If you are trying to calculate your ROI on performing SEO for your business you are going to be greatly disappointed. Search engine optimization ROI can be measured over time through an increase of visitors, and conversions (sales, leads, phone calls, etc.). But since SEO is such a long term effort that never really has a finish line and preliminary conversion numbers are virtually impossible to accurately predict over time. The only thing you can really do is improve. Improve, positioning, quality of content, call to actions, incoming relevant links, improve your authority and improve your ROI over time.
It is important to know that search engine optimization is not paid advertising so nobody knows when your website will appear in search results and where it will appear. It’s not like some paid advertising models where you know your ad will appear in a certain spot immediately and how many people visit that location on average. In this scenario you can sort of predict how many visitors might make it to your website. With SEO you cannot put this value on it. Your website takes time to climb and you can’t predict how many other bloggers and writers might begin to write about your business from your SEO efforts ultimately creating new streams of visitors that lead to conversions. Search engine optimization is a combination of proactive marketing and some technical aspects.
How can you put an ROI metric on distributing an article or press release surrounding your business? To many business owners I speak with they try to put an ROI value before they pull the trigger to move forward with search engine optimization which can be challenging. Some decide to not even pursue it because of not being able to identify a value or number on proceeding with the effort. This is the worst thing you can do for your online business. If you launch a Twitter account and begin a conversation and 6 months down the road someone from that conversation decides to become a client how can you predict that occurrence?
Depending on what type of industry you might be in your SEO could take quite a while to really kick in depending on how saturated and competitive your space might be. If you decide to not perform any SEO on your website you are already shooting yourself in the foot. Creating many pathways to your website from a variety of sources is one of the most important ways to build your online business. This process takes time so it is important to start it as soon as possible.