Marketing Managers often have a difficult time conveying the value of their SEO efforts to their boss, and are often left wondering how to demonstrate the channels true value.
But worry not…
Throughout this article, we aim to provide detailed insights into how to report SEO success in a way which your superiors will not only care, but emotionally engage with, resulting in receiving the plaudits you deserve.
Understanding KPIs and objectives
KPIs (key performance indicators) are the bread and butter of any marketing campaign, not just SEO. Before starting any work, you need to have a thorough understanding of your organisation’s KPIs, and align with your digital strategy to help achieve the business’ wider objectives. An example KPI may be that you wish to achieve an X% increase in revenue by next year, or that the organic channel generates X number of conversions in a certain period of time.
If you have an in-depth understanding of your objectives, you can continue to demonstrate how your SEO results are contributing to the achieving them. This will undoubtedly engage your stakeholders, resulting in personal recognition which we all love!
Whether you’re an e-commerce business aiming to improve revenue, or you’re a lead generation company wanting to increase the number of enquiries, you’ll want to be referring to these in every report and meeting you have with your stakeholders.
Ultimately, stakeholders don’t care whether we have achieved a 100% increase in traffic Year on Year, or if we’ve witnessed a 10% uplift in Share of Voice. They simply don’t see the commercial benefit of these metrics. Instead, they care about how SEO is contributing towards the wider objectives, which is why it’s essential to constantly revert back to the first point in the report. You can ensure that you’re able to report these accurately by tracking everything in Google Analytics (form completions, phone calls, clicks for directions etc.) and explaining how results correlate with offline media.
Whilst rankings aren’t the most commercially relevant metrics for a campaign, they do represent the progress which you’re making. As a result, it is important to include a section about visibility in your SEO report, which hopefully shows progress Year on Year!
Furthermore, if you are able to communicate continued progress for priority commercial keywords, you’re also likely to also witness improvements for other metrics, such as conversions. Moreover, if you are able to establish a connection between a particular improvement in visibility and an improvement in sales/conversions, then this is going to connect more with your stakeholders, thus making them care more than if you were to simply outline the data.
Work completed and expected outcomes
Whether you report to your boss on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, you will need to outline the work which you’ve completed over the period and the expected outcomes. An example could be that you’ve built X number of high quality links to a particular area of the website, which you expect to improve sitewide visibility and authority over the coming months.
By outlining the work you’ve completed and explaining the projected outcome, you’re adding value and quantifying your role, which further enhances your boss’ understanding of why you’ve spent a proportion of your working week on a task. Furthermore, if you have an attentive boss who has a particular interest in organic search, this could present an opportunity to educate them on SEO best practices and improve their understanding of the channel.
Furthermore, we always recommend adding a section at the bottom of a report explaining tasks which are planned for the upcoming period, so that that boss’ feel ‘in the loop’, and know what is going to be delivered in the next meeting.
Make your reports easy to digest
Most Directors and Stakeholders don’t have time to read through paragraphs and paragraphs of text, therefore it is essential that every report you generate is well structured, aesthetically pleasing and easy to digest.
Every person is different, therefore it is important to understand what your boss’ value within your report, and what they understand. Once you know this information, you can begin generating your report with graphs and well-structured content – we’ve found bullet points and prominent headings often make content easy to digest.
If you want to speed up your reporting, you can use reporting software such as Data Studio or Report Garden, which allow you to pull through real time data from Google Analytics. This data can be quickly made into graphs and charts, which will improve the value of your report to stakeholders, thus better communicating the value of the channel.
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