How to Value SEO
This is one of those trick questions that have many answers. The shortest one is “it depends”.
The reason for this is that there are many ways to assess the value of good seo and how it impacts your objectives.
For some sites, getting people to join an email list is the conversion. For others, the end goal is to have someone pick up the phone and call the company to order the product or service.
For other sites, it might just be to watch a video, listen to a podcast, or to “Like” some page on Facebook.
The point to all of this is that in order to truly know if your seo efforts are working, you have to first define the goal of the campaign. From there, you can connect the dots in reverse to see how a conversion arrived to your site.
Are You Getting A Return on Your SEO Spend?
Perhaps the easy way to judge this is to look at the search results. If a client is ranked number one, everyone would think that the campaign is a smashing success, right?
But that’s not always the case.
A number one ranking in Google will absolutely drive traffic to your site. But is that term sending the right people? Just because you have that coveted top spot doesn’t guarantee that you will have what the visitor is looking for.
After some time in the top spot, you should be able to quickly see how effective that term is. Take into account the time and resources spent on the phrase and balance that out to the conversions you are getting. It’s a simple formula in theory, and you’d be amazed by how many people just can’t get this metric in their heads.
SEO is sometimes cyclical in nature. Some companies make the holidays pay for everything in the upcoming year. When using this as your primary means to earn business, every dollar spent has to count.
Then we always have those service providers who tell you that they can get you ranked for only $149 per month. Here’s the deal. Even at an economy of scale in performing tons of work for many clients, they will eventually leave a link footprint that Google will see and in turn, penalize. One thing that separates professional seo’s from the rest is that we know how to get new quality links on a consistent basis. No matter how good a link builder is, not all links will remain in place forever, and that should be accounted for with all search campaigns.
And probably the least appreciated element of evaluating seo is the experience of the vendor you’ve hired. Any seasoned pro should have some tales of how some unexpected events helped in learning yet another line of code to the Google Algorithm. The seo professional knows which pitfalls to avoid, what keywords convert best and where traffic outside of Google is found on the web.
These are some of the metrics you should be considering when you are looking to value SEO.