity, and so on, a robust rank tracker may help you work efficiently in prioritizing and segmenting your keywords properly. It will save you hours of digging through your initial keyword list by automating the process.

Decide on a common definition of success

It’s time to put your SEO proposal to the test now that you’ve unearthed the most relevant keywords from your study and found your answers to the diagnostic inquiry. 

That’s where forecasting can help you qualify the lead as well as the extent of the opportunity. You may work with your team to generate various scenarios and fine-tune your keyword strategy until you have a realistic, credible proposal – sharing the final version with your client will help to build trust and set expectations.

As we mentioned in the outset, you should always have a clear definition of what success means for your SEO campaign: more visitors, more conversions, more revenue, and so on. That way, you can be sure you’re tracking what important to your client and evaluating SEO performance through the appropriate lens. 

The keyword strategy and forecasting exercises are also excellent ways to discover new company prospects. As a result, your agency will be seen as a business partner rather than just someone who performs SEO work.

To sum it up 

To demonstrate the ROI of your SEO proposal, you’ll need a thorough grasp of the client’s business and market, as well as a solid keyword strategy that will serve as the foundation for a realistic forecasting scenario. 

All of these steps ensure that you and your client are on the same page and know where you want to go in order to meet your business objectives.

SEOmonitor’s team thought it was time to compress all of that information into a series of masterclasses after hundreds of hours of study with our agency clients and many years of perfecting the know-how inside the product. 

We’ve created SEOmonitor Masterclass to help agency employees learn more about business frameworks and how to apply them to their environment and procedures. The first two are available for free at masterclass.seomonitor.com and cover SEO Forecasting and Keyword Strategy.

Both masterclasses include assignments, key takeaways, case studies, and demos for agencies to study and use in their own processes. After completing them, you’ll be able to leverage strategic frameworks for your agency, maximize the impact of your SEO efforts, and make better decisions for your future SEO campaigns. 

Join our learning community today and help us bring more transparency to the SEO industry!

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