How to Build a Business Case for SEO

Building a compelling business case for SEO is essential for securing buy-in from key stakeholders. A well-structured business case can demonstrate the tangible benefits of SEO to your boss, stakeholders, or board of directors.


Understanding why an SEO business case matters is the first step. It clarifies the potential impact on brand awareness, lead generation, revenue growth, and market expansion. A solid business case aligns SEO efforts with your company's goals, increasing the likelihood of approval and support.


How to Build a Business Case for SEO


This guide provides a step-by-step approach to building an SEO business case. By following these steps, you will be well-equipped to make a persuasive argument for investing in SEO.


Why Getting an SEO Business Case is Important


Why It Matters


An SEO business case is a critical tool for any organisation looking to succeed in online marketing. It outlines the value of SEO, providing a clear rationale for investment. Without a well-constructed business case, it can be challenging to secure the necessary resources and support.


SEO is a long-term strategy. It requires consistent effort and investment. A business case helps justify this commitment by showing how SEO aligns with the company’s strategic goals. It demonstrates the potential return on investment (ROI) and highlights the benefits of improved search engine rankings. By articulating the value of SEO in terms of business objectives, you make it easier for stakeholders to understand its importance.


SEO impacts multiple facets of a business and in our experience, some business stakeholders might not understand the true value of SEO or why it’s worth pursuing. It can enhance brand visibility, drive traffic, and improve customer engagement. These benefits translate into tangible outcomes like increased leads and sales. 


A comprehensive business case explains these connections, making the impact of SEO more concrete.


What It Will Help Achieve


A robust SEO business case will help achieve several critical objectives:


  • Securing buy-in: It provides clear evidence that SEO is worth the investment, using data, projections, and case studies to convince decision-makers.
  • Aligning with business goals: Ensures that SEO efforts are integrated into the overall strategy, supporting key objectives like revenue growth and market expansion.
  • Setting clear expectations: Outlines expected outcomes, timelines, and required resources, helping manage expectations and providing a framework for measuring success.
  • Addressing objections: Anticipates concerns about cost, time, or complexity and counters them with solid arguments and data, such as ROI calculations and case studies.
  • Fostering stakeholder engagement: Involves key stakeholders in the development of the business case, building a sense of ownership and commitment vital for successful implementation.


Aligning SEO with Overall Business Goals


Start by understanding your company’s strategic goals. These could include increasing market share, enhancing customer satisfaction, or driving digital transformation. Ensure that your SEO objectives directly support these broader goals. 


For example, if your company aims to increase market share, your SEO strategy should focus on improving search visibility and attracting more organic traffic.


Common Objectives SEO Can Help Achieve


SEO can support various business objectives. Here are some common goals we have helped our clients achieve, and so can you:


  • Brand Awareness
  • SEO enhances brand awareness by increasing your website’s visibility in search engine results. Higher rankings for relevant keywords mean more potential customers can discover your brand. This is especially important for new or lesser-known brands looking to establish a presence in the market.
  • Lead Generation
  • One of the primary goals of SEO is to attract targeted traffic to your website. SEO can drive qualified leads who are actively searching for your products or services through targeting keywords and content optimisation. This not only increases website traffic but also improves the likelihood of converting visitors into leads.
  • Revenue Growth
  • SEO directly impacts revenue growth by driving more organic traffic to your website. Higher traffic volumes can lead to increased sales and revenue. Additionally, SEO helps improve the quality of traffic by targeting users with high purchase intent. Ranking for commercial keywords can make your website attract visitors who are ready to buy.
  • Market Expansion
  • SEO facilitates market expansion by reaching new audiences and entering new geographical markets. By targeting keywords related to different regions or languages, your business can attract international customers. This is particularly beneficial for e-commerce businesses or those looking to expand their market reach.


How to Create an SEO Business Case Aligned with Company Goals


Creating an SEO business case that aligns with company goals requires a structured and methodical approach. Here are the key steps to follow.


Step 1. Defining the purpose of your SEO business case.


