This is a good question. Because a lot of SEO work happens behind the scenes and may not be obviously visible to the client it can sometimes be hard to measure the value of the service or quantify to internal decision makers.
There are however some simple ways that the everyday businessperson can evaluate the value of SEO services provided by a digital marketing agency.
Regular reporting. What is this? Simply put it is a report that is presented to a client on an ongoing basis for the duration of the SEO campaign. The report is usually well structured and will show things like:
• Initial ranking
• Current ranking
• On page factors
The good thing about the report is that it provides a clear roadmap of where you started from and where you are going.
A good digital marketing agency will provide regular reporting on their efforts and measuring and calculating SEO ROI is pretty easy – you will be able to see on a month by month basis the improvement in ranking for any given keyword.
Another way that you will be able to see the ROI of your campaign is the amount of organic traffic being generated by your SEO campaign. By this we mean as the SEO campaign progresses and builds ongoing momentum, the rankings should climb up the search engine listings, and steadily climb up the search engine listings pages.
The improvements of the keywords in the results listing pages will start to improve traffic to your starting source of the campaign, in this instance a website. Why is this traffic relevant? The traffic that is driven through the SEO campaign is relevant because the searcher will only be presented with results in the search listing that are relevant to their query in the search bar.
This means the traffic that is driven to your site is from active searchers that are looking for a given product or service. This in turn means that that there is a higher chance of this user engaging with a call to action button on your site or reaching out to your business via contact sections.
This makes SEO an invaluable resource for businesses as this changes the way that businesses can promote their products or services online. This valuable source of organic traffic is not only cost effective for the business but proactive, versus other promotional activities such as advertising, which is based on conversion based on many eyes looking at your advertising hoping that someone will be interested and engage with the advert. This form of promotion can be costly, and not as effective in the long run.
However, it is important to remember that white hat SEO can take anywhere between a few months to over a year to see significant results. SEO is essentially an ongoing momentum building game against your competition – the more competitive your market, the more effort and time it takes to build momentum. But once a business has raised its ranking in search results the improvements in active traffic will soon outweigh the time it takes to get there.