SEO ROI in 2024: The Ultimate Guide & Calculator

Daniel Bianchini // Co-founder

If you’re not convinced by the impact and importance of SEO, working out your business’s SEO ROI just might change your mind.

SEO is a crucial part of any marketing strategy, and 57% of B2B marketers believe SEO is the most effective form of digital marketing available.

It can substantially improve visibility and brand awareness, leading to important high-value conversions and strong SEO ROI.

In this article, we’ll look at calculating SEO ROI and ways to improve your returns even further.

What is SEO ROI?

SEO ROI (return on investment) measures the profitability of SEO activities relative to their costs. If a company can quantify the returns they see from SEO, it becomes easier to justify its costs and adjust strategies meaningfully.

Calculating SEO ROI helps businesses understand the effectiveness of an investment many see as expensive. But done well, SEO is one of the most effective ways to grow your business organically, resulting in great returns.

The importance of SEO ROI

If you can show the impact of investing in SEO through the revenue it generates, stakeholders will have a better understanding of its importance. This makes them more likely to approve further strategies and funds for future optimisations.

It also builds trust, as you can show tangible results rather than simply claiming the SEO work done has been impactful.

How to measure ROI

The basic calculation to work out ROI is:

ROI= (Revenue−Cost)/Cost

For example, a SaaS business like Elmtec might spend £5,000 on SEO and receive £15,000 in sales from it.

Using our formula, we can calculate the ROI as so:

ROI = (15000-5000)/5000 = 2

That’s a 200% ROI.

Key elements of SEO that affect ROI

There are multiple components of SEO that all impact ROI.

On-page SEO: A user-friendly site with easy navigation and overall user experience enhances visibility. Improving on-page SEO through the use of keywords and well-structured content increases site traffic.

Off-page SEO: Activities like obtaining high-quality backlinks and leveraging social media to drive traffic and brand awareness impact your business’s overall visibility.

Technical SEO: Keeps your site running smoothly, reduces loading times and ensures the site is fully functional and optimised for mobile.

Setting Up for Your SEO ROI Calculation

The hardest part of SEO ROI is that not all components result in a direct conversion or obvious ROI. But clear measurable goals don’t always have to be monetary based to see the impact SEO is having on your overall marketing efforts.

KPIs can be set for goals like increasing traffic or improving search rankings, for example, as well as measuring things like increasing conversion rates. Assigning values to these allows you to calculate the ROI on your SEO.

Which metrics should you track for SEO ROI?

Deciding which benchmarks are of most value to your overall company objectives can vary. However, the KPIs chosen dictate which metrics you should monitor to gauge SEO ROI.

These are then tracked through analytics tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console and can be consolidated into easy-to-understand reports using third-party analytics dashboards like Agency Analytics.

But to put all this into place you need a solid research and SEO output tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush to provide valuable insights into keywords, backlinking profiles, competitive analysis, and top page optimisation.

Calculating SEO costs

SEO can be pricey as even just investing in SEMrush or Ahrefs can cost hundreds of pounds per month. On top of that, you need to also ensure you’re including the costs of in-house staff, any agency or consultancy fees, and any other additional resources like content creation or development costs for technical issues.

By accounting for these costs, however, you’re painting a clear picture of your SEO ROI, allowing your business to truly understand its relative value.

Using an SEO ROI Calculator

Calculating SEO ROI luckily doesn’t differ from working out any other kind of ROI. Using its simple formula, you can work out the value of your SEO:

SEO ROI = Revenue from SEO – Cost of SEO/Cost of SEO x 100

Revenue doesn’t have to be monetary in this sense. Using tools like Google Analytics, you can assign values to each KPI, for example increasing traffic, and calculate the total value of your website traffic as the revenue basis against your SEO.

SEMrush has worked out the most effective way to decide what value to assign is by using the calculation:

Event Monetary Value = Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) x Lead Conversion Rate

SEO ROI Calculation Example

Let’s say a B2B SaaS company’s average customer LTV is £20,000 and their conversion rate is 5%.

£20,000 x 0.05 = £1,000

That means each lead established from website traffic is worth £1,000.

Now, let’s assume your campaign resulted in 10 new customers which would be £200,000 and an event monetary value of £10,000.

Assuming your SEO costs came to £7,000, for example, your SEO ROI would be:

£10,000 – £7,000/£7,000 x 100 = 42.86% SEO ROI

That’s a 42% ROI for your SEO campaign, showcasing its strength and value.

Strategies to Improve SEO ROI

There are lots of nuances and ways to improve SaaS SEO, but breaking it down into its three core categories is a good way to divide improvements and optimisations into manageable chunks of work.

Optimising on-page SEO

Many businesses make the mistake of adding their keyword to the page in a few places and leaving it at that.

But nuanced, skilled SEO writing involves not only integrating the keyword itself but also an understanding of complimentary terms and language, the knowledge of how to structure content to be easily readable to search engines and to include other markers and optimisations like internal and external links, alt text and meta descriptions.

Search engines are smart and getting smarter. The content needs to not only include the markers but be high-quality and actually of value to the reader, especially since Google’s helpful content update in 2022, meaning the search engine now values people first in its algorithm.

Audit your content regularly

Regular content audits and updates keep content fresh and maintain its relevance, meaning they’re less likely to drop in search rankings over time.

It also allows you to identify new opportunities for ranking in old articles, and to track what is and isn’t successful. Don’t be afraid to A/B test headlines and descriptions to see if that changes long-form SEO content’s success rates.

Overall content audits should be performed at least once a quarter to keep your site fresh, engaging and relevant.

