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This article was written by our Senior Growth Hacker & SEO Consultant Katarina Dahlin.

With 5 years of experience in SEO and digital marketing, Katarina efficiently drives organic growth, having successfully implemented SEO strategies and hands on work for prominent clients like Beamex, Ellos and Yliopiston Apteekki. Katarina’s structured approach and passion for data analysis contribute to her effective pursuit of clients’ growth marketing goals.

A common question we encounter is, ‘What is the ROI of SEO?’ Usually, the question comes from a Growth Manager, Sales Manager, a client, or a new potential client. To help answer this question for a specific business, we have developed a model on how to get as realistic forecasts as possible. But first, let’s go back one step to understand why we want to make these calculations and why we love to do SEO in the first place.

What Are the Benefits of SEO?

SEO and Content Marketing don’t scale linearly with investments, nor do they accelerate quickly. However, once you start generating traffic, it becomes free. At this point, SEO begins to pay for itself, offering:

  • Long-term “free” sales.
  • A buffer against rising media costs.
  • Greater trust in organic results, as some users avoid clicking on search ads.
  • Enhanced effectiveness of other marketing channels.
  • Improved site usability. 
  • Increased brand visibility, enhancing perceived brand authority in Google searches.
  • Referenced expert content that elevates brand value.

Forecasting the ROI on SEO

When forecasting the ROI on SEO, we start by making a keyword analysis for relevant words for the business. Then we use search volume, ranking position, click-through rate from Google, conversion rate, and average order value for the calculations. In addition to that, Jonathan Björkskog’s 14-years of experience in SEO and growth marketing, helps us determine if these results are realistic to achieve with the monthly investment.

Here’s a case study from one of our client’s websites:

If the site has low-hanging fruits, we can forecast that we will start seeing an increase in organic traffic in month 2. This increase (with the same conversion rate) will also start to generate money in month 2.

With the marketing agency cost included, in this example the ROI is negative for the first two months but becomes positive in month 3, and reaches an ROI of 3.5 in 6 months. By month 12, we’ll reach an ROI of 7.6, in this example. The average ROI for the first year is 3.7.

And the best part? The benefits of SEO efforts last for years, even if we stop the activities and cut costs. This aspect significantly enhances the ROI of SEO over time. However, we do not recommend ceasing your SEO efforts, as competitors will continue to advance their SEO strategies.

Want to Get Started with SEO?

Are you considering taking the first step into the world of SEO, but don’t know where to start? We’re here to assist by conducting an audit and providing a clear ROI forecast for your website.

For a comprehensive evaluation and to kickstart your SEO strategy, reach out to us. Let’s collaborate to identify your ‘low-hanging fruits’ and optimize your results.

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