Making sure your efforts bring results is always important. However, when you’re investing a lot of time and money, you need to be certain you are getting a good return on investment. Although search engine optimization isn’t an entirely new concept, some companies are still struggling to figure out if they are making the correct choices. Here is how to measure the ROI of SEO and know if your investment is bringing results.

The importance of SEO

Search engine optimization ensures that you rank well in search results and that users can easily find you. SEO is a set of techniques that you can use to structure your website and its content. Optimized content is more likely to organically appear when users search for relevant keywords. And that’s the main goal – letting users find your business, because if no one knows about your services when they need them, you may as well not even exist.

If you want to increase your sales, there are several things you can invest in. However, we recommend holding off on spending money on fancy marketing campaigns. First, you need to stop and find out how paying customers are actually finding your website. Most companies achieve the majority of their sales from organic searches. Therefore, you might want to invest some of your budget into SEO. Keep in mind that SEO provides organic visibility, the origin of which can be hard to determine. Naturally, this leads us to wonder how to measure the ROI of SEO.

What is ROI, and why do we need to measure it?

By measuring the return on investment, you can determine how efficient your efforts to reach customers are. If you are investing money to reach a larger audience, you should know where that money is going and if it is giving you the results you are hoping for. In case your approach isn’t working, you can rethink where you are investing your funds. By measuring the ROI, you can see if you should switch your focus to something that brings a higher profit.

Computer displaying dollar amounts of investments.
Knowing which of your investments are paying off is the key to any successful marketing strategy.

Keep in mind that SEO isn’t only used for getting more users to find you. A key aspect of SEO is boosting engagement and keeping your visitors interested. If customers are constantly engaging with your brand, it will be easier to bring them further down the sales funnel and more likely to make a purchase. But don’t be fooled that your engaging SEO content is free if you make it yourself. ‘Who cares about ROI? This didn’t cost me a thing!’ Everything you do for your company will either cost you time or money. SEO uses the following resources:

  • In-house resources: specialized personnel which require wages or pulling team members away from their usual tasks, which take up their work hours.
  • Third-party resources: outsourcing and hiring someone outside of your company to help with SEO.
  • Digital tools: software that you purchase or lease that is used for optimization and measuring SEO results.

Conversion tracking

Now that you realize the importance of measuring the ROI of SEO, you might be wondering what parameters you need to track. There is a sea of information out there, and it’s easy to get lost in all the numbers and graphs. Learn to track what’s important, start by looking at conversions that actually earn money. Of course, this can differ based on how you make money. If your website has an online store, you can expect to get accurate amounts. Ecommerce businesses that have online sales can use Google Analytics to get the job done for free.

Woman doing online shopping with her credit card in an ecommerce store.
Businesses with online stores find it easy to measure the ROI of SEO.

What if you don’t have direct sales?

Naturally, not all businesses will make money through sales in their online store. They will still need to find a way to measure the ROI of SEO. If you have a business like that, you can set up goals for analytics that you can track. Setting up goals is essential for every campaign; of course, for some strategies, it will be a lot easier, like PPC campaigns, for example.

Track parameters for past sales and use that data as a reference. You can look at anything from contacts to price inquiries or quote requests. Add individual dollar amounts to each to get an estimate for how they equate to sales. For example, how many inquiries do you get per one sale?

If for every 5 people that ask about a 300 dollar service, one person ends up making a purchase, your conversion rate is 20%. The value of each lead is going to be $60.

Measuring ROI for SEO

Once you have a numerical value that you can attach to conversions you can do some more calculating. Figure out how much value each of your conversions (VoC) has and how much the cost of investment (CoI) to achieve the conversion is. Now you can use this formula:

(VoC – CoI) / CoI

Your SEO resulted in 100 people purchasing your $300 service for a total value (VoC) of $30,000. However, you invested (CoI) $5,000 in your SEO. That would make it:
(30,000 – 5,000) / 5,000 = 5

For every $1 which you invested, there was an ROI of $5.

Person using calculator to measure ROI of SEO.
If you know what to track, doing the math is easy.

When to measure ROI for SEO

Realistically, boosting SEO is a long-term strategy, which takes time to show its effects. This naturally begs the question of how often should you evaluate your SEO efforts? Most companies measure monthly, quarterly, or even yearly. After investing in boosting your SEO, you will probably be eager to see the results. Unfortunately, you will need to wait a while to get an accurate sense of the ROI your SEO is bringing. We recommend waiting 3 to 6 months to get precise results. Search engines need time to index your pages, and no matter how good your SEO is, link building takes time.


As you have seen, if you know which numbers to track – doing the math is pretty easy. Now that you know how to measure the ROI of SEO, you can evaluate how well any campaign to boost sales is doing. Just track the proper parameters and remember that results don’t happen overnight.

Meta Description: Are you wondering how well your efforts to boost SEO and convert more customers are doing? Here is how to measure the ROI of SEO and be sure it’s cost-effective.