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How to measure return on investment on your SEO efforts

Donald Ng
December 24, 2023
5-star rating
Reviews on Capterra

SEO, the magical acronym that unlocks the golden gates of organic traffic, can feel like a mysterious investment.

You pour in time, resources, and (let's be honest) a touch of hope, but how do you know if it's all paying off? Enter the savior of data-driven decision-making: the ROI in SEO.

But before we dive into the nitty-gritty calculations, let's break down the key components:

Step 1: Categorize Your Keywords – Not All Traffic is Equally Valuable

First, distinguish between two types of keywords: branded and non-branded.

Branded keywords are your company or product names — things people are already looking for. Non-branded keywords are what your SEO efforts should focus on, as they help bring new traffic to your site. You can use Google Search Console to categorize the keywords.

Step 2: Calculate Your ROI – Trust the Numbers

Here's the fun part — math!  

For online stores, it's fairly straightforward; your ROI is your increased revenue from non-branded keyword traffic divided by what you've invested in SEO (tools, agency fees, etc.). 

But what if you don't sell products on your website? Track conversions such as sign-ups, email opt-ins, or any other desired actions. Assign a monetary value to each conversion (e.g., $10 per lead), multiply by the total number of conversions, and then divide by your SEO investment. That's your ROI!

Keep in mind that SEO is a long-term strategy. Regularly reviewing your progress and adjusting your strategies will help improve your results.

Step 3: Maximize Your Investment – Turn Clicks into Cash

Boosting your ROI depends on several key elements:

- Quality Content: Crafting appealing, useful content will naturally drive organic traffic and enhance your rankings.

- Backlinks: Earn high-quality backlinks from relevant, trusted sources. These backlinks are flags to search engines that your website is reliable.

- A/B Testing: Don't just guess what works – experiment! Use tools like Mida to test different landing page elements and optimize for maximum conversions.

Step 4: Look Beyond the Numbers – A Comprehensive View of SEO Success

Although ROI is important, it's not the only way to measure SEO success. Other key metrics include:

- Keyword Diversity: A broad range of keywords driving traffic signals that your on-page optimization is working.

- Landing Page Reach: If multiple landing pages are attracting organic traffic, it shows you're ranking for a set of terms, not just one specific keyword.


Remember, SEO is an ongoing process. By understanding and tracking your ROI, maximizing your results, and monitoring key metrics, you can turn your website into a high-traffic hotspot. So, gear up with your SEO toolkit and start your exciting journey towards ROI domination!

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