Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) ROI is often greeted with baffled looks. Measuring return on investment is important for any business. It would seem that while ROI has always been considered an important priority, it has now gained renewed importance.
What is the solution? How can you integrate SEO into the tracking and determine the ROI of the organic search channel? Tracking the ROI may differ depending on the data and tools you have access to in your organisation.
Revenue – SEO’s Real ROI
Revenue is the most important and revealing means for measuring your organisation above links, rankings, and any other metric for determining SEO ROI. The quality of links and traffic to your website have an impact on the revenue generated from SEO efforts, but by themselves are meaningless if they fail to convert into money for your organisation.
To get a meaningful SEO ROI for your organisation that generates revenue consistently, you need highly converting traffic. A conversion can be as simple as a completed sign up to an email newsletter which in Google Analytics is considered goal completion that will lead to future revenue or a direct purchase from your website.
Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels report is quite valuable when it comes to visualizing the marketing channels that helped users in the journey to becoming a conversion on your website. You can use last-click attribution as the standard for measuring conversion, but today multiple points across the purchase funnel can affect the decision of a customer to convert and make a purchase.
It is important for marketers and business owners alike to understand how these channels affect each other and can help drive conversions further for your business moving forward.
The important thing is to always start with the basics, how much the traffic is worth and that’s a relatively simple calculation.
- How much traffic does or can the keywords you would like to rank for have the potential of delivering?
- What position would you have to be in the search engine result pages to benefit from some of the traffic?
- How much of the traffic can be converted from visitors to leads?
- How well is your organisation convert from lead to sale?
- Finally, what would be the lifetime value of those clients? (annual revenue multiplied by the number of years)?
This would give you a real-world figure of the ROI of your SEO efforts to start with. If you would like a simple calculator for this purpose you can find right here!
How else can you influence and measure SEO?
1. Raising Non-Branded Organic Traffic
A boost in website traffic usually indicates that your business is properly matched for its keyword searches in the search engine results. However, it is critical not only to receive more traffic from visitors that are searching for your business by the brand name but also from non-branded related keywords.
Browse through the non-branded keywords responsible for driving traffic to your website by viewing Google Analytics Acquisition section, then to Keywords, and then finally to the Organic report. If you wish to filter out branded keywords from the report to easily identify the traffic that non-branded vs. branded keywords delivered, choose advanced on the Organic report.
You can then choose exclude from the first drop-down menu, and then keyword, choose containing, and then add all versions of the brand name so that they are excluded from the keywords in the report by clicking add a dimension.
It is important to distinguish this traffic to your website and understand whether it is growing effectively over time since this type of traffic usually comprises of new visitors who are unfamiliar with your company but who are in need of the services or products you offer.
Branded organic traffic are visitors already familiar with your business, some who are your existing customers. Filter out the different types of traffic using Google Analytics to get a better sense of what is happening with the visitors on your website.
2. Increased Inbound Links
The lifeblood of SEO is inbound links. When other websites link to yours, it is a vote of confidence that Google takes into account to ascertain which subject a particular organisation is an expert on and rank its website accordingly. Once effective way to gain more visibility in the search engines is to increase the variety of inbound links to your website.
With better rankings comes more traffic and with more traffic comes increased revenue. You can use third party software for easily and quickly monitoring the number of inbound links to your website over time. You can use Majestic SEO’s free backlink tool if you would like to know the total number of backlinks pointing to your website along with the number of referring domains from the links since the variety of sources of the links is critical.
Measure the rate of growth of the number of inbound links over a 3, 6, and 12 month period if you want to understand which content on the website helped draw in the highest number of links. The increase in the number of inbound links to your website helps to inform your marketing efforts in the future by highlighting what works and what does not.
Analyse what product pages, blog posts, infographics, white papers, eBooks, webinars, etc., drove the highest quality inbound links to your website and then try to duplicate your success.
To help inform your content strategy you should try doing the same for your competitors. There are some cool tools to help you do that or why not take advantage of our FREE SEO audit and we’ll do it for you along with revealing some other insights into why and how your competitors are getting their results.
3. High Quality Traffic
Sending a lot of unqualified traffic to your website is a waste of resources, but this is what unfortunately happens if a professional practicing black hat SEO strategies is involved. Pay or results SEO are companies that often do this, upping their SEO service rate the more traffic they can generate. Large traffic volume is critical to the continued growth of your organisation, but it should be relevant to the offerings of your website or they will just leave your website soon after arriving on your homepage.
We can send you 10,000 visitors in a month literally at the flick of a switch but why on earth would you want that if they are not the right kind of customers. Hint – ensure that you do accurate and detailed keyword research! Quality traffic to a website is more likely to convert customers because your offerings are related to the interests of your visitors.
If you wish to access this reporting in Google Analytics and understand the quality of traffic on your website fully, you should visit the Audience section in the dashboard and click on the Behaviour report. Analysing the bounce rate, pages per visit, and time spent on site is an effective way to measure the quality of traffic to your website.
The 3 metrics indicate that visitors are actually more engaged with your website.
The conversion of traffic into customers is when the return on investment from search becomes clearly visible.
4. Improving Organic Conversion Using Conversion Rate Optimisation
SEO ROI is not just about traffic, but rather revenue. Do everything possible to improve the progression from organic search visits to conversion so that those visitors have a better chance to influence the ROI.