We know it’s extremely confusing tracking ROI, and can be a pain in the…well, you know. We want to help you understand and successfully track your return on investment in Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, and other Content Campaigns. Here’s a list of steps and tools to get you started in tracking your success.

Setting Goals (before tracking ROI) is key.

Start any campaign by clearly defining your goals. What are your goals?
  1. What are your goals?
  2. New followers?
  3. Clicks on link in an update?
  4. Online purchases?
  5. Filled out a form?
  6. Signed up for a newsletter?
  7. Booked an appointment?
  8. Downloads a file?
  9. Time spent on a given page?

*Tools/Templates to Use to Help you Set Goals

Tracking your conversions and traffic is VERY important. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Set up an excel spreadsheet with three columns. Unique Visitors, Conversion Rate, & Conversion Revenue. Create two tabs, “ROI Estimates, and ROI Actual”.
Let’s start with the ROI Estimates tab.

Adding Unique Visitors Data

  1. Log into Google Analytics.
  2. Click on date area, choose last full month you have data for, apply.
  3. Go to Acquisition, click on organic search.
  4. Under sessions, highlight total number, copy and paste under your Unique Visitors column on the spreadsheet.
  5. Do this every month.

Tracking ROI - Adding Unique Visitors Data

 Adding Conversion Rate Data

  1. Before tracking ROI—First, are you set up for conversions?
  2. Conversions are based on your goals, and the values you apply to them.
  3. In Google Analytics, go to Admin, Goals (Under View Column).
  4. Click “New Goal”.
  5. Choose a template, depends on conversion.
  6. For example, we’ll choose Acquisition / “Create an account”.
  7. Name your Goal, example, “Newsletter Sign-Up”.
  8. Typically you’d choose destination (when it redirects to a thank you page).
  9. Enter the URL of the “thank-you” page, or whatever it may be.
  10. Turn Value “ON”.
  11. Based on your Goals, give it a value. Let’s say $5
  12. Create goal.

    Tracking ROI - Adding Conversion Rate Data

  1. Second, Log back into your Google Analytics dashboard to grab the conversion rate.
  2. Go to Goals, Overview.
  3. See “Goal Conversion Rate”? Copy this and paste the number (percentage into the second column of your excel spreadsheet.

 Tracking ROI - Conversion Rate Data

Adding Conversion Revenue Data

  1. What monetary value did you give to your conversion goal?
  2. Use that number to add to the third column in your excel spreadsheet.
Now, you are set up for a baseline benchmark of data. ?
Next, it’s time to add more information to your spreadsheet in order to be able to track your ROI more granularly. Add SEO Cost, Increase in Conversions, and Increase in (Gross) Revenue.

Adding SEO Cost Data

  1. How much do you plan on spending on SEO total? Let’s say for the month.
  2. Add this number to your spreadsheet.

Adding Increase in (Gross) Revenue Data

  1. You AT LEAST want to break even, you hope you will get more revenue. Since some of these numbers or goals may be “guestimates”, it is easier to put a break even number to see how your results will fair.
  2. Put the same number of your SEO Cost as your Gross Revenue number in your excel spreadsheet.

Adding Increase in Conversions Data

  1. In this case, you want to see how many more Conversions you’d need to reach your Revenue goals.
  2. So in simple terms, $1800 (your cost) divided by $5 (your conversion revenue), equals 360. So 360 times $5 is what you’d need to get to your Increase in Revenue.

Adding Additional Organic Visitors Data

  1. Next, how many more visitors do you need per month to get 360 more conversions?
  2. This number in your spreadsheet will equal the increase in conversions divided by the conversion rate.
Great! Now how can you estimate that you may be able to hit these numbers?

Adding Keyword Data

  1. The keyword column on your spreadsheet should include the keywords you’ll be targeting for that specific campaign.

Adding Volume Data

  1. Ask your SEO partner to provide you with this number. Most “free” tools for keyword research will not give you the data you need here for free. We use SEM Rush.
  2. We will use research data from a 2014 study for comparison of average Click Through Rates per organic page rank.
  3. Tracking ROI - 2014 study for comparison of average Click Through Rates per organic page rank

  4. Decide what position you think you want to rank for. Let’s say we want to rank #3, which in this example, is 9.85 CTR. Put this number into your Position CTR column in your excel spreadsheet.

Adding Traffic Increase Data

  1. This number will be your Volume multiplied by your Position CTR.
  2. This is the number you’ll need to increase your traffic by per day to reach your goals.
Now, there is a lot of estimating going on in the first tab. If you want to see more precise numbers in tracking ROI, recalculate the data at the end of the campaign to see closer results. Add this data to your ROI Actual tab in the excel spreadsheet.


*Credit to HubSpot for providing information found in templates