SEO can be a great part of your digital marketing strategy. It can help your business grow by increasing your visibility in search engine results. However, it can also be expensive if you don’t have the right controls in place.

As with any form of marketing, it’s important to be prepared for success. Knowing what success looks like and how you might achieve it is a good place to start.

The key to understanding success is being able to measure your ROI.

Only then will you know if your efforts are worth your investment. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what ROI for SEO looks like and the steps you need to take to measure it and improve upon it.

How To Measure ROI For SEO

Measure & Manage Your SEO ROI

If you don’t measure it then you can’t manage it – there have been endless quotes relating to this statement.

In fact, one such piece of content can be found on the forbes.com website.

SEO is a complicated process, with results can take a while to arrive – assuming they actually do. With this in mind it is only too sensible to place some form of measurement against your activity.

First and foremost measuring ROI in SEO helps you to understand if you are getting a positive return.

Even if results are quite taking shape as you would expect, you are in a better position to make the necessary adjustments to your strategy. Ultimately leading to better results and a much needed higher ROI in the longer term.

Tracking your SEO ROI allows you peace of mind. To understand that it was actually a good idea to do SEO in the first place. Sometimes this might be required to provide evidence to other stakeholders of the benefit of carrying out SEO activities.

Aside from the reasons mentioned above. You can also start to see trackable metrics that demonstrate success. When you drill down on these it starts to become clearer as to why you are doing what you are doing.

How To Measure ROI For SEO

Understanding SEO ROI

Before jumping into the measurement of SEO ROI we should probably pause to understand what it actually means.

Put simply when referring to SEO ROI we are talking about the return on investment that is generated from your SEO efforts.

To calculate this you will want to ensure that you are set up to capture what revenue is generated by SEO. 

There is no better way to do this than by ultilisng Google Analytics. This will help you to understand how your traffic and indeed customers have arrived at your business.

The calculation would be to divide your net profit by the cost of your SEO (after deducting cost of SEO from net profit), and then multiply that by 100 to get the percentage.

For example:

    • Sales Generated: £15,000
    • SEO Cost: £1,300

Equates to: ((£15,000-£1,300)/£1,300)*100 = 1053%

It should be noted that ROI for SEO isn’t just about crunching some numbers. It is about understanding the value that SEO is bringing to your business.

Feel free to calculate your own numbers here – https://www.calculator.net/roi-calculator.html

Only when you build in the indirect benefits such as customer trust, improved online reputation along with increased brand awareness can you properly understand the core benefits of your SEO strategy.

By doing so you are in a better position to make informed decisions around your SEO strategy.

Affecting Factors For SEO ROI

As you might expect there are several factors that can impact on your SEO ROI calculations.

These include; industry, competition and of course the overall effectiveness of your SEO strategy.

The reality is that businesses that operate in a more competitive niche are likely to find that they have a lower ROI when compared to other ‘easier’ niches.

Plus it goes without saying that a business who’s SEO isn’t quite delivering is going to negatively affect it’s own SEO ROI.

Other elements that have a bearing on your likely return on investment will include the quality of the website. 

A well structured, fast, easy to follow site will almost certainly help potential clients to take the required conversion action. However, a site that loads slowly and doesn’t instill confidence is going to detract from your desired outcome.

It is sensible to make sure that your website is ‘fit for purpose’ before you start spending money driving traffic its way.

How To Measure ROI For SEO

Measuring Your ROI for SEO

Having understood the relevance of measuring your SEO’s ROI we will now cover how you can effectively track and indeed measure it.

Here you will want to ensure you have set clear objectives, are tracking the key metrics and are using analytic tools to assist you along the way.

Set Clear Objectives

When it comes to measuring something you need to have a defined outcome, or objective.

These outcomes should always align closely with the objectives of the business. But more than that, they should also be measurable.

As an example, you might set a goal to increase organic website traffic by 30% over an 8 month period.

This goal ticks the boxes for being very specific, measurable and with a timeframe. 

It’s clear to see that this could be a great objective when it comes to looking at tracking and measuring ROI on your SEO campaign.

Following Key Metrics

There could be a number of key metrics that you want to measure when it comes to SEO.

These will likely include website traffic, conversion rates as well as search term rankings. 

Tracking or following these metrics on a regular basis will start to provide a trend which can be used to understand the effectiveness of your given SEO campaign.

Furthermore, because you can see the data it is easier to implement changes incase things aren’t quite going where you need them to be.

