Anyone who has been in business for a while knows that to see return and growth for your company, you need to invest in drawing in customers to see growth and profit. Such Investments can be placed in two categories: short-term and long-term investments.
While it can be tempting to only invest in the short term (after all, who doesn’t like a quick payout?), balancing these efforts with long-term investments is the key to a happy and healthy business model.
One of the best ways to invest in your business long-term today is by utilizing SEO or search engine optimization for your digital marketing content. When used correctly and to its maximum potential, SEO can be a powerful tool to help you grow your business and see long-term ROI.
How to Calculate the ROI of your SEO Efforts
The value of SEO is well known: there’s a reason why the industry topped $50 billion dollars in 2022. That said, proving that this strategy is making a positive impact on your business can at times be a bit tricky. You need to connect the dots and show that every dollar spent on search engine optimization produces more than a dollar in returns. You’ll need to analyze the total cost of your SEO program, and compare it to the value of the sales that these efforts generated. One simple way to evaluate this is to plug in your company’s statistics to the following equation:
(R – C) ÷ C
R = Revenue generated from SEO
C = Cost of SEO
Why It’s Worth Investing SEO
Holistically Evaluating the Impact of Your SEO Strategy
While the equation discussed in the previous section offers a strong start, it’s important to understand that the impact of an SEO campaign is multifaceted, and can’t always be understood in with a single number. For example, the articles you are publishing for your SEO strategy could also be improving conversion rates by building trust with customers. Similarly, companies that use a recurring revenue model may wish to calculate lifetime value of new customers acquired rather than revenue generated at the moment of the sale. In the next section, we’ll look at a few stats every company running an SEO campaign should keep their eye on.
Looking for some convincing evidence that SEO can provide an impressive return on investment? Look no further! Here are some impressive stats to consider:
The average ROI for SEO is high
49% all marketers say that organic search has the highest ROI of any marketing channel (according to Search Engine Journal).
And if you’re in the B2B space, it’s worth noting that 90% of buyers do research on search engines before making a purchase (Google).”
SEO delivers a higher ROI than PPC
Another study by Ahrefs found that SEO delivers a higher ROI than pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. This is because SEO is a long-term strategy that provides benefits over time, while PPC provides immediate results but at a higher cost.
The ROI on Google organic search traffic is a whopping 5.3 times higher than that of paid search (according to Google).
The top-ranked website gets 33% of the traffic
A massive 53.3% of website traffic is generated through organic search (BrightEdge).
According to a study by pollthepeople, the top-ranked website in Google’s search results gets 34% of the traffic. This highlights the importance of achieving high rankings in search results, as it can result in a significant increase in website traffic and sales.
Organic traffic from search engines is a staggering 1,000% higher than that of organic traffic from social media (BrightEdge).
What kinds of KPIs Should You Use to Measure SEO ROI?
So how do you measure the ROI of your SEO content? KPIs or key performance indicators are important metrics used to measure the success of your SEO efforts. There are several potential KPIs to consider, and which ones you use will vary to a certain extent depending on what kind of business you are operating. However, the following SEO KPIs are good to keep track of, no matter what sort of company you are running.
- Organic Website Traffic
- Search Rankings
- Organic Clickthrough Rate
- Bounce Rate
- Organic Conversion Rate
- Average Time Spent on Page
- Organic Visibility
Tracking these statistics, along with your company’s corresponding revenue, profit, and sales, can help prove that your SEO efforts are actually helping the business. This is crucial, because at some point you need to prove the efficacy of your SEO efforts in order to continue the long-term process. If you are a marketer working on an SEO campaign, your boss will certainly want proof that your budget is making an impact. And if you are a business owner, you know firsthand the importance of making your investments in the company count.
Let’s take a deeper look at each of the KPIs listed above, how to track them, and why they matter.
1. Organic Website Traffic
Your organic website traffic is how many visits your company’s website receives based on your search engine performance. In other words, it shows how many people are clicking on your website when searching for something related to your company. Looking at your organic traffic statistics can be a great way to assess whether or not you are effectively engaging with your targeted audience.
If your organic traffic is low, check what sort of keywords you are using and consider swapping them out for more effective ones that are more likely to draw in website visitors. Also, strategize your SEO content and consider adding more to your website to generate more website traffic. If you’re worried about being unable to create enough content in time, services like content writing companies and AI writing tools can help with making you more SEO content and discovering new ways to effectively engage with your customers.
2. Search Rankings
Your website search ranking results compare your web pages and their keyword rankings against your competitors. One example of a popular search ranking tool many SEO marketing companies use is Google Analytics. Tracking your content’s search rankings in search engine results pages is an effective way of understanding whether or not you are using the correct keywords for your SEO content.
3. Organic Click-through Rate (CTR)
Understanding your click-through rate or CTR is key to figuring out whether or not your SEO strategies have been effective or if it’s time to start reassessing them. Your organic click-through rate refers to how many people click on your website or marketing content out of all the people who viewed these results on a search engine page such as Google.
