SEO Impact: How to Explain It and Why It's Important

seo impact

SEO continues to be the reigning champ with it driving 2X more revenue than any other channel


Unfortunately, it’s really hard to rank on search. 


According to Ahrefs, most websites will not reach the first page of Google within a year. Even established ones will take at least 61-182 days—and that’s assuming if the content is of high quality.


If you’re worried about the agonizingly long wait of results casting doubt in clients’ minds... well, you’re not alone. 


When we spoke to agency marketers, many lament about communication challenges with clients who have little understanding of SEO.  


In this article, we share our favorite SEO best practices to overcome them.



Understanding SEO Impact PLUS a 14-Point Glossary for Clients New to the Field

SEO impact can mean different things depending on your goal. 


In most cases, it’s:


  • Increasing website traffic. Healthy organic traffic signals brand awareness and visibility. 
  • Creating #1 Google search ranking articles for your most profitable keywords. The higher the position, the more visible your content is to searchers.
  • Hitting your conversions, whether it’s acquiring monthly leads… 


…or driving thousands of dollars in revenue.


Working with clients new to SEO? 


Here’s a list of common SEO terms to get them up to speed:


  • Search engine optimization (SEO): The process of improving a website’s visibility on search engines like Google and Bing.
  • Keywords: Search queries made by your audience. If you’re running a new website, focus on keywords with high buying intent and low competition. You’ll have a better chance of ranking and earning a sale.
  • Keyword research: The process of finding relevant keywords for your business and organizing them according to the customer’s journey.
  • Search engine results page (SERP): A page that lists relevant websites (including ads) based on a user’s search query or search term. 


[Data via DashThis] Display your top landing pages by organic sessions 


  • Search intent: The searcher’s goal for googling a keyword. Any content creation process that nails this wrong is doomed right from the start.
  • Backlinks: Links from external websites that point to your website. It’s not one of the top three ranking factors, but it still matters
  • Domain rating (DA): The strength of a website on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the numerical score, the more authoritative it is. 
  • Meta description: A snippet of what a page is about. Think of it as a 160-character pitch to “sell” the searcher into reading your content. 
  • On-page optimization: The practice of optimizing your website content to improve rankings and organic search traffic. Common on-page SEO tactics include optimizing the title tag and meta description and using descriptive alt tags for images.
  • Off-page optimization: The practice of optimizing outside of your website to impact rankings. Common off-page SEO tactics include building backlinks and improving social media presence.
  • Pay per click (PPC): The cost you pay for an ad click. This is not exactly an element of SEO (note: it’s part of search engine marketing [SEM]), but it’s often implemented with SEO in a holistic digital marketing strategy. 

  • Metrics: Datasets that show what’s happening on site. Common metrics to measure SEO impact include conversions, click-through rate, and bounce rate. You can find them in SEO tools like Google Analytics 4 and Google Search Console. 
  • EEAT: An acronym that stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s not a direct ranking factor. Treat it as a guideline to meet Google’s standard of quality and relevance. 
  • Search Generative Experience (SGE): Google’s AI-powered search experience. It’s currently available to a limited number of people in over 120 countries and territories. Keep a close eye on SGE, as it will completely change how users search your content.


Explaining SEO Impact to Clients and Stakeholders (Advice from Agency Marketers)

Note: This section mainly talks about clients, but you can still apply these tips to any stakeholders. 


Measuring the impact of your SEO strategy is the best way to show expertise and retain clients.


The numbers prove it.


85% of agency marketers believe proving ROI to clients is the key to growth.


Sounds straightforward, but it takes a lot of work to help clients understand the value of SEO.


When we spoke to agency marketers, many shared clients tend to delegate the entire SEO campaign to them. 


“But that's wrong,” warns Alan Muther, founder of Ardoz Digital


“Clients need to be engaged with the SEO campaign. The agency’s role is to complement the in-depth knowledge of their business. We can't replace their insights about the market, competition, and customers.”


