This blog used to attract a lot of visitors and then due to circumstances beyond my control I had to shut it down for almost a year. When I was finally able to bring the blog back to life a large portion of the traffic was lost, various popularity rankings were down, and I realized that restarting would be even more complex than what I had to go through when starting from scratch a few years ago.
I had to undergo many pains including inevitable investment in SEO, a potential bottomless money pit, and the first question on my mind was its financial impact, budget I need to allocate, and the ROI to expect.
ROI is the most popular and powerful metric in the business world. It stands for Return on Investment, and it immediately points to tangible measurable returns on your investment – how much money you need to spend to gain so much money in revenue or profit. Unfortunately, calculating ROI for marketing campaigns is a bit of a daunting task. If you are thinking that only basic math must be involved – how much money did you make after running a campaign? – you may not be far away from the truth. But, and when we are talking about ROI for SEO campaigns, this is a bit ‘but’, SEO does not exactly play by the marketing book.
Is SEO immeasurable?
SEO does not yield results overnight. Take your pick: number of visits, number of leads, number of sales. You won’t be able to just start a SEO campaign and wake up next morning a billionaire. Frankly, if anyone could have found the golden goose of SEO, it would have been nothing but feathers by now.
SEO involves hard work, skill and cleverness. And, if by this point you start feeling disappointed with the whole idea, don’t be. ROI for SEO campaigns can be measured. The trick is to do it right.
What to expect?
Whenever a business orders a SEO campaign, they expect results, and they expect these results to be provided on the fly. However, SEO does not work like any ordinary type of marketing strategy for a simple reason: search engine robots take time to gather data, analyze it, and introduce it in their complex algorithms. Sounds like a terrible deal?
It is not. When SEO gets to the point of yielding results – and, when it does get there, the results are really great – only then you will see the actual ROI.
What kind of ROIs are we talking about?
SEO campaigns can be measured by two major types of ROI: anticipated ROI and actual ROI. As you may easily guess, anticipated ROI is what the business owner ordering the SEO campaign expects. It is completely natural, and no one would ever invest money in a marketing campaign, without expecting results.
Actual ROI is represented by the numbers that will start pouring in, once the SEO campaign is over and the results begin to appear.
The most important gripe business owners have with the way SEO works is that they have to wait for the results to manifest themselves. But, in this case, no matter how bitter the wait, if the SEO campaign was a success, the fruits will definitely be the sweetest.
When to measure?
An important aspect to any SEO campaign is when to start reporting ROI. For the first months, negative ROI is to be expected, but once positive ROI is registered, it is time to start reporting it.
The greatest thing about successful SEO is that it is like a gift that keeps on giving. Once it starts working, it basically starts rolling, and businesses that have invested wisely in SEO will be the ones on top of the game.
And what about you?
What have been your ROI on SEO? What metrics can you share with me and the audience? Please comment below or email me directly. Naturally, I am very interested in this topic and would love to know your thoughts.