As SEOs we know only too well how a strong online presence bolstered by a well-designed SEO strategy benefits our client base. By keeping current with Google’s algorithm and doing the hard work to get to page one, a digital marketing agency can make an immense impact on a client’s bottom line.

The problem is how to convince our clients that we played an important role in the increase in traffic, rankings and conversions.

We can throw around these metrics all we want, but it’s all for naught if the client isn’t satisfied with the work. Their main concern is whether they’re getting a worthwhile return on investment (ROI). Essentially, they need to connect the dots between your agency’s SEO efforts and their revenue.

But how do you make this connection?

Be Clear About What SEO Really Is

While this may seem basic for those of us in the industry, clients may not be nearly as well informed about search engine optimization. The first step is to make sure they know that it’s all about increasing their online visibility in Google’s unpaid search engine results.

The next part is to impress upon them that this is a long-term strategy to raise their revenue. It is always amazing when we hear from clients who have worked with digital agencies about how no one ever explained to them the process of SEO.

It is crucial to educate clients about how SEO can impact their business in order for them to realize its true value. Clients will have much more patience for the long-term goals of SEO if they are aware of the process behind it.

What’s Critical for Their Business?

Before you start trotting out all kinds of data from monthly reports showing keyword movements and engagement metrics like bounce rates and time on site, take a step back and figure out what’s the most meaningful statistic for a client.

This goes back to having a clear understanding of the client’s wants and needs. For example, what’s their goal for people who visit their site? Is it to make a purchase, a phone call, or an email signup? Knowing what counts as a conversion is the key to demonstrating tangible results.

Important Metrics

Try concentrating on a few of these basic metrics to prove your value to their business.

Year-over-year traffic comparison

Showing how much you have increased organic traffic over the previous year is an easy way for clients to understand how you are bringing business to their site.

Feel free to go a step farther and calculate how much they would have had to pay for that traffic in Google Ads by adding the Keywords Everywhere plugin to the Google Search Console. Using paid search data to show how much it would cost to get the same traffic through paid ads is a great way to show the value of SEO.

Organic Revenue

I don’t need to drive home the importance of this one but including how much you’ve added to a client’s bottom line business always comes in handy during review time.

In order to make sense of your analysis, you need to show how your work affects their overall business. For instance, you could compare a company’s increased revenue from SEO to the amount it received from other marketing channels. Making the connection between their business growth via organic channels and your agency’s SEO efforts is vital to developing a working relationship.

Calls from Organic Traffic

This is another metric that can clients shouldn’t have trouble tying into the worth of SEO. By focusing on the number of calls they are getting from a stronger online presence, you make them aware of how a long-term SEO strategy can pay off. Although it is their job to convert once they get the inbound calls, bringing more call traffic is a definite measure of SEO success.

Remember To Explain

Keep in mind that a big part of your job is to explain the process to the client. If they knew everything about SEO, chances are they wouldn’t need you. Therefore, you need to put things together in a way that makes sense to them. In other words, how you explain your statistics is just as significant as the statistics themselves.

The main thing is to know what to focus on while keeping the client’s needs at the forefront. Showing how a web marketing agency adds value through search engine optimization isn’t always clear-cut, but realizing which metrics are significant to your client and being able to explain how they impact their business will lay the foundation for a productive long-term relationship.