Understand growth opportunities
Gap analysis of the keywords of the competitors
It’s common sense, but it can sometimes escape the customer’s focus – showing them who their real online competitors are in terms of queries and search intent.
A perfume store, for example, will face fierce competition from large retailers like Amazon, more so than competing perfume stores that choose to offer online services.
When you search the customer’s domain in conjunction with the competitive landscape, you get an overview of the overlapping and non-overlapping keywords and their key attributes (search volume, seasonality, etc.). This is an important way to understand which keywords are worth including in your SEO suggestion and ulterior motive strategy so as not to be distracted by misleading keywords.
Continuing our perfume store example, while you can focus on a specific set of keywords, you can come up with a compelling, data-driven argument as to why it is important to improve non-overlapping keywords.
For example, suppose you found out that a competitor to our perfume business has special pages for aroma-based perfumes with listings for “vetiver” or “white musk”. Replicating this will not change the customer’s product line and add new valuable keywords to the mix.
The customer’s market share
Another way to assess the customer’s business status quo is to use the visibility metric as a market share indicator. Calculated as the percentage of impressions and weighted against the search volume, it shows you the growth potential compared to the customer’s competitors and the total number of shares.
Since it’s a percentage, you know where to focus your attention.
For example, if the market is competitive and the main competitor has 70% visibility, improving rankings for high volume keywords in the top 3 group will be critical. They also know which keywords to choose for a successful SEO strategy.
Transparent calculations for a realistic time frame
After you’ve thoroughly researched and selected the available keywords, modeling what unbranded organic traffic might look like if a certain level of performance is achieved in a 6 or 12 month period can help you set the right expectations for your agency.
To do this, you need to look at all of the variables that affect your keyword list:
- Look for seasonality and the trend of the keywords year over year.
- What the seasonality-influenced inertial traffic just looks like (as if the website’s ranking is stuck).
- The time output towards the SEO goal, calculated as linear or exponential.
- The average CTR curve calculated for the top 10 positions for each mix of SERP features and device segmentation shows you the actual clicks that can be used to reach your customers.
- The long-tail keywords and their impact on the forecasted traffic.
This model allows you to estimate sessions and conversions instead of ranks. In the forecast module of SEOmonitor, the estimate of the additional conversions is based, for example, on the estimated additional visits multiplied by the corresponding conversion rate of each keyword included in the calculation. You can review every input and output at a single keyword level and see what makes a realistic or too far-fetched scenario.
In this way, you turn the loaded concept of forecasting into a more tangible idea – various additional traffic scenarios that translate into potential business outcomes and shift the conversation towards marketing value.
To make an argument for a specific scenario, you can highlight what the traffic would look like with and without the proposed SEO campaign, and be transparent about what went into your calculations and what assumptions you made.
When you let the customer understand the overall opportunity and benefit to their business, you can create a common foundation for success.
Is it now the right budget for the client’s business?
When your agency is building a business case, it’s also important to assess the direct link between SEO performance and results, which correlates to an objective benchmark that you and the client can easily gauge.
Compare SEO budget and projected results to the equivalent in Google Ads and you will get an external comparison that shows the value of SEO. For example, if the estimated Google Ads value for your realistic scenario is $ 55,000 for 12 months, a retainer of $ 500 to $ 700 seems more plausible than a retainer of $ 1,500.
In contrast, if the estimated value of Google Ads hits more than $ 250,000 in the same 12 month period, then it’s clear that it’s international SEO in a highly competitive market and at least $ 5,000 to $ 7,000.
Instead of estimates and the painful back-and-forth of setting a budget benchmark, you now have an overview of where the company is and how you can contribute to sales. So these calculations can help you set the right price for that customer profile.
Even if you do not include this forecast scenario in your proposal and instead negotiate KPIs after the technical improvements in search engine optimization have been made (3rd or 4th month of collaboration), you have an important in-house calibration tool at your disposal.
The forecast helps assess whether the new client’s goal is worthwhile and makes your agency responsible for the SEO strategy you propose.
Is the campaign going in the right direction?
A first business case with variable scenarios helps the agency to define the success for the new customer. Then it’s just as important to track the progress of the SEO campaign once it’s set up. After all, forecasts are only one way of assessing a possible future and setting a “north star” for both of you. The rest depends on how the strategy evolves against the changing context.
The reformulation plays an important role here.
The agency may decide to share KPIs for the first time in the 3rd or 4th month of collaboration after implementing the audit requirements. Or it’s time for the quarterly review and review the initial SEO strategy and forecast. In any case, it is important to revise and adapt.
There may be new keyword lists that can be added to a traffic scenario and modeled, or a digital PR opportunity that can be added to the overall plan. The customer may have additional products or services that they want to optimize that were not included in the launch plan.
For example, when you return to our perfume business and its pandemic challenges, it is important to keep in touch with the grassroots regularly to see what new opportunities arise. You may want to get into the home fragrance industry but don’t know how strong the demand is in your target market. As an SEO agency, you can set up an SEO campaign based on search data for “home perfumes” and use this hook to design a creative digital PR campaign.
This step in the customer relationship building process is an added benefit to prove how you’ve created business value and what else you can do.
Communicating effectively the value of your proposed SEO campaign is vital to potential clients in deciding whether the price is right, the time frame is right, the ROI is worth it, etc. This is also a way to keep your agency honest and accountable .
A trustworthy forecasting method will help with all of the above:
- Create a common definition of the success ranking for relevant keywords, visibility compared to competitors, etc., which is directly reflected in additional traffic, conversions and sales.
- Create a realistic budget based on the customer profile and the corresponding value for Google Ads.
- Keep an eye on the SEO goal and re-forecast it if the strategy needs to be adjusted.
SEOmonitor’s forecasting module helps SEO agencies do all of this with reliable data and all required variables, taking into account seasonality, YoY trends and more.
In addition, with the Google Slides integration, you get a proposal builder that automatically pulls the forecast data and converts your business scenario into a pitch-ready presentation.
The forecast module is just one of the solutions SEOmonitor develops for agencies to acquire, manage and retain more relevant customers.
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