Long Term SEO & Proving Value

long-term-seo

How do you show the value of long-term SEO recommendations in the short term?

Take HTTPS as an example. As search marketers, we know there is long-term value in transitioning to a secured site. The web is moving in a more secure direction, users want trust, and heck, Google has stated it’ll give preference to secured pages. That’s a big deal!

From an impact perspective, however, the site likely isn’t going to see an immediate uptick in search traffic. And with an HTTPS transition requiring time, resources and money (and potentially causing issues), selling the investment isn’t easy. Especially when the business (aka client) wants to ensure they’re getting the biggest bang for their buck.

So, what can we do? I’ll be honest: the answer will vary from business to business, but I think there are a few ways to help show the value of long-term SEO strategies and get additional recommendations pushed through.

One of the nice things about the search industry is the sharing of information and the willingness to help one another. Plus, let’s be real — there probably isn’t anything you are doing that hasn’t already been done.

If you’re looking to show value in a longer-term strategy, do what it is you do best: search! See what has already been said and what the results show. Ask your network questions, and I’m willing to bet there’s someone who can give you answers — and potentially the “data” you need.

If you can put together some real information around the strategy, you are more likely to get the recommendation pushed through and buy yourself some time from a performance perspective.

Bonus tip: Take a look at what competitors are doing. If you can show that 75 percent of your competitors have implemented the recommended strategy and are performing better than you, that’ll usually get the attention of those in charge.

You know what I love about paid search and social? Immediate results! You know pretty quickly if something isn’t working, and you can adjust, test and test again. Unfortunately, we know SEO doesn’t work that way, and results can take a long time.

Which takes us back to our problem at hand: how do we make sure the business sees the value of our long-term SEO recommendations when the tangible results (traffic/revenue) aren’t there yet?

Sometimes it’s about the small wins. When looking for ways to show organic improvement, I like to take a look at the following:

Search query data

There are certainly useful keyword data/content ideas in there, but I like to see how the overall impression and query data grows. For example, if we’ve created a content strategy around a competitive keyword, traffic probably isn’t going to improve, and the average position isn’t going to change much. Search Console data can, however, show us if long-tail queries and impressions around that keyword/phrase are growing.

If they are, we know our strategy is having an impact, and we can show the client, buying us some time and helping credibility.

Keyword visibility

There are a number of things I like about SEMrush: one is the ability to look at organic keyword visibility both now and in the past to see how it has changed.

Ideally, as your site improves, so does your overall search visibility. How many keywords are you showing for now vs. three months ago vs. six months ago vs. 12 months ago?

Similar to Search Console data, this doesn’t necessarily translate to traffic or conversion increases but does showcase performance improvements.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate is a too frequently overlooked metric in organic search. It can be tough to measure as a whole because different sections of a site target different parts of the funnel, but when broken down properly, conversion rate can provide some key insights.

In putting together an on-site content strategy, we recommended switching out the existing targets with a keyword set geared more toward their audience. We knew this would result in a traffic decrease, but we were confident that it would pay off in the long run.

Once the changes were made, boy, did organic traffic drop quickly. The client wasn’t super-psyched, and we needed to be able to show the execs value in that recommendation sooner rather than later.

Final thoughts

Some of the biggest challenges for any agency (search or otherwise) are getting buy-in, driving execution and being able to show your value as an organization. For SEOs who are working on a long-term strategy, that last piece can be extremely difficult.

Just remember, when making your case, look to the things you know. Find real examples, create your own examples — and focus on the small wins when you can.

Read the full article at:  http://searchengineland.com/long-term-seo-proving-value-now-261419

 

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