Fixing off-page SEO

Off-page SEO like a good backlinking strategy and social media marketing improves your site’s visibility and authoritativeness.

If many other high-quality sites backlink to yours, search engines are more likely to recognise your own as legitimate and valuable, thus increasing your rankings.

Other types of marketing like collaborating with influencers or creating social media partnerships can further help with this, reaching new audiences and demographics more traditional forms of marketing and SEO won’t.

With platforms like TikTok becoming their search engines, SEO needs to stretch beyond your site and PPC campaigns into other aspects of strategy planning.

Technical SEO

No one likes waiting for a page to load. A slow site means visitors are less likely to engage with what’s on offer, and Google isn’t a big fan either.

Using free online tools like the Lighthouse Speed Test, you can find out how your site scores out of 100 on mobile and desktop, and identify the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) elements that are slowing it down.

Regular site audits

Regular site audits using your SEO tool can help identify further issues that could be affecting your site’s ranking, including broken links, keyword gaps, and duplicate content.

Keeping on top of these and manually fixing problems as they arise keeps your site high-performing, which search engines like.

To highlight your site’s specific services, you could implement schema markup to make it more accessible for search engines.

Schema Markup adds additional microdata to your website’s HTML to signpost the exact intention of each page and break down the information on it. There are many different types, and there are usually (paid-for) plugins that can automatically do this for you.
For example, a typical B2B SaaS content page’s Schema Markup might look something like this:

"@context": "",
"@type": "Product",
"name": "Example SaaS Software",
"description": "Example SaaS Software is a cloud-based solution designed to streamline your business processes and improve efficiency.",
"image": "",
"url": "",
"brand": {
"@type": "Brand",
"name": "Example SaaS Company"
"offers": {
"@type": "Offer",
"url": "",
"priceCurrency": "USD",
"price": "49.99",
"priceValidUntil": "2024-12-31",
"itemCondition": "",
"availability": ""
"review": {
"@type": "Review",
"reviewRating": {
"@type": "Rating",
"ratingValue": "4.5",
"bestRating": "5"
"author": {
"@type": "Person",
"name": "Jane Doe"
"aggregateRating": {
"@type": "AggregateRating",
"ratingValue": "4.4",
"reviewCount": "89"
"potentialAction": {
"@type": "SearchAction",
"target": "{search_term_string}",
"query-input": "required name=search_term_string"
"softwareHelp": {
"@type": "CreativeWork",
"name": "Example SaaS Software Documentation

Breaking down each nuance of the page gives you an extra edge over competitors, improving your search engine visibility and relevance, and leading to higher clickthrough rates.

Common SEO Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

One of the most common SEO pitfalls is either tracking the wrong metrics or misinterpreting their results.
We’ve talked a lot about measuring site traffic or conversion rates, for example, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only important metric to consider.

Taking a more holistic approach to SEO metric measurements gives a much better picture of how all aspects of SEO work together. Using tools to track conversion rates, average order values and other KPIs ensures that SEO strategy is aligning with overall business goals each step of the way and it is easier to see how it directly impacts your bottom line.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint

For a brand-new site, it can take up to six months for search engines to start meaningfully ranking your pages. Even if your site isn’t new, achieving better rankings can still take a substantial amount of time and effort.

But even without those obstacles, SEO is a brick-by-brick method of building long-term success. Look at each piece, or small incremental change, and it might seem insignificant. Yet over time and with all of the pieces considered, your site will drastically improve and strengthen its authoritativeness and visibility.

Advanced Techniques to Maximise SEO ROI

The amount of money and time businesses are willing to invest in SEO varies. But the more you can prove your SEO ROI is significant, the more time stakeholders will be willing to dedicate to SEO strategies.

Using these advanced techniques can give your SEO the edge.

Leveraging analytics

Tracking the right SEO metrics allows you to leverage actionable insights and make continual changes to your SEO strategy.

It allows businesses to easily track user behaviour, content performance and which site pages are performing optimally, adjusting their SEO to reflect these metrics. This ensures SEO is focused on high-impact areas and is adaptive over time, leading to higher SEO ROI.

A/B Testing

Trial and error is the only way to ensure messaging, visuals and CTAs are on point and resonate with users. A/B testing for SEO using different content variations, keyword targeting and meta tags allows businesses to monitor the impact of different tactics and adjust strategies accordingly.

Integrating SEO into other marketing channels

SEO doesn’t just stop on the webpage. Social media, PPC campaigns and email marketing can all benefit from SEO insights.

PPC campaigns can target high-value and high-intent keywords that match business goals and unique selling points, improving visibility.

Social media increases content reach and engagement and can be used to further promote keyword terms, as well as improve backlink structure.

Although SEO doesn’t directly mix with email marketing, knowledge of the right content and keywords as informed by SEO research, provides a structure and understanding of how to address potential customers via email marketing.

When SEO is considered altogether with other marketing strategies it strengthens ROI and visibility of the brand, increasing overall conversions.

Conclusion: Mastering SEO ROI for Sustainable Growth

A solid SEO strategy that includes a holistic approach to SEO, analysis of the right metrics, and continual monitoring is the path to effective, sustainable growth and strong conversion rates.

But when investing lots of time, energy and money, you want to ensure the outcomes line up with your output. This is where SEO ROI calculations come in. The more you can prove the value and returns on your SEO, the more likely stakeholders and key decision-makers are to approve further tactics or resources.

But not everyone has an SEO specialist in-house. That’s why it’s often outsourced to SEO experts like Common Ground who can ensure your returns are far higher than your SEO spend; particularly for SaaS companies where online growth is paramount.

Daniel Bianchini // Co-founder

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