Have You Found it Difficult to Prove the Value of SEO? Here are 6 Ways to Help You Make Your Case

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Ask any SEO, and they’ve likely experienced issues getting buy-in for SEO at some point in their career. Whether it’s for an SEO tool or investment in an SEO strategy, it’s often difficult to make the case. In fact, even Google is making a bigger effort to show the true impact of SEO

But why is that even the case?

If you take a look at our blog post, “The History of SEO: Told Through the Eyes of Daft Punk,” you’ll not only get a fun spin on how SEO has transformed but you’ll also be reminded that prioritizing paid over organic isn’t anything new. And while we’d vouch for the value of SEO a million times over, we can see why this has been an issue for so long. 

How many executives value SEO?

In any organization, the effectiveness of a given strategy lies in its numbers. While SEO is the greatest source of long-term, sustainable traffic, paid search delivers fast results. But SEO is an investment that has long-lasting effects (even when it’s “turned off”). It dramatically improves SEO ROI long-term – and we’ve got the data to prove it. 

To start, we’d like to share a study we commissioned by Forrester Consulting last year called, “Realize Greater Revenue by Prioritizing SEO.” Through the study, we learned that only 14% of executives are making SEO a top priority in their organization, yet of those 14%, 91% found SEO to be extremely profitable – their top revenue generator. 

showing how executives prioritize SEO according to their SEO maturity, determined by their organization's strategy, people and process, and technology set in place

In a study we commissioned Forrester Consulting to do, they surveyed executives from various industries to learn how they prioritize SEO

But we wanted to dig a little deeper. While we’ve completed a number of case studies over the years to show how making changes to your site’s JavaScript, faceted navigation, and more can impact your site’s organic traffic, we also had a bigger question on our minds: “What’s the total economic impact of Botify?”

This brings us to the beginning of our list of ways you can communicate the significance of SEO to stakeholders at your organization.

Here we go! 

1. Share a Total Economic Impact Report

In our past research, we uncovered that Google was missing over half of an enterprise website

With millions of veteran pages and new ones being published every day, that 50% number accounts for a ton of missed revenue. This is especially eye-opening when you consider the fact that organic search accounts for 35% or more of a website’s traffic. 

showing 35% of traffic comes from search engines

So, we made it our mission to help enterprises unlock their hidden revenue potential by prioritizing their strategic, revenue-generating pages through every phase of search (a.k.a. our full-funnel approach!). 

SEO funnel showing crawl, render, index, rank, convert

Botify’s full-funnel approach prioritizes every stage of organic search – from crawl to convert

So, to measure the total economic impact of Botify, we once again turned to Forrester Consulting. And who knows the impact of Botify better than our very own customers? 

Analysts at Forrester spoke with four of our customers from the auto, retail, and travel industries in the U.S. and EMEA to get a comprehensive understanding of the benefits, costs, and risks they may have experienced with their investment in Botify. 

upcoming webinar image "Do you know the ROI of Botify" featuring Botify's Frank Vitovitch and Forrester Consulting's Collin Colburn

On April 23rd at 12PM EDT, we’ll be hosting a live webinar with Forrester Consulting Analyst Collin Colburn to discuss the findings of the Botify Total Economic Impact (TEI) study.

Before using Botify, our customers reported challenges such as:

  • Falling traffic and performance from poor SERP performance
  • Inefficiency with website analysis
  • Poor website rendering analysis
  • Inability to get the right pages indexed 

And the tools that they had been using previously just weren’t doing the trick. In fact, a big issue they reported was not being able to get a comprehensive look into their data. 

So, what did Forrester Consulting uncover about the impact Botify had on each company’s business financials on average?

  • Organic traffic grew by double digits 
  • Pulling site-wide actionable insights took less than a day
  • And more! 

In our live webinar on April 23rd at 12PM, Botify Solutions Consultant Frank Vitovitch, joined by our guest Collin Colburn, a Senior Analyst with Forrester Consulting, will be discussing all of the findings from the TEI as well as the value of SEO, both of which are aimed to help you answer those “What’s the ROI?” questions. Reserve your spot!

Showing stakeholders in your organization a total economic impact report for an SEO tool or software you’re looking to get buy-in for can help you communicate in a way your executives will understand and appreciate. 

But even if you don’t have a TEI on hand, there are certainly other ways you can communicate the impact (and importance) of SEO. 

2. Unify your data 

Having keyword performance data is great, but when you can leverage the data alongside your log file data, crawl data, and analytics data, it makes it a lot easier to show non-SEO stakeholders the true impact of SEO.

Botify's unified SEO data platform, showing how you can layer your SEO data

In Botify, you can drill down into any crawled or orphaned URL for greater visibility into the page’s performance

We’ve talked about the benefits of unifying your SEO data before, but here’s the gist. Having all of your data in one place can help you achieve greater visibility and drive better results. Being able to see how each part of your website functions through every phase of search and how one part affects the other – across your entire site – is critical. 

When you unify your data, it’s easier to connect the dots between more technical SEO actions (e.g. fixing links pointing to pages with bad canonical tags, ensuring correct “noindex” tags, etc.), jargon (e.g. robots.txt, crawl budget, etc.), and the metrics your stakeholders care about (e.g. traffic, conversions, and revenue).

Which brings us to our next point!  

