When it comes to investing in search engine optimization (SEO), the ROI is not always clear. On one hand, some businesses spend tens of thousands of dollars on SEO, only to see little to no results. On the other hand, some companies see exceptional and consistent ROI from their SEO strategy.
What’s the difference between these businesses? Who sees the best ROI from SEO?
In order to understand these questions, we will have a closer look at our data and figure out the ROI SEO can bring for different businesses.
Who Gets the Best ROI from SEO?
As a marketer, you may agree that SEO provides great results for a website with lots of informative content, and you may not need to rely on PPC or social media ads. But if you have a different type of website or business, or it is too early to benefit from SEO, you may have to try using paid ads to get results instead of relying only on organic traffic.
For this, we looked at the results of our marketing efforts and those of our clients and found something interesting. According to our data, 74% of marketers agree that investing in SEO brought the results they hoped for among companies with a blog. On the other hand, only 43% agree that investing in SEO brought the results they hoped for among those without a blog.
You can observe in this chart that the majority of marketers who create blog content agree that investing in SEO brought great results.
In this regard, Brian Piper, Director of Content Strategy at the University of Rochester, shares his experience with SEO and its results. He said, “Our Google benchmark report showed that our organic traffic was 60% of other sites in our industry. We used that data to launch an SEO initiative across the institution, gave keyword research workshops, and educated our content creators. We have increased organic traffic around 100% each year since focusing on strategic, intentional content.”
Similarly, Ken Marshall, Chief Growth Officer & Partner at REVENUEZEN, also shares his opinion about organic search and search engine optimization. He says, “I’ve been working on our own site for the last 5 months, and so far, we have had a 79% YoY increase in new users sourced from organic traffic in that time period, a 155% net increase in keyword visibility, and most importantly, a 28% increase in organic sourced leads than we had in the previous timeframe and the most we’ve had in any historical comparable timeframe as well.”
According to the data and the responses given by the interviewed marketers, we can safely say that businesses with lots of blog content see the best ROI from SEO.
Now the biggest question is how marketers measure ROI from SEO on a blog. So, let’s get deeper into this.
Measuring ROI from SEO: Blog Vs. No Blog
Despite getting the best ROI from SEO, the majority of marketers report that they face challenges measuring the ROI of their blog. This is because measuring the ROI of SEO on your blog is a lot more nuanced than it is for other marketing channels, like PPC or paid social.
Here is what some successful marketers think about measuring ROI on SEO.
You can clearly see that most marketers believe that measuring ROI on SEO of a blog is much easier than of a no blog. But this doesn’t mean you can’t get meaningful insights into whether or not your blog content is working for your business.
When they have a blog, companies are 2.3 times more likely to agree that measuring the ROI of SEO is easy.
Keeping track of the content performance of your blog makes it easier for you to measure the ROI of SEO. It’s important to keep track of your metrics to see what kind of impact SEO is having on your business.
Measuring ROI from SEO is not always easy, but it will be easier to find the data that will tell you how much return you are getting from SEO if you understand which metrics matter the most to your business. Then you can compare that data with the time and money you invest in SEO and content distribution.
Now it is proven that blogs are seeing the best ROI from SEO; you must be wondering how they are investing in SEO. Do they have in-house SEO experts, or are they investing in hiring agencies to do the job for them?
Let’s have a closer look at this.
Investment in SEO: In House Vs. Agency
The majority of businesses are investing in SEO, and there are two basic approaches to do the job; you can take care of it in-house or externalize the service and hire an SEO agency. The statistics below show that most businesses have an in-house SEO expert hired on a permanent basis to do the job. This helps them invest effectively in SEO and expect more results.
This shows that 39.5% of companies use a combination of in-house and outsourced SEO tools. These companies recognize the value that hiring a professional SEO company can bring to their business, but they are also aware that outsourcing this work is costly. As a result, they are trying to find a balance by using both models.
Given that 81% maintained or increased their SEO budgets, and only 19% lowered theirs compared to last year, it is clear that companies are paying more for the ROI of SEO now than in previous years.
Because of the budget and increasing capital investments required to get results from SEO, small businesses with less than 50 employees are less likely to use SEO agencies than companies with more than 50 employees.
Another reason solopreneurs and startups do not prioritize SEO is that it might be too early for them to get optimal ROI from SEO and blog content. Their attention might be more focused on engaging with their audience and building online communities until they grow large enough to benefit from SEO.
The data shows there’s a sweet spot in companies sized between 50 and 500 employees where they reap maximum benefit from SEO and blog content. However, once a company reaches more than 1000 employees, their usage of SEO decreases as now they have enough budget to have in-house SEO experts and increasingly prefer paid ads over SEO as a revenue source.
According to our data, blogs are at the top of the list for getting maximum ROI from SEO. That’s because blog businesses care most about organic traffic. They want to increase their search ranking so they can bring in more visitors. So, SEO works well for this objective; that is why these companies achieve great results.
On the other hand, businesses that don’t own a blog don’t see as much ROI from SEO. That’s because they have very different objectives: their goals are focused on increasing leads, conversions, and sales. Those results can also be achieved with ad spending or social media marketing instead.
But this doesn’t mean that these companies don’t need SEO. It will be necessary for them to run successful PPC campaigns, and having an optimized website can help reduce marketing expenses.