Working in the SEO industry today means something totally different than it did in 2010. Return on investment is at the forefront of everyone’s mind (as it should be), client and practitioner alike. This means that as we help clients in all kinds of industries, we need to make sure to do a good job of first understanding the intricacies of their organization, as well as being able to tangibly prove that we are improving their bottom line.
Unfortunately, results of marketing campaigns are, in many ways, very abstract. This can make measuring the impact of our efforts very complex. Thankfully there are many tools and templates that help with these efforts. With that in mind, I’ve dug through my bookmarks to list some content that has helped me along the way when trying to prove ROI.
Valuable Articles for Improving & Proving ROI
1. Calculating Estimated ROI for a Specific Site & Body of Keywords
Shannon Skinner walks us through how to prove the value of sets of keywords. There’s a lot of data gathering and spreadsheet work with this one, but the results can be very helpful when talking to decision makers about ROI.
2. SEO ROI Analysis – How to do ROI calculations for SEO
Himanshu Sharma is known for his data-filled posts, and this one is no different. He walks us through calculating a return using Anticipated ROI, as well as Actual ROI.
3. How to do ROI Analysis in Google Universal Analytics
Himanshu Sharma also shows us how to calculate a detailed ROI report for marketing campaigns using Google Universal Analytics reports. Step-by-step, he walks readers through obtaining all the necessary data to make this calculation.
4. 3 Ways to Measure Link Building ROI
Julie Joyce has over a decade of experience working with SEO. She takes us through the steps of demonstrating the ROI that link building can have, with the aim of being able to effectively sell your services.
5. Measuring Your Link Building with Google Analytics
Anna Lewis takes an analytical approach to measuring link building efforts. She focuses on the use of advanced segments, multi-channel funnels, and campaign categorization. She also provides a free custom report to analyze referral metrics.
6. Measuring Your Online Marketing in Google Analytics
Kristi Hines is an expert in SEO strategies for online marketing. In this guide, she shows how to use data from Google Analytics to see which aspects of marketing campaigns are most effective.
7. Selling SEO to the C-Suite
Rebecca Murtagh talks about the importance of data when selling SEO to C-level executives, and how to talk in their language to make the pitch more convincing.
8. Measuring and Increasing the ROI of Your Content Resources
Mike Pantoliano provides a step-by-step guide on how you can determine the true value of your content marketing efforts by creating a multi-channel funnel report in Google Analytics.
9. How to Measure the ROI from SEO Campaigns
We use SEO to drive traffic to our platforms, but how do we know if it’s working? Brian Honigman shows us how by looking at the data for traffic patterns, increases in revenue, and the quality of inbound links.
10. How to Measure ROI for Lead-Gen Websites
The results of lead-gen websites are difficult to measure, as web analytics tools are often useless here. Instead, Michael Freeman tells us how to increase our knowledge of where leads are coming from by combining website visitor data with CRM software like Taskeo.
11. 4 C-Suite Objections To Content Marketing and How To Overcome Them
John Hall tells us what arguments to expect when pitching content marketing strategies to the C-Suite. The post also details some strategies to can use to counter those arguments.
12. How to Measure ROI for Networking Events
Danika Atkins offers actionable tips on how to get the most out of running a networking event. She also provides tools we can use to measure the success of the event. A must-read for any company considering organizing a networking event.
13. Content Marketing ROI: What Doers and the C-Suite Need to Know
Hana Abaza talks about how to measure your content’s performance, from the impact it’s making on social media to the effect it’s having on sales. There’s also a discussion on how to turn this information into an easy-to-read synopsis for the C-Suite.
14. How to Measure the ROI of Social Media (No, It’s Not Impossible!)
Megan Marrs discusses the difficulties of measuring the ROI of social media and goes on to show us how it’s done by using Google Analytics. She highlights certain categories and tells us how they tie into a social media strategy.
15. Content Marketing ROI for Dummies [Infographic]
Uberflip shares a value-packed, easy-to-read infographic to help you keep track of content marketing ROI. They show you what metrics to track, how to calculate the ROI, and how to craft a story from the numbers.
