Augmentation of Web Analytics data with Search Analytics inputs is something that conformist SEO tribe has scarcely given a shot. Search Analytics and Predictive Analytics assume paramount importance riveting attention from what’s already there to what’s actually possible in future. In its absence most SEO agencies will never succeed in establishing the value proposition generated by them for their clients.
The most challenging bit in framing an accountability calculator for SEO remains determination of man hours for off-page optimization, SMO efforts, on-page efforts, design issues, and reporting (a big-time time-sucker!). No one campaign is like the previous ones and customization of organic optimization further compounds application of any standard canned estimate. Are we forgetting here something more?
Well, how about the fact of managing your SEO team; I’d call them knowledge workers! Management of SEO Knowledge Workers and quantifying their productivity in respect of timespend is far from being easy task. Instilling a sense of motivation and sustaining it for months while they work on a campaign that pays post performance is the biggest challenge of them all. A reasonable idea could be to adopt a combination pricing model wherein Accountable SEO Marketers realize some initial compensation from client (after doing some Math) towards software, hardware and consulting costs.
Additionally, Accountable SEO Marketing model can include a target component where preset fee is released to service provider for meeting preset ranking targets for preset keywords in quick or moderate period of time. SEO Knowledge Workers would do well also by reviewing industry averages, long & short term goals, mastery over Analytic data points and other factors impacting performance of client website.
All said and done, the downside factors really outweigh the contributing ones. The SEO consultant can bring the horse to the well, not make it drink. Beyond lead generation, there are elements like Phone handling skills of reps (Toll free leads!), email writing skills (Mail Leads), Product/Service Pricing, profit margins and importantly its Quality. All these components deeply impact any online revenue opportunity and something beyond the ken and rein of SEO heroes. There could be many more inhibiting factors in evaluating the pragmatics of an Accountable SEO Marketing program. I invite all of learned practitioners to participate and inform the discussion from their individual case studies and insights.
By Guest Blogger: Sanjay Joshi