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Measuring ROI of SEO: A Complete Guide

Do you worry about your SEO not working well and bringing in less profit than expected? If yes, you are not alone. 

Some companies feel they have limited control over SEO compared to other marketing tools, like paid search. Thus, they choose to move forward with such channels even if they are less profitable and more expensive. 

That is where SEO ROI enters! ROI of SEO helps you understand how profitable your SEO campaigns are and how well they perform. 

In the following post, we will discuss why you should measure SEO ROI, how to measure it, and the main challenges while measuring. 

What Is the ROI of SEO?

ROI of SEO refers to measuring the revenue generated from the investment done in search engine optimization. For any SEO manager or consultant, it is a major concern. 

If the generated revenue by your SEO strategy is more than its cost, you have a profitable ROI. However, if it is the opposite, you are at a loss. 

Remember that measuring the return on investment of SEO is complicated because it requires time to notice any change in SEO results. However, it remains an essential KPI to measure. 

3 Reasons to Measure SEO ROI

Understanding your SEO techniques and what kind of revenue it brings can help you save money. It would be best to calculate SEO ROI to learn how search engine optimization impacts your business and profits. 

Here is how measuring the ROI of SEO can be helpful:

  • Making Better SEO Decisions: Using SEO ROI, you can determine which pages and channels bring in the most revenue. When you know where your revenue comes from, you can make better SEO decisions and continue to invest in profitable channels. 

  • Accurately Measuring Success: Measuring success can take time because SEO is an ongoing process. However, when you are aware of the ROI of SEO, you can know your company’s wins and can avoid losses. 

  • Optimize Strategies: Once you analyze the performance of your SEO campaigns, you can easily adjust your strategies to reap the best possible outcomes. 

Ways to Measure the ROI of SEO

Measuring the ROI of search engine optimization is similar to measuring the ROI on any other investment. 

Here is how you can measure the ROI of SEO:  

Calculate Your SEO Investment

Start by calculating your total investment in SEO strategy. It generally includes in-house SEO resources, freelancers and agencies, and tools. 

Calculate the value of your organic traffic conversions

Next, you need to track your SEO campaign’s performance by analyzing the KPIs. In simple terms, you need to measure the number of organic traffic generated by your SEO. For this, you can use Google Analytics or other SEO tools. 

Calculate Your Return on Investment

Lastly, you need to calculate the return on investment from SEO by using a simple formula:

“ROI of SEO = (value of conversions - cost of investment) / cost of investment”

5 Main Challenges when Measuring SEO ROI

Below are five challenges you can encounter while measuring SEO ROI:

Marketing attribution is flawed

Regardless of the attribution model, the attribution conversions to marketing channels can be flawed by nature. Google’s DDA model is the perfect solution, but it fails to solve many other problems. 

SEO and brand-building

Many times, SEO gets the credit when it shouldn’t. For instance, when you come across an interesting product via YouTube, Google the product and make a direct purchase via the website.  

Likewise, you can have strong SEO with high search visibility. But search ads and social media ads can get in the way because they are more prominent. 

Difficulty in Measure SEO’s Retention Impact

Extending customer’s lifetime value using SEO through content strategies and other methods is possible. However, measuring SEO’s retention impact is difficult. That’s because the time spent interacting with the content doesn’t necessarily mean conversion.  

Time Difference between Investment and Return

Since SEO is an ongoing process, it isn’t easy to see SEO effects instantly. This makes it difficult to track the ROI of SEO in the short term. 

To overcome this challenge, you must set realistic expectations of what SEO can help you gain in the long term. 

Forecasting Future ROI

Lastly, predicting the expected ROI is impossible because SEO forecasting is a discipline on its own. Also, it can come in between the other challenges. But you can hire an SEO agency New York to determine the future ROI accurately.

Forecasting future ROI can be beneficial in many ways. For instance, it can let you predict the high and low traffic volume so you can easily understand the future demand for your products and services. 


How does SEO increase ROI?

By using effective SEO techniques, you can improve ROI. Common techniques you can use include using relevant keywords, building high-quality backlinks, and optimizing web content.

What is the ROI of SEO for small businesses?

What is the average ROI for an SEO campaign?

How does SMM help increase website traffic and boost ROI?

Which digital strategy has the highest ROI?

How do you track and measure the success of an SEO campaign?

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