16. 4 Ways to Measure Organic SEO Return on Investment
Michael Martinez is the owner of SEO-theory, and he takes a simplistic approach to measuring ROI. The post defines it as, “I spend X dollars and measure Y value against those dollars.” Two methods include comparing the cost of SEO conversions to gross unit profit and comparing gross organic SEO revenues against costs.
17. SEO Strategy For Business – How To Build a Keyword Opportunity Model
Nick Eubanks provides two models to evaluate keyword opportunities, and both include formulas on how to measure the value of keywords. He also includes a test case that can be copied and used for your own website.
18. How to Get Your Boss to Care About Content Marketing
Adria Saracino provides knowledge on how to successfully make a case for content marketing, including step-by-step instructions on how to do so.
19. How to Calculate the ROI of Your SEO Campaign
Neil Patel is well-known for his work on KISSmetrics and is a leader in internet marketing. Here, he provides an infographic on how to calculate the ROI of your SEO campaign the easy way.
20. How to Get SEO ROI From Content Marketing
Possibly my favorite of the whole group is this deck from Ross Hudgens. He gets into the nitty-gritty of calculating the ROI of content marketing efforts. The deck is complete with dollar amounts and percentages, don’t miss it.
21. Let’s Talk Finance: The ROI of an Inbound Marketing Plan
Jamie Cartwright of Weidert Group dives into the details of calculating ROI for inbound marketing campaigns. He shows you how to build a plan based on revenue needs, and emphasizes the need to calculate lifetime value.
22. How to Calculate Social Media ROI: A Delightfully Short Guide
Kevan Lee outlines not only how to calculate ROI from probably the toughest medium – social media, but also the importance of the goals that you use to determine how you measure in the first place.
23. 7 Tips to Boost Your ROI With Analytics
The Delhi School of Internet Marketing shared some valuable advice for marketers looking to improve their ROI. The suggestions are laid out in a way that is easy to understand and implement.
Worthy ROI Case Studies
24. The ROI of Blogging: What the Groove Blog is Worth to Our Startup
Are you wondering if blogging could be valuable for your business? Alex Turnbull provides a case study on how blogging has increased profits for Groove.
25. The ROI of LinkedIn Sponsored Updates [Case Study]
Newscred ran 20 LinkedIn sponsored updates in 2 months, and this study takes a look at their ROI on that effort in comparison to other paid advertising methods. They provide useful insight if you’re considering taking the path of paid promotion (see also: Paid Links Infographic).
Tools to Improve ROI Measurement
26. SEO ROI Calculator
What’s simpler than plugging in your numbers and getting an answer immediately? Use this calculator to see if it’s worth it for your business or clients to invest in SEO improvements.
27. Email Marketing ROI Calculator
Ensure that your email marketing campaign is truly effective in calculating its ROI. This calculator includes sliders, which allows you to view how your open, click, and conversion rates will impact your campaign.
28. PPC ROI Calculator
A very quick and simple calculator you can use to calculate the ROI of pay per click advertising. You’ll have to click through to initiate the calculator tool.
29. Fractl Content ROI Calculator
Fractl built a customizable and very intuitive calculator to measure the spend of a particular campaign. You’re able to easily tweak metrics like traffic, social shares, links, and even placements that have been earned. Not to mention the value of each.
Helpful ROI Estimation Templates
30. Calculating Estimated ROI of a Specific Site & Body of Keywords
(Google Doc here) – Shannon Skinner put together this detailed guide that walks you through gathering specific data, organizing it, and using it to calculate estimated ROI on keywords. This is useful in the research stage of any SEO campaign.
31. Proving SEO Is Worth It
(Excel download here) – Leverable has provided an Excel spreadsheet specifically to help businesses calculate the ROI of putting together an SEO strategy. They walk you through the process by illustrating an example.
32. 2015 Social Media Metrics Tracking Template
(Excel download here) Kiera Stein provides a simple yet effective template for tracking network penetration, growth, engagement, and leads from social media. Check out her 2 post series for instructions.
33. How to Estimate SEO ROI From Content Marketing
(Google Doc here) Another great one from Siege Media. This spreadsheet helps calculate the ROI from content marketing efforts. Links, traffic, expenses, as well as target dates are all included in this powerful spreadsheet.
This list is far from complete; I plan on updating this post regularly, so if you have any gems that need to be added, drop me a note in the comments below.