A conceptual and artistic representation of the ROI of SEO

When you run a business, you want to attract customers to grow and make a profit. There are two main ways to invest in this: short-term and long-term. Short-term investments are appealing because they can show quick results.

Who doesn’t love seeing immediate success, right?

But, it’s crucial to focus on more than these.

One of the best ways to invest in your business long-term today is by utilizing SEO or search engine optimization.

SEO ROI is a long-term investment that may take longer to pay off, but they are essential for a stable and thriving business.

Please read this article because it offers insightful SEO ROI statistics, which are essential for understanding the actual value of your SEO investments.

How to Calculate the ROI of your SEO Efforts

The goal is to prove that every dollar you invest in SEO brings in more than a dollar in return.

To do this, you need to compare the total Cost of your SEO program with the Revenue it generates to get your return on investment (SEO ROI)

A straightforward method to evaluate your SEO investment is using this SEO ROI formula:

(Revenue – SEO Cost) ÷ SEO Cost

Here, R stands for the Revenue generated from your SEO efforts, and C represents the Cost of your SEO program. This formula calculates your SEO activities’ return on investment (ROI).

Let’s break it down with an example:

  • Suppose your SEO efforts bring in $10,000 in sales (R).
  • You spent $2,000 on your SEO Campaign (C).

The formula would look like ($10,000 – $2,000) ÷ $2,000. This simplifies to $8,000 ÷ $2,000, giving you 4. This means you’re getting $4 back for every $1 you spend on SEO.

Using this formula helps you understand the direct financial impact of your SEO investments. It’s essential for making informed decisions about where to allocate your resources for the best return for SEO ROI.

SEO ROI Calculator Excel Formula:

To create an Excel formula that calculates (Revenue – SEO Cost) ÷ SEO Cost, you first need to ensure that you have the Revenue and SEO Cost values in specific cells.

Let’s assume Revenue is in cell A1 and SEO Cost is in cell B1.

The formula would be:

=(A1 - B1) / B1

You can copy and paste this formula into your Excel spreadsheet in the cell where you want the result to appear.

This formula will compute the result based on the values in cells A1 and B1.

If your data is in different cells, be sure to adjust the cell references accordingly.

SEO ROI Calculator

Here’s how to calculate the cost-efficiency of SEO with a simple SEO ROI calculator to use; add in your annual revenue, profit margin, and SEO costs.

SEO ROI Calculator

Enter your monthly SEO costs, annual revenue, and profit margin, and the calculator will display the total yearly cost, profit, and ROI.

Monthly Cost Breakdown:

We breakdown costs into different spends to get you a more accurate ROI:

  • SEO Consulting: The costs of an SEO specialist to work on the SEO campaigns
  • Technical SEO Implementation: The costs of website technical setup or fixes
  • Link-building / Digital PR: The costs of acquiring backlinks
  • SEO Content Writing: The costs of content creation
  • SEO Tools Costs: The Cost of SEO tools subscriptions
  • Profit margin: The profitability of the SEO results.

For a more detailed version, here’s my SEO ROI Calculator including more data points for a comprehensive breakdown.

ROI of SEO Statistics: Why SEO is Worth It.

SEO isn’t just about a single number or immediate returns.

These include building a solid brand or creating a long-form SEO content strategy. It’s like planting a tree. You will see it grow slowly over time, but with time and care, it becomes a robust and reliable source of shade.

Balancing the two types of investments means you get the best of both worlds: quick wins and sustainable growth.

It’s like having a balanced diet. Fast food is quick and satisfying, but fruits and vegetables are necessary for long-term health.

The value of SEO is well known; there’s a reason why the industry topped 50 billion dollars in 2022.

One key aspect is that it’s not only about the Revenue generated directly from SEO activities. For example, the content you create for SEO can also improve conversion rates by building trust with your customers.

This is particularly important for businesses using a recurring revenue model, where the lifetime value of a customer is more significant than the immediate sale.

Now, let’s look at some compelling stats that showcase the impressive ROI of SEO:

  1. High Average ROI: According to the Search Engine Journal, 49% of marketers report that organic search offers the highest ROI compared to other marketing channels.
  2. SEO in B2B: In the B2B sector, 90% of buyers research search engines before making a purchase. This highlights the importance of having a strong SEO presence.
  3. SEO vs. PPC: A study by Ahrefs found that SEO delivers a higher ROI than Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. While PPC gives immediate results, SEO is a long-term strategy with more sustainable benefits. Google reports that the ROI on organic search traffic is 5.3 times higher than paid search.
  4. Top-Ranked Website Traffic: The top-ranked website in Google’s search results gets a significant portion of traffic, with a study by pollthepeople showing it receives about 34% of traffic. This emphasizes the importance of aiming for high rankings.
  5. Organic Traffic vs. Social Media: Organic traffic from search engines is about 1,000% higher than social media, according to BrightEdge. This statistic underlines the massive potential of SEO in driving website traffic.


