From Rankings to Revenue: How SEO Delivers Exceptional ROI


Growing your business through investments is no simple task.

In a world where business owners face the challenge of hiring salespeople or allocating resources to diverse offline and digital marketing channels, the array of options can feel overwhelming.

In this article, we delve into the compelling reasons why SEO stands as the best investment for your business, shedding light on its remarkable ROI.

Let’s start with a brief overview of SEO, demystifying its essence and highlighting why it holds such significance. We’ll then delve into the exciting prospects of customer growth that you can anticipate by prioritising SEO.

Next, we’ll compare the ROI of SEO against PPC, providing a clear understanding of which investment aligns better with your business goals. By weighing the cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and potential for conversions, you’ll gain valuable insights to inform your decision-making.

To further assist you, we’ll outline a timeline detailing when you can expect to recoup your SEO investment. While SEO is a long-term endeavour that requires patience, we’ll estimate when you can witness tangible returns on your investment.

Investing in your business’s growth may be challenging. Still, by exploring the exceptional merits of SEO, understanding its ROI, and comparing it with PPC, you can confidently navigate this crucial decision. With a clear timeline in mind, you’ll have a roadmap to anticipate when your SEO investment will start paying dividends.

What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is a multifaceted discipline that aims to improve a website’s visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Modern SEO focuses on enhancing the user experience and incorporates principles of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness).

By optimising technical aspects, content relevance, and prioritising user experience, SEO strives to deliver valuable and trustworthy content to users while improving a website’s search engine rankings.

Why SEO Matters in 2023?

According to recent research undertaken by GrowthBadger, Google emerges as the dominant source of website traffic, accounting for well over 50% of most industries’ web traffic. This figure significantly surpasses the traffic generated by any other platform.

Niches Most Reliant on Google
Niches Most Reliant on Google

In essence, this implies that if you are contemplating investing in a singular marketing channel, directing your resources towards SEO is the prudent choice.

How Do You Calculate the ROI of SEO?

You might be contemplating, “Alright, I’m convinced about the merits of SEO, but how can I justify the costs by calculating the return on investment?”

The expenses associated with investing in organic search traffic growth can vary significantly, depending on whether you opt for a marketing agency, an SEO freelancer, an in-house marketer, or pursue a DIY approach to SEO. Furthermore, pricing structures can differ substantially among agencies.

In a moment, we will delve into the costs of SEO, but let’s commence by examining the value of SEO and discussing how it stimulates sales. This understanding will elucidate why incorporating SEO into your marketing strategy is paramount.

To exemplify, we will analyse the ROI of ranking for a specific keyword.

SEO ROI of One (and only) Keyword

To gain a comprehensive grasp of the ROI of SEO, examining an illustrative keyword example proves to be highly insightful.

Suppose your objective is to secure the top position on Google’s search results for the keyword phrase “mens wedding rings.” This specific query witnesses approximately 20,000 monthly searches in the UK (not to mention the additional monthly searches for closely related variations).

By delving into this scenario, we can truly appreciate the impact and potential returns that can be derived from effective SEO strategies.

Estimated monthly traffic volume for for "mens weddings rings" - Ahrefs
Estimated monthly traffic volume for “mens weddings rings” – Ahrefs

Achieving the top ranking in organic search results for this specific query, with a click-through rate of 28.74% as of May 2023, would result in an influx of 5748 qualified visitors to your website on a monthly basis.

Assuming a 1% conversion rate, where 1% of those qualified visitors become customers, this singular keyword would generate two new customers every day, equating to approximately 690 customers annually.

Now, taking into account the traffic potential, you can anticipate an additional 310 customers per year.

Considering this, let’s ponder the potential revenue that 1000 additional customers per year could yield.

How Does the ROI of SEO Compare to Paid Search ROI?

I frequently engage in conversations with business owners who allocate the majority of their marketing budget to Google and Bing Ads. Understandably, they question the need to allocate any portion of their budget towards SEO.

While Google Ads can indeed serve as a valuable advertising channel, it is important to assess customer acquisition from both Google Ads and SEO. Let’s delve into a breakdown of the comparison.

Suppose you decide to bid on the aforementioned keyword, “mens wedding rings,” using Google Ads. In this case, you would be paying £3.00 per click for every individual who clicks on your website.

Implementing Google Ads for this keyword, with an average click-through rate of 6%, would drive approximately 1212 qualified visitors to your website each month. Assuming a 1% conversion rate for website visitors, that would mean 12 new customers every month.

Furthermore, considering the 1% conversion rate and the £3.00 cost per click (CPC), each customer acquisition through Google Ads would amount to a cost of £300.

While Google Ads serves as a strategic investment, particularly during the initial stages of ramping up SEO efforts and in industries such as law firms and insurance, transitioning to a long-term focus on SEO leads to exponential growth and significantly more cost-effective customer acquisition.

By shifting emphasis towards SEO in the long run, businesses can unlock substantial growth opportunities and enjoy the benefits of acquiring customers at a more affordable rate.

Someone investing in paid search vs. SEO could expect a growth trajectory like this:


Customer Aquisition Over Time - PPC vs. SEO
Customer Acquisition Over Time – PPC vs. SEO

How Long Does it Take to See ROI from SEO?

One of the most common questions I encounter is, “How long does it take to witness a return on investment (ROI) from SEO and content marketing?

SEO represents a long-term investment that fosters exponential growth. Typically, it takes approximately 3-6 months for SEO strategies to gain some initial traction. Once this traction is achieved, growth tends to follow an exponential trajectory.

Allow me to illustrate this with a Google Analytics screenshot:

SEO Progress Over Time
SEO Progress Over Time

This particular e-commerce client serves as an excellent example of how I approach SEO.

During the initial 1-3 months, I observed minimal growth in organic traffic. This period is crucial as my team acquaints themselves with your business, formulates an effective growth strategy, and initiates the implementation process.

Subsequently, in months 4-6, we noticed a gradual increase in growth. At this stage, my team begins to witness the initial results stemming from our targeted initiatives.

Finally, in months 7-12, we witnessed exponential growth (with organic traffic experiencing a remarkable 665.21% increase by month 12, and organic revenue soaring by 378.95%). This phase marked the culmination of our efforts, where the full impact of our SEO strategies became evident.

From Rankings to Revenue: How SEO Delivers Exceptional ROI

It is important to note that individual results may vary, as factors such as industry dynamics, competition, and the extent of SEO implementation can influence the timeline. Nonetheless, by adopting a long-term perspective, businesses can tap into the substantial benefits and sustained growth that SEO and content marketing offer.

Are you prepared to embark on your SEO investment journey? Share some insights about your business, and I will tailor the perfect SEO strategy to assist you in achieving your growth objectives.

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