Search Engine Optimization is all about optimizing your content so that it organically ranks higher on the search engine results page. SEO involves things such as keyword research, link building, and working on building a user-friendly, fast website.
Investing in SEO is one of the best ways to grow your company’s web presence, inbound traffic, and lead generation.
But here comes the catch: estimating revenue growth through SEO is tricky. Also, there’s no saying when a competitor might outrank you for a keyword your page was ranking for.
In such a scenario, you may think, “How do I create a business case for greater investment in SEO if I can’t make accurate predictions about the results?”
A business case, or B-Case for short, involves a solid justification for “undertaking a project, program or portfolio” (via APM Body of Knowledge 7th Edition). A B-Case is prepared with a detailed study of the benefit, cost, and risks associated with the implementation of said program or portfolio.
In this, crafting a business case for greater investment in SEO is tricky, but not impossible. This blog will take you through the strategies you need to craft a solid business case and boost company growth, thanks to SEO.
How Does SEO Boost Long-Term Growth?
An investment in SEO for long-term growth is a beneficial one, thanks to the enormous potential organic reach carries for your company. Put simply, SEO helps:
- Increase brand visibility and credibility
- Generate a greater number of inbound leads
- Build a better focus on user experience (UX)
So, SEO, when integrated well, has loads of benefits for your company, both short-term and long-term. Here are a few solid reasons why your company should invest in SEO, starting today.
Increase in quality of traffic
Over 50% of traffic around the web entered websites by clicking on them through organic search results. That means websites that are implementing SEO strategies are receiving over half of all web traffic.
Paid ads based on PPC often lead to “accidental clicks”, increasing spending on PPC efforts. Organic visibility, on the other hand, only calls for users who have a search query or your company can answer. A better quality of traffic ties in with better sales and even better referrals.
Helps boost brand awareness
This one’s a no-brainer. Having a strong (and memorable) brand is crucial for company growth, no matter what industry or business model you might follow. SEO helps relevant content on your website reach your target audience, creating a sense of authority and value in the digital space.
Techniques such as on-page SEO and backlinking drive greater credibility and visibility, in the eyes of your target audience and the search algorithm.
Helps you engage with customer needs
According to Google, relevant searches influence 39% of people to make a purchase. The number is only predicted to rise in 2022, owing to the large volumes of information available on the web.
You can bet that your target audience does their research before opting for any product or service, and understanding customer needs is the biggest way to boost growth. Greater relevance through content optimization can help brands understand and work on customer needs.
Return of Investment, or ROI, is one of the biggest indicators of a successful SEO strategy. These statistics show the potential SEO practices have for your brand, and how you can use them to generate more voluminous sales in 2022:
- 49% of marketers report that organic search has the best ROI of any marketing channel.
- Organic traffic accounts for over 40% of revenue across Retail, Media & Entertainment, Business Services, Technology/Internet, and Hospitality.
- 94% of clicks in the SERPs go to organic results.
Key Performance Indicators for business growth with SEO
An important part of your business case is creating and measuring success against certain Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. Below are four such KPIs you can measure site performance against, and include while drafting your business case for further SEO investment.
Your company is associated with certain keywords on the web. Keyword rankings determine how relevant your site is for a search query that includes a certain keyword. The closer your site ranks to position one for a keyword, the more keyword traffic you generate.
Tracking which keywords drive in the most traffic, and the ones that drive in the least can be an important guide to content optimization on your site.
There are many tools and analytics software that help you measure keyword relevancy and traffic on Google, such as:
- Google Keyword Planner
Put simply, engagement defines the interactions that take place between a company and a user on digital platforms (such as social media or a search engine). Website engagement means CTA clicks, comments on articles, email list sign-ups, etc.
Engagement metrics can be tracked through analytics software such as Google Analytics. More engagement with your users ultimately leads to better revenue and customer retention.
Quality of leads
Lead quality helps determine what percentage of leads are likely to turn into paying customers. The higher the quality of leads, the more your users are likely to convert into consumers.
Determining lead quality can help target which areas of the sales funnel need to be targeted for better performance, and how you can utilize SEO strategies to do the same. Two important phrases that can help determine lead quality are:
- Closing potential – the amount of effort it takes to convert a lead into a paying customer (the easier, the better)
- Revenue potential – the amount of revenue the customer could bring to your company over a period of time.
Performance of sales funnel
Tracking how well your sales funnel performs is perhaps the most holistic KPI to measure and work on. Identifying gaps and leaks in your funnel can give your SEO strategy a clear direction.
Your funnel may continually require modifications at every stage to refine your SEO efforts. For enterprise websites, major modifications — such as revamping the content creation process or onboarding a team of freelance creatives — should be accompanied by a proper change management process.
How to Craft a Business Case for More SEO Investment?
You’ve done your research, you’ve tracked your KPIs, and you have solid reasons supporting increased investment in growth-based SEO practices. What next?
Here are 5 steps to help you draft a data-driven business case based on the analysis of user metrics, KPIs, and predicted results after implementing appropriate SEO practices.
Track User Metrics Thoroughly
You can track user metrics and your website’s organic performance through tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Know Your Audience and Compare Past Performance
Study their needs, responses to past strategies, and expectations from your company and its competitors in the market.
Research Relevant Keywords
Keyword research can help you pinpoint areas for growth and what your audience is looking for from your company. Building a content strategy is the next step of this process.
Develop a Growth Forecast for Your SEO Efforts
Here’s how to develop a growth forecast for your past, present, and future SEO efforts:
- Estimate search volume for relevant keywords (both long-tail and short-tail).
- Track current rankings positions for these keywords.
- Study the competitiveness of relevant keywords and track your site’s Domain Authority (DA) over time.
- Calculate the traffic potential to your site based on your site’s relevancy and competitiveness of keywords.
- Build a keyword-optimized content strategy.
- Estimate time frames and revenue through these channels, and create milestones for metrics like monthly traffic and conversion rate.
Present this projected forecast and predicted results
Once you have all the above-mentioned data sorted out, all that’s left for you is to create a solid presentation and pitch away.
SEO is the need of the hour for online businesses, and pushing for further investment in-line with company goals is the best way to move forward into the new year. Throughout the process of drafting a business case, tracking website performance and keeping a close eye on bottom-line relevant KPIs such as conversions and revenue is a practice that’ll set your business case up for success.