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It is extremely important to know your exact return on investment, especially when it comes to search engine optimization.

After all, what’s the point of running a campaign that spends your time and resources on something that doesn’t even work (or barely does)?

So, today I have prepared a short guide on how to keep track of the return on investment of your SEO efforts.

Traffic from Non-Branded Keywords

One of the very first indications of whether your SEO is helping you or not is the rise of traffic coming from keywords that don’t include your brand name in them.

People who come from branded keyword searches already know about your business and their visit most likely has nothing to do with your SEO, so you need to learn how to exclude them from your reports.

It is important because people coming from unbranded keywords are typically new users who have never heard about you. And, obviously, you want more people finding out about you.

Side Note: Let me also supply you with a nice list of the best rank trackers for all your keyword rank tracking needs.

Now, tracking this kind of traffic is actually quite simple. All you need for it is the trusty Google Analytics.

Go to Acquisition, then Keywords and the Organic report. Next, click exclude in the first drop-down menu and add all of your keywords with your brand name in them.

What remains now is the rest of your keywords along with how much traffic they have brought you.

Inbound Links

The amount of high-quality links from popular, respected resources has an immense impact on your site’s SEO.

There are multiple reasons for it. First of all, a site that links to you transfers a portion of its own traffic to you. It also exposes an entirely new audience to your brand/content/etc.

It also serves as an indication that your site is trustworthy to Google. And the more backlinks you have, the higher the traffic increase, the faster your rank rises and the more visibility you get in SERPs.

So, seeing that backlinks are quite important, it makes perfect sense to monitor them.

Any backlink reporting tool will work for this, but I recommend Ahrefs.

Take note of the increase in your number of backlinks in the last months to better understand what types of content perform the best and which strategies bring the best results.

Traffic Quality

And even though higher traffic generally means success in the world of SEO, there’s more to it than just numbers.

You could have hundreds of thousands of unique visitors per month and still be operating at a loss if all those people click off your site the second they enter it.

That’s where traffic quality comes in. High-quality traffic is much more likely to lead to conversions because of a variety of reasons. Them coming from a relevant resource is just an example of one of those reasons.

To check your traffic’s quality in GA, go to the Audience section of your dashboard and go to the Behaviour report.

To increase the quality of your traffic, seek to build links on relevant resources, run social media campaigns, or guest blog on similar resources.

Calculate Your Return on Investment

There are actually a few ways to do it. The easiest one is turning on eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics, which simplifies the process A LOT.

Here is a guide by Google themselves on how to do it. After you’re done, you will be able to know your exact revenue number.

The formula goes like this (SEO Revenue – SEO Cost) ÷ SEO cost for eCommerce websites.

For non eCommerce sites though, it is a little bit trickier. Here, you will need to set up conversion goals and keep track of them.

A conversion can be any interaction, such as a subscription, product purchase, form submission, etc.

To set up goal tracking in GA, go to Conversions > Goals > Overview where you will find a neat little button that says “set up goals”.

Let’s say you’re a SaaS website with a $5/month subscription fee. Set up a goal for subscriptions and take a look at the number you get a month.

Let’s say 10% of your March visitors actually purchased a subscription (would be amazing in real life, but let’s keep the numbers round for simplicity sake), and there was a grand total of 10 000 of them.

Multiply your total number of visits by your conversion rate and multiply the result by your revenue per conversion (your subscription fee in this case) and you will get your revenue number.

10 000 x 10% x $5 = $5000.

Once you know your revenue number, calculating your return on investment is as easy as snapping your fingers. I’m sure I don’t need to explain it here.

In Conclusion

So, this is a couple of ways you can measure your SEO campaign return on investment. Also, worth mentioning is to hire a link building and blogger outreach agency to help you with your ROI and increase number of visitors/sales.

I hope you found this useful and good luck with your own SEO campaign!


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