How to Get 1,000 More Website Visits

Measuring the Value of SEO

A lot of business owners avoid getting stuck into search engine optimization (SEO). A fear of technical jargon and time wasted are the usual reasons companies kick it to the curb. Plus, SEO isn’t exactly the sexiest way to market and grow a brand. 

As an SEO strategist, this is a tough truth. But I get it. Why spend hours writing very literal, formulaic text for robots to read when you could be creating jazzy social media ads, personality-filled content and escaping your desk at a networking event. 

These are the sexy ways to grow a brand. And while I agree they’re all vital as part of a wider growth strategy, I believe the power of a tight SEO plan can grow your brand and its value should never be underestimated.

SEO and brand growth go hand-in-hand

At the heart of every brand is the ambition to make their customer’s life simpler. There are lots of ways a brand does this but in the context of digital presence, it boils down to how easy it is for your ideal customers to find you, and then how simple it is for those ideal customers to interact with your brand through your website.

For the sake of your audience, you want the information to be accessible, you want your site to load quickly and you want the navigation to be clear. But check these boxes and it won’t be just customers who love you. Google will too. 

Google loves brands who take the time to make their customer’s life easy. It rewards them by returning them high on the search engine result pages (SERPs) and driving more traffic to them. As such, it’s impossible to separate excellent user experience from SEO. And for a brand that has a digital presence and an ambition to grow, optimization opens the door to more of the right people finding your site, and these right people are more likely to convert.

Why don’t more companies grow their brand with SEO? 

Annoyingly, estimating the value SEO can bring to brand growth isn’t straightforward. As a result, many business owners are reluctant to invest in SEO which means they miss out on easy opportunities for growth. 

If you’re struggling to see the growth value an SEO plan can bring to your business, then stick around. In this short article, I’m going to share the formula you need to work out the estimated value of search engine optimization. That way you can decide if the time and money you plan to spend on SEO are truly worth it. 

To see growth, you must gather current data

Estimating how much extra growth SEO can bring to your brand is only possible if you know where you’re currently at. Gathering your baseline numbers is the first step and there are three sets of data you need to gather.

1. Total keyword search volume

Keywords are only helpful if people are typing that word into a search engine. You can find this out by using an SEO tool that pulls data on the total search volume for your target keywords

There are lots of free and paid SEO tools. I use Ahrefs Keyword Explorer and SEMrush Keyword Difficulty tool. Other great SEO tools include SERPstat, SERPWatcher, and Moz.

They all work in a similar way. Type each of your target keywords into their system and hit return. The set of numbers you get back is the total search volume. Export this data into an Excel or Google Sheet because you’ll need it for later. 

As well as search volume, you’ll also see keyword difficulty. This gives you an idea of how easy or hard it might be for your brand to rank for a particular keyword. Save the list in Excel or Google

Quick Tip: Each tool has its own scoring system. Make sure you understand how this works for the keyword tool you’re using so you gather the right data. An explanation of this is usually detailed inside the tool. 
Not yet picked out keywords for your brand? Then take a step back and go through the 9 steps to completing your keyword research.

2. Conversion Rate

A ‘conversion’ isn’t just a sale. It’s any end goal action the customer takes and largely depends on what your business offers. So a conversion could be filling out a form, downloading something or clicking a button.  

Measuring conversions means setting goals up in Google Analytics. Run your Google Analytic report for the last 12 months, which allows for seasonal times, and then export the numbers as they currently stand for each goal.

3. Average Order Value

Do this if customers can make a payment through your site. Your average order value (AOV) is a dollar figure. It shows the average amount a customer spends each time they make a purchase through your site. Find this data in Google Analytics. Pulling the last 12 months of data is enough.

Now you have the data, it’s time to apply the formula

Coming up with a realistic estimate of SEO growth means applying one of two formulas. Which one you use depends on whether the goal you’re measuring related to leads or sales.

If you’re measuring leads, use the following.

Total search volume
(percentage of clicks to the first five positions of organic search results)
Conversion rate
Leads generated by organic search

If you’re measuring sales, you need this formula.

Total search volume
Conversion rate
Average order amount
Sales generated by organic search

And that’s it. Using these equations show you the minimum estimated return SEO can bring to your brand in terms of leads and sales. 

As with any type of marketing, the growth you get depends on how much time and energy you invest. The more love you can show your SEO plan, the more likely it is that you’ll see bigger returns.

Barb Davids - SEO Consultant

Barb Davids is an SEO consultant and owner of Compass Digital Strategies. Driven by data and analytics, she works hard to get business-changing results for her clients, such as 256% more website traffic and 22% more leads. Connect with her: Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter
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