3. Generate custom reporting 

In any enterprise organization, there are tons of moving parts – from coordinating with various teams day to day to constantly evaluating and pivoting your strategies. The best way to keep track of how your SEO data is impacting your business (and consider potential changes) is to leverage custom reports. 

For example, if you’re working on an e-commerce site and want to see if changes in your site’s performance are caused by an issue on your site or are typical of the holiday season, you can generate a report to compare your year over year metrics and share the results with your team (or get it sent directly to their inboxes). 

graph depicting retail impressions during the 2019 Cyber Monday timeframe

Data from our 2019 research, compiled in the white paper, “The State of Holiday Search Trends

In Botify, you can easily pull data from the LogAnalyzer, SiteCrawler, and RealKeywords components of Botify Analytics to automate your SEO reporting and keep consistent tabs on the metrics you care about most.  

example of a custom report from Botify
Generating custom reports in Botify

As an SEO, it’s no surprise to us that you’d like to see data like crawl rate, error codes, and rank position, but these metrics may not seem as relevant to a non-SEO executive. That’s why it’s important to build custom reporting that shows your executives how SEO impacts the metrics they care about most– like conversions and revenue. You can set the reports up in Botify, have them delivered to your inbox regularly, and be prepared with real-time results before you touch base with your execs next. 

4. Measure your SEO metrics against your business KPIs

Nothing speaks greater to your SEO efforts than measuring them against your main KPIs. For example, if you recently cut crawl waste down by deindexing pages from your faceted navigation, a great way to show the results is to share the increase in traffic and its correlation with the upwards trend in conversions. 

On the other hand, if you’re trying to communicate with another member of the marketing or engineering team about how an action negatively impacts your site’s SEO, you can easily identify and show them the issues (and their correlating downwards trend in conversions when applicable). In particular, setting up segmentation in Botify can help you find issues affecting different parts of your site quickly.  

In Botify, you can easily track upwards and downwards trends in the Conversions tab within the Settings section. There, you’ll find trends for conversion rates and revenue per conversions by device and globally. You can also link your Google Analytics account to your Botify project in the Data Station tab within Settings. 

showing upwards and downwards conversion trends in Botify

Tracking upwards and downwards conversion trends by device in Botify

Have you heard about Botify’s partnership with Looker? If you use Looker to view your business metrics, you can pull in your SEO data from Botify to glean deeper insights against your main KPIs.

5. Share a case study 

Stories – real ones – can be extremely powerful. Especially when those stories resonate with stakeholders and get you the buy-in you need. 

Building a case study can help you communicate the results of a particular SEO project in a memorable and impactful way, but what if you don’t have the ability to create a case study right now? No worries! In many cases, it can be just as helpful to share a case study from a similar company that shows the benefits of SEO.  

If you work for an auto retailer, for example, you and your CMO might be interested to learn that Carvana was able to drive a 300% increase in keyword ranking and a 750% increase in ranking URLs through a JavaScript optimization project. If you’d like to learn how, you can get your copy of Carvana’s case study here

Carvana's case study data showing a 332 percent boost in ranking keywords and a 749 percent boost in ranking URLs

By using Botify, Carvana was able to boost its ranking keywords by 332% and its ranking URLs by 749%

6. Share educational materials

Remember the white paper we mentioned earlier that revealed how executives are prioritizing SEO and the results they’ve seen? The findings of this particular research (conducted by Forrester Consulting) were eye-opening, to say the least. Not only did it give insight into how real executives have developed their SEO teams and strategies, but it also showed how the prioritization impacted their perception of the importance of SEO. 

Whether you’ve stumbled upon a great research study about structuring an SEO team or an article explaining how SEO efforts can benefit paid and other marketing channels – it could make all the difference for getting buy-in from a non-SEO stakeholder. Knowing about SEO is a necessary prerequisite for seeing the value in SEO. For example, if you share information with your CMO about how the SEO funnel works, they’ll have more of an idea about why taking the steps to investigate and improve upon how Google is crawling your site is valuable. 

Here are a few pieces of educational content we recommend for sharing with colleagues who might not be completely sold on the value of SEO yet: 

Educational materials like these can be useful for communicating the value of SEO to your CEO, CMO, or other stakeholders in your organization; plus, all of the work has already been done for you! 

SEO is a treasure trove (all you need is the map) 

We mentioned earlier that we’ve heard from real executives about how effective SEO can be for their ROI. The tricky part is showing the long-term effects SEO has on your revenue. But the data’s there (and Botify can help!).

So, what would you say to evangelize SEO in your organization?

Well, Shawn Huber, SEO Manager at T-Mobile puts it pretty nicely: I’d tell them that search is really the greatest place to understand what people are interested in and what they want to find out. No one lies to their search bars. They ask search engines what they wouldn’t ask their priests. It’s a treasure trove of data you’re not going to get anywhere else. 

quote from Shawn Huber saying I’d tell them that search is really the greatest place to understand what people are interested in and what they want to find out. No one lies to their search bars.
Shawn Huber, T-Mobile

But if that’s not enough, you can show your stakeholders real results (according to revenue), share impactful stories that can help them envision growth, and streamline communications and data for your whole team.

Don’t forget! We’re chatting with Collin Colburn at Forrester Consulting on 4/23 at 12PM to share the results of Botify’s Total Economic Impact Report. RSVP to the live webinar here. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A, so be sure to bring your questions!

 

 

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