Calculating ROI for Local SEO
ROI is defined as the cost of a campaign subtracted from the revenue of the campaign divided by the cost of running the campaign. Or you could view ROI as the profit over the cost. How much money do you have to tie up to earn what in profit?
ROI = (Revenue – Cost) / Cost
To determine the potential revenue of a local search campaign you can follow a simple formula:
(X) x (Y) x (Z) x (V) = L
- X=keyword search volume
- Y=percentage of searchers that convert to visitors
- Z=percentage of visitors who become customers
- V=average price customer will pay
- L=Local SEO revenue
Local SEO ROI = (L – Cost) / Cost
Calculating ROI for Local SEO
First up, determine the keyword search volume. Google Keyword Planner is a great tool for finding targeted keywords for a business and also shows Google search trends and volume. You will need to create an AdWords account but the Keyword Planner is free.
Let’s say 2,000 people search “Dentist Tampa” every month. Now, only a fraction of those searches will visit your listing, so where you rank is a factor. Obviously, the higher you rank, the more search traffic you can expect.
X = 2000
Since this is all hypothetical, let us assume we have the number one ranking for “Dentist Tampa” and are pulling 40% of all search traffic to our site which equals 800 visitors a month.
Y = .40
Not every visitor will turn into a customer so we will need to reduce this number further. We’ll say 1.25% of visitors end up becoming patients. That gives us 10 new customers per month.
Z = .0125
We’ll say each customer is spending $100 for a dental exam. That’s a monthly revenue of $1,000 from this campaign.
V = $100
(2000) x (.40) x (.0125) x (100) = 1000
L = 1000
Now to calculate ROI we just need to determine the cost of the campaign. Budgets will vary depending on the campaign but the average cost of a professional local SEO campaign is around $300.
ROI = (1000 – 300) / 300 = 2.33
So, for every dollar spent on this campaign, you can expect a return of $2.33. This example only looks at one metric. It’s best to look at several different metrics to get a better understanding of the overall picture
How To Improve Local SEO ROI & Demonstrate Value To Clients
Traditionally, businesses and marketing agencies track their SEO campaigns with Google Search Console and Google Analytics. While these are great for tracking Google Search, local SEO campaigns need to take into account Google Maps ranking as well. Keep an eye on click-through rates and link interactions, but know that these are only a small piece of the puzzle.
Google My Business Insights
Claiming a location’s Google My Business listing is standard practice of any successful local SEO campaign. The “Insights” tab in the Google My Business dashboard provides a plethora of metrics used to track impressions from Google Maps. Phone Calls, driving directions, website visits – increases in these metrics should be shown to clients to demonstrate value. Since Google My Business only keeps data for up to 90 days, either manually copy the data to a spreadsheet or consider a Google My Business reporting service to keep track of historical trends.
Monitor Changes In Rank
As mentioned above, higher ranked listings get a bigger slice of the search traffic pie. It’s easy to report rank changes and clients love to see their listing climb the ladder. Take screenshots of Google Search and Google Maps ranking to show clients their dollars are hard at work.
Pro Tip: Google Maps will show rankings based on the proximity of the searcher. But what if you could see a listing’s rank across the entire city? With Local Falcon, you can track rankings across as many as 255 data points. Automatically generate reports that show average rank position (ARP), competitors rankings, and screenshots. Learn more.
Most local businesses depend on phone calls for customers. However, Google My Business only tracks mobile-click-to-call and misses nearly 50% of total calls to a business. Set up a call tracking number for a listing to track ALL the campaign’s calls to a business. Assign different call tracking numbers to different campaigns or webpages to see where the majority of customers are coming from.
Knowing ROI is crucial and the number one question clients will ask is, “How much money can I expect this campaign to bring in?” Agencies and digital markers need to be able to answer those questions as well as demonstrate the value of their local SEO campaigns.
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