What Do Shoppers Need from web optimization?

What Do Clients Want from SEO?


  • Elevated visitors tops the listing of consumer expectations of web optimization, with 21% of web optimization professionals indicating it’s the most typical goal.
  • Key phrase rankings are the highest consumer success metric for 44.7% of web optimization professionals. Classes and pageviews got here subsequent at 28.9%.
  • Content material advertising and marketing is essentially the most sought-after web optimization service for 31.3% of web optimization professionals, adopted by key phrase technique (30.8%) and internet design (25.5%).
  • 38.6% of web optimization professionals agree that their shoppers consider web optimization is an important a part of advertising and marketing.

Anticipating web optimization shoppers’ expectations lets you higher join with potential shoppers, win extra enterprise, and higher serve your present consumer roster.

You will be looking out for brand spanking new areas of alternative and instructions to develop your corporation, too.

In our recent State of SEO survey, Search Engine Journal gathered insights from over 1,200 working web optimization professionals about their experiences working immediately with shoppers.

Preserve studying to discover:

  • What outcomes do shoppers count on from web optimization?
  • Which metrics do businesses use to measure success for his or her shoppers?
  • What web optimization providers are most in-demand?
  • What do shoppers actually take into consideration web optimization?


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(Don’t neglect to take a look at Client Insights: Budgets, Traffic & SEO Tactics and What Matters Now in SEO & Where to Focus Next from the State of web optimization 2021 report, as effectively.)

What Do Shoppers Count on from web optimization?

We requested a cohort of businesses and freelancers who work immediately with shoppers to share what they consider is the most typical consumer expectation for web optimization:

what is the most common client expectation for SEO

(Query requested: In your expertise, what’s the most typical consumer expectation for web optimization? Restricted to those that answered “work for an company” or “I’m a freelancer/contractor.” 1,219 answered.)


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Elevated visitors tops the listing of web optimization consumer expectations for 21.6% of survey respondents, with new prospects (19.7%) and model consciousness (18.5%) not far behind.

Nevertheless, 17% of shoppers need all of the metrics delivered.

Curiously, B2B shoppers usually tend to wish to obtain all metrics (20%) in comparison with B2C (14%), which means that B2C shoppers have extra centered metrics to measure success.

If we take into account these outcomes, growing the visitors is simply widening the neck of the funnel. What we actually need is extra certified visitors.

It’s optimistic that 19% of shoppers need new prospects, as this reveals a extra centered technique that’s delivering outcomes. This means that there are a excessive proportion of shoppers who’re centered on conversion and never simply driving visitors.

What Metrics are Companies Utilizing to Measure Their Shoppers’ Success?

As highlighted within the outcomes above, shoppers are centered on increasing traffic to measure success from web optimization.

If we take a look at each businesses and freelancers, we are able to see a distinction in how the web optimization skilled measures their outcomes in comparison with their shoppers’ expectations.

The highest 5 metrics that businesses use to measure shoppers’ outcomes had been:

Metric P.c Quantity
1 Key phrase rankings 44.7% 486
2 Pageviews/classes 28.9% 314
3 Branded vs. non-branded visitors 21.6% 235
4 Bounce price 21.4% 233
5 Conversion and aim occasions 20.7% 225

(Query requested: Within the final 12 months, what had been your prime metrics to measure web optimization efficiency? Restricted to those that answered “I work for an company” or “I’m a freelancer/contractor.” 1,087 answered.)

Key phrase rating (44.7%) was far and away the preferred metric utilized by businesses. Companies take into account this greater than twice as standard as utilizing visitors (21.6%) to measure outcomes.

Different information from the survey confirmed that key phrase analysis can be where SEO professionals spend the greatest amount of time.

Which web optimization Companies Do Shoppers Need?

By monitoring what web optimization shoppers are asking their businesses for, we are able to start to see the place there’s a demand for providers and potential gaps to meet.

Service P.c Quantity
1 Content material technique 31.26% 381
2 Key phrase technique 30.84% 376
3 Net design 25.51% 311
4 Consumer expertise 23.87% 291
5 Native web optimization 23.87% 291
6 Technical web optimization 22.72% 277
7 Content material manufacturing 20.92% 255
8 Social media advertising and marketing 17.39% 212
9 Paid search 17.31% 211
10 Hyperlink constructing 17.23% 210
11 Cell web optimization 13.45% 164
12 E-mail advertising and marketing 13.29% 162

(Query requested: Within the final 12 months, which providers did your shoppers request essentially the most? As much as 3 choices may very well be chosen. Restricted to those that answered “I work for an company” or “I’m a freelancer/contractor.” 1,159 answered. 1.23% chosen “Don’t know.” 0.98% chosen “Not one of the above.” 0.98% chosen “Different.”)


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Content strategy got here out on the prime of the listing as essentially the most in-demand service that web optimization shoppers are asking for.

Different information from the remainder of the survey additionally align to point out that content material advertising and marketing and technique are in demand proper now (learn the full State of SEO report to entry all outcomes).

Net design has all the time been a pure, complementary add-on to web optimization – many digital businesses provide each providers. And it’s no shock to see this because the third most in-demand further service.

Slightly below 1 / 4 of web optimization shoppers are requesting local SEO as a service.

In the course of the pandemic, as many companies as potential needed to shortly pivot to digital to outlive. This resulted in a surge of native brick-and-mortar companies with a have to be seen on-line in an area capability. Within the subsequent 12 months, the expectation is for native web optimization to continue to grow as a service in demand.

This sentiment is backed by Andrew Shotland of Native web optimization Information, who stated, “COVID precipitated numerous multi-location manufacturers to re-evaluate their advertising and marketing combine final 12 months. Most of them possible had been considerably under-invested in web optimization (#shocker). Even the most important retail manufacturers have this problem as a result of Native could be a royal PITA.”


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Shotland added, “We see this specifically with retailers which have an enormous ecommerce biz. They typically ignore the areas and are lacking out on an enormous quantity of potential native search income.”

What Do Shoppers Actually Assume About web optimization?

what is the most common feedback from clients about SEO?

(Query requested: What’s the most typical suggestions from shoppers about web optimization? Restricted to those that answered “I work for an company” or “I’m a freelancer/contractor.” 1,159 answered. 3.69% chosen “Don’t know.”)


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Lastly, we get to the essence of our outcomes: What’s the consumer notion and sentiment towards web optimization?

The excellent news: Greater than a 3rd (38%) of respondents report their shoppers assume web optimization is an important a part of advertising and marketing.

Solely 13% stated their shoppers thought web optimization was pointless.

As one survey respondent put it: “They don’t get it, however know it’s essential.”

web optimization is now being seen as a core part of a marketing strategy.

“They appear to know they ‘need’ it as a result of everybody else is doing it. However not why or the way it will truly profit them,” one other survey respondent wrote.

With the pandemic placing a lot emphasis on digital channels, that is solely set to develop. It’s by no means been a greater time to be in web optimization.

Be aware: We surveyed 1,241 SEOs who labored immediately with shoppers via an company (875) or as a freelancer (366). In our client-based cohort, 51% labored in B2B, 41% had been B2C and eight% fell right into a non-specific “different” class.


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Extra Assets:

Download your copy of the full report to entry all the info from the Search Engine Journal State of web optimization survey 2021.

Discover further insights corresponding to:

  • Crucial emergent web optimization components for the following few years.
  • Which Google adjustments are thought-about the most important risk to web optimization.
  • Which components have essentially the most impression on rating.
  • The place to search out new enterprise.
  • What to deal with for the following 12 months.

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

Featured picture: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal
All in-article pictures created by writer, August 2021

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