Other metrics that you should certainly consider would include bounce rate, average time on site and number of pages visited.

This data helps to understand whether (or not) your visitor is getting value from the page that they have landed on. When they exit quickly it tends to suggest that the information isn’t aligned with what they were looking for. 

Armed with this data you can tweak the make-up of your pages to better serve your visitors.

Tools For Analytics

Google Analytics is the most widely used tool when it comes to dissecting information around user experience and engagement. 

However, it isn’t the only one available.

Paid service providers such as Moz, Ahrefs and SEMrush also have tools that you can drill down for additional insights. 

Whichever you decide will help to make data driven decisions easier to carry out, thus further improving your SEO ROI.

Factor All The Costs For SEO

The accurate measurement of ROI for your SEO efforts required you to build in all of the associated costs.

The main element of this will likely be the SEO strategy itself, whether you outsource this to an agency or carry it out in-house, there are costs associated.

Think about additional elements such as content creation, link-building, graphic design and social submissions. All of these are encompassed in your SEO campaign and therefore need including.

When you are calculating, try to give some thought to what each part delivers to your overall success. An example might be the website content helps to gain additional rankings, also, it determines the conversion rate of your visitors.

Arrive At Net Profit

You will then want to drill down further to arrive at your net profit.

This part is very simple and involves subtracting the total cost of your SEO from the revenue that it has generated.

As an example, if a business generates £22,000 from SEO and the costs for SEO were £1,750 then the net profit would be £20,250.

ROI Calculation

Once you have the net profit figure you can then calculate the ROI element.

Here you would divide the net profit by the cost of SEO and multiply that figure by 100.

So in our example, it would be £20,250 / £1750 * 100 which would equal 1157%

It’s fair to say that now you have a good understanding of the impact of your money being spent on SEO.

Improving SEO ROI

Measuring ROI is great, but you should also be thinking about ways that you can improve it too.

This process is going to include a few different elements, such as; focusing on high performing search terms, optimising for user-experience, adding fresh content as well as adjusting strategies as needed.

Focus on High-Performing Keywords

When you start to track the search terms that you are ranking for you will see that some of the terms stand out.

These are what we would refer to as higher performing keywords. Additional focus in this area can help to further elevate your SEO campaign and deliver an even higher return on money spent.

Think about your audience’s intent. What they are looking for and how they want to achieve it.

Check to see if you are able to exploit some of the long tailed keywords. These won’t be used as much, but in most cases tend to provide a higher conversion opportunity.

Optimising for User Experience

Even when you are in the envious position of top rankings there is still work to be done.

You need to ensure that any traffic that you receive has the ability to convert. Yes, that’s right, you need to think about your visitors’ experience and make sure that they can easily understand what they need to do.

The best websites make it very easy for new visitors to know what action to take.

You will want to focus on how the visitor can engage with your business. Is there a contact form? Is your number easy to find? What other forms of communication do you offer?

Optimising for user experience isn’t just about making your website look good, it has to be good to use too.

Provide Regular Updates and Refresh Content

Google and the other search engines like it when you post regular updates on your website. 

It sends a signal that there is something new to see. And, providing the content is of value it will help in your battle to reach the highest points in the search engines results pages (SERP’s).

Regular content isn’t just about new blog posts either. Think about other ways that you can engage with your audience. 

It might be that you have case-studies that are relevant to your potential audience. Or adding a new section to your website that showcases some of the work you have done.

However you go about it, there is much to be said for keeping your website updated

Don’t Be Afraid To Adjust Strategies

SEO doesn’t sit still. 

If it’s not Google that you need to keep up with then you certainly need to be aware of what your competition is doing.

Monitoring and adjusting strategies plays an integral role in the search for ranking success. Ultimately in making sure that you have a healthy ROI to show for your SEO efforts.

It can be a lot to take in, but staying up to date with the latest industry trends and implementing best practice are continual involvement that can only benefit your cause.

How To Measure ROI For SEO

The Wrap Up - How To Measure SEO ROI The Easy Way

We go back to our earlier statement.

If you can’t measure it then you can’t manage it.

A healthy return on investment for your SEO efforts is achievable. But only if you take positive action.

Hopefully at this stage you are armed with sufficient information to make good choices, we wish you the very best of luck with your endeavors.

If it all seems a bit much, and who could blame you – then the team at Spark Digital are ready to help you gain a favourable ROI with our local SEO services.

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