Where SEO Shines
The brand wants to see evergreen, long-term growth (has the time and patience for long-term results).
Changes to a website take time (weeks to months) to be thoroughly crawled, indexed, and eventually served up on the search engine results page (SERP). There are things you can do to try and expedite the timeline, like submitting a new sitemap through Search Console. In the end, though, it’s all up to Google.
Moreover, in order to accurately gauge the impact of your site updates, you need to wait long enough to have reliable data from analytics to see trends. For example, to definitively understand whether users actually like the changes to X page, capture 4-6 months of data. Less than that, and you might be making conclusions based on aberrations.
However, once you get an SEO program established (6+ months in) as part of your overall marketing strategy, it will be bearing fruit. You’ll see this in Google, Bing, and other search engines on an ongoing basis. SEO, once traction has been gained, becomes a source of long-term growth.
According to a recent study analyzing billions of search results in Google, the first organic result in Google Search has an average click-through rate of 28.5%.
Once your SEO program starts gaining traction, you’ll see an increase in not only organic rankings, but also website traffic.
The brand has strong paid search performance, but hasn’t done much organic work and there is clear, organic opportunity for them.
If a brand is performing strongly in paid search and has the media investment to fuel future success in paid search, it’s worth it to investigate whether there’s additional opportunity in organic search.
Not only is an SEO campaign more cost effective to run than a paid campaign in the long run, but – properly run – there’s no turning off SEO. It’s a permanent, evergreen channel.
Ask some of these questions as you gauge whether there’s opportunity for you in the organic space:
- What is your brand’s organic search traffic like currently? Where does your website rank in organic SERPs for core keywords? These will begin to give you an idea of whether or not you’re missing out on serious organic traffic.
- Are you able to consistently produce high-quality, optimized content able to successfully pass Google’s algorithm updates?
- Is there a void in organic SERPs for a particular service or product that your brand is offering? If so, an SEO campaign is almost a no brainer and would surely capture additional website traffic.
- If not, and you have serious competitors in organic SERPs, investigate them. Ask yourself if your brand has a high likelihood of successfully competing with them. And define your advantages (price, quality, shipping, etc.). Also ask yourself if your brand is going to be able to put together an SEO team and resources that are just as robust or more so than your competitors.
The brand is being pushed out of paid search due to increasing CPCs for its vertical and keywords.
With paid search advertising spend nearing $190 billion annually, an 18% increase over 2020, competition is on the rise so are average CPCs. In 2021, average CPCs ranged from $0.70/click to over $20/click within highly competitive industries such as insurance based on a Q2 2021 report by Statista.
SEO is now no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have, with 64% of marketers stating that they currently invest in SEO, according to a HubSpot survey. You’ll want to assess your brand’s current state in organic search using the same bullet points above.
If you’re going to be quickly seeing a revenue drop because you’ve pulled back or stopped paid search, then you need to quickly assess where you can outshine your competitors in the organic search landscape, and put your people and financial resources to work there ASAP.
The brand’s goals are exclusively informational.
If selling a product or service is not your brand’s goal, then SEO is for you. For brands trying to communicate information – perhaps for a political campaign or a non-profit’s mission – SEO will be incredibly helpful. This is because the underpinning of any SEO campaign is well optimized content targeted at particular demographics aligned with search intent.
It’s also easier to build trust with an audience when you’re not trying to sell them anything. However, be prepared to have subject matter expert writers involved. Especially in areas such as science or medicine, writers should have specialized degrees and publish under their real names. Google then sees them as legitimate and ranks your content accordingly.