Taking the time to assess your CTR will let you know how well your SEO content and customer engagement strategies are working within search engine results. If you aren’t getting the clicks that you want, it’s time to figure out if you need to try using different keywords or other kinds of content in order to better engage your desired audience group.
4. Bounce Rate
Your bounce rate measures the number of times a customer clicks away from your website after visiting it. Most potential visitors to your company website decide whether or not they are going to keep clicking within just a second or two, sometimes even less than that! Thus it’s important to do everything you can to use SEO and other tools of engagement in order to keep a customer interested in your SEO content and get them to keep clicking through other internal links on your business website.
If your bounce rate is high, check and make sure everything is running smoothly on your website. Visiting your site from both a computer and multiple mobile devices can help ensure a smooth experience for all your website visitors and allow you to catch errors and bugs.
Make sure you are also keeping your website content relevant and engaging by including useful information and intentionally choosing keywords. This part is just as important as making your website visually appealing and easy to navigate. Remember, many different elements go into creating the optimal website experience for your customer.
5. Organic Conversion Rate
Your organic conversation rate keeps track of how many website visitors complete a given task (such as a product purchase) on your website after clicking on it. Tracking your organic conversation rate is a great way to understand the effectiveness of your website designs, marketing campaigns, and SEO content. If your organic conversion rate is high, your website and content are likely very well organized, so take this as an encouraging sign. Your business is flourishing! On the other hand, if your web page’s conversion rate is still remaining low, even after utilizing SEO and improving your website in other ways, it’s time to start strategizing other methods of engaging with your customer base. Doing market research and updating your keywords, as well as just generally polishing your overall website, can help bring in more clicks and raise your organic conversion rate.
6. Average Time Spent on Page
Just Like it sounds, this KPI tracks how long each potential customer spends on your web page before clicking away. If people aren’t spending much time on your website, it’s time to make sure your website works well, is free of broken links, is mobile-optimized, and is otherwise engaging. Little time spent on your website can indicate a need to reevaluate your content and spend some time refreshing it.
If your potential customers are not staying on your website for more than a second or two, you will never be able to raise other important KPI metrics, like your organic conversion rate. Lack of engagement with your content can also indicate uncertainty or distrust of your brand or website content, so you shouldn’t be afraid to change up what is on your web pages to improve upon them. In fact, doing so can make all of the difference in the world to your customer base when done correctly!
7. Organic Visibility
Organic website visibility measures the number of people who come across your company’s website via search engine results rather than by specifically looking up your brand name.
Checking your organic website visibility metrics frequently and interpreting that data is an important way of understanding where your website appears in search engine results. It is also key to understanding how many people are exposed to your content and whether or not they are finding said content engaging enough to click on and explore further. If your organic visibility is low, it might be time to reassess what keywords you are using in your SEO strategies, as well as consider what other methods you might employ to draw in more website traffic for your company.
Related Metrics to Watch
Certain metrics are just generally a good indicator of how well your business is performing overall, so keep an eye on the following metrics:
1. Customer Engagement
It might seem obvious, but it definitely bears worth mentioning that you should also make sure that customers actually engage with the content that you are creating. This includes checking metrics like whether or not customers are clicking on your content, reading all the way through, and also ensuring that your conversion rates remain consistently within your target range. Genuine engagement with customers also develops a good brand image, encourages a quality rapport with them, and helps to expand your business’s recognition in your industry.
2. Customer Loyalty
Similar to customer engagement, you also must be sure to value customer loyalty. You don’t want customers only buying from you once, never to return ever again. It is always cheaper and less time-consuming to keep a current customer rather than try and market to and completely draw in a new customer. Focusing on brand loyalty is an important long-term investment and one you are sure to see substantial ROI on, provided that you are willing to put in the time and effort that is required for it.
Search engine optimization possesses the benefit of being able to initially get customers in the door. However, once they are in the said door, you must also have a plan for keeping them there. Also, another great benefit of customer loyalty is that it almost always leads to word-of-mouth marketing, which is free marketing that can help improve marketing ROI overall. One customer that’s drawn in via your SEO content and then nurtured into a loyal customer can produce a major ROI if they then go off and tell several other people about how great your company is for free.
3. Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV or LTV)
Make sure you are also considering your overall customer lifetime value. As with customer loyalty, it won’t make a whole lot of difference whether or not you’ve attracted a lot of customers with your SEO content if they’re going to make one small purchase and leave. You have to take the total value of their customer journey into account and nurture the customer relationship beyond the point of organic contact.
The Challenges of Using SEO
While SEO has numerous benefits, there is no denying that, like anything in the business world, it also comes with some challenges! The biggest challenge to keep in mind with SEO is that it requires patience for an ROI. After all, SEO is a long-term investment, not a short-term one. It requires commitment, which can understandably be difficult for certain people. However, it is important to remember that the long-term benefits are worth it! Like anything else, it does require a monetary investment, as well as ample time spent creating content and researching the current market trends for your business. That being said, the investment is a worthwhile one, especially when you consider the effectiveness of SEO-based advertising when compared to more traditional forms of marketing your products and services to consumers.