Clearly state why SEO is essential for achieving your company’s goals. Support your case with relevant statistics to ensure it is data-driven. Outline the benefits clearly and concisely, showing how SEO aligns with and supports your business objectives. 


For instance, “SEO is critical for our company because it drives organic traffic for one of our competitors “x” who are growing their business substantially through SEO, which accounts for 60% of their total website visitors. Increasing our search engine visibility will lead to higher brand recognition, more qualified leads, and increased sales. We anticipate that this will add $xxx, xxx to our bottom line within 24 months from a well-executed plan”


Step 2. Identify the specific SEO goals you want to achieve.


These should align with your company’s overall business objectives. For example, if a business goal is to increase online sales, your SEO goal might be to improve the search rankings of key product pages. 


For example, “Since our business goal is to increase online sales by 20% this year, our SEO goal should focus on improving the search rankings of key product pages that drive the most revenue. We could target high-intent keywords like ‘protein bars’ and 'protein powder' to ensure these product pages rank on the first page of Google. By doing this, we aim to capture more organic traffic from users actively looking to purchase protein health supplements, thereby increasing our conversion rates and overall sales.


Step 3. Develop a detailed action plan outlining the steps required to achieve these SEO goals. 


This plan should include keyword research, content creation, technical SEO improvements, and link-building strategies. Work closely with your SEO agency to specify the resources needed, including budget, personnel, and tools. 


For example, “To achieve our SEO goals, we will develop a comprehensive action plan with our SEO agency. This includes keyword research to identify high-intent keywords like 'protein bars' and 'protein powder,' creating a content calendar for high-quality content such as blog posts, product descriptions, and landing pages, and hiring professional writers. We will conduct a technical audit to improve crawlability, indexation of key pages, site speed, mobile responsiveness, and URL structures. For link-building, we will reach out to industry blogs and websites for guest posting and backlinks. Additionally, we will create new pages to target more target keywords and enhance our internal linking. We will allocate a budget of $xx, xxx, hire necessary personnel, and use tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Google Analytics for ongoing monitoring and analysis.”


Step 4. Create a timeline that outlines when each step of your action plan will be implemented. 


Set realistic deadlines and milestones to track progress. Ensure this timeline aligns with your company’s broader business strategy.


For example, “In the first month, we will complete keyword research and competitive analysis. During the second and third months, we will focus on creating and publishing content. From the fourth to the sixth month, we will implement technical SEO improvements and begin our backlink strategy. By the seventh month, we will create new pages and continue our backlink efforts. Ongoing tasks will include continuously improving internal linking and regularly reviewing progress to ensure alignment with our broader business strategy.”


Step 5. Prepare a proposal that summarises your SEO business case. 


This document should be clear, concise, and persuasive. Include an executive summary, detailed action plan, timeline, and a section on expected outcomes and ROI. Tailor the proposal to your audience, addressing their specific concerns and interests. 


For instance, “We expect to increase organic traffic by 30% within the first 12 months. This will help achieve our goal of a 20% increase in online sales, adding $xxx, xxx to our bottom line within 24 months. Additionally, we anticipate an improvement in conversion rates by targeting high-intent keywords. For the executive team, we will emphasise long-term revenue growth and competitive advantage. The marketing department will be shown how SEO integrates with and enhances existing marketing efforts. The sales team will see the potential for improved lead quality and higher conversion rates.”


Stakeholder Buy-in and Goal Alignment Flowchart SEO


Gaining Stakeholder Buy-In


Identifying Key Stakeholders and Decision-Makers


Identifying the key stakeholders and decision-makers is vital for gaining buy-in for your SEO strategy. These stakeholders typically include the executive team, the marketing department, and the sales team. Each group has different priorities and concerns, so it's essential to tailor your approach accordingly.


Tailoring the Business Case to Different Audiences


Executive Team


The executive team focuses on the overall impact on the business. Highlight how SEO aligns with the company’s strategic goals. Emphasise potential revenue growth, cost savings, and competitive advantage. Present data on ROI and long-term benefits to make your case compelling.


