How to Prove the ROI of Your SEO Efforts

11th October 2022

Measure the success of your SEO efforts with these easy-to-follow steps.

There is no doubt that SEO or search engine optimisation has been fundamental in digital marketing. 

In fact, 49% of marketers say that using SEO to gain more organic searches for their website has provided them with the best ROI than any other marketing channel.

If you’ve been using SEO on your marketing campaigns for quite a while, you might be looking for ways to measure or prove your ROI. This is a crucial step to show your clients that what you’re doing is working for their website.

However, it might be hard to quantify the performance of your SEO tactics. 

Sure, you can try to measure it based on how much you need to pay for traffic in Google Ads or the revenue you gain from the organic clicks your website gets. 

But these methods don’t always work. The first option requires you to spend extra money for paid ads, while the second entails having flawless analytics, both of which may be hard to get for smaller or newer businesses and websites.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different steps that you need to follow to prove the ROI of your SEO efforts, which include the following:

💡 Pro Tip

Ruler Analytics makes the process of measuring your SEO ROI much easier. It tracks data on a visitor level, allowing you to successfully attribute leads and revenue across multiple landing pages, keywords and more.

How businesses use Ruler to track and prove ROI

1. Choose a start and end date

SEO does not offer results in a few days or weeks. So, trying to determine the ROI of your SEO efforts too early may leave you disappointed or even confused.

To have a clearer view of your website’s SEO performance, you should start analysing your SEO performance a few months after you start optimising your website. Setting calculations after three, six, and 12 months should be enough to see some significant changes in your website’s organic traffic.

By the third month of your SEO campaign, you might not notice much improvement in your website’s ranking. However, by the sixth and 12th months, you should be able to see a significant change, which will make it easier for you to accurately calculate your ROI.

2. Determine your SEO costs

If you’re working in an SEO agency, determining the cost of SEO for your client is simple. It would be the amount you charge your client for your SEO services.

However, if you’re an independent marketer providing your services to a company, calculating your SEO costs might be more complex. The same is true if you’re part of an in-house digital marketing team.

To accurately calculate your SEO costs, you need to consider the money you spend on manpower, including your team members’ salaries, freelance writer fees, and web designer and developer expenses. You should also include the following costs in your calculation:

If you use social media for SEO, you also need to consider the costs you incur in managing your social media accounts. This will provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of all the expenses you make in running your SEO campaign.

3. Identify your conversion actions

A conversion refers to the instance when an organic visitor on your website completes your desired action. 

Although this might seem like a simple concept, determining your client’s conversion actions may be challenging if they have a longer sales cycle. 

You need to look at the different actions a user can make on your client’s website and identify which of them are part of the conversion funnel.

Once you’ve done that, you need to estimate the value of each conversion action. This would be easy if the website processes online sales. The value of your conversion actions is equal to the revenue the business generates with every sale.

But if you’re on the B2B side, things might be more complicated. Since you generate leads instead of sales, you should assign value to different actions that bring you closer to conversions, such as:

You also need to determine which conversion actions bring more value to your client’s business. For example, a completed submission form for a free SEO audit means that you have a potential customer. 

However, an organic visitor who books a meeting will bring more value to the business because they are further along in the sales funnel.

4. Track your performance

Now that you have a list of conversion actions you need to track, you can use Google Analytics to measure your performance. 

Linking your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts will also allow you to determine which conversion actions were made by organic visitors. Doing this will allow you to see the queries that are boosting your organic clicks.

Tracking your conversion using Google Analytics is easy if you are managing an eCommerce site. This tool has specialised conversion traffic settings that will allow you to monitor the following:

Meanwhile, if your client has a B2B business, you should link their Google Analytics account to their CRM platform. 

Related: How to connect your CRM to Google Analytics

Doing so will allow you to monitor which leads came from organic searches.

5. Calculate your ROI

Now that you have every piece of information you need, you should start calculating the ROI of your SEO efforts. 

Related: How calculate your digital marketing ROI

You can do this by taking your conversion and revenue values for your selected time period and plugging it into this basic ROI calculation formula:

(Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment

So let’s say that you spent $1,500 on a three-month SEO campaign to boost the rankings of a website’s landing page. If the landing page generated $4,600, your ROI calculation should look something like this:

(4,600 – 1,500) / 1,500 = 2.06

This means that you generated a 206% ROI.

💡 Pro Tip

Don’t forget, Ruler connects your SEO and sales data and empowers you to track your ROI. Learn more by reading the blog and see how Ruler can transform your marketing reporting.

How to track and forecast revenue with Ruler

Start measuring the ROI of your SEO efforts

You need to show your clients that your SEO efforts are driving results and generating a positive ROI. This will help you gain the trust of your clients and encourage them to continue investing in SEO.

Getting an accurate calculation of the ROI of your SEO efforts will also allow you to determine if your strategy is working. If you feel like you’re not getting enough leads or sales, you can go back to the drawing board and make changes to your strategy.

But if you’re getting a positive ROI, then congratulations! Keep up the good work and continue providing value to your clients.

videos are engaging and possibly help to drive conversions and sales.

Bernard San Juan III is the Managing Partner of Truelogic who comes from a successful career in online companies, where he played a critical role in building & managing workforce groups. He has redesigned the organization’s IT infrastructure to improve order processing and logistics. His skills include managing performance, managing costs and training. He also manages overall sales, customer satisfaction, graphic design, copywriting, and training with first line supervisors.

Bernard San Juan | LinkedIn.