By Marc Purtell | Director, SEO
Editor’s note: This is the tenth post in a 13-part series on the newest search marketing strategies that will enhance your brand’s search strategy. All 10 search strategies, including 3 bonus search strategies, can be downloaded in our new report, “10 New Ideas for Enhancing Your Brand’s Search Strategy “. Download here.
Here is a basic ROI equation for SEO: number of visits driven by organic search x the dollar value of each visit – the cost of SEO efforts = the dollar return on SEO.
Google Analytics can provide the number of unique visits driven from organic links. Most marketers understand the value of each visit (variable margin attributable to Web visits or number of visits) to their website. Optimally, advertisers should track the specific dollar value attributable to organic search traffic. If this is not easily available, the site average is a reasonable substitute. But advertisers must be able to quantify the average value of a site visit before the value of any online marketing can be established.
The cost of supporting SEO efforts (in-house or outsourced SEO experts, link building, content creation) should be identified. It’s advisable to take a cautious approach with regard to cost. Some activities, like link building, are clearly SEO-oriented. However, site structure and content creation typically have mixed ownership. Many companies aren’t evaluating SEO programs properly because they are not connecting SEO efforts with site architecture and content creation decisions, nor are they appropriately attributing these costs to the organic program. Ideally, costs would be allocated based on the total time site architects and content creators spent adjusting the site elements for SEO advantage. If your organization does not track time explicitly, try allotting 15 percent of major site design efforts, and 5 percent of ongoing content creation work, to the overall SEO program costs. (more…)