Measuring the Return on SEO: ROSS and the Future of Organic Search

Measuring the Return on SEO: ROSS and the Future of Organic Search

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There’s an irony at the heart of organic search. For users, searching is one of the most natural, rapid, and reliable digital experiences one can have. You ask questions and expect the best answers in return—instantly. For users, a search could not be simpler.

For brands, however, it’s been a little more complicated.

Historically, it’s taken a long time to see results from organic search efforts. Many marketers viewed it (and still view it) as a black box of limited performance visibility, with a heavy reliance on manual engineering processes and investment without complete clarity on the return. What’s more, the highly technical jargon often associated with SEO can mystify non-specialists, further obscuring the understanding of its impact and isolating it from the broader marketing toolkit.

But that’s changing with the advent of ROSS, or the ability to accurately measure Return on Organic Search Spend.

Sustainable and actionable organic performance

ROSS closes the performance visibility gap, providing the hard metrics necessary to accurately evaluate organic search impact and make it more measurable like its paid search counterpart. With this added layer of insight, brands can make better-informed channel investment decisions that de-silo SEO to work in parallel with paid, driving stronger, more sustainable brand findability.

From there, brands can optimize strategies to elevate quality search results that can directly lead to additional revenue. Specifically, here are some of the potential outcomes resulting from better understanding of a brand’s Return on Organic Search Spend:

1. Reduce reliance on paid search by pairing it with organic search strategies

A channel marketing mix that considers the power of paid and organic together, ensures a broader and more dynamic online presence. This allows brands to leverage the unique strengths of each approach, leading to improved click-through rates, and providing control and flexibility for both short- and long-term business goals. It also provides valuable keyword insights and advanced targeting opportunities, ultimately improving digital marketing performance and overall ROI.

2. Increase sales with organic search as a traffic-driving channel

Optimized content doesn’t just create vanity traffic. By creating relevant content that addresses real pain points and answers the questions people are asking it can increase the volume of users who complete a purchase.

3. Increase profits from existing content

There’s immense organic traffic potential with content that already exists on a website. Many marketers assume that because content exists on their website it’s showing up for search engines. Don’t bank on it!  In fact, search engines aren’t crawling about half (51%) of the content on large enterprise websites, leaving potential revenue on the table. Instead of a website working at a fraction of its potential, marketers can increase ROI by helping search engines find this content. They can use automation to serve business-critical pages faster and reduce the time required to produce optimizations that increase findability by engines and customers.

ROSS cements organic search as a trusted channel for building relevant, authoritative brand visibility, which research shows consumers place more trust in compared to paid ads alone. SEO drives discovery, fuels decision-making, and inspires loyalty, and now with ROSS, organic search can conclusively prove its value, with far more accessibility and buy-in from the rest of the business.

Marketers and brands alike are gaining clarity and control to allocate resources and budget wisely between paid and organic, maximizing brand-building potential and optimizing profitability—forever changing the meaning and value of organic search.

The Organic Search Opportunity

We’ve reached a point where advertising budgets are being reduced and paid media costs are increasing, so having the ability to truly understand differences in user behavior is critical to empowering a stronger brand experience.

There’s a massive opportunity for brands to embrace organic search as a powerful performance marketing channel. The complexities that have historically held back SEO are rapidly dissolving.  With comprehensive data augmented by the power of artificial intelligence and armed with automated workflows, brands can optimize with greater certainty, implement changes far more rapidly, and achieve results much sooner. In short, the era of “SEO Velocity” has arrived.

For brands who harness this opportunity, organic search presents a high-return channel to build visibility, earn trust, and drive sales simultaneously.

The opportunity is now to meet customers where they already are, at the top of the organic search results.