Many SEO professionals focus on digital microcosms, including traffic and visibility, but these metrics serve as predictors of success and not success, itself. Businesses need to see how SEO fits into the bigger picture. In an increasingly digital world, SEO investments and the intermediate result (website rankings) should contribute to revenue generation in a meaningful way. Moving forward, SEO professionals who succeed will find ways to communicate the financial value within an SEO strategy.
The State of Modern SEO
Those who work in SEO day in and day out see the interconnected value in keyword research, content development, and social sharing. However, the chain reaction that transforms keyword research into lucrative conversions often involves several steps and extended periods of time. In the meantime, businesses paying employees or outside resources for SEO services start wondering about the value in each initiative.
Modern businesses are no longer willing to sit idly by, pay monthly bills, and trust an SEO expert to work behind-the-scenes magic. They want to see where their money goes and how their investments will translate to initial and repeat sales.
Connecting SEO Initiatives to the Bottom Line
Data is the key to illustrating financial value within SEO strategies. The right SEO metrics paint a clear picture of value. Whether you work in the SEO field or hire organizations that provide SEO services, look at ROI to identify valuable, cost-effective rankings. Track both actual ROI and anticipated ROI from month to month. Data-driven, anticipated ROI serves as a powerful argument for financial success.
To calculate the ROI of a future project, pull the project proposal cost, the average number of total (new and repeat) visits a website receives, the site’s conversion rate, and the average customer spend per order. An SEO team should always seek to provide more value via SEO tactics than the cost of the project. Work backwards using the current data to determine ROI goals.
For example, if a SEO project costs $24,000, the website receives 15,000 annual visits, the website conversion rate is .02%, and the average lifetime value of the customer is $200, the SEO professionals would help generate $60,000 per year for the business, more than doubling the investment. Most websites will convert at better than 2% and most services will have a much higher customer life time value than $200. Each business’ numbers will be different, but the concept is the same.
When an SEO team takes the time to break down the value of a project and provide actual ROI reports, a business can confidently invest in SEO. Case studies from previous projects further affirm an SEO team’s ability to produce financial results from individual projects.
SEO Produces Cumulative Victories
SEO produces a cumulative effect. Consistently strong website rankings for individual landing pages and websites are gifts that keep on giving. Never stop comparing current ROI with starting ROI. An optimized blog article can influence conversions for years without a company ever touching the content for more than minor cleanup activities.
Businesses need SEO to get money making website rankings. Give businesses the financial data they need to see their future bottom lines.