Proving ROI for SEO isn’t easy.
It’s one of the main reasons people are not as bought into SEO as they are with other marketing channels.
It’s not like paid search where you can easily attribute a click on an ad to a keyword and measure the conversions against your initial investment to see if it was worth it.
Other marketing channels often have easier metrics to define success, like open rates for emails, the total number of subscribers to a podcast, or the social engagements on a post.
When it comes to SEO, there can be a variety of challenges.
Trying to prioritize technical issues with your development team and removing silos in your organization is difficult enough, but measuring content marketing ROI can be even harder.
Content marketing ROI is the way to measure how much revenue or conversions your content brought in based on the amount of money, time, or resources spent on it.
In this article, we’ll identify the best metrics you can use to measure content marketing ROI and prove the value of SEO to your organization.
What Are The Best Metrics To Measure Content Marketing ROI?
The best metrics to use when measuring your content marketing for SEO or organic are also the most basic metrics marketers use to report on the performance of the content we publish:
- Increase in organic conversions
- Page 1 keyword growth
- Better ranking on average
- Page 1 search volume increases.
- Increase in organic traffic and clicks
Remember, KPIs or goals for each content type may differ depending on the audience, intent, or media format.
However, these metrics are the best ones to use when trying to prove the value of how SEO helps support content marketing efforts, along with measuring the ROI produced from organic channels.
How Can We Use These Metrics To Report On ROI?
Creating content can cost a lot of money.
There are many different departments and resources involved in producing content.
To keep creating high-quality content and prove to your company that it’s worthwhile to optimize content in the beginning phases of development, it’s important to use these metrics to tell a good story.
The first step of proving the ROI of SEO on content marketing is to benchmark how the content is performing initially before making any optimizations.
If the content already exists on the website, you should keep track of the performance of this page before anything is changed.
If the content is brand new, make sure to measure and monitor the page as soon as it’s published to show decision-makers how well it’s doing right from the start.
Executives might not be in the weeds as much when it comes to the process of using SEO insights when developing content, but they do care about how many users can find this content and how well it’s converting.
How To Use Each SEO Metric In Reporting
1. Increase In Organic Conversions
This is a simple but very effective way to show the team how well the content is performing.
Conversions may look different for each type of content.
You might measure conversions based on total newsletter subscribers, total PDF downloads, or total clicks on a contact us button.
But these numbers tell the best story in terms of how users are engaging with your content and if it’s motivating them to take your desired action.
It’s especially important to lead with organic conversion data when speaking to executives as they want to easily understand how much the overall content marketing investment is contributing to the company’s bottom line.
2. Page 1 Keyword Growth
SEO is a long-term game so it’s important to set realistic goals around how well each page can perform.
Doing comprehensive keyword research is a key step before optimizing or writing content.
One effective content marketing strategy is to replicate a hub and spoke model to become more authoritative around a topic.
Showing Page 1 keyword growth is vital to content marketing ROI as this can prove how much more visible our page is in SERP than it was previously.
By displaying keyword growth on Page 1, content marketers can help decision-makers understand why we need to invest more of the team’s time and budget into SEO.
Another key metric to include is the overall increase in search volume or how the website is ranking better overall for a group of keywords.
The growth in search volume, especially on Page 1, can be an easy way for leaders in the organization to quickly understand how many people might click on our content and how discoverable our content is.
3. Increase In Organic Traffic And Clicks
Another key metric to include in reporting on content marketing efforts is how much website traffic or clicks the content produced.
This is a great time to benchmark how much organic traffic or clicks this content was bringing in, or the percentage of traffic it represents to the overall site before optimizations were made to the page.
It’s important to note that there might not always be organic conversion data to back up how the content is helping the site.
Sometimes a user absorbs content on the site and then comes back weeks or months later to convert, which makes it more difficult to show the direct tie-in SEO had in driving this conversion.
By showing an increase in traffic or clicks, you can still prove to the organization that the content is being seen by a significant amount of users, which will hopefully lead to an increase in overall conversions.
Measuring content marketing ROI is difficult because there are many different metrics you use to tell the story of how successful your content is.
By using the metrics outlined above, you can better show executives how SEO helps make your website, brand, products, and services more visible to the world.
And improved visibility means more traffic, conversions, and revenue generation.
Setting up the reporting to measure the impact of your content also helps identify when content might not be performing well, so you can make adjustments and re-optimize the content as needed to drive improved results.
Without effectively reporting and measuring the impact the SEO team had on our content, the harder it will be to become a more mature SEO organization.
The key to making SEO a widespread foundational strategy within your organization – where every department recognizes its importance – is more effectively communicating and reporting on content marketing wins.
The more you do this, the easier it will be in the future to get more budget and resources dedicated to SEO.
This article was originally published by Search Engine Journal on 3/3/22.