How To Track the ROI of SEO

November 11, 2022
A graphic showing a computer monitor with Google Analytics on the screen. The monitor has vines and flowers growing around it.


SEO provides a ton of benefits, but it can be difficult to track and communicate SEO return on investment. Here’s a guide on how to calculate the ROI of SEO.

SEO isn't just a one-time effort for businesses. It’s an important part of a successful marketing strategy that provides a compounding positive effect over time when done correctly, contributing to a significant return on investment. In fact, SEO offers many long-term benefits for businesses. For starters, it increases brand awareness by helping your website rank higher on search engines and creates an opportunity for new customer acquisition avenues by building qualified and targeted leads over time.

In addition to this, SEO improves the user experience. This is because effective SEO aids in the health and functionality of your website, which provides a more seamless and simple way for visitors to interact with your website.

But that's not all. Effective SEO efforts increase the likelihood of more web traffic. In fact, one piece of content can serve multiple people simultaneously, 24/7, which helps businesses maximize their marketing efforts.

Even more compelling, businesses that adopt an effective SEO strategy will stay ahead of competitors. SEO should be prioritized now because if it’s  not, competitors can easily beat your company through organic search.

SEO is so important that improving SEO strategy has become the biggest priority for 61% of companies, according to Hubspot. This is likely due to the fact that effective SEO practices provide a conversion rate of 14.6%. In addition to this, more than half of web traffic is driven by organic search results.

Still, many businesses don't understand how to use SEO to power their sales. Read on to learn how to measure the impact of SEO on your business and how to build an SEO strategy that increases sales.

Measuring the Impact of SEO on Your Business

A graphic showing generic charts

Many businesses fall into the trap that the metrics that matter to their business don't necessarily correlate with sales or SEO return on investment. This is because it's hard to directly present. But in reality, SEO analytics can tell a sales story and help businesses navigate their steps moving forward. Here are a few metrics to measure:

Change in Keyword Rankings

It's common for keyword ranking to fluctuate. The rankings fluctuate because sometimes the search engine is testing something new in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Or, there may be an algorithm update causing the shift.

But, oftentimes, your keyword ranking may change due to your personal efforts, making it a valuable metric to measure the impact of SEO. With that said, if you're creating targeted content, you may see an increase in your keyword rankings and can use this information to measure the leads that came from online.


A click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of impressions that result in a click. When used as a metric, CTR tells businesses how relevant their ads are to searchers. Ultimately, a business's click-through rate is important to sales because it helps companies understand their customers. Even more, it helps businesses understand what works and doesn't work when trying to connect with their target audience.

Bounce Rate

Your site's bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on a page on your website and then leave. These visitors don't click on anything on your website and don't visit another page. When it comes to bounce rate, all businesses should aim to keep it as low as possible. Ideally, you want to aim to keep your bounce rate between 25-40%.

Higher bounce rates mean that your site is missing the important opportunities that engage with your visitors, move them along the sales funnel, and eventually, turn those visitors into customers

Ultimately, a good website can be leveraged throughout the sales process. But, if visitors aren't staying on your website, it will be difficult to establish credibility and generate leads for your company. For this reason, it's important that businesses focus on improving their bounce rate as this rate has a lasting impact on the company and ultimately, on SEO return on investment.

Organic Traffic

Businesses should have a mix of paid and organic search traffic coming to their website. While businesses often invest in paid traffic, many companies miss out on the opportunity to drive organic traffic to their site.

Organic traffic is the visitors that come to your website from unpaid sources. These organic sources may come from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Organic traffic is the most essential form of traffic businesses can receive because it drives highly qualified leads, is sustainable, builds higher customer trust, is cost-effective, and drives higher conversion rates that lead to sales.

Organic Market Share

Organic traffic is a crucial part of business growth. The organic market share focuses on the percent of organic search traffic that a business is driving to its website.

How to Create an SEO Strategy Focused on Increasing Sales

An illustration of a person standing on the top of a giant funnel. The funnel is divided into three stages. The stages are labeled "Awareness," "Consideration," and "Decision"

Do you want to learn how to increase sales through SEO? Some brands create an SEO strategy to spread brand awareness to improve credibility and build trust. However, companies can prioritize a sales-focused SEO strategy to see a quicker SEO return on investment.

But, how exactly can businesses create an SEO strategy focused on increasing sales? Creating an effective SEO strategy requires a combination of efforts. Here are a few things businesses can do:

Use Local SEO to Your Advantage

Local SEO is one of the most effective ways for businesses to increase their sales, but many businesses aren't leveraging local SEO to their benefit. In short, local SEO is a type of search engine optimization strategy that increases a business's visibility in the local search results on Google. If your business has a physical presence or serves a geographical location, improving local SEO efforts is crucial.

