Statistically speaking, only 1 out of 10 startups turn into a success. One of the reasons why so many startups fail is because they fail to justify costs according to the header. For an ecommerce business, one of the main costs is SEO investment; it’s important to analyze the outcomes of this cost in different scenarios and justify it, and here’s how.
1. Determine Search Demand
Determine your search demand through market research, industry reports and reputable tools such as Google Adwords. This will give you a good grasp of your potential market, your best keywords, and the investment you’ll have to make on Ads. It’s a great way to estimate your search demand in your particular market.
2. Employ and Monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Define and monitor your monthly and cumulative KPIs. It takes some time to incorporate proper SEO techniques, so use these KPIs to track your SEO progress so that you can justify your SEO investment.
3. Initial Conversion Ratios
Benchmark your site against another one in your industry, or use a site prototype to come up with initial conversion ratios. Do A/B testing and employ the SEO strategies that perform well during testing. You will increase your conversion ratios over time, even as your site gets better. Work on your product’s branding, update your landing pages and intensify your value proposition. All of these aspects increase your conversion ratios.
4. Add A PPC Equivalent Value To Your Estimate
Compute your average Cost Per Click (CPC) for your keywords and keyword categories. Once you’re ready with that, determine a PPC equivalent value for your SEO traffic figures. This will help you understand which group of keywords is yielding you better returns on your SEO investment. Use this information to make your PPC investment decisions.
5. Compute Customer Lifetime Value
Find out the actual potential of your business by computing your returns per client. This Customer Lifetime Value is an extremely important KPIs; it lets you convince your investor to invest. To get an idea of this value, you can play with test scenarios, actual customer data and also some additional data from industry sources that you trust, or from competitors. This value will let you know exactly how much you can spend on attracting new buyers.
6. Use The Right Analytics Tools
For example, a visitor clicks a link in a blog and visits your site and leaves. Then he clicks a paid search result to visit your site, bookmarks it and then leaves. Finally after several days he visits your bookmarked site and then completes the sale. Use Google Analytics’ multi-channel funnel methods to see all the channels that assisted in the final closing of the attribution. This ensures that all the attributions get the right amount of credit for the part they paid in the transaction path – the blog link, the paid search, and then the bookmark.
7. Compute Your SEO Forecast
You need to compute the SEO forecast when you’re done with your market analysis and have your SEO strategy action plan in place. Your SEO forecast takes into account potential improvements on your site and to your business. Play around with three levels of predictions to determine the expectations of any campaign’s success. Make pessimistic forecasts, optimistic forecasts and realistic forecasts. Make sure your forecasts are based on your site’s SEO improvements, and also your market potential to get better results.
8. Do Competitor Gap Analysis
How do you compete with others in your niche? Figure out your exact position by doing an extensive keyword research analysis. Find out which keywords are bringing in the traffic your competitors are enjoying – employ a set of key terms. Recommended tools for this task are SEM Rush, SearchMetrics or Hitwise.
9. Categorize SEO Keywords Into Ad Group Buckets
Create buckets of keywords (within categories), and name each one of them based on Ad type. ? Better on-site SEO? This kind of keyword grouping lets you understand your targets better, lets you know the potential value of available traffic, and the important areas of improvement. Analyze several top-ranking sites for your key term groups. Evaluate how these sites are better than yours – more content, better content? Higher link volume, or maybe stronger links. Use this information to create a prioritized project plan that helps you to achieve your goal of closing the gap between you and your competitors.
10. Track Your Total SEO Impact
Track all macro and micro interactions with your website. Macro interactions are conversions, lead captures and so on, while micro interactions are hotspot clicks, a download, number of page views during a visit and so on. All these interactions indicate that your site is driving business value. Evaluate all these micro and macro conversions and you’ll understand the overall impact of your SEO program.
Stephen work for Invesp and is a landing page expert, who has successfully remodeled the landing page designs of leading online businesses worldwide.