Determine Your SEO Campaign Profitability in 4 Easy Steps

SEO sounds interesting to you. Everyone seems to have been talking about it for ages; you have read articles online and encountered numerous conversations on social media about how it could convert sales up to 10 times better than other marketing channels.


You have spoken to a few companies that can do this for you and would like to kick your project off – BUT – the costs are not cheap, and you are finding it difficult to grasp what the returns could be for your business.


Stick around for the next 5 minutes, and we will explain how you can understand and calculate your potential returns on our SEO investment.


Step 1: Start with the right mindset – Cost VS Investment


If you consider SEO an investment instead of simply a cost, you are already on the right track. A mistake many people make is to look at SEO as a cost and think about how to reduce it instead of an investment and how to maximise the returns.


Think of it like buying stocks; the goal is not to buy the cheapest stocks but to get the ones with the best opportunity for growth.


Your goal is to ensure you maximise your chances of getting good results. Avoid trying to do everything yourself to save money or go for the cheapest company you can find. Instead, pick a winning horse; work with a company that can strategically target your most significant opportunities and take advantage of weak spots in your market.


Step 2: Carry out Research and determine your Strategic Keywords


Good SEO that gives good returns needs to be planned well; this is the first step. You must determine how things work in your target market and how your audience looks at your online products.


A thorough research should uncover an exhaustive list of keywords that people use to look for what you are offering, how often they look for each search term every month and how relatively difficult it is to get good rankings for each search term.


It is also essential to understand the relevancy of each search term to your business (what marketers call “keyword intent”). This means how probable a search term is to lead to a sale or conversion on your website, given its meaning and compared to what you offer.


The goal is to select the search terms with the highest search volumes, lower difficulty levels, and best odds of leading to online sales.


Step 3: Plan Resources Well


Once you know where your strategic target is (in terms of search terms), you need to ensure that you have enough resources to get there. Some SEO campaigns might be more challenging than others, requiring more work and extended time.


A good SEO professional should help you determine (at least roughly) how much time and money will be needed to get significant results in your market and what those results might look like.


This way, you can ensure that you can launch your campaign and have the right expectations regarding time.


This will ensure that you don’t abandon your campaign mid-way out of frustration or lack of funds.


Step 4: Work Out the Numbers


Now that you know the resources needed to gain traction with your campaign and what that traction might look like, it is time to start putting the numbers together. Your SEO professional must understand how to interpret the data provided by the SEO tools and make the necessary adjustments according to the tools used. This is to use numbers as close to the actual market as possible.


Using industry averages, your SEO company should be able to roughly estimate the traffic that could be generated from your target keywords when the SEO campaign reaches a certain level of maturity. This would then be connected to your website’s conversion rates and the price of your average sale on the site.


With these numbers, you can start understanding what type of returns you are looking at, provided that the SEO campaign does reach its maturity within estimated times (or thereabouts). You can always leave some space for contingency.



As you can see in the simple examples above, you have a good marketing investment opportunity if these numbers are promising. Remembering that these are rough indications is essential; no one can provide exact numbers or guarantees.


Returns Over Time


Initially, your campaign will start as any other marketing campaign, with you pushing money into it. After some time, which could be estimated in advance, you should begin to break even and continue gaining from there. SEO is a marketing channel that provides long-term results. The gains are typically made in the long term, lasting years with simple maintenance and assuming no significantly disruptive changes in the search engine algorithms or your market.


How Returns Can Be Boosted Further


Although this is not specifically part of the SEO work, your returns can be amplified by boosting your website sales conversion rate.


If you are investing money in marketing to bring more traffic to your site, your website must be doing the best possible job of converting your traffic into sales. This is a different exercise that your marketing provider could also help you with.


Improvements in your conversion rates result in direct improvements in your website revenue.


Why Good SEO Cannot Be Cheap


Going back to the first point above and seeing SEO as an investment instead of a cost, SEO work that promises quality results does come at a cost, and one must be willing to invest to reap the rewards.


There are several reasons for this, but mainly the following are the key factors:


  1. SEO requires costly supporting services such as content and backlinks. The better the quality of the content and backlinks, the higher the price will typically be.
  2. SEO requires time. Campaigns are not a one-hour setup and require ongoing attention and work. This means that long hours go into good SEO campaigns.
  3. Good SEO talent is hard to find. This means they are always in demand and have multiple income channels, including their projects. Due to these reasons, time that can be dedicated to client work is naturally restricted. The ones that build their teams to overcome this issue will also face high salary requirements, small talent pools and lots of time required to train people and maintain quality levels.


Your best bet, therefore, is to work with an SEO professional who could provide you with high-quality results for reasonable, mid-level costs. This can be achieved through:


  • Efficiency in their processes and automation (making time-consuming things faster and cheaper while maintaining quality)
  • Experience getting good results through the shortest route, saving unnecessary time and resources.
  • Integrity and a focus on long-term relationships. These are the types of professionals who happily give up the opportunity of making a quick extra buck for having a happier client with a better ROI and who will work with them longer, eventually referring other clients to them.
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