Local SEO derived from the fact that Google realized that beyond searching for products and services, searchers were interested in finding businesses in their geographical area and finding immediate results. In fact, in 2022, 98% of consumers used the internet to find information about local businesses.

For businesses, improving their local SEO requires a strategic and targeted approach that's different from general SEO efforts. This means focusing on improving content, on-page optimization, and link building with a localized intent. 

When done effectively, this strategy can be excellent for achieving SEO return on investment. Local visitors can find information about your company seamlessly, leading to a quicker sales transaction. This can boost sales in cities, areas, or even neighborhoods.

A Keyword Strategy is Key to Achieving SEO Return on Investment

Improving your website's on-page SEO efforts is essential to creating an SEO strategy that improves sales. More specifically, it's important that businesses develop an effective keyword strategy to improve on-page SEO that brings organic traffic.

When businesses increase their organic traffic, this results in more qualified leads. In a recent Databox survey, more than 67% of respondents said organic traffic converts better than any other channel. Remember, if you are not getting the clicks by targeting keywords and creating SEO content but your competitors are, they will bring in those leads and exceed SEO return on investment over your company But, how can businesses create a keyword strategy that drives sales? Here are a few ways you can begin to develop an effective keyword strategy:

Understand Your Audience

No keyword strategy will be effective if you don't understand your target audience. This means that you will need to understand what phrases and terminology they're using most. Businesses can do things like interviewing their target audience and research search volume to gain better insight.

Check out our Guide on Social Listening if you want to take additional steps to better understand your audience.

Implement the Best Tools for Keyword Tracking

If you need help with keyword tracking, it's a good idea to invest in the best tools for support. Businesses should play around with a few tools to see which ones fit their needs and are the easiest to navigate.

Organize Keywords Into Topic Clusters

Another important step in developing an effective keyword strategy is to organize your researched keywords into topic clusters, also known as content clusters. Topic clusters are groupings of content centered around a similar topic.

Once you've created a few high-priority keywords, these keywords should serve as a focal point for your topic clusters. You'll also want to think about long-tail variations of your keyword. Long-tail keywords will have less volume traffic but will be more specific.

Refine Content

Once you've decided on the keywords that are most important for your business, you will need to refine your content. This means updating old content with your newly researched keywords and updating your content plan moving forward.

Create Top-Notch Content

An illustration of a generic blog post

According to HubSpot, "Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts audience decision-making more than any other technique." This is why creating top-notch content is an essential part of any SEO strategy. But, it's especially necessary for businesses that want to increase sales and experience an attractive SEO return on investment. With that said, it's important to target search queries in your content based on search intent.

Unfortunately, many businesses create content but they fail to effectively target important search queries. This often results in lackluster content that doesn't reach the intended audience.

Targeting search queries enables businesses to experience more engagement with their content, reach their target audience, improve conversion rates, and ultimately increase their sales.

In order to create content that targets search queries, it's important for businesses to understand the types of search queries they'll come across. Here are four types to know about:

Informational Intent

This type of search query is one that covers broad topics. When a visitor is performing an informational search query, this means that they are looking for an answer to a question.

Businesses that want to rank for informational search queries will need to focus on creating high-quality content that provides these visitors with valuable information. High-quality content can come in a variety of forms, including:

  • Blogs
  • Video
  • Infographics
  • eBooks
  • Guides

Keep in mind that the type of content you implement will ultimately depend on what type of content your audience likes and the topic you're discussing.

Navigational Intent

When a visitor performs a navigational search query, this means that they are searching for a specific website. For instance, if a visitor wants to purchase a product from Amazon, they will likely type "amazon" into the Google search bar to navigate to Amazon's main site.

A navigational search query will have a specific and apparent search intent. It's important to note that businesses won't be able to specifically target these types of queries. However, the goal is to focus on optimizing their website to appear at the top of the search results.

In order to improve search rank, your website will need to appear relevant to Google. With that said, be sure to include essential information, such as:

  • Company name
  • Products and/or services
  • Location

The more specific you are about your business, the better you will be able to optimize your website and rank higher in navigational search queries.

Transactional Intent

This type of search query is one that occurs when a visitor is looking to complete a transaction. In this type of search query, a visitor is looking to do something, such as make a purchase. It's important to keep in mind that transactional search queries may have a few different types of searches. This includes:

  • Brand-Focused Searches: This is when a searcher looks for specific brand names when conducting their search.
  • Generic Searches: A searcher may look for something in particular without a specific product in mind. For instance, instead of searching for "Macbook", the searcher may look for "laptop".
  • Vertical Searches: A visitor will focus their search on a specific industry. A common vertical search includes hotels.

To rank for transactional search queries, businesses will need to optimize their product listings or service pages by ensuring they use relevant keywords, adding relevant and helpful information to their website, and putting effective calls to action to increase conversions.

