10 Ways to Show Value from Your SEO Efforts

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It can be hard to show clients value from your SEO campaigns because like in any service-based industry, it is not a tangible product. So over the years of working with clients and managing their search engine optimization strategies, I have come up with some ways to help show value and make SEO feel tangible to the client.

Daily Status Logs

Giving a client access to a project management tool like Basecamp, will allow you to have a central hub for everyone to view daily updates with a clients account. Personally anything that is related to the project I will add to their account. Things like meeting recaps, on-page & off-page changes, specific milestones, goals, and upcoming events. It can also prove to the client that you have been actively working on their account.

Daily Traffic Report

Your daily traffic reports are probably the most obvious reports. If you notice that your site traffic is consistently improving, you can probably equate that to your SEO efforts. Of course if the client is doing other forms of marketing it can skew the numbers a bit.

Organic Search Engine Referral Traffic

Taking your daily traffic report one step further is to segment the traffic by search engine referral. Showing a comparison between last month and the currents month organic search engine traffic will help justify your SEO efforts.

Engagement Reports

If part of your SEO strategy involves improving the usability and site structure of the website, it will be important to pay attention to site engagement goals.Pulling data like time on site, bounce rates, and conversion rates per page will help prove if your design changes have been successful. Also using a testing and optimization tool like the Google Website Optimizer will also help show positive/negative results for your a/b or multivariate tests.

Rankings Reports

I don’t like to get hung up on rankings for keywords, but clients love these reports. Showing an updated ranking report on a monthly basis can show your improvements in the natural search results. Using ranking software like Rank Tracker can help automate the task of pulling these reports.

Link Building Report

Keeping a spreadsheet of the links you have requested and gained will show clients that you have been researching the proper industry relate sites to gain relevant links. Even if you do not acquire a link from a website, it will still show that you reached out to these sites and have been actively trying to gain new links.

Brand Mentionings

Social media monitoring of your brand on a daily/weekly/monthly basis is more of a way to show value for a social media campaign, however it is still relevant to SEO. If you are gaining more visibility in the search engines, your brand is being exposed to a larger audience. In turn your brand will probably be discussed or mentioned more often because of your SEO efforts.

Conversions Rate Report

More relevant to e-commerce sites, but can also be used for any site that have a key action they want to track, conversion rate reports can help show value with your SEO. Again, if you have done any design related changes to the site, it will be important to see how that impacts your conversion rate. Conversion rates also relate to your keyword research and if you are driving the right type of traffic to the website.

Monthly Review Meetings

Just keeping in touch with your client on a regular basis will help establish the relationship and build trust. Taking the time to explain these reports, recap what you worked on that month, and gaining feedback from the client will help justify your campaign.


Revenue Figures

Ultimately your SEO efforts are successful if the client can see value from their bottom line. Requesting revenue and sales figures can help correlate if the increase in rankings and traffic is leading to more sales.Looking at revenue figures and your SEO actions side-by-side can show which SEO tactics led to sales and inquiries.That is why keeping a detailed account of what you have done each month and how it relates to revenue can help you to show value to your client.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson is the creator of StayOnSearch, a blog dedicated to Marketing Professionals, SEO's, and Business Owners. He also is the President of Search Creatively, an Internet Marketing and Consulting company.
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  • jacobstoops

    Great article mark, I think you really hit the nail on the head with building trust by having monthly review meetings. Sometimes even when you're successful a client will cancel because you haven't had enough contact with them to show them the positive results – therefore they think it's not working. Review meetings are a great way to convey all the information above and build trust…

  • glauciocancion

    I believe that customer participation is the best way for the project to succeed.
    Great article, success at all

    (๏̯͡๏)/ – @seobrandup

  • http://www.lakkineni.com V R Lakkineni

    Hi Mark,

    Nice Post, clients always looks for the “added value”. Most of the SEO/SEM companies can provide the reports, however the monthly or weekly meetings will help the client understand the process and they will feel comfortable explaining the same to the CMO or CEO! Not many companies do the meeting though!!

    May be this is a openended question, What would be the monetary value that can be directely assigned to the reports & meetings? Ofcourse it depends on the time spent producing the reports and length of the meetings etc..

  • http://www.thelostagency.com/ David Iwanow

    Remember you have to look at non-brand traffic….

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    Great post! Thanks for sharing this.

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    Great article. Thank you for sharing

  • http://www.nevermoresearch.com Mike Wilton

    This post could not have come at a better time. I have a meeting with a client tomorrow and we were going to go over some analytical data and rankings info, but this gives me a few more ideas to work with!

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    We can generate all SEO Reports with the help of this seo efforts really nice….

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  • http://seo2.0.onreact.com Tad Chef

    In most cases clients are overwhelmed by data, even monthly statistics of rankings and visitors numbers are too much to digest. Thus less is more. You as an SEO should simplify and translate the data. You should show the progress based on as few stats and graphs as possible.
    Daily whatever reports simply do not work.

    • http://www.pagetraffic.com/seo-blog Navneet Kaushal

      You are dead right!

  • http://www.seonoobie.com Maciej @ SEO Noobie

    Personally the traffic numbers I think is the best metric. The proof is in the numbers, if your visitors are increasing than the SEO is should be working how it is supposed to.

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    Great post – thanks for bringing this to my attention – well worth a tweet

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  • http://www.ourchurch.com search engine submission

    These are excellent ways of showing progress. Thank you for the examples and details regarding each one.

  • http://www.ourchurch.com search engine submission

    These are excellent ways of showing progress. Thank you for the examples and details regarding each one.