Blog Post

Calculating the media value of SEO


I was recently asked by a client to present the status of our search marketing campaigns to a group of their executives. We are running a PPC and SEO lead generation campaign for this client and we have over a year of data. Our SEO services have driven page 1 rankings for 8 of their top 10 paid search terms excluding their branded terms.

There are two ways that we show ROI on SEO campaigns:

  • Revenue – We can calculate the revenue they generated from keywords that now drive traffic when compared to the rankings those keywords had before we began our SEO program.
  • Value of Traffic - In this case, I also wanted to show the client how much they would have to spend in Pay Per Click media to get the same number of clicks that the SEO campaign was driving.

I generally focus on the revenue our campaigns generate but in this case the group of executives wanted to discuss media spend and I wanted to make the point that investing in SEO can be worth significant media dollars.

In order to prove that point, I created the chart below that shows 11 of the page 1 and page 2 rankings that our program has created. Since we are running PPC campaigns for all of these terms to maximize presence on the search results page, we were able to look at the average cost per click during the same one-month period.

ad board internet 9-9.pptx

Keywords for the campaign have been removed from the chart above to protect our client’s confidentiality. You can see that our SEO campaign brought this client 2,385 visits that could be valued at almost $10,000 when using the equivalent cost per click for the paid search campaign. Assuming the search volume on these keywords stays about the same, this client will get almost $120,000 in media value over the course of a year.

The other benefit is that if they continue to attribute revenue from these organic keywords, the ROI on their investment in SEO will grow each month. In fact, as more target keywords for this client move up in the rankings the ROI on their SEO investment improves each month. Are there other ways you calculate the value of SEO campaigns? Please comment.