How to measure SEO ROI

How to measure SEO ROI

How to measure your return on investment in SEO?

If you can accurately measure the return on investment [ROI] on an SEO marketing campaign it will make your company more profitable within months.

3 ways to measure your ROI on SEO

  1. Google Analytics
  2. Webmaster tools 
  3. Subscription-based SEO measuring tools

What data to measure and why 

Ultimately you want to be able to measure a direct result to an investment in SEO, examples of this could be Phone calls, Emails, Instant chat, making a booking or purchasing a product. 

If your SEO campaign is in the early stages for example months 1-6, you will need to measure on other metrics.

SERP = Search Engine Results Pages

Early-stage measurements:

  1. Impressions - How many times your website has appeared in front of someone as they were searching for your product or service.
  2. Average position - Where on average over a time frame that your website appeared on SERP pages
  3. CTR - What percentage of clicks did you receive vs your competitors within SERP pages.
  4. Clicks  - How many times your website is clicked from SERP pages to your website

If your website domain is new [within 3-6 months of launching] and no on-page SEO has been done, you might find that your website is only found on search in search engines if you search for the domain and nothing much more.

Example of a website that is relatively new, Google is aware of it IE indexed it, but there have only been a few impressions in search for the brand name and not for the services that the company offers.

So in the example above we would note that 

Total Clicks = 13
Total impressions  = 3.22k
Average CTR = 0.4%
Average Position = 73

Example of the same company after we have worked on the site for one month

So in the example above we would note that 

Total Clicks = 44
Total impressions  = 6.02k
Average CTR = 0.7%
Average Position = 73.1

What is important to note here is that although the click count is going up the average position is not moving, this data would show when we drill into it further that we have actually added about 10 new pillar/services pages which are slowly ranking and therefore have a pushed the whole websites ranking up.

This case study is a great example of how you can see things are moving in the right direction, the key metric to measure in the early months of a campaign is impressions.

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics or GA as it’s known is a very powerful free tool that enables you to measure not just how people find your website but how they interact with it. 

If your digital marketing agency has already set up your analytics it will be possible to view the main dashboard which presents all your data into a meaningful story. The Google Marketing platform is a great place to start to learn more about the powerful tools available. If your business is enterprise you may want to look at the 360 tool but this is a paid tool

How people interact with your website is one of the many ways that you can measure the long term goals of your SEO.

Using the same case study from above and for the same time period, you can measure important metrics like users, new users, sessions, number of sessions per user and one of the most important metrics pages/session.

The draw back with Google Analytics is that it will not give you 100% accurate data, this is inplace to obscure personal data and this is particualliry obvious when working with small data sets [Visitor traffic].

That being said it does give you a very clear idea of how users are interacting with your website and content.

This tool is also very good for measuring how different audiences interact with your website. For example, you can compare social media visitors vs organic visitors. This in itself is a useful measure as you can find out if visitors from a social campaign are viewing more web pages vs SEO traffic or vice versa. 

2. Webmaster tools 

Both Google and Bing have admin areas where your SEO team can report and action very important parts of your SEO campaign.

For this article, we are going to focus on Google Search Console

You can compare a period of time vs a previous time or against a calendar year [particulliry useful if you have a business that has seasonal variation]

So in the example above where we are comparing the last week to the previous weeks data 

Total Clicks = up from 8 to 18
Total impressions  = up from 1.09k to 2.98k
Average CTR = down from 0.7% to 0.6%
Average Position = from 67.9 to 65.1

So from this data we can see that impressions in SERP have trebled in just one week and clicks from Google alone has increased from 8-18.

Due to the data sharing obscuring issue the actual traffic as higher than this but the full picture is not reported.

When studying the data further we can drill into the search terms and the content that is generating the movement and from this we can start to tweak the campaign, to work on the content that we know are getting the best results.

3. Subscription-based SEO measuring tools

For the invaluable insights, using paid professional tools is where you can monitor what your competitors are doing with their SEO and direct a clear strategic path going forward. This is not a complete list of all sites that we use but they are the main ones we would recommend using.

Good paid SEO measuring tools

  • Moz - Their Keyword Explorer combines keyword research metrics and makes complex analysis easy so we can spend less time in spreadsheets and more time generating qualified website traffic.
  • SEMRush - This enables you to get a deeper look at your competitors as well as at the keywords that they get most of their traffic for.
  • Majestic - Majestic goes beyond informing and reporting on link building strategies. In the hands of a skilled professional, Majestic data helps repair damaged link profiles from potentially risky Black Hat SEO activity.


In the last 2 years, we have found that reporting and measuring on SEO campaigns is one of the most important areas, as it will uncover some great opportunities for your campaigns.

I hope that is have given you some ideas on how to measure your results and if you need any help with measuring your results or would like any advice please visit our SEO agency page.

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