As an SEO expert, you are fully aware of the benefits of optimizing your site for your target keywords. Ranking on top means more traffic and potential higher conversion rate, assuming that you designed an optimized layout for your great content. From here, you can scale your site’s performance and see how you can improve the keyword ranking of your pages. You then proceed to more advanced techniques that will comprise your sustainable strategy to help your site stay in a comfortable position on search results, if not increase its placement, which converting as many visitors as possible with your content.
However, all these things might not matter to your boss, who has no SEO knowledge and doesn’t have the time or the patience to learn it. All s/he’s concerned about is how SEO will bring in more money to their business.
To develop and implement the type of SEO strategy that will make money for your online business, you need the acquire the resources that will fund the tools and manpower to get the job done. However, this would be impossible if your boss isn’t willing to spend another dime on your SEO efforts.
To be fair, your boss isn’t entirely wrong to think this way. The principal thinking that governs all bosses and executive is to increase profits by spending as little as possible.
If you’re facing this problem with your client or employer, then it’s time that you pull out all the stops so they’ll relent to your request for a great SEO budget.
Explain how SEO works in simple math
SEO is not necessarily a science, but it does feel like one to the uninitiated. Explaining how SEO works to your bosses requires you to simplify all the terms and relate it to something that they can easily understand.
Since the priority of your bosses is to generate profit, you can elaborate SEO to them using cold, hard facts.
Using a tool like Google Keyword Planner, you need to get the monthly search volume of a keyword that you can potentially optimize for. Ideally, look for keywords that have at least 1,000 searches every month.
Next, mention how many clicks that the top organic search result garners. Using the latest data from Advanced Web Ranking, the first result produces over 27% of clicks from users.
Assuming that your target page ranks on top for a keyword with 1,000 monthly searches, you can expect over 270 user clicks from organic search.
After that, you need to calculate the conversion rate for your landing page. Based on a study conducted by Larry Kim at WordStream and featured Search Engine Land, the average conversion rate across all industries is between 3-5%
Doing the math, the 3% of 270 visitors is approximately 8 conversions from visitor to lead.
Once you have filtered out your leads, you can compute the conversion rate of leads to sales. To get the conversion rate formula, you can refer to this equation from Venturi Wed Design:
Conversion Rate = Total Number of Sales / Number of Unique Visitors * 100
This computation will require you to have data for unique visitors and sales over a period. If you don’t, we can settle for a figure of 20%, which means that you are able to generate sales for every five leads.
Using this figure, we can conclude that you can generate a single sale if you can rank your landing page on top of search results for a keyword with 1,000 search volume.
This figure can change depending on different factors like your page layout, copywriting, content, and others. However, assuming that you follow the best practices in these regards, you should have no problem reaching this goal, if not greater!
Also, you have to factor in the price of the sale for the keyword you’re targeting. If each sale costs $100, then you can request for more or less the same amount to be used for boost your SEO campaign.
Master the use of free SEO tools
A mark of great SEO practitioners is their ability to use and exhaust the features of all free SEO tools in the market. These tools are known to have limited features and difficult to use, but these reasons are precisely what makes them perfect for SEO. Your ability to persevere and produce amazing results for your boss using these tools will be put to the test and whether you are meant to do SEO for a long time.
In fact, there are only two SEO tools that you need to learn to master: Google Analytics and Google Search Console. The data provided by both tools should be enough to help you come up with ideas on how to approach your SEO strategy. For proof, Jason Acidre conducted a case study on how he was able to boost search traffic to one of his sites by identifying long tail keywords from Google Search Console.
Despite the power of both tools, you can only acquire data from your own sites or those that you can install the code from their dashboards. If you want to acquire important SEO metrics from websites, you can use SEOQuake to scrape the data from Google search results. Not only does it show the site’s backlink data, domain age, metadata, and others, but it also reveals keyword competitiveness and whether you should target it for your site or not.
There are other free SEO tools that you can use to help. But the point of mastering free tools is for you to develop your resourcefulness and data-crunching skills. Building these foundations for your SEO career is something that you should focus on and it starts with your treatment of free SEO tools.
Use paid tools effectively
There are hundreds and thousands of tools to help you build a sustainable SEO strategy. Some deliver the best data you can imagine to help you whip up your campaigns easy while others are just a waste of your time. However, one thing is for sure: the most expensive tools don’t always result to the most useful and helpful.
