One of the problems with SEO is getting the decision-makers in your organization to get on board. They might want to know the ROI of your SEO campaign before they get started. This is typically a problem for many practitioners because it is hard to come up with a number off the top of your head. The search engine optimization space is quite competitive, and there are things you need to do well to be successful.

On top of that, the majority of the traffic goes to the top three positions, making it essential that you rank among these websites. Despite its difficulties, search engine traffic still represents about 50% of all online visits. That importance means that you potentially lose 50% of your customer base if you aren’t fighting for a share.

Is SEO Worth It?

The stunning reality is that organic search represents 50% of all site traffic. No matter what the ROI is, it is still a worthy goal for you to try to get visitors to your website from search engines. Not only will it pay off in the long term, but you eventually get to a level where the traffic comes in automatically without you having to do anything extra. The main issue with SEO is that the initial workload can be demanding for many businesses.

Whether you do SEO or not will also depend on the type of business you have. If you are in a direct response online business, it might be worth focusing more on making immediate sales through paid traffic. However, you would still benefit from having a steady stream of visitors coming to your website without you having to pay. Your optimization to convert more people with paid traffic would also benefit your search engine visitors. Because of that, SEO is worth spending time and money on.

Your Other Options

As when calculating the ROI of anything, you have to also look at the alternatives to gauge whether what you are doing will be worth it or not. In the case of SEO, you have alternatives like social media and paid traffic. With some of these methods, it is typically a lot easier to calculate and ROI because you are paying directly for traffic. You can easily see how much you spend and what your earnings are. However, SEO doesn’t follow the same path, as much of what you do is just time-consuming work. One way you can figure things out is to hire an optimization expert like Nova Advertising. That puts a price tag on how much your SEO efforts will cost.

The Cost Of Ranking

At the heart of Search Engine Optimization is an algorithm that prioritizes content, links, and on-page quality. The overall cost of ranking our website at the top of the search engine ranking pages is a combination of the cost of your content and links. On top of that, you also have the cost of the time you invest in building relationships and doing other things to improve the staying power of your website.


Content is typically the highest cost in any SEO campaign. Depending on the quality you go for, you could be spending from $50-$500 for high-quality content. The best websites typically have around 1000-2000 posts. If you hire people to write your content, it could cost you more than half $1 million to get to the top of the search engine ranking pages. However, you offset many of these costs by doing the work yourself and making money as you grow slowly.


On top of content, you need high-quality links to rank well. This often means building your own websites to link from, or you can purchase links from other places. Either way, you will have to spend hundreds to even thousands of dollars buying links from other sources. The cost of these links eventually adds up.

Time Spending Building Relationships

Your time is one of the areas where it is difficult to put a price on. This is why calculating ROI based on the time investment projection can be difficult. However, you spend a lot of time building relationships with other websites in your industry for SEO projects. The benefit of those relationships is that you can sometimes get links from those partners. The investment is purely time, but it does have a cost associated with it. You can hire Nova Advertising to do this work for you, and then you could focus on conversions and building a business.

Opportunity Cost

The money and time come with an opportunity cost. Every moment you spend building your site’s rankings is time you cannot spend anywhere else. You have to look at whether there are better alternatives you could focus on concurrently.

Cost If Things Go Bad

Since SEO is technically against Google’s terms of service, your website could eventually get penalized, meaning a partial or complete loss of your traffic from that source. Since Google is the dominant force in the SEO industry, it often means a complete loss of search traffic. Your ROI calculations have to also factor in whether you will be able to recoup the time and money if this happens.

Why Do It Anyway?

You should not even bother with SEO if you don’t think you can rank in the top three for a keyword. The traffic you get from being number four will never be worth the resources you put into ranking that high. However, if you can get into the top three, it is worth it regardless of how much money you spend.

Calculating Your ROI

To calculate the ROI of your search engine results, you have to calculate the potential profits from each keyword you will rank for. That calculation involves multiplying the number of people searching for a month by the potential advertiser revenue from Google. You then do a percentage calculation based on your expected rankings. For example, if number one is expected to get 35% of the traffic, you would take 35% of what that keyword is worth. You can then subtract this amount from how much money you expect to spend to gain this ranking. The remainder is your profit or ROI.

Wrap Up

You should always check your performance when looking at your ROI in SEO. Going for local markets instead of global search engine traffic might also be worth it. This is an area where Nova Advertising has a lot of experience, and you can partner with a team that knows what they are doing.