That’s why, as Sandford suggests, you need to proactively talk about both the opportunity and the downside.
Flag the problem in a timely manner. Flagging a potential problem in time before it happens shows you’re on the ball. If you see the problem somewhere below, it shows that you are thinking about a long-term strategy and are invested in your client’s success.
Don’t try to hide things.
The fact that you are straightforward is valuable and most clients appreciate it. A potential economic downturn need not be viewed as a disaster. Rather, think of it as an important insight that can help your customer make informed decisions.
Action 2: Highlight SEO Opportunities With SEO Forecasting
Back up all communications with data.
Uncover Real-Time Market Shifts: Evaluate Shifting Trends
If you deliver what may seem like “bad news,” back it up with accurate data to show the basis of your analysis. Whether it’s competitor analysis, keyword data or broader market data, this additional insight adds a lot of added value to clients.
SEO forecasting can help uncover unique opportunities and help you assess emerging trends before your competitors do.
One way to discover real market changes and underlying opportunities is to measure the search landscape, including year-over-year trends, to assess growth potential.
Forecasting can be difficult when it comes to SEO, but it’s also crucial to ensure you’re working towards a goal that can deliver a return on investment.
We look at the total search volume of our clients’ target market, what share they currently receive, and then consider what improvements are needed to drive X traffic and Y sales.
It really helps bring the opportunity to life and makes [SEO] more tangible as an investment.
Top it off with a forecasting tool that takes into account all the key variables that impact your SEO goals, and you’ll have a solid business model that sets you apart.
Because, as James Euinton, Account Director of The SEO Works notes, macroeconomic factors “are like the weather, we have little or no control over them, but we inevitably have to face them in business. Although that doesn’t mean we should be unprepared.
Search volumes are never set in stone and change frequently depending on many factors beyond our control.
Instead, we need to show the factors we influence in our work and give our judgments on how they can directly affect the site.
Using the data sets available in SEO, such as those available in Search Console’s performance section and Google Trends, can be a great form of understanding new keywords to capitalize on. We can also use these data sets to make estimates of how this will affect search volume going forward and predict what the future impact will be on traffic and its drivers.
That’s why it’s critical to consider seasonality and year-over-year search trends when forecasting or re-forecasting SEO – you’ll spot hidden opportunities that your competitors are likely to miss.
Image by SEOmonitor, October 2022
Align: Map SEO To General Business Objectives
Finally, Euinton explains it best:
Responsiveness and quick identification and exploitation of new opportunities can really help weather the storm of an uncertain business landscape.
To prove SEO ROI and control your cash flow, you need to show how your proposed campaign aligns with overall business goals.
You need customers for consistent cash flow, and you probably need some form of marketing to get customers.
Marketing expenses are usually the first thing to cut when times are tough. But cutting marketing budgets can hurt cash flow later, which in turn leaves less money for core business expenses.
The advantage of SEO and similar digital marketing channels is that you have a wealth of data to show and demonstrate the effectiveness of your work.
It’s important that we keep this in mind by showing customers the value we bring to the site in a way that they can understand and refer upwards.
Maintaining a good and consistent level of reporting and communication ensures that the client fully understands the role of SEO, not only in terms of our KPIs such as traffic and conversions, but also where they fit into the overall business goals, too.
It is also a matter of repeating the long-term benefits of SEO. As a professional, you have the know-how and responsibility to explain why continuing to invest in SEO makes sense.
Getting buy-in to the long-term benefits that SEO can bring is integral. In the face of adversity, businesses that can continue to improve their website and market themselves effectively tend to reap the rewards when they come out the other side. As we did during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also want to enable payment flexibility.
A forecasting exercise can also be useful to achieve this.
Once you’ve explained how achieving your desired ranking goals will lead to additional sessions, conversions and revenue, the mid- to long-term benefits can be seen from a business perspective.
Bonus Tip: Always Show How You’re Moving The Needle
Comparing costs and results to their Google Ads cost equivalent gives you an external benchmark that makes your argument more compelling.
Image by SEOmonitor, October 2022
This review from The SEO Works gives you even more reason to be proactive in your customer interactions and explain the real impact of your work:
Focusing on and prioritizing the tasks that move the needle is key in uncertain times.
In SEO, there are so many improvements you can make to your website that it’s hard to separate the tasks of achieving rankings, traffic, and conversions. Add in the complexity of different website types (such as e-commerce, brochure, one-page apps), CMS platforms, and lines of business, and it becomes even more unclear.
When we’re auditing a site or drafting assignments for the upcoming quarter, prioritizing impactful work should be a cornerstone.
As well as doing a thorough site assessment to get a full picture of where the site is, it’s important to take stock of what issues have been raised and consider the resource cost to both ourselves and the client if you advise what to fix.
SEO projects are always done within a budget and must be adhered to by working as efficiently as possible and prioritizing the right tasks.
In A Nutshell
For example, it’s pointless to spend multiple developer tickets and campaign hours to improve a core website’s Vitals score by a few points if Google can’t crawl and rank the content.
In addition to the actual tasks, following our workflow and using tools to minimize repetitive manual work (such as using scripts to automatically test redirects and status codes) can be very beneficial to project efficiency.
Every conversation with stakeholders and clients is an opportunity to be proactive and address any uncertainties related to digital marketing budget, SEO and business goals.
Transparency, sharing potential issues and alerts as market trends change, and constantly connecting SEO efforts to company KPIs are critical to preventing a downturn.
As you’ve seen from top digital marketing agencies and their advice, showing that you’re a business partner and care about the long-term experience can be a winning strategy.
That’s why we at SEOmonitor have developed a forecasting solution that is fully integrated with our daily ranking data, search data (search volumes, seasonality and year-on-year trends) and has a transparent algorithm – so you know what makes your business case sound and you can explain it, especially if all seems uncertain.