Marketing Department


The marketing department is interested in how SEO integrates with other marketing efforts. Show how SEO can enhance brand visibility, support content marketing, and drive qualified leads. Provide examples of successful campaigns to illustrate how SEO complements existing strategies effectively.


Sales Team


The sales team cares about lead quality and conversion rates. Demonstrate how SEO can attract high-intent visitors who are more likely to convert. Use data to show improvements in lead generation and conversion metrics. Highlight case studies where SEO has directly contributed to sales growth to underscore its effectiveness.


Effective Communication Strategies


Presenting a Clear and Concise Argument


Present your business case clearly and concisely. Avoid jargon and focus on key points. Structure your argument logically, starting with the problem, followed by the proposed solution, and ending with the expected outcomes.


Using Visuals and Charts


Use visuals and charts to make your case more compelling. Graphs, charts, and infographics can help illustrate data points and trends effectively. Visual aids make complex information easier to understand and more engaging.


Highlighting the Long-Term Benefits


Emphasise the long-term benefits of investing in SEO. Explain how SEO is a sustainable strategy that builds over time, providing lasting results. Highlight how continuous optimisation can adapt to changing market conditions and search engine algorithms, ensuring ongoing visibility and relevance.


Collaborative Planning with Key Stakeholders


Collaborative planning with key stakeholders is essential for the success of your SEO business case. Start by identifying who needs to be involved, typically representatives from marketing, sales, product development, and executive teams.


Regular Meetings: Schedule regular meetings to discuss the SEO objectives and gather feedback. Use these meetings to align SEO goals with broader business objectives, ensuring that all stakeholders are on the same page. Encourage open communication during these sessions to address any concerns or challenges that may arise.


Stakeholder Map: Create a stakeholder map outlining the roles and responsibilities of each group. Clearly define who is responsible for specific tasks and identify who needs consultation and who must be informed about progress and results.


Securing Commitment: Secure the commitment of all stakeholders to the SEO strategy by highlighting the benefits of SEO for their specific areas of responsibility and demonstrating how it contributes to overall business success. This buy-in is important for effective implementation and ongoing support.


Involving these key stakeholders is a wise decision, you ensure that the SEO strategy is comprehensive, aligned with business goals, and supported across the organisation. This collaborative approach enhances the chances of success and ensures that SEO efforts contribute meaningfully to the company's growth.


Presenting Data and Case Studies


Gathering Relevant Successful Case Studies


Start by gathering relevant case studies that support your SEO business case. Focus on successful examples that closely match your industry and business model. These case studies should demonstrate how SEO has helped similar companies achieve their goals. Use reputable sources to ensure credibility and ask the SEO agency that you’re working with for examples of similar clients or websites that they’ve worked on


Sources of Data


Consult with your SEO agency to compile a detailed proposal. This proposal should include data from the previous campaigns, industry benchmarks, and performance metrics. Use this data to demonstrate how SEO can drive results for your company. Highlight key statistics such as increased traffic, improved rankings, and higher conversion rates.


Case studies are powerful tools for illustrating SEO success. Present these stories clearly and concisely. You might want to include details about the company, the challenges they faced, and the SEO strategies used. Highlight the outcomes and measurable results achieved. 


For example, a case study might show how a company increased its organic traffic by 50% in six months through targeted SEO efforts.


Industry-Specific Examples


Provide industry-specific examples to make your case more relevant. For example, if your business is in the e-commerce sector, use case studies from similar online retailers. This helps stakeholders see the potential impact of SEO on your specific industry. Tailor the examples to address common challenges and goals within your sector.


Highlighting Measurable Results


Focus on measurable results in your presentation. Highlight key metrics that matter to your stakeholders. Use charts and graphs to visualise this data. This makes it easier for stakeholders to understand and appreciate the impact of SEO. Key metrics to highlight include:


Traffic Growth: Show potential percentage increases in organic traffic.


Revenue Impact: Present data on revenue growth attributed to future SEO efforts.


Conversion Rates: Demonstrate improvements in conversion rates.


