The Value of SEO Beyond Traffic and Leads — Whiteboard Friday

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So, how do we communicate the value of SEO beyond just that traffic and maybe leads to your senior management team?

First off, you need to look at what are the business goals. Now, I’m not talking about your marketing goals or even the goals of the initiative that you’re all focused on for this quarter. I’m talking about the big business goals.

So, what is it that the company is writing to their investors about? What is it that they are reporting on? Because it’s that kind of thing that you want to be able to show how SEO is empowering the company to meet those goals.

So if, for example, a big year goal for your company is that it wants to expand into new markets, have a look at how you can directly link the impact of organic search activity to an expansion into a new market. Things like data around the search appetite in those markets or the sorts of behavior of users when they’re on the SERPs and then on your website. All of this information combined can really help to show your senior leadership team how you are helping them to meet their core KPIs.

And also talk about how SEO is improving efficiency. We’ve already said how we help out all of these teams and all of the side effect benefits that we have from these different activities that we do. Make sure that your senior management team are aware of that. Show how you are helping the company to be more efficient by bringing in together a lot of these teams because that collaboration is incredibly important. Where SEO does touch upon a lot of different marketing channels and different aspects of a website, we’re always bringing those teams together. We’re often at the center of big projects, and that collaboration can make your business a lot more efficient. SEO never works in a silo, and we’ve grown up in the industry knowing that. And so we’re always looking to bring other teams together.

And then, finally, talk about how SEO supports growth. So, yes, it might well be that you are moving into a new market. Exactly how can SEO help with that? And that’s what we need to be doing. We need to be showing that SEO prepares a company for the future.

We can talk about forward planning. So if you are looking to launch a new brand, maybe a sub-brand of your company, SEO is really important in that because if you call it something silly, or even call it something that a company has already named their product or service, then you’re instantly going to have some competition in the SERPs. That’s the kind of insight that we know to look for as SEOs. But that might not be something that your management team have considered yet.

You can also analyze the SERPs for that particular new brand’s name. You can work out what kind of sentiment already exists there or what kind of websites will be competing for that brand name. And it’s that kind of insight, that preparing for the future that can really help a business.

Or, say you are looking to internationalize; perhaps you’ve thought two steps ahead to an impending website migration that you know will have to happen if you don’t structure your website now for that future international growth. So perhaps your company is looking at .co.uk domain for now, but they are looking to expand into Europe in the future. You know that that’s going to make probably a lot of problems in the future. So why don’t we start with a .com domain that we can then internationalize under the one domain? It’s that, again, kind of forward- thinking that might not be apparent to someone who isn’t within the SEO industry.

So make sure you’re talking about that with your senior management team. We are always obsessing about Google and the other search engines and what features that they’re rolling out now. And because of that, we can position our businesses to be ready for those kind of rollouts.

So organic products, for example. Now, there are some things that go into making sure that you are ranking within the organic product features within the search engine. So that needs to happen, and it’s going to be an SEO who probably drives that forwards. But without the SEO driving that forwards, then your company probably wouldn’t be ready for those kind of changes in the SERPs.

And we’re crucial in identifying new markets and also identifying new potential products because we’re always looking at what people are searching for in and around the industry that we’re in. So we’re always aware of whether they’re looking for a new type of product or a new way of doing things.

We’re in the data day in, day out looking at what people are searching for. And through that, we can start to identify gaps in the market. Is there a product or a service that people want that none of our competitors are offering? Is it something perhaps we’re well positioned to do?

So whenever you’re looking to communicate the value of SEO beyond just traffic and leads, the key really is to talk about the impact and the breadth of impact that SEO has across not just other marketing channels but across the wider company.

And then you’re probably ready to ask for that pay rise.

Transcription by Speechpad

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