Consider SEO Costs
The cost of SEO services can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including:
The size of your website: The larger your website, the more complex and time-consuming the optimization process will be, and the higher the cost of SEO services will be.
The competitiveness of your industry: If your industry is highly competitive, it may take more time and resources to achieve top search engine rankings, and the cost of SEO services will be higher.
The experience and expertise of the SEO provider: The experience and expertise of the SEO provider can have a significant impact on the cost of SEO services. More experienced and knowledgeable providers typically charge higher rates, but they can also deliver better results.
The scope of the SEO project: The scope of the SEO project will also influence the cost of SEO services. For example, a full-scale SEO campaign that includes keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and ongoing monitoring and analysis will be more expensive than a more limited project that focuses only on on-page optimization.
How Long Does It Take to See Results From an SEO Strategy?
Using SEO for your digital marketing strategy is a long-term investment that takes time to get results. Unlike advertising campaigns and other marketing methods you may have used in the past, you are highly unlikely to see huge results overnight. However, that absolutely does not mean that an SEO strategy should not be used for your business. On the contrary, utilizing an SEO strategy is one of the most effective long-term investments you can make for your company’s growth potential.
Why Do SEO Investments Take So Much Time To Pay Off?
SEO investments tend to naturally take more time to see a return on investment because they vary from traditional advertising strategies. Rather than pop-up style advertising or cold-calling, SEO frames your particular product(s) and company as the solution your customer is looking for. Thus, SEO does require a fair amount of patience.
So Why Choose SEO as a Growth Strategy?
As discussed above, SEO is able to draw in potential clients by providing a given solution to a problem they are already querying about in a search engine. One of the biggest rewards for using SEO content for your business is that it demonstrates your knowledge and professionalism to potential customers. Writing SEO content such as a blog is a great way to show potential customers what you know, draw in website traffic, and subtly advertise without it being in the customer’s face.
A lot of customers today are frustrated with advertisements, and they are not afraid to let brands know about it! A recent Statista survey found that 51% of consumers are irritated by advertisements that they feel are not relevant to them, and only 15% said they are alright with the advertisements anyway. Like it or not, the SEO ROI statistics are in: customers have grown very weary of traditional advertising mediums, and they are no longer as effective as they once were. Alternative means of advertising your brand to consumers are needed, and SEO content is a wonderful way to keep your business relevant and reach new audiences.
Using new advertising tactics like SEO can help your company step into the future rather than be bogged down by traditional advertising and lack of growth. It’s also a way to reach younger markets that you might struggle to reach with normal advertising methods. Gen Z (or Zoomers) are less likely to respond to the usual sort of advertisements that work with other generations.
They also tend to value brand loyalty and brand accountability more—and they aren’t afraid to ditch a particular brand in favor of another if disappointed. Thus, SEO-style content can be one of the most effective ways to engage with Gen Z, who use search engines more and want to see that a brand is trustworthy and knowledgeable about their products.
Common SEO Strategies to Consider
Did you know that 75% of people who search for a given topic in a search engine never actually click past the first page of results? This is an important statistic you should keep in mind when creating your SEO content and building your web pages! Understanding which keywords are the right keywords for your business to use can help you create the right kind of SEO content. When your SEO content is ranked more highly by search engines, your company is much more likely to naturally draw in website visitors. So take the time to do the research and understand what keywords are right for your business. Your company will thank you for it!
Link-building refers to the process of increasing website clicks within other pages within your website. The goal is to increase your inbound website traffic overall. Doing so can help get your company’s website, and content ranked higher by search engine algorithms, increasing the likelihood of organic clicks. Utilizing link-building within your website’s blogs, for example, can be a great way to get someone to click on other blog entries on your website, as well as your products and services that might be available.
Writing engaging SEO content with lots of internal links is a great way to draw potential customers in and get them to spend lots of time getting to know what your business is all about. Adding internal links to your highest-ranked SEO content is also a great way to revive old content that’s fallen off the SERPs (search engine results pages) or boost content that people aren’t finding on their own.
A meta description is displayed in search engine result pages and describes the content of your particular website in approximately 155 characters. Using clear, easy-to-understand meta descriptions for your web pages and digital content is an easy way to get potential customers to click on your business website. Be sure to also make it informative, include some sort of call to action, and try to include a quality keyword or two. The more people click on your website, the higher search engines like Google will rank it.
Conclusion: SEO is Worth the Effort!
Investing in long-term SEO options is a key component of a thriving, growing business. While it can be a bigger commitment than traditional advertising methods, SEO carries a huge opportunity for ROI. When employed correctly, SEO can help your business grow by organically engaging with and cultivating a loyal customer base for a promising business. Book a consultation call with me today and discover how to achieve your maximum business potential with SEO!