This question has a tendency to get thrown around in various ways. On one hand we have the articles that profess “not” to show ROI since it’s hard to put a value on the strength of 1 visitor (potential client, visitor, competitor or other) and YOUR VALUE that of creating a healthy site. Other articles get into the complications of if” Social media counts and if your SEO efforts have impact on Referrals should they also be included?”…and so on……….
I took the easier route, which is not to over think it too much.
Marketing “gets” that a visitor is hard to classify on visit alone. They “get” that visitor data is often hidden and hard to decipher using Google Analytics (privacy factors protecting ip addresses). We also know that with effort or outside applications, you can “dig out” that data in form or another.
They also “get” that lack of SEO means that your company has no efforts being put towards an important task that likely all your competitors are putting effort into.
All sites and traffic is different. Some are geared towards e-commerce while some aren’t and are just happy with visibility and exposure.
Ok, fine……… let’s get past that and come up with a number.
My approach is very basic and very relative.
1- TRAFFIC TYPE
We want to exclude all other traffic and look only to your daily and monthly “organic” traffic numbers.
See screen shot
We know that SEO is directly rooted in “organic” or “search engine traffic”, so as a metric, it’s the best of the bunch
2- $ AMOUNT OR VALUE
Adwords ads which are paid per click thru, average somewhere between $2.00 to $25 a click thru (depending on your industry and how popular the keyword your targeting. Ok so i’ts safe to say that by being very “frugal” in visitor value, a quote of $2.50 per visitor is more than fair.
Note: in research most articles were also wavering around the $2 – $3.50 range
3- CREATE A SPREADSHEET
Using Excel, Create a spreadsheet that lists TOTAL “traffic per month”
Divide this into 12 columns (months) with your 13th column being a SUM of the entire year
4- YOUR ROI FIELD
Create a ROI field that takes your YEAR-END SUM and multiples it times $2.50
Now per year end, you can confidently show Marketing a relative estimate of how much accumulate value SEO has brought to the company each month
(I say relative as YOU are not the only individual in the whole company that is responsible for the incoming organic traffic)
Want to see what that looks like?
See screen shot below