It’s hard to understand SEO from a business person’s point of view.  How can you possibly make money or track profit if you don’t understand anything about SEO or what the SEO firm is doing for you?  Relax…here are five easy points to remember.

  1. Measure and document your success.

You will not fully appreciate or comprehend the ROI unless you break down your company data to simple reports.  Create reports on your sales, leads, and on your traffic.  Don’t stop there…take note of where your traffic is coming from, the keywords, the landing pages and the external sites.

  1. Compare the investment to the expenditures.

Track your SEO success by calculating or auto-generating reports in percentages.  Calculate your total revenue and then subtract the SEO investment.  While analyzing brand data is more complicated than this, ultimately, if you’re spending more than you’re making, there is a major flaw in the SEO strategy.  The problem is not with the medium…(trust us, your audience IS online) it’s how some companies approach their online market.

  1. Invest in SEO for the long-term and project ahead.

It’s important to understand that SEO is future work – your profit is coming tomorrow, not within a few days.  So project your profit-loss sheets for at least six months, and trace each time period to a specific SEO campaign.  This will give you more insight into each campaign’s profitability.

  1. Create Customer-Centric ROI Formulas

Remember to focus on your customers in addition to analyzing overall sales.  One effective method is to assign a cost to each (an individual or an average composite) customer, based on how much he/she spends in a year, and how long this person remains a lifelong subscriber.  You can also track the referrals he or she brings in.

  1. Don’t forget to calculate time lost.

Time is of the essence, and if SEO campaigning is sucking away your time to the point of loss, it’s time to consider outsourcing or perhaps adjusting your SEO strategy.  You can easily determine your hourly wage by calculating your time spent in SEO practices (over a week, over a month, and over a six-month period), and then dividing the gross net income by the work hours spent.

Figuring out your SEO ROI plan should be a priority in your campaign!