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When we discuss SEO return on investment (ROI) and how to calculate SEO ROI, we must consider how to track and disclose numbers to small business owners. Too frequently, consumers may examine data from their current or previous SEO company and be unable to determine exactly what they are getting for their money.

Common complaints from clients can include:

  • An overabundance of marketing lingo (Terms like “CTR,” “Bounce Rate,” etc.)

  • Far too much data

  • Zero representation of the impact local SEO has had on the business 

Let’s say a small business owner is giving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars each and every month. How can you show them that they are getting any value from it? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to demonstrate SEO ROI or even how to improve ROI through SEO

Google Analytics Reports

If your goal is to show the client what exactly they are getting with their investment, a Google Analytics report is probably not the best way to do it. That is not to say that Google Analytics is not a powerful tool – it is. However, it is very data dense. The average SMB will not be able to discern much from these reports. You might understand how to figure out their bounce rate decreasing means good things for SEO, but that doesn’t mean they will. 


Bottom line: what business owners care most about is whether or not you drove more people to their business. As such, this should be the focus of any report you send to the business owner. Just because you are proud of increasing the ranking for one of the 50 tracked keywords does not mean you should necessarily bog down the business owner with that information. Instead focus on the additional business you are driving to their business. If you are looking at how to measure ROI on SEO, this is a great way to do it. 

Dynamic Number Insertion For Tracking Calls

Hopefully, you are already doing this, because – if you are not – it is probably really killing your ability to demonstrate value. Every SEO or SEM client is using call tracking. Call tracking allows you to identify the source of incoming calls. However, this is different from just pasting a call tracking number on your website, because dynamic number insertion will not mess up NAP consistency.

Additionally, you should be able to create goals in Google Analytics that center around these calls. On the Landing Page report, you should be able to see which pages on the site were most responsible for getting the call. This way, you can tell your customer which specific pages of the website generated a quantifiable result.

Estimating Revenue

One helpful tip when it comes to SEO ROI is fairly simple. It is this: the next time you meet with a client, ask them about what the average lifetime value of their customer is. After that, you should ask them what their usual closing ratio is when it comes to internet leads. If you look at those numbers and the number of conversions, you should be able to calculate estimated revenue.

Lifetime Value of Customer x Closing Ratio (%) x Number of Conversions = Estimated Revenue

Additionally, you can take this further and show the client that for every dollar they put towards local SEO, you make them $X. When the lifetime value of the customer is high, these numbers will look much better.

Before and After Screenshots Versus Ranking Trackers

Ranking trackers are great. You can lose hours mulling over reports for your clients. However, despite the quality ranking trackers bring to the table, they are best when used for marketers and not business owners. 

We’ve all probably been in a situation where a client freaks out about dropping in the ranking for one keyword. You can save yourself major headaches by ceasing to report these trends. Instead, if you are looking to highlight a sizable ranking increase that occurred as a result of SEO, you can do that by showing the client a visual that they will actually be able to understand.


These suggestions are useful since they are all based on the same fundamental premise. When it comes to demonstrating ROI, think like a business owner, not a marketer. Ideally, your objectives should align with those of the business owner, which is generally to boost calls. When you and the business owner are on the same page, make sure that's what you're communicating when you need to send out a monthly SEO ROI report.

If you have additional questions about SEO at the local or national level, consider contacting Position Punisher today. Position Punisher has years of experience in SEO and many other emerging tech sectors. We also have spent many years working with entrepreneurs to see how they can use technology to better reach their business goals. Contact Position Punisher best SEO service in Phoenix today to learn more.


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