You can see all of your goal completions for whatever time period you want within the Conversions menu of your dashboard. If you have a dollar value attached to some or all of those goals, you can filter this down to just organic traffic so that you can see exactly how much money each of those goal completions is bringing in per month.
This can still work if you’re able to attach some kind of dollar value to your completions or your goals even if they’re not e-commerce related necessarily. If you do sell products, though, the E-commerce menu under Conversions is going to have some other really great insights, like how well each of your products is performing each month and which of your coupon or affiliate codes is performing the best month over month.
So sometimes the best way to convince yourself or your managers that investing in something like SEO is a good idea is by talking about it in terms of dollars and profits, like we just did. But sometimes you want to recognize that your competition is already doing this thing that you’re considering and already seeing success.
At this point, any organization with a website that’s not investing in SEO is far behind the curve. So 60% of marketers currently say that SEO is their number one concern when it comes to inbound marketing. Forbes tells us that over
$80 billion is being spent each year just in the U.S. on SEO, and that number is going up all the time.
So, obviously, if you want to contend with your competitors who are taking up space in those SERPs, you need to be able and willing to play the same game as they are.
But here’s something else that’s interesting. We saw a recent study that said that only 49% of small businesses say that they invest in SEO. So this is interesting because almost 100% of purchases these days involve organic search in some way, and yet less than half of American small businesses are doing the work that it takes to become part of that buyer journey. So if you are a small business or if you’re an agency that works with SMBs, then, yes, your biggest competitors are absolutely already investing in SEO.
But if you join them, you may be able to beat out some of those smaller guys who didn’t make the smart choice to invest. There is a lot of opportunity in this statistic.
Cost of inaction
So the opposite of return on investment is the cost of not investing or the cost of inaction. We just went over one of those costs — losing out in the SERPs to your competition.
But another cost that you face if you choose not to invest in that tool suite, not to hire the SEO agency, or not to let your team focus on SEO work is letting your website stagnate or at worst letting your website deteriorate as a result of lack of attention being paid to routine SEO maintenance. Your
internal links can quickly become outdated if products get removed from your catalog.
On-page content can also really easily become outdated. If you had some valuable traffic being sent to your website from other sites that were linking to you externally, if your site changes, then those links could become outdated, or they might just choose to remove them and you wouldn’t even notice. If you have to go through something like an entire site migration or a restructuring of your internal architecture, those results can be disastrous if you don’t pay attention to the important SEO concerns that are at play there.
So if you were ever considering hiring an
in-house SEO or an agency, it’s probably because you knew that you didn’t have time to pay attention to that kind of routine maintenance on your own. So the odds are that if you don’t make the commitment to that investment and get someone in there to help you, your site is going to suffer.
So the most important caveat in all of this, to remind yourself or to convey to your managers, is that SEO, of course, takes time. It can be really exciting when you’re thinking about dollars and projecting those profits to get excited about the potential results. But remember that in our example earlier it took time for Chelsea to do the work that was necessary to improve those pages that she was working on.
Then it took even more time for Google to do its job and for that work to actually affect those SERP rankings and the click-through rate as a result. So there’s a gap between where we spent the money on that tool suite and where we actually saw the return. That can be really frustrating for business owners and especially for the SEOs who are trying to justify their work.
That’s why it’s so important to manage expectations around timing and the plausibility of your results during that sign-off process, before that check is signed, so that you can minimize the frustration that can come from waiting. But if you can get your stakeholders on the same page as you are about your SEO work and use all the really great tactics that you’ve learned to get the best and most effective results possible, you will earn that buy-in, you will make your bosses happy, and it will be that much easier for them to sign off on the next project that you propose.
So thank you so much again for watching this edition of Whiteboard Friday. I hope this was useful to you. Again, I’m Kavi Kardos. You can find me on LinkedIn under my name or on Twitter @therarevos and tell me your favorite ways to demonstrate ROI. I’ll see you next time.
Video transcription by Speechpad.com.