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Calculating the ROI of SEO?

Posted By Howard Kaplan On February 9, 2007 @ 8:03 am In ROI Marketing | 5 Comments

It was early December when I walked into the lobby of the Chicago Hilton, well past 1 AM, and first heard the buzz. The bar was packed, literally overflowing with loud, raving, belligerent… Search Engine Optimizers. I know the search community is close, and with SES being their Super Bowl, I wasn’t overly surprised. The crisis du jour, Jason Calacanis had called their profession bull@%$#. Imagine the horror.

Ok, ok, all melodrama aside, they were fired up (and rightfully so, I mean, it was a conference for search… engine… strategies… kinda had to wonder who the audience might contain). Since that time, a flame war has ensued that rival Friday nights at an MIT computer lab. This week, things spilled over again with some more choice words from Jason [1], and the godfather of search Danny Sullivan [2] trying to shred his argument. If this kinda thing gets you excited, go read both posts, make up your own mind and save yourself the trouble of reading the next 1200 posts beating the horse well into submission.

Done? Great, now I have a different question for you [3]: How do you calculate the ROI of your SEO efforts? That’s not a rhetorical question, I really want to know.

I know how Barry Diller calculates it [4], and for his purposes, SEO is a slam dunk. What about for the retailer with a 10% Conversion Rate? How about the retailer with a 1% CR? What about the B2B enterprise software company–the one whose “sale” is overly complex, requires a large degree of consensus–how do they value acquiring more traffic? Please do share, and we’ll weigh in too (at least on the aspects of return on investment and profitability).

As for the macguffin that is the latest “heavyweight” fight; well, I’m staying out of it (for once ;)


Article printed from Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow: http://www.grokdotcom.com

URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/02/09/calculating-the-roi-of-seo/

URLs in this post:

[1] choice words from Jason: http://www.calacanis.com/2007/02/07/why-people-hate-seo-and-why-smo-is-bulls-t/

[2] godfather of search Danny Sullivan: http://searchengineland.com/070208-110711.php

[3] a different question for you: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/02/04/7-strategy-challenges-for-effective-online-marketers//

[4] how Barry Diller calculates it: http://clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3624896

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