What’s important is for you to choose the most reasonable SEO tools with your given budget.
Ideally, you want to use the best tool from the start. Subscribing to Ahrefs and SEMrush, both of which are considered the best all-in-one SEO tools in the market, will give you an edge from the very start. However, the price tags of both tools ($99/month) may make your boss cringe. It’s probably going to be difficult to justify the price especially if they don’t know how the tool works.
However, instead of arguing with your client in vain about why s/he should subscribe to the tools, you can instead take a different route and approach the use of SEO tools more deliberately.
To give you an idea of what you need for an SEO campaign, you need to prioritize the tasks that you need to do for your business site. You can organize the tasks into periods and phases so you can allocate your funds on these tasks first before you move onto the next.
From here, you can determine what tools you need to use and how long you’re going to use it. For example, you can break down your SEO tasks by starting with a comprehensive SEO audit and moving onto content creation before you use tools that will help you build links.
From the start, you can subscribe to Netpeak Spider (a more affordable version of Screaming Frog SEO Spider) to help you analyze your site from the inside and determine the changes you need to make internally for the better. Depending on your site’s size, this you should be only using the tool to a maximum of two months. After that period has elapsed, you can use tools that will help you build content for your client site like Buzzsumo and keyword research tools like Long Tail Pro and others. Once you have laid out that outlines for the content, you can proceed with extracting link opportunities using tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and others.
Better yet, you need to use cost-efficient versions of premium SEO tools that you want to use. While Screaming Frog SEO Spider is the household name for SEO audit tools, you need to pay £149 every year for a license of the tool. Instead, you can either use Netpeak Checker ($14/month) or use the free but limited version of Screaming Frog to cut costs altogether.
Last, if you want to get high-impact SEO tools that are light on the budget, you can scour Appsumo for awesome lifetime deals for SEO tools. They recently launched a one-time payment lifetime deal for SE Ranking which is an all-in-one SEO platform for small businesses. The deals for SEO tools come and go and prices average $39, so you need to frequent the site regularly so you can purchase the deal before they run out.
Create understandable and actionable reports
One of the best skills that all SEO practitioners need to develop is reporting.
The ability to communicate your SEO efforts and results in a way that everybody can understand, especially those without SEO knowledge is paramount to your success. You can be the SEO expert that runs highly optimized campaigns, but if your employer or boss can’t see that then you’re no good to them.
The key to great SEO reporting is simplicity. By making your reports easy to understand, you can help your boss emphasize with your success so you can potentially receive more funding for your SEO efforts.
Instead of bombarding them with SEO terms that they probably won’t understand, you need to present your data visually. You can create one using your office suite of choice or you can rely on free visual creator tools like Canva to help you generate your data that are pleasing to the eyes
When creating your report, you need to include the following:
- Key performance indicators– Depending on the goals you’ve set prior to launching your campaign, you need to show how (in)effective your campaign is by sticking to your KPIs as touch points to your performance. They need to know how your campaign went whether or not you met your KPIs or not.
- Graphs, and lots of it!– As mentioned, you need to visualize the information you will feed your clients. Doing so helps bridges the gap between their unfamiliarity with SEO and their ability to discern the data using familiar shapes and colors like graphs and charts.
- Comparative data– You are only as good as you are today. Therefore, you need to show a historical data of site’s performance on a weekly on monthly basis and show to your bosses that you are indeed delivering the goods. Comparing the results from now to before gives them a better understanding of not only their site’s performance but also yours. If the results are positive, then there’s a chance you can make a case for increasing your SEO budget!
- Actionable items– At the end of the report, you need to synthesize the data by making suggestions on what needs to be done to even improve your campaigns. Aside from suggesting to increase your SEO budget, you can recommend new and actual strategies and tactics that you want to implement to boost your performance. Doing so shows to your bosses that you have the initiative to even supercharge your SEO campaign.
Wrapping it up
As important as having a sizable SEO budget, you also need the skills required to make the most of the funds allotted to your cause. If you don’t have the knowledge to build an SEO strategy, to begin with, then every cent will only go down the toilet.
However, the best way to persuade your boss to increase your SEO spend is to produce and show good results that equate to sales. By building your SEO skills good enough to help increase your search rankings, you build trust with your boss or client and help make your case for increasing your budget. Following the advice above should help you make your first few steps on your way to getting a bigger and better SEO budget for your size.