How to present SEO work to your board

Presenting marketing results to the board can be a daunting process. As John Wanamaker once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.” This can still be true for senior marketers today and often comes to the fore when you need to show off your yearly KPI results.

Marketing can be famously difficult to analyse, but not necessarily so in the case of SEO work. Done correctly, SEO can be as close to a science as marketing ever gets and presenting it as such to your board can help you to show clearly where your spend has gone and what it has achieved. Here are some tips that might help the next time you need to show the board what’s been going on with the company’s SEO.  

Remember who you are presenting to

You, your team or your agency may well be SEO wizards but it’s pretty likely that your board of directors won’t be.

The main things your board will care about are the top level stats affiliated with SEO work. They will want to know how the work you are doing is affecting the company.

Get these key stats bullet pointed right at the start of your presentation. For example, perhaps you can show your board that:

  • Organic traffic - 45,987 sessions up 200%
  • Organic conversions - 300 up 40%
  • Domains linking to us - 12 up 15%
  • Increased the organic ranking of 60 keywords

Not only will your board understand these sorts of figures, but it gives you the opportunity to show off your big wins early on. Very few boards will worry about the whys and wherefores, as long as you can show the kind of figures mentioned above and successfully link them to your SEO efforts.

Walk through an example

This is perhaps the best tactic when it comes to showing off your SEO work. By walking your directors through a piece of SEO work you have done, you can make SEO easily understandable and establish the above link between figures and the work you’re doing.

For example, you might have a target keyword of ‘mobile IT services’ that wasn’t ranking well last year. This year, you’ve improved the rank of that keyword and it’s bringing in lots of traffic to your firm’s site.

Walk the board through each action you or your team took:

  • We produced a blog on the mobile IT market and SEO optimised it which increased organic traffic for that keyword.
  • We redesigned the web page on Mobile services to be optimised for the keyword which increased rank.
  • X number of websites linked to the blog post which increased our authority.
  • X number of visits who arrived on that blog converted to clients.

This gives you the ability to link the top level stats from the beginning of your presentation to this example which should make it clearer what SEO is all about and how it is working for your company.     

Consider adding a technical appendix  

As you know, the core of SEO and optimisation remains linked to gaining links from other reputable websites. This is still a big part of what the Google algorithm looks at when ranking your web pages.

These, in a way, are the top level stats you can show for SEO and will show the overall impact your SEO work has achieved.

Unfortunately, it’s likely that your board will probably not appreciate this level of technicality and detail. You don’t want a presentation on ROI to become SEO training but, equally, it’s important that you evidence your work and give the board the chance to examine how you’ve achieved your gains.

So, how do you show off this important area of SEO? Well, consider adding a technical appendix to your presentation, so it’s there in case a board member does want to see the technical side.

In the appendix, you can add:

  • Overall external linking domains and maybe list the big authority ones
  • Your domain authority score and explain what it means
  • Your high performing keywords and their rank
  • Your top performing web pages and the keywords associated

Show organic conversions

Perhaps the most satisfying SEO stat you can show your board is conversions and the conversion rate from your organic traffic.

If your new SEO strategy has shown an increase year on year for organic conversions then it means that your SEO work has really paid off and it’s potentially bringing in more customers and revenue.

Use accurately set up goal tracking in Google Analytics, ideally linked to your own CRM system. If you have goals set up for conversions on your website, you should easily be able to attribute conversions to organic traffic. Google’s keyword data is restrictive, but you may even be able to see which search terms, queries and pages have resulted in these conversions, giving you and the board an extra level of detail.

Secure your SEO budget

Obviously, the main objective of your meeting with the board is to justify that you have achieved results from your budget and secure it for the coming year.

While it’s likely that the board won’t understand the technical factors of SEO, they will definitely understand an increase in organic web traffic, conversions and higher rankings in Google.

And if you can show these off effectively, you should have no problem at all securing your yearly budget.

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