- High Rankings – This is what every SEO company will sell you. High rankings in Google! While this isn’t always wrong, and is usually what’s needed to actually deliver a high ROI, it’s not quite the best way to measure your return. If you have high rankings for certain keywords, are those keywords targeted? Do they convert well? Ranking on the first page of Google doesn’t mean that your phone will automatically start ringing. The keywords you’re trying to rank for need to be chosen carefully. It’s devastating to spend months trying to rank for a certain keyword, only to find out later that your phone isn’t ringing, and nothing has changed for your business.
- Increases in Search Traffic – If you’ve achieved some high rankings in the search engines for targeted keywords, you should begin seeing some increases in traffic from the search engines. This is probably the second best way to measure ROI. At least you have traffic coming to your site now, and can work to optimize your conversion rates to drive additional revenue. However, going back to #1 above, what if this new traffic doesn’t make your phone ring? Again, if nothing changes in your business, is your SEO plan working? Also, don’t get too focused on the amount of traffic. I have clients who had 7 figure increases in revenue to their business, with less than 200 new visitors to their website, each month. It’s not the amount of traffic, it’s the quality of that traffic.
- Revenue – This is what you should be focusing on when measuring ROI for any SEO plan. While the 2 items above are important, and usually drive increases in revenue, it’s the revenue that matters most to your business. This is why you wanted to rank high in the search engines, right? Because you thought it would impact your bottom line? When the two items above are in line and working, the revenue will follow. Even with an ugly website!
Ideally you want all 3 working for you to get the best results. While you may get great rankings for “Fizzy Fuzzy Blue Widgets” and get lots of traffic to your website, if your phone isn’t ringing, and you’re not picking up new clients or customers, you’ll be disappointed and wonder if SEO works, or is worth the effort. Focus on the revenue.