Any digital marketing channel that receives investment should demonstrate its value and potential. Marketing professionals know that SEO is not a get-rich-fast scheme. It requires an upfront investment of time and resources. However, if done correctly — the SEO ROI (return on investment) can skyrocket.
75% of the internet users never scroll past Google’s first page. The marketer’s goal is to implement an SEO strategy to rank in the top SERP (search engine results pages), generate as much organic traffic as possible, and show SEO impact to decision-makers.
Marketing professionals may face the challenge of calculating the return on investment of SEO efforts. In this article, we will deep dive into SEO ROI, how to measure it and how to increase it.
On average, 53% of the website’s traffic comes from organic searches. For this reason, marketers need to understand the power of search engine optimization. While standard SEO KPIs, such as search rankings, require constant monitoring, the ultimate measure of success is delivering a high ROI.
SEO ROI measures the return on investment of SEO efforts. A website will have a positive ROI if the organic revenue generated by SEO campaigns is higher than its cost.
It’s important to outline that SEO campaigns take longer to generate any return on investment, as it’s in the hands of the search engine itself. On average, a minimal return on investment takes around 6 to 12 months to be achieved.
Many marketers may face difficulties when calculating SEO’s return on investment. This mostly comes down to the fact that SEO doesn't typically have fixed costs associated with it, unlike PPC (pay-per-click).
PPC has click costs associated with the campaigns and generated results, so marketers can easily attribute the investment to a specific time. It's easy to find out an accurate number of PPC ROI.
SEO is a little more difficult to measure given that the channel is about earning organic search traffic rather than purchasing it. There is no fixed cost for the clicks or conversions generated with SEO campaigns.
ROI of SEO calculation is similar to calculating the ROI of any other type of business investment. Marketers need to collect two metrics:
Then, calculate using the formula:
(Gross return on SEO campaign – SEO campaign costs) / SEO Campaign Costs = ROI of the SEO campaign.
This cost determines how much budget the business needs to dedicate to SEO campaigns. The budget can vary depending on different factors, such as:
After calculating the costs of the SEO, there is an SEO gain. To determine the value of SEO campaigns, marketers need to measure the website’s performance metrics.
KPIs (key performance indicators) are vital to see the success of the SEO investment. These are the most common KPIs used for measuring SEO performance:
For SEO KPIs monitoring, most of the marketing professionals use reporting tools. Marketers can connect to different sources and view the KPIs such as pages per session, organic CTR and traffic in the real-time dashboard and create visual reports with the most important performance metrics. Whatagraph offers marketers pre-built Google Analytics templates, which eases the labor-intensive process of data aggregation and reporting.
The reporting tool is also great for making data-backed insights. It provides the aggregated and cleaned data in an easy-to-understand report so that the marketer and the client can see what SEO efforts deliver the best ROI and what campaigns need optimization.
Although generating a high ROI from SEO campaigns is a constant work in progress, there are a few steps a marketer can take to help generate more organic traffic and increase return on investment of SEO.
In 2021 Q1, almost 55% of the worldwide web traffic was generated using mobile devices. Search engines such as Google or Bing determine where the website ranks in SERP by looking at website speed and mobile friendliness. And when you think about the ROI of SEO, rankings are critical.
To see how the website is performing and get insights on how the website can be improved, marketers can use Google Analytics’ Test My Site feature.
Website optimization usually includes the following steps:
Content is a great way to increase SEO ROI. Well-written content is a long-term investment. However, it not only allows visitors to find relevant content and get to know the business. SEO-optimized content is also great for ranking in high search engine positions.
There can be various types of content, for example:
If you need extra tips on content marketing, here’s our article on creating engaging content that converts visitors into leads.
Content optimization matters for ROI of SEO for three reasons:
Here are some tips on where to start when optimizing old content:
Keywords are the essential part of search engine optimization. Marketing professionals have to find relevant keywords, determine the search intent, and mix them into content and meta tags. It helps to attract potential customers to the business’s website and rank in the SERP. There are two keywords types:
Long-tail keywords have a smaller search volume. However, it can attract the ideal customers while facing less competition, targeting more specific intents. In comparison, “marketing agency” results face more competition, as it is a more generic keyword. If the business’s website ranks in the bottom-line positions, it may result in nearly low-to-zero traffic numbers. Ultimately, improved performance of SEO can increase customer satisfaction, lifetime value and revenue.
Knowing the ROI of SEO is powerful information. It can be used to get further buy-in for additional investment and showcase the SEO campaigns’ success, which are generating financial returns to the business.
By constantly monitoring and tracking SEO performance, marketers can make data-driven insights and optimize the campaigns to get the best possible results. At the end of the day, all that matters is how much one dollar invested in SEO services brought profit back to the client.