Oct 12, 2011

Judging the Performance of an SEO Campaign

by: in SEO

We are often asked these questions in sales pitches and RFPs: “Can you guarantee #1 placement for my keywords?”; “How quickly will we start seeing results?”; and “How much traffic will I receive for our engagement?” The correct answers are: “There are no guarantees”; “Time varies depending upon the number of keywords and the competition for those keywords”; and “Traffic depends on the keywords we can effectively move.” However, those answers never suffice for a prospect who is desperately trying to show ROI to upper management. So how do you combat that?

  1. Get to the root of the problem or their true goal. If they say they want to be #1 for a particular keyword, why do they want to be #1? Do they think it guarantees more traffic? Are they trying to brand? In some verticals, you will never beat out Wikipedia. So if your client wants to increase traffic to their site, show them how you can do that effectively.
  2. Take the time to look at your past performance. If you know your level of activity and the performance of your campaigns, you can trend these numbers to find a projected growth rate. If you have tracked performance over time, you should have a good grasp of how long it is going to take to see results.
  3. Many keyword tools exist that show estimated traffic; using estimated SERP positions and conversions, you are able to estimate the traffic lift to your site.

As marketing budgets get squeezed and more performance is expected out of SEO, digital marketers will be pushed to provide more and more results up front. Check back on our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see how we handle these situations. For even more information, check out a great article called Justifying the Value of SEO from Search Engine Watch.