To solve this issue, get your writers to interview the client’s internal experts before writing the articles. Through this expert-backed approach, Grow and Convert created many high-quality content and ranked 26 high-intent keywords in the top three positions in just a year.



Source: Grow and Convert


Another common challenge is working with clients who assume SEO is a quick fix. 


“Coaching clients through leaving that mentality is always a challenge,” admits Pat Ahern, partner and growth strategist at Intergrowth. “You need to emphasize 95% of their SEO results will probably only happen in months 10th-12th.”


Ahern recommends sharing small victories—like ranking for a high-priority keyword in the top 10th position—to maintain trust within the first six months of partnership. 


“These sorts of quick wins won't be enough to justify long-term costs,” says Ahern. “But they’re a great tool to show the client we're starting to see results.”


Don’t forget about qualitative data, as well. 


If you notice people mentioning your blog posts on demo calls or using a term you coined in your content in their own content, it’s a sign your SEO efforts are taking off.


[Data via DashThis] Highlight your quick wins in a visual report to drive victory home


The client’s knowledge will shape your SEO report. 


Brooks Manley, an SEO consultant, shares an excellent tip. During the proposal phase, ask clients these two questions: 


  • “How would you rate your digital marketing knowledge on a scale of 1-3?”
  • “How much would you like to know what I’m working on on a scale of 1-3?”


Clients who said 1 for both questions get a one-page executive report with leads, traffic, keyword rankings, and pictures of their main SERPs. 


“On the other hand,” adds Manley, “Clients who said 3 get a four or five-page report with a more detailed breakdown of what I'm working on, top-performing pages, conversion/event type reports, and more.”


Michael Alexander echoes a similar view. 


The SEO consultant at Tangible Digital recommends leading with “opportunity, available traffic, competition, possible leads, and sales.” More importantly, keep the how to a minimum until the opportunity is understood.


You can easily define these SEO terms and provide contextual information directly in your report using our automated marketing reporting tool, DashThis.


Here's how it works:


  1. Hover to a metric
  2. Click Add Note
  3. Write your learnings
  4. Click Save


For example, here’s how it looks if you want to explain what backlinks mean.



Your note will appear as an orange tab in view mode. To access it, click it.


Start your free 15-day trial today to see if for yourself.


How to Track SEO Impact with DashThis

DashThis is the easiest reporting tool.


It automatically grabs your entire marketing data across multiple channels into one beautiful report. 


Here's how you can get started:


  1. Select the SEO Performance Tracking or SEO & Backlinks report template
  2. Connect your SEO tool(s) with DashThis
  3. Choose metrics in Preset Widgets


Sit back, while DashThis automatically gathers your SEO data into the report. Drag and drop the metrics as you see fit.



If you want to add other channels—say social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn—click Preset Widgets


Under the microtext, “Don't see the integration you need?” click Connect it to this dashboard and pick the relevant channels.


DashThis offers 40+ free templates. Whether you want to create a local SEO or all-in-one content marketing report, you can set it up within minutes.


Once you’re done, share the report with clients. 


Hover to the Sharing Options icon on the top right and click Share by Email. Set the dashboard period and frequency, along with the client’s email address.



Or copy the shareable URL link and send it over.


Both sharing options create an interactive environment where clients can view their SEO impact in real-time. 


SEO report template

This SEO report template connects the dots in your reporting. If you work with clients with little to zero marketing expertise, use it to break down common SEO terms and their impact on the business. 


Lay out the number of clicks and impressions in each web page, uncover the top-converting website content, and identify which of your SEO marketing efforts work best.


Grab this SEO template with your own data!


Automate Your SEO Impact Tracking Today

Coaching non-experts on SEO is always a challenge. Fortunately, these tips show you how to educate clients, while demonstrating your expertise and retaining them.


DashThis is the easiest reporting tool. Automatically gather your entire data across your favorite SEO tools into one beautiful report and measure what’s working in your SEO content strategy. Start your free 15-day trial today.


DashThis The Team at DashThis

DashThis is the power behind thousands of reporting dashboards created by and delivered for agencies and digital marketers every month. 

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