Search Rankings: Highlight keyword ranking improvements that could take place


Outlining an Overview of an SEO Strategy and Plan


Work with your SEO agency to create a clear and effective SEO strategy that aligns with your business objectives. This approach sets a path towards sustainable growth through improved search engine visibility and user engagement.


Define Strategic Objectives: These should align with your overall business objectives, such as improving search engine rankings, increasing organic traffic, and enhancing online visibility.


Identify Target Audience: Understand your target audience's demographics, interests, and search behaviours. This informs keyword research and content creation strategies aimed at attracting relevant traffic.


Competitor Analysis: Conduct a thorough analysis of key competitors with your SEO agency's support. Identify their strengths, weaknesses, and strategies used to rank for high-value keywords, guiding your approach.


Keyword Strategy Development: Develop a targeted keyword strategy that aligns with user intent and business goals. Select keywords with significant search volume and relevance to your offerings.


Content Strategy: Outline a comprehensive content strategy with your SEO agency. Focus on creating valuable content that addresses audience needs and supports SEO objectives, considering various formats and topics.


Technical SEO Optimisation: Address technical aspects of your website, including site speed, mobile responsiveness, URL structure, and internal linking. These optimisations enhance search engine crawling and indexing.


Link Building Plan: Develop a strategic plan for acquiring quality backlinks. Building a strong backlink profile from reputable sites enhances domain authority and improves search engine rankings.


Measurement and Analytics: Define KPIs to measure SEO success, such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, conversion rates, and ROI. Use tools like Google Analytics to track performance and adjust strategies based on data insights.


Resource Allocation: Discuss budget and resource needs with your SEO agency. Allocate resources for content creation, technical improvements, and ongoing optimisation efforts.


Timeline and Milestones: Establish a realistic timeline with clear milestones for each phase of the SEO strategy. Regularly review progress and adjust tactics as needed to achieve sustainable growth and business objectives.


SEO Strategy and Plan Flowchart

Common Objections to Investing in SEO


Cost and Budget Concerns:


SEO proves cost-effective versus traditional marketing with a 14.6% average close rate, showcasing superior ROI potential over outbound strategies. Case studies and industry data consistently show lowered customer acquisition costs and enhanced ROI through SEO initiatives. SEO campaigns are scalable, with initial investments yielding sustained organic traffic and visibility in the long term.


Counter these objections by using cost-per-acquisition (CPA) data and ROI calculations to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of SEO compared to other marketing channels. Show how the long-term benefits of SEO can outweigh initial costs by providing concrete financial metrics.


Time to See Results:


SEO delivers long-term benefits, with initial improvements in search rankings visible within 3-6 months and substantial traffic growth and ROI typically within 6-12 months. 


For instance, in industries like e-commerce and professional services, sustained SEO efforts have shown measurable increases in website traffic and visibility over time. Analytics and case studies can illustrate this process, highlighting the strategic and consistent approach necessary for sustainable SEO success.


Counter these objections by presenting historical performance data showing the timeline and impact of SEO on organic traffic, conversions, and revenue growth. Highlight case studies where consistent SEO efforts led to significant improvements over time, demonstrating the value of patience and sustained investment.


The complexity of SEO:


Proven SEO agencies like Marketix Digital, handle technical aspects and strategic planning, simplifying complexities for businesses. Case studies demonstrate how SEO tactics achieve specific business goals effectively. Strategic SEO aligns with marketing objectives, fostering business growth and enhancing brand authority.


Counter these objections by providing examples of SEO strategies successfully implemented by agencies that resulted in measurable improvements in search rankings and business outcomes. Use specific case studies to illustrate how complex SEO tasks can be effectively managed and executed, leading to tangible results.


Are you ready to craft your first business case?


Building a business case for SEO can be challenging. You need to show tangible benefits and justify the investment to your stakeholders. At Marketix Digital, our expertise in SEO strategies can make this process smoother.


Partnering with Marketix Digital provides a proven track record and industry-specific experience. We help clients improve search engine visibility, user engagement, and business growth. 


Contact Marketix Digital today to build a powerful SEO strategy that aligns with your business goals and drives measurable results.