SEO Clients Report 2021: What Do Clients Want from SEO?

  • Increased traffic tops the list of client expectations of SEO, with 21% of SEO professionals indicating it is the most common objective.
  • Keyword rankings are the top client success metric for 44.7% of SEO pros. Sessions and pageviews came next at 28.9%.
  • Content marketing is the most sought-after SEO service for 31.3% of SEO pros, followed by keyword strategy (30.8%) and web design (25.5%).
  • 38.6% of SEO pros agree that their clients believe SEO is an essential part of marketing.

Anticipating SEO clients’ expectations enables you to better connect with potential clients, win more business, and better serve your existing client roster. You can be on the lookout for new areas of opportunity and directions to expand your business, too.

Search Engine Journal gathered insights from over 1,200 working SEO professionals about their experiences working directly with clients.

Increased traffic tops the list of SEO client expectations for 21.6% of survey respondents, with new customers (19.7%) and brand awareness (18.5%) not far behind.

However, 17% of clients want all of the metrics delivered.

Interestingly, B2B clients are more likely to want to achieve all metrics (20%) compared to B2C (14%), which suggests that B2C clients have more focused metrics to measure success.

If we consider these results, increasing the traffic is just widening the neck of the funnel. What we really want is more qualified traffic.

The good news: More than a third (38%) of respondents report their clients think SEO is an essential part of marketing.

  • Only 13% said their clients thought SEO was unnecessary.
  • As one survey respondent put it: “They don’t get it, but know it is necessary.”
  • SEO is now being seen as a core part of a marketing strategy.

“They seem to know they ‘want’ it because everyone else is doing it. But not why or how it will actually benefit them,” another survey respondent wrote.

With the pandemic putting so much emphasis on digital channels, this is only set to grow. It’s never been a better time to be in SEO.

The long and short of it is a lot of business owners know they need SEO, but don’t quite know what it entails or how it forms part of the wider strategy. If this sounds like you, get in touch with me on [email protected]

Jade Bartholomew, Director, Sierra Six Media