With businesses of every kind under increased pressure to cut costs, every expense will come under scrutiny. Whether you are working to improve SEO in-house or you work closely with an external agency, you may need to calculate the return-on-investment (ROI) when it comes to your SEO efforts in time, labour and, of course, business costs. Even for the best SEO company, the work needs to show real results.
In fact, depending on your specific goals, it can be difficult to determine the exact monetary value of SEO. While some management may be interested in obvious bottom-line growth and sales, any good SEO marketing plan usually means more search traffic and higher search engine ranking, leading to a higher volume of relevant customers to your business, ultimately resulting in sales.
Some SEO and marketing efforts are not monetarily driven, such as increasing a social media presence or better visibility within the industry, like booking speaker slots and leading webinars, although these should, in theory, lead to an increase in sales for your business over time.
However, don’t expect to see an overnight change. It’s difficult to judge SEO ROI by any single metric. However, there are some of the key measures you can look at in order to better judge your SEO ROI and justify continuing your SEO marketing. So, if you want to know how to improve SEO, and demonstrate real evidence for your results, read on.
Use Conversion Tracking
For anything e-commerce related, whether you are selling tangible products or providing a service, you can set up e-commerce tracking in Google. This is important because, even if you aren’t working on an SEO campaign, the data is handy to determine the success of any work you are doing. In fact, if you’re working with anyone claiming to be the best SEO company and they don’t demand conversion tracking, it may be time for a change.
After you initially set up tracking, you can log in to access your conversion rate, total transactions completed, order values, revenue, and even look out for popular items and trends. The process can actually become quite addictive.
Don’t forget, you can also set up tracking for a lead-based business, such as newsletter sign-ups or social media engagement, but there won’t be an obvious monetary value at this early stage (unless you choose to assign one in-house, eg. the value of a newsletter sign-up).
Understand the Customer Journey
Following any local data protection guidelines, if you record and maintain customer data (newsletters are a great way of doing this) and somebody makes a transaction, you can refer back to their origin (when they signed up or how they heard about you). If this data is recorded at the point of sign-up, eg word of mouth, advertising, social media, it can be directly attributed and used within your case for SEO ROI.
This data can also be analyzed to gain insights into your customers, what they respond to, what does and doesn’t generate clicks, and may help you develop your products and services in the future, working backward from first-hand customer insight. For example, this could involve driving mobile SEO traffic if you notice the majority of your customers arrive from there.
Whether you use Google Analytics or any other system, these metrics are a great and reliable way for you to demonstrate actual clicks, conversions, and purchases. If there is ambiguity on monetary value, you should decide and agree on the value of this within your team, as it will help these conversations in the future.
Alongside your analytics, you can always calculate basic cost vs. value. Measuring sales figures versus SEO agency fees, month-on-month, can be an easy metric to look at. Just remember, SEO ROI will often show a deficit at the very start before a campaign actually gains traction and starts generating positive results. So, give it time.
In time, reliable metrics will show your SEO campaign bearing fruit, and you can compare historical data from before a campaign even started. Then, if you want to convert more new followers into sales, that’s a new and worthy challenge, but it’s worth demonstrating that your initial, relevant traffic or sign-ups are on the rise.
Plan the Work, Work the Plan
With any online marketing efforts, you want to ensure you’re reaching the right customers in your search engine ranking for proven results. If you’re targeting irreverent traffic, you may see a spike in visitors or social media followers, then a high bounce rate or no conversions, because they’re not the right audience for your products and services. The best company for SEO will steer you towards quality, rather than quantity, implementing ideas such as search intent SEO for the best cut-through.
Within your team, you want to demonstrate success, and an increase in sales among a small, gradual increase in traffic is much more valuable than a saturation of visitors that gets you nowhere.
It’s important to develop a sound SEO plan from the outset, whether that’s optimizing your website and content, reaching the right audience or pursuing the right kind of performance-based advertising. This means, when you eventually come to prove a return-on-investment for all these efforts, you’ve plotted your course correctly and see positive results, rather than highlighting mistakes you need to go back and fix. If you plan correctly, you’ll be much better prepared for the journey ahead.
Good Investment Will Always Improve SEO
The best company for SEO will always be a good and worthwhile investment. If you need help and support to improve SEO, we are highly experienced specialists with a vast amount of knowledge spanning digital marketing, online advertising, mobile SEO, and everything in between.
Please get in touch for a free consultation where we can hear about your objectives, take you through our many customer success stories, and ensure you receive the maximum, long-term ROI for your business. If you’re serious about discovering how to improve SEO, we’d love to hear from you.