Is SEO Worth the Cost?

by Dean Hawker on December 21, 2015

Hi, everyone. Dean Hawker here with Conversion SEO. Today, I wanted to address a question that I hear quite often and that is, "Is SEO worth the cost? Is it worth the cost on a monthly basis to invest in Search Engine Optimization for my website?"

Essentially what that question really breaks down to be is, what's the ROI? What's the return on investment for that monthly cost in comparison to what I should see in revenue? 

It really breaks down to two factors. If we take a scenario of a business that maybe has a national audience ... The numbers I have up here actually probably don't represent a national audience. They barely represent a local, but let's just say for the sake of easy math, your cost is $1000 per month. Also, let's say, that I'm avoiding getting into what your total sale is for your product or service and focusing more on what your net profit is or your net gain. Let's say out of every sale that you make, or every product that you sell, or whatever it is, you net $200. The simple math is, if you can close five new incremental sales through your website, you break even on your $1000 a month investment. Obviously, if you can make 10 sales or 15 sales that makes this investment look much more worth it.

This number is really variable. There are some companies we've worked with that one sale would justify the cost very easily when you look at it. There's some situations where maybe you have a product and it cost $10 and you make $5, all of a sudden it might make it a little bit harder to justify this cost. Maybe SEO needs to wait until you can make a couple changes, or have a larger service offering or something of that nature.

The other variables to consider, though ... This is also extremely low in volume example is let's say your website represents enough keywords. You have keywords that are associated with your website. They are industry related, and of all those keywords, your monthly search volume is 2500 searches per month. Out of that, let's say, out of all those 2500 searches per month, you close or your click through rate is 3%. What that means is, you're getting 75 visits based on your 2500 potential clicks. That breaks down to a cost per lead of $13.33. 

Now, very simply, if that goes up to 3500 ... Let's say that you've started to rank higher for certain keywords, or you've added keywords to your website that have a better volume and that search volume potential goes up to 3500 and you keep that click rate at 3%, now all of a sudden that's 105 visits. Your cost per visit goes down to $9.52, and you can kind of see where I'm going with the whole thing.

If you really only have 2500 volume search per month, it would be, one, very surprising, and two, I would really evaluate whether it does make sense or not. This is really low, and you should have a lot of industry keywords that are associated with your website that are getting picked up and you're getting ranked for, because this really should be much higher than just 2500. Basically, it's not hard to get into a 10,000, 15,000, volume search potential. 

There's a case to be made that once these visits get to your site, are you set up to convert them into a sale. That's the conversion portion of the discussion. Organic growth, organic SEO focus can easily work around these numbers and they can easily start to make sense. SEO, when you really start to look at it, the cost per lead can be much lower than I think what a lot of people probably intuitively think. They see the bulk number and they're not really breaking down what the potential is.

Like with any good marketing plan, you want to take a look at your cost per lead and this is how you can do that. You can see these search volumes with certain tools. We can see what that search potential is per month. It can give you a little insight as to what your positive potential is.

The other thing that I want to mention is that we are now offering a guarantee on our services. That guarantee can be read on our website, Under the About tab, there is a guarantee page. Basically what it revolves around is your organic growth. It's about the keywords. 

The market-related keywords that you should be ranking for, and increasing those on a monthly basis. These numbers would essentially get better as time goes on, and presumably if your website converts, then this would become a non-factor for the most part.

If you have any comments, any questions, anything we can help out with, please give us a visit and thanks for stopping by.