Demand and SEO can work well together at certain times. Here is what you need to know.
David: So, you’d asked about the relationship between demand and SEO, and shouldn’t you evaluate demand when you’re evaluating whether you should take on an SEO client? Or maybe you think about it from another way. Maybe before you pay for SEO services, you should look at demand. So, here is an article I wrote on Reliable Acorn that shows a website’s traffic that we’ve compared to demand, basically using data from Google trends. And so, there are all kinds of great information you can get. Here’s a great example. Demand for the topic of what this company sells. They’re actually organic search traffic, and sometimes the brand is big enough where a brand will show up in Google trends. So, then you can see things like, well, look at this. This traffic graph, the yellow line, even though it’s a different dimension in the traffic, as traffic is going down, so is demand for the brand. So, we’re learning that fewer people are looking for this company’s name. And that’s having a big implication on their overall traffic.
David: Because the demand for their services is not down. Right?
David: Or here we go. This is a pretty successful campaign. This is a very heavily seasonal industry. Right? Demand drop. Demand up. Well, traffic reflects demand based on the season. So, you can use Google trends to determine whether it is a good SEO client for you as an SEO provider, but also whether you have realistic expectations as a customer of SEO. Right? So, if this client began their SEO campaign in November, that would suck because they would be like, whoa, we went down. Why are we down? This SEO stuff isn’t working. In reality, they’re down because no one’s ready to buy their seasonal product in November. This happens to be a landscaping company. However, April tends to be a really big month for landscaping in this part of the country. And its traffic goes up. So, you know, we can beat the demand trap chart, but we should consider things like Google trend data while we’re making evaluations for our SEO.
Tricia: Can you give us a copy of that link, please?
Dave: I know when I’m looking at keywords to target, we look at the trend on the keyword itself. Whether that’s going up or maybe staying the same or whatever.
David: Oh, what I like about Google trends is it’s not keyword-specific; it’s topic specific. So, you can do things like, is this industry going up or down?
David: Or is this brand going up? So, with this client, here, where we had a big brand issue. They went through a major shift in what they offer. They switched from B2C to B2B.
David: And so, you can kind of see fewer people interested because they’re not B2C anymore.
Dave: That’s right.
David: So, is this bad SEO or a brand consideration outside of SEO? Because this is not a graph that I would be proud to provide. This is downhill traffic of almost half year over year. But if fewer people are looking for you because now it’s B2B, so your customer base is smaller, and people who used to find you because you could offer them a service. You no longer offer them a service; you offer their company a service. And so, it’s not really helpful to you.
Dave: So, to me, this gives me the… You have got to just… Whatever we’re going to do for SEO, we have to make sure that we’re talking to our clients regularly because we have to understand their industry. Right?
Dave: So, we had our meeting with our client. It’s fine that this is recorded. One of the main things on their product line is kind of an expensive proposition. To buy some of this stuff requires, you know, $15,000 or $20,000 and on up.
Dave: Well, if it’s an expense because we were looking at why some of the general traffic is down to the site, just all across the board, when you’ve got interest rates going up, a potential recession, then people are like, I can’t afford this big ticket because I can’t borrow the money to do. So, we’re looking at that. Even if you do it from a data perspective, a year-over-year kind of thing, traffic from September 2022 to September 2021, is not going to reflect that cause interest rates and everything was okay a year ago. Now it’s changing. Yeah.
David: Yeah, the pandemic was huge…
Dave: Yes, the pandemic was a huge impact. That’s why you have to talk to the clients and ask them if their traffic is going down; what’s going on? Is there anything that you can think of that explains it?
David: And Google trends is a great way to kind of have objective data on that, right? Because sometimes clients are either overly optimistic or overly pessimistic.
David: And since we’re doing search, this is demanded search. So, incorporating this in reporting can really help explain. Now, it holds you more accountable because if you’re going up, and it’s only going up because seasonal demand is going up, well, maybe you’re not doing much for SEO. It’s just seasonal demand. But then again, if seasonal demand goes up, and your traffic goes up to a greater extent, ah, maybe you’re doing something right. Maybe you’re winning because you’re getting a greater portion of that traffic than you did last year or something. For instance, we used to report in my old agency way back when, when we actually had keyword data for traffic. We would exclude branded phrases from Google search result traffic because we could say, “Hey. This is non-branded traffic you received, not people looking for your brand. Presumably, SEO doesn’t affect the number of people looking for your brand name. Right? We introduce people to what you have to offer. Well, we don’t have that data anymore. So, we can’t like weed out things like you were featured in a major television news thing, and you spiked. So, people search for your brand name, that’s not really an SEO success, except that, well, because we did SEO, they could find your brand name. But is that really what the power of SEO is? So, this kind of helps you weed out things like that. And it assumes that your brand is big enough that you have a listing as an entity in Google trends, which is not true for every brand. But the neat thing, and this article shows it, is you can say, I want to zone in on this metropolitan area and see demand for this service in this metropolitan area. So, you could say, I want to look for dog walkers in the Atlanta area. Not Atlanta proper, Atlanta area.
David: And you could see, oh wow, demand is really up for dog walkers in the summer and really down in the winter. Right. Or whatever, you know? Or the opposite, maybe. That’s just the way I consider this while looking at my SEO reports.