Do You Show Return on Investment In Your Monthly Reporting?

Forum White Hat SEO Do You Show Return on Investment In Your Monthly Reporting?

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    How many of you honestly show ROI in your monthly SEO reporting?

    Do you use call tracking on your sites?

    Do you use form tracking for leads?

    Using Google Analytics Goals I have found to be ineffective. If you write high ranking blog posts, organic visitors increases which makes percentage of goal completions shoot down. Sure, you can track total completions, but setting up the tools for all the different possibilities takes too long.

    Here’s how I’m tracking:
    1. Call Tracking Numbers on the site. I place the client’s main number in the footer in small text.
    2. Form tracking. My forms ask a multiple choice question of “How Did You Hear About Us”. That data auto enters into a google sheet.

    What are your ways of tracking ROI or do you not and just show search visibility?


    You’re gosh darned right I do, for several clients. It’s simple in most regards, especially for clients that provide transparent reporting on ad spends. I use historical data from GA and Adwords (as an example here) to highlight the areas where spend has been reduced to accommodate the increased rankings.

    Just in general it’s easy to use something like the Google keyword planner to estimate how much a client would have to spend monthly for the top 3 spot for a tracked keyword phrase. Getting a client to that position then is fairly straight forward to show and clients get a good idea of what kind of return to expect.

    Thus, my reporting for clients currently and historically has included a $$$ dollar amount detailing how much a client has saved by doing SEO. I’ve saved clients tens of millions of dollars over my career by getting their websites to rank top 5 for competitive, targeted terms. I definitely recommend adding that kind of reporting to client reports and also to your portfolio.


    We don’t, but we work mostly with small businesses that don’t really have enough data to offer a robust figure. Certainly, not for the first 12 months anyway.

    There’s some easy win reporting such as increases in form submissions, calls from GMB listings, etc. But those are hard to equate to dollars earned in many cases. For example, I have a client that’s a doctor who offers a myriad of services to patients. Not just primary care, but a specialist.

    The value per new patient isn’t well-defined yet considering the practice is fairly new. You take a number for increases in calls and multiply that by the average patient value and you can come up with a figure, but it’s mostly bullshit in this case because no one really knows what the average patient value is, in terms of dollars spent over x years.

    On the other hand, if you have a client that’s doing a single product ecom store and you know that all new traffic converts at exactly 2% then it’s pretty damn easy to offer up an ROI estimate given keyword improvements.

    Since we deal with clients from any number of professions is really hard to bake ROI into monthly reporting. In most cases, we resigned to just percentage increases and basic estimates on traffic value. In other words, an estimated traffic value of organic keyword positions before SEO and a monthly update on estimated traffic, on a holistic level.

    Honestly, as broad of an estimate as that is I can’t say for sure that it’s any less accurate than a lot of the more granular estimations we’ve done when there’s not enough data to really know what an average customer value or new site visitor value actually is.

    TLDR; we personally find it to be more of a hassle than it’s worth, and difficult to offer any accuracy, for monthly ROI reporting. Basic estimations are where we draw the line unless we get a specific request in which case we’ll hammer things down.

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