It would be best to use key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure your SEO performance’s ROI. These KPIs are vital for understanding how your SEO efforts influence your business’s performance, no matter what company you run.

If you’ve engaged with SEO services through an SEO consultant or an SEO agency, you’ll need to track this SEO ROI as it’s an external cost.

If you have an in-house SEO specialist, you’ll track their salary and SEO budget.

We’ll take a closer look at each KPI, how to track them, and why they’re essential.

  1. Organic Revenue / Sales ($): At the end of the SEO ROI is shown through the Revenue or sales generated via organic traffic. This is the positive ROI in your marketing strategy that you know, as a business owner, that you’ve tapped into your target audience in search results.
  2. Search Engine Rankings: This represents your website’s position in search engine results for specific target keywords that your potential customers are searching for. High rankings often lead to more traffic potential. Monitor this using SEO tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs.
  3. Organic Website Traffic: This shows the number of visits your site receives from organic search. High organic traffic indicates effective SEO; qualified traffic that converts into SEO leads is better. Use tools like Google Analytics to track this KPI for SEO ROI.
  4. Organic Click-through Rate (CTR): This measures the percentage of users who click on your site after seeing it in search results. It reflects the effectiveness of your meta titles and descriptions. Google Search Console is great for tracking CTR and can measure SEO ROI long-term.
  5. Bounce Rate: This is the rate at which visitors leave your site after viewing just one page. A lower bounce rate suggests engaging content that encourages further exploration.
  6. Organic Conversion Rate: This indicates the percentage of organic visitors who perform a desired action, like a purchase. It’s crucial for gauging your SEO’s impact on business goals.
  7. Average Time Spent on Page: This shows the duration visitors stay on a page. Longer times suggest more engaging content.
  8. Organic Visibility: This measures how visible your site is in organic search results, tracked by impressions or keyword rankings.
  9. SEO Costs: Your marketing budget is segmented into the performance of your digital marketing channels. Therefore, the Cost of SEO is a crucial SEO metric for tracking organic growth.

By monitoring these KPIs, along with your company’s Revenue, profit, and sales, you can demonstrate the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.

This is essential for justifying ongoing investment in SEO, whether convincing higher-ups of its value or ensuring your business investments are fruitful.

Specific metrics are just generally a good indicator of how well your business is performing overall, so keep an eye on the following metrics:

These metrics focus on user experience and long-term value, going beyond traditional SEO KPIs:

  1. Customer Engagement: This involves measuring how customers interact with your content. It’s not just about the number of clicks but the depth of the interaction. Are customers reading your content thoroughly? Are they taking actions like signing up for newsletters or downloading resources? High customer engagement often leads to better brand recognition and trust. Tools like Google Analytics can help track page views, time on the page, and actions taken on your website to gauge engagement.
  2. Customer Loyalty: Customer loyalty is about encouraging repeat business. It’s more cost-effective to retain existing customers than acquire new ones. Loyal customers are likelier to recommend your business to others, providing valuable word-of-mouth marketing. You can measure loyalty through repeat purchase rates, subscription renewals, or engagement levels. Tools like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can help track customer interactions and purchase history.
  3. Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV or LTV): This metric estimates the total value a customer will bring to your business over their entire relationship. High CLTV indicates a solid and long-term relationship with your customers. It’s a critical metric for understanding the long-term impact of your SEO and marketing efforts. You can calculate CLTV by multiplying the average purchase value by the average number of purchases and customer relationship length.

Forecast SEO ROI

Forecasting the ROI of SEO activities involves a nuanced approach that blends data analysis, strategic planning, and adaptability to market conditions. Key aspects include:

  1. Review historical SEO data to understand what has worked and identify areas for improvement.
  2. Estimate potential traffic growth over time based on content performance and SEO trends through improved search visibility.
  3. Focus on the conversion potential, particularly for bottom-of-the-funnel content.
  4. Leverage tools for accurate SEO forecasting, such as SEO Monitor, including keyword database, impact visualization, competitor analysis, session and conversion estimates, and personalized keyword difficulty assessments.
  5. Align your forecasting with your marketing goals and SEO strategy, customizing targets and timeframes.
  6. Clearly articulate outcomes and manage stakeholder expectations, understanding that SEO is a long-term strategy.

Incorporating these methods ensures a comprehensive, adaptable approach to forecasting SEO ROI, helping to set realistic goals and effectively communicate potential outcomes to stakeholders.

Final Word: The ROI of SEO

Investing in long-term SEO options is vital to a thriving, growing business.

While it can be a more significant commitment than traditional advertising methods, SEO carries a massive opportunity for ROI.

SEO can help your business grow by organically engaging with and cultivating a loyal customer base for a promising company when employed correctly.

Book a consultation call with me today and discover how to achieve your maximum business potential with SEO!