Any business that wants to succeed in the digital space today needs the services of a search marketing agency. They also need assurance that their investment is paying off. So how can you provide tangible proof that your work is producing the results your client wants to see?

Understanding SEO ROI

Unlike with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, determining Return on Investment for SEO services is not a straightforward process. With PPC, it’s as simple as calculating the difference between cost of the service and revenue earned. Traditionally, search marketing agencies report SEO ROI by search engine ranking.

As great as it for a business to see their website perform well organically on SERPs for their desired short-tail keywords, there may be little to no value in this at all. Many agencies have convinced their clients that good performance on results pages means they’re getting a return on their investment when in reality; this is far from the truth.

Why Common ROI Reports Aren’t Accurate

Simply looking into their website analytics will reveal exactly why success with short-tail keywords doesn’t necessarily result in conversions. Short-tail keywords tend to be too broad. For example, if your client’s website sells smartphone cases, their short-tail keywords may be “iPhone cover” or “Samsung S8 Case.”

Realistically, when their target audience searches for a company that sells smartphone cases, their terms are more likely to be long-tail keywords such as “best price for iPhone cover” or “Waterproof Samsung S8 Case.” As a result, their website is less likely to show up in the SERPs of their target audience.

In the same light, your link building campaign may be driving authentic traffic to your client’s website, but it’s only propping up short-tail keywords that don’t perform or result in conversions. Instead of using these methods, we need to understand true SEO ROI and subsequently create more accurate reports that satisfy our clients.

Providing SEO ROI in the Early Stages

Organic SEO takes time. It’s important to explain this to your clients so that they don’t lose faith in your services. Before significant traffic generation-based results start to show, you need to make your clients aware of what you’re doing so that they can see where their money is going.

Create a report that doesn’t overwhelm them with heavy SEO jargon, but rather one that shows the work you’re doing. This can include a number of statistics such as the following:

  • How you’ve optimized their Google my Business listing.
  • The technical errors you’ve amended from the initial SEO audit.
  • How many new blog posts or pages of content you’ve added to their website.
  • How many new backlinks you’ve added.
  • Which business directories and citation sites you’ve listed their business on.

Presenting this information in a manner which is understandable to even the least tech-savvy business owner is important.

Showing the Value of Your Services

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that a good search marketing agency is one who knows their stuff and start submitting overwhelming amounts of analytics data and confusing reports to your clients. However, this doesn’t really tell your client what they want to hear.

Instead, they want to see how your work has impacted their business. This needs to be tangible data such as the amount of new visitors to their website and the value of those visitors. The following quote by PWD is a great example of presenting a complex topic such as SEO in a simple manner that business owners can easily understand.

“When used effectively, SEO will improve your visibility on crucial online platforms. In turn, this will lead to increased traffic and bigger sales figures.” Business owners usually don’t want to hear about the technicalities of their marketing investments, but rather exactly how they’ll benefit from it.

What to Include in a Good SEO ROI Report

Business owners will focus on two main aspects when it comes to gauging the results of their marketing investment: traffic and conversions. Without traffic, there aren’t any users to make conversions. Similarly, no conversions mean that you’ve brought them the wrong traffic.

Be sure to include the overall increase in search engine traffic and the overall increase in unique users visiting their website. You should also include statistics detailing the conversions related to that search engine traffic and the overall increase in conversions over time that are related to your campaign.

The Bottom Line

ROI is what your clients ultimately want to see. How did your work create more interest in their business and result in more sales? Ensuring that your clients feel satisfied with your services is the only way to grow your search marketing agency and create a satisfied customer base.