SEO ROI: Why Investing In Organic Search Pays For Brands

Organ­ic search is the chan­nel that deliv­ers the high­est ROI for brands and busi­ness­es.

Josh McCoy By Josh McCoy from Vizion Interactive. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Con­sumers inter­act with and are influ­enced by organ­ic search through­out their deci­sion jour­ney. With­out a doubt, a well-round­ed dig­i­tal strat­e­gy should include ini­tia­tives in organ­ic and paid search, social media, email, media place­ments, and beyond. Nonethe­less, over time, you will find that SEO is the foun­da­tion­al base of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing and a chan­nel you can’t afford to ignore.

Which mar­ket­ing chan­nel deliv­ers the high­est ROI for brands? Numer­ous stud­ies agree it’s organ­ic search.

Yet, despite advance­ments by search engines designed to pro­vide users with high­er-qual­i­ty, rel­e­vant search results, search engine opti­miza­tion (SEO) has lost some of its lus­ter.

Oth­er chan­nels have stolen the glo­ry from SEO because they are paid efforts, where ROI is quick and eas­i­ly reportable. While that’s great, fore­cast­ing SEO ROI is pos­si­ble, and you can cal­cu­late SEO ROI with sound ana­lyt­ics and by using the right tools.

The one down­side of SEO? It isn’t quick. SEO must be viewed as a long-term invest­ment.

The great news? SEO can ben­e­fit from your oth­er chan­nel mar­ket­ing efforts and give extend­ed life to your con­tent.

SEO – Steroids For Your Content Lifecycle

Con­tent mar­ket­ing has become all the rage in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing over the past few years. Maybe you’ve been told that con­tent mar­ket­ing is “the new SEO”.

Yes, SEO is always evolv­ing. No, con­tent mar­ket­ing can’t replace SEO – there is much more to SEO than just text, image, or video con­tent.

Do you con­sid­er social media sex­i­er than SEO? If so, think about this: after you’ve paid to have your con­tent dis­persed amongst a throng of inter­est-tar­get­ed social users, or even if it goes viral nat­u­ral­ly on social chan­nels, that viral­i­ty even­tu­al­ly dies and that con­tent asset no longer has any val­ue.

SEO offers an ever­green com­po­nent. Opti­mized con­tent that is key­word-focused will con­tin­ue to attract cita­tions and links and dri­ve vis­i­tors to your domain for years to come with no addi­tion­al invest­ment. Now that’s sexy.

One piece of great con­tent (e.g., a blog post) on a well-opti­mized site will con­tin­ue to live on. Repeat that suc­cess with tens or hun­dreds of pieces of con­tent that are opti­mized for your audi­ence and a steady stream of traf­fic will come to your site.


Social media mar­ket­ing, con­tent mar­ket­ing, PR, and link earn­ing all adds val­ue to your SEO efforts.

A large por­tion of the over­all effec­tive­ness of SEO is your abil­i­ty to attract author­i­ta­tive links to your site. If you’re doing out­reach to cre­ate rela­tion­ships with oth­er sites and orga­ni­za­tions with the inten­tion of ben­e­fit­ing your brand, in the end, you’re active­ly and pos­si­bly unknow­ing­ly per­form­ing SEO efforts while you’re pay­ing a PR firm to build buzz.

Sim­ply put, buzz becomes links. When is the last time some­one told you to check some­thing out but didn’t pro­vide a link?

If you can cre­ate great con­tent, you will get atten­tion. A well-opti­mized site will con­tin­ue to pro­vide a strong return on your con­tent invest­ment in the future, in the form of con­tin­u­al traf­fic.

SEO & Usability

Improv­ing site usabil­i­ty is anoth­er area that boosts your SEO efforts.

Brands that improve the fol­low­ing usabil­i­ty areas are also address­ing fac­tors that result in a prop­er­ly opti­mized site:

  • Cre­at­ing bet­ter infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture.
  • Increas­ing key­word-rich inter­nal link­ing.
  • Cre­at­ing a bet­ter syn­er­gy between page titles, head­ings, and body copy.
  • Improv­ing page load times.

The same ide­ol­o­gy applies to social media mar­ket­ing. If you build an audi­ence and pro­mote great con­tent, then you attain a larg­er audi­ence and high­er engage­ment.

SEO: The Financial Justification

If you’ve been on the fence when it comes to ded­i­cat­ing bud­get and resources to the organ­ic search chan­nel, hope­ful­ly you now real­ize that you’ve actu­al­ly been step­ping into the world of SEO with­out even real­iz­ing it. Now that your feet are wet, it might make sense for you to go all in.

Even though SEO has become the foun­da­tion of many online mar­ket­ing efforts, the face val­ue ROI can be a lit­tle hard to jus­ti­fy. Rest assured that ana­lyt­ics ser­vices and mar­ket­ing tech­nol­o­gy solu­tions can now accu­rate­ly show what you’re reap­ing from your SEO efforts.

Since its incep­tion, Google Ana­lyt­ics has pro­vid­ed data on site rev­enue and goal accru­al from organ­ic search. Now you can gain addi­tion­al insights such as con­ver­sion mod­el­ing, as Google knows that organ­ic search works with oth­er chan­nels to cre­ate con­ver­sions.

One of my favorite addi­tion to Google Ana­lyt­ics was cus­tom attri­bu­tion mod­el­ing, which pro­vides the abil­i­ty to slice organ­ic search data to under­stand how well organ­ic search works in the long run to either be a first, mid­dle, or last touch­point lead­ing to con­ver­sions.

Anoth­er way to gain clar­i­ty about the ROI of SEO is through dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing tech­nol­o­gy providers like SEM­rush and Linkdex that have devel­oped report­ing met­rics to val­u­ate organ­ic search pres­ence. This is done by show­ing mar­ket share of organ­ic search or what you would like­ly have to pay per month to gain the same amount of traf­fic through paid search adver­tis­ing.

When you need to jus­ti­fy invest­ing in SEO, these tools and Google Ana­lyt­ics are a great place to gain a bet­ter under­stand­ing of how organ­ic search is per­form­ing. Addi­tion­al­ly, if you have a well-oiled dig­i­tal strat­e­gy, it’s like­ly you’re mak­ing rip­ples in SEO effec­tive­ness.

It’s time to make waves and give SEO the atten­tion it needs. It will pay off!

Is organ­ic search the chan­nel that deliv­ers the high­est ROI for your brand?

Josh McCoy

Written by Josh McCoy

DIgital Marketing Strategist, Vizion Interactive

Josh McCoy, a Digital Marketing Strategist at Vizion Interactive, possesses a strong dedication and passion into the understanding and execution of successful search marketing campaigns. Deeply ingraining himself into "all things search," Josh's years of expertise in search marketing help him to concentrate on how to effectively harness all areas of online marketing including SEO, social media and local search to create an encapsulating approach to search engine marketing ideation as the online landscape continues to evolve.

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