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The ROI of SEO is difficult to top

This is a quick post to exemplify why most methods of marketing, especially online, simply do not match the effectiveness and longevity of search engine optimization (SEO). The important factor to remember is that it is measurable, like pay-per-click advertising and banner ads, but unlike these, the effects of SEO last far beyond the length of the campaign and cost-per-conversion plummets with SEO as time goes by.

Exhibit A:

One of our clients, PriorTax.com, was spending $1.40 per visitor through Google AdWords to bring 13,024 visitors to their website in a period of 30 days.

During the same 30 day period, Blue Fountain Media brought the website 15,382 visitors for $0.43 per visitor through search engine optimization.

These numbers do not speak for themselves; we must consider whether or not these were qualified visitors or not. It is not enough to say that we brought X amount of traffic to a website, if they got zero sales out of it.  PriorTax.com not only had more visitors through SEO than from Google AdWords, but their conversion rate was also higher. Their AdWords conversion rate was 3.38% while their organic results gave them a slight edge at 3.64%.

Conclusion: Not only did SEO bring more visitors at a lower price, but also had a higher conversion rate.

Exhibit B:

R.A.G. New York was able to take advantage of the SEO campaign that Blue Fountain Media performed long after the end of our work. Here are two screenshots from R.A.G. New York’s Analytics showing 1.) overall visitors and 2.) total conversions. Blue Fountain Media provided SEO services between April and September. Since then there has been no work done to promote the website.

It is clearly visible that the fruits of our labor truly paid off after our work was done. R.A.G. was able to take full advantage of the holiday season search frenzy and many of those same visitors came back to the website early this year. Personalized search results had a big role to play here.

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Comments on this post

  1. Bay Area SEO said:

    Great illustration of the ROI of SEO work. I suspect the results where significantly enhanced by a very strategic use of key phrases that are micro-niche oriented, and by their very nature are ROI maximizers. Good work!

  2. victorseo said:

    Way too little information to make such a claim. What page rank is the site? How long did it take (costs)to achieve that? How long did it take to get top positioning in search results? How much money has really been spent to achieve the numbers?
    And the comparison to the least effective means of traffic gen known to man (banner ads and paid links) further skews the results.
    It is fair to say organic position produces better results than cpm, but SEO is grossly inefficient in re ROI. Its “better” only because cpm is so bad. Of course this entire line of thought will be moot, very soon, as social media sites like facebook finally figure out that they have a better reach than google……..

  3. Hi Victor,
    I believe you may be doing something wrong if you feel that SEO’s ROI is not substantially superior to other means of marketing. Obviously, one must take into account the industry of a particular client. SEO is not for everyone.

    You must consider on-page factors for having an impact on conversion rates as well. It is not enough to be on page 1 for any particular keyword if your website is not going to convert visitors into leads. SEO is not a stand alone strategy, but part of a multi-pronged approach to getting the most out of the demand that exists for services / products of a client.

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