By Justin Champion
Mar 22, 2011
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It can be difficult to track and measure Return on Investment (ROI) through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO is comprised of three areas of focus
Since SEO has made its way into marketing calendars, savvy marketers have been trying to show more than just “improved rankings.”Simplest formula for proposed SEO campaigns may look like this:
Predicted ROI = (Anticipated revenue from SEO efforts) – (Proposed cost of SEO project)
If sponsored listings are not labeled, what percentage of searchers click on organic listings versus paid listings? Who doesn’t click at all? With over 4.2 million searches, 54% of people clicked on organic results, 35.2 did not make a click, and only 10.2% clicked a sponsor link.
It doesn’t matter about the position on the page, but more on the relevance of the message. For instance, users respond better to reputable domains (example: .org).
Are users looking for price points? Are users looking for a familiar website? Universal and personalized search make the biggest difference in 2011. Keywords determine what type of search users are performing.
Universal and personalized search (36-42% of clicks) will occur on a #1 ranking in SERPs.
In 2009, Rosetta worked with a retail client to estimate the number of visits to the site that could be expected as a result of SEO implementation. They used a very basic model based on past traffic to the domain, and using average monthly traffic as the baseline to measure against.
Record data for a complete year, then, take the average amount traffic and look at the actual month over month (to predict seasonality). This data is crucial for finding potential traffic and anticipating future projections.
And then things began to get more complex…
Additional variables to refine into “aggressive” vs. “moderate” SEO
Adding complexities only makes for more confusing spreadsheets and charts. Start off basic and gain some confidence in your reports.
Another way to look at how much traffic YOU could get from SEO is by prediciting how much traffic your competitor gets. Keep in mind, you may need to use multiple sites, since competition can vary from keyword to keyword. This is especially important if your website has multiple products or business lines.
Once you identify non-branded keywords that competitor sites are ranking for, and define a limited set, apply a CTR for each keyword based on visibility.
Once numbers are totaled, one way to display them is by showing opportunity cost of not doing SEO. This will give a clear picture of what it’s worth.
The future of SEO ROI projections
Once numbers start making sense, the next step is to develop ways to update the projections in a real time manner – a self correcting model. It’s important to fix projections as they happen. Don’t stick to exact projections if you have real time data.
Key factors to remember