Ever look back on your younger years, and long for the simple decisions? Many of them were easily made using “decision tree” analysis.
You have to admire the decision tree’s simplicity. The theory is that with each “yes” or “no” choice on any major decision, you are taken to a branch, each with its own “yes” or “no” choice. Even today with more complicated choices, the decision tree seems a relatively straightforward model for making informed, carefully considered and reasonably objective decisions. After all, we use decision-tree analysis in our everyday lives, whether it’s deciding between car purchase X or Y or moving to Place A or Place B.
However, in business, when it comes to marketing budget allocation, it’s a bit more complicated than a decision tree, right? Maybe not so much as you’d assume. When it comes to marketing dollars, if you consider your SEO initiatives as a branch of the CEO’s decision-tree, then the funds allocated represent the end-point of several weighted decisions.
So the question becomes: How do you shift the weight to your SEO branch of the tree?
Making your case for the SEO marketing money
Whether you’re the CMO pitching to the CEO, or the SEO pitching to the CMO, there’s a veritable soup of acronyms standing between you and your SEO marketing budget – especially at enterprise-level businesses. The issue isn’t a matter of just PPC vs. SEO in the decision tree when competing for marketing dollars; rather, it’s a matter of building a case for the value of your channel of choice – in this case, we’re talking organic search. How valuable is organic search? Pretty valuable to most marketers. In fact, 83 percent of marketers responding to the BrightEdge 2014 Search Marketer Survey stated that increasing content performance by optimizing for organic search in 2014 is “much more important” or “more important” than it was last year.
One of the simplest ways to support your case for SEO is to put on the CEO or CMO hat and school yourself on the following:
- Economics: Identify those website pages that have the greatest potential to perform well with minimum investment in optimization, based on things like conversion rate and ranking potential. This is the low-hanging fruit.
- History: Benchmark where the business and website is today with little to no investment in SEO marketing. Then, look at where it could be in the future with no effort versus what an investment in SEO and content marketing could bring in terms of traffic and leads. Don’t forget to think about how far ahead your competition will be if you do nothing and they do something.
- Mathematics: Today, there’s a seemingly endless stream of search marketing data, and you can take advantage of that by showing the numbers to support your case. For instance, you could show the decision-maker what the projected lifetime value is of a single customer if SEO marketing brought more leads and conversions.
When all is said and done, CEOs care about mapping budget to business outcomes. When building a case for your slice of the marketing budget pie, the decision tree is simple: Will it impact the business’s bottom line – yes or no? For more detailed information on how to make the SEO case to your CMO or CEO, check out how BrightEdge can help.