Commercial Investigation Intent

This type of conversion is conducted by those who want to compare a product or service to find which one is best for their needs. A commercial investigation search is done to help searchers research and is done with the intent to purchase.

To rank for commercial investigation queries, businesses will need to provide information that will help searchers make an informed decision about their product or service. This means providing relevant and useful information that adds value and improves the user experience.

For a step-by-step guide on how to create content related to search intent, check out our blog here.

How Much Should Businesses Invest to Achieve an SEO Return on Investment?

One thing that businesses will need to decide is how much they should invest in search engine optimization strategy in order to experience an SEO return on investment. How much you spend on your SEO strategy will depend on a variety of things, such as your budget and goals. But, businesses should focus on three important factors when determining a budget that works for them:

  • Information Architecture: Your website should be optimized for a high-quality user experience, be crawlable and accessible, and be responsive to mobile.
  • Content: Businesses need to ensure that all content is unique and satisfies user intent.
  • Backlinks: Building natural backlinks that are high authority and relevant is essential.

With that said, businesses can expect an SEO campaign to run anywhere between $500-$2,500 to start. Most SEO experts charge between $3,000 - $10,000 a month to manage a business's search engine optimization.

Manage Your Reputation with Off-Page SEO

An illustration of a generic blog page with a "Guest Post" label

If businesses want to improve their sales through their SEO strategy, it's essential that they prioritize reputation management with off-page SEO. Having a good business reputation is important because it signals to potential customers that your company is trustworthy, honest, and that they should conduct business with you.

The good news is that businesses can influence their reputation, enabling companies to build trust. This creates customer retention and brand advocacy, which leads to sales. Two excellent ways to improve your company's reputation are through link building and guest posts.

Link Building

Simply put, link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own website. The more links a business acquires, the more visibility it will have in the search engine.

Not only that, attaining quality backlinks to your website improves credibility. In fact, link building is one of the most important factors that Google uses to determine the quality of a website.

Guest Posts

A guest post is different from a regular blog. This is when an article is written and posted on someone else's blog. Guest posts are one of the most valuable tools for reputation building for businesses. Not only do guest posts enable businesses to get their brand mentioned, but these posts are generally accompanied by backlinks, which aids in credibility.

Check out our guide on Effective Guest Post Outreach Made Easy [+ Free Email Templates] for more insight on guest posting.

How to Convince Your Team that SEO is a Good Investment

An illustration of two people shaking hands

If your business isn't effectively leveraging SEO, it should be. SEO is one of the best investments for businesses because it puts them in front of their target customers and gives them the power to be the answer to a potential customer's question.

When businesses develop an effective SEO strategy, they will essentially improve other parts of their business, including their marketing strategy, sales, brand awareness, and business reputation.

Not only this, but organic search is often the primary source of search traffic. This makes organic search a critical aspect of the sales funnel for companies. Additionally, SEO allows businesses to build a strong foundation for a seamless website that doesn't just increase visitor engagement but adds to the user experience.

But that's not all. SEO enables businesses to understand consumer intent. SEO communicates to businesses the wants and needs of their target audience, which makes it easier for companies to move visitors along the sales funnel.

Power Your Sales with SEO

Businesses that focus on search engine optimization will certainly see a good return on investment compared to poor SEO efforts. But, if you want to learn how to increase sales through SEO, it's important to learn that SEO requires investment, strategy, constant attention, routine optimizations, and patience.

SEO is hard work, but it's supposed to be. While the Google algorithm can seem like a complex system, it's there to protect us, the public, and the searchers. Everyone desires to easily get the number one spot in the search engine, but businesses need to keep in mind that the platform would lose the trust of others if just anyone could snag the top spot.

The good news is that with the right SEO measures, businesses can climb the ranks of the search engine, increase visibility, build trust, attract their target audience, and ultimately power their sales.

Here at Steel Croissant, we want to empower your business by making marketing more accessible. We help brands discover who they are and where they want to go. Then we help get them there. Do you have a project in mind? Contact us today to see how we can take your marketing to the next level.


What are the prerequisites for joining the SEO course?

To enroll in the course, the primary prerequisite is to have a website. This will allow you to apply the concepts and techniques learned during the course to your own website and witness their impact firsthand. In addition, having a Google Search Console and Google Analytics account can prove to be highly advantageous. These tools will enable you to track and analyze various metrics related to your website's performance, which can help you optimize it for search engines.

Featured Ebook

Stimulating conversation. Our book club is about more than just reading — it’s about supporting continuous learning for ourselves and our partners. Join the club for thought-provoking reads and conversation about the future of business.

Thank you for submitting the form
Please check your email inbox for a link to download the eBook.
View More
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Ready to Elevate Your Brand?

We're more than just a click away. Reach out for a personalized consultation or a casual coffee over Zoom. Let’s make your marketing goals a reality.

No items found.