How to Measure ROI of SEO ?
Until not that long time ago, the only way to measure the success of a SEO campaign was to check whether a website is somewhere between the position1 and 10 on the first page of Google.
The sooner you got to the top – the better. Or so they say… The problem with this approach was that it served SEO companies to prove their campaigns were successful rather than to show the real results, and by results we mean Return on Investment (ROI). All in all, what difference does that make whether you are number 1 if you can not see any on-site conversion?
Nowadays, in the era of local searches and vertical search engines, getting to the top is no longer a challenge. We want to see the ROI of our Optimisation campaign.
But how do we measure it?
Let’s say you are selling just one product (why not a London guidebook?) for £50, through a form on your web page only, and before the campaign you had no traffic to your website from Google search. Easy peasy! You calculate thein come generated through on-site conversions (driven through the SEO campaign, of course), subtract the cost of the investment, and than divide the result by the cost of the investment. For all the mathematical brains out there,the equation would look as follows:
ROI = (income – cost of investment) / cost of investment
So if you sold 100 guidebooks, and you spent £500 on a campaign, the ROI would be (5000-500)/500, i.e., nine. Excellent!
Yes, in an ideal world… In real life, the situation doesn’t look that simple. Most often than not, we sell a variety of products or services at different prices, and not only through a website. Digging even deeper, the client may visit the web page after he had already purchased a product, or he may actually see the ad on TV, check on PC, switch to a tablet and eventually buy from you using a mobile during a lunch break (yes! We are masters at using multiple devices!). And what if your smart customer finds you on Google, but decides to make research, check competitors, and then access your website from a bookmarked page? The math problem is getting more and more complicated, and measuring the ROI of a SEO campaign is no longer possible in that way. Or should we really start selling only London guidebooks? No-no, it may be a risky business.
So, apart from gain and cost of investment, what else could we look at?
Average time spent on the website? Bounce rate? Number of new newsletter subscriptions? All true! But what if we tell you that you don’t have to get too concerned about your ROI from SEO? No, we don’t tell you to ditch your Optimisation campaign or forget about calculating your income whatsoever.
First of all, your SEO is not a Advertising channel, and you cannot really increase your traffic just by throwing big bucks at Google – they are devoted to providing most appropriate answers to clients’ queries (money can’t buy you Google’s love). Instead, it can ensure that search engines properly identify your website, which can further improve your organic visibility. It also helps you create and identify high-quality content, and make necessary adjustments. What is more, an Optimisation campaign will determine whether your website is built with proper SEO components, reviews and permits in place, enhancing your marketing efforts, and making your website thrive in the organic search results.
So stop trying to squeeze a return from your SEO campaign, and accept that it is rather a requisite that helps you build and maintain your brand online. Oh! What a relief, isn’t it?
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