When you are trying to persuade a client about the merits of SEO, it can be useful to give an approximate indication of how much a prominent Google ranking could potentially mean in terms of revenue.
We used the wonderful SEMrush API to design a free tool to help business owners and marketing professionals gauge an approximate valuation for any given keyword on the top 10 SERP positions.
I have put together this video run-through of the tool with a transcription below to give you an idea of how it works and the methodology we used to produce the valuations.
I am well-aware that this is not an exact science.
The SEMrush API was a complete breeze to use. We used a simple HTTP request with the relevant parameters to extract information such as search volumes and organic SERPs positions from the SEMrush database.
The API documentation is clearly laid out with examples shown for each parameter. SEMrush provides a generous allowance of API credits on all paid plans. Despite heavy use of the tool we have barely made a dent in the number of API units accumulated since we have been using the SEMrush Pro service.
Hi folks. I just wanted to show you this cool little tool that I've put on the website at SEOTrainingLondon.org. This is a free tool to give you just a very rough guide of what a particular search term or keyword would be worth to your business if you were to be ranking on the first page of Google for that term.
I'm just going to give you a quick run through and show you how it works. The tool is available on my website at SEOTrainingLondon.org. And if you go to the Tools section and click on Tools, it will take you straight to the tool.
It's pretty straightforward to use. It requires just four steps. First thing it asks you is to put in the search term that you think is relevant for your business. So I'm going to put in here, for example, "car leasing deals," which, if you run a car leasing business, that's a search term that's popular. Put that term in. Click on Next Step.
The next thing it asks me here is which country version of Google I want to check this against. So I could actually run that and see how this compares in different countries. And you can see all I do is just click on that. It gives me all these different countries to choose from. And I can click on Google.co.uk, and then click on Next Step.
Before it moves on, it's actually just checking that there are people actually searching for that term in that particular country that I selected.
So here we go to Step Three. It’s now asking me whether that particular search term will be generating a lead, an inquiry, or a sale on my website. So if you have an e-commerce website where you're selling products directly from the site, you would click on here and select ‘Sale’. Or if it's somebody that's going to contact you with an inquiry, you'd make sure that ‘Lead’ is selected.
So here for “car leasing”, they're probably not going to be buying directly from the website, so we make sure that ‘Lead’ is selected. And then there's a little thing here for whether the search term includes a brand name. So, for example, if they were using something like “BMW car leasing deals”, that kind of thing. If that included a brand name, you would just select ‘Yes’ there. So in this case, we're selecting ‘Lead’. It doesn't include a brand name, so we're going to go here and go Next Step.
And then it just asks you a couple of questions about your business. The first thing it wants to know is roughly — just an approximate idea — of what you think your conversion rate is likely to be. So for every hundred visitors that come to your website searching for that term, how many, realistically, do you think you could convert into leads or sales? Well, it really depends on the business and how good the website is, but let's take a conversion rate of, let's say, 4%, but you can slide that up to whatever band you need.
The next box here is how much in monetary terms we would expect the lifetime value of that new customer to represent. So it could be that your customers typically come back and do business with you every year. Somebody looking for “car leasing deals” might get a car from you on this occasion and then every three years when they renew their car. Typically they might buy a car from you or lease a car from you two or three times. So you would put in that monetary value what that's worth to your business. So I'm going to say here, I don't know, let's just say £980 that customer is going to be worth to us.
And then in the box here, this is optional. You don't have to put this information in. But what I can put in is the address of my website. This not my website. This is just a random car leasing website I picked. But you could put the address of your website into this box here, and then the tool will actually go and have a look and see whether you are actually ranking on the first page of Google for that term. So it can do some calculations based on that.
And then it asks the question here, "Is your business a well-known brand name?" And one of the reasons it's asking this question is because if your business is a very recognizable name, lots of people are familiar with it, even if you're not ranking in the first, or second, or third position on Google. If people see a name they recognize in the search results, it makes them more likely to go and click on that result. So that does have an impact on the likely click-through rate or percentage of people that will click through to your results. So in this case, “Car4Leasing” is not a name I'm familiar with. I'm going to say it's not a well-known brand name.
Get the Report
And that's it. I've put in all the details here. The only thing left for me to do now is click “Get Report”. And it's going to take just two seconds or so to think about this and get all the data. And what it shows me here at the top, basically it's just showing me the information that I put in so I can just check the information that I've put in there. And then you can see here there's a table showing, for every given position in the search results on Google, so here are all the different Google positions down here.
And then it shows me an average of how many clicks per month I could expect to get if my website was ranking in that position. So if I was Number One on Google U.K. for “car leasing deals”, I could approximately expect to get around about 5,203 clicks through to my website if I was in that position. Based on the conversion rate, based on the lifetime value I've given it, this is approximately how much that would be worth to my business per month and then per year.
And then you can see here at position nine, that website I put in, Car4Leasing, this yellow band here, that actually indicates that they're currently ranking in ninth position on Google for that term at the moment. And then it tells you here, it says, "Your website's currently ranking in ninth position," and it tells you how much more it would be worth to your business if you were actually able to rank in Number One position on the top.
And then just below here we've got some other related searches so that you can just click on these rather than having to put all the information in again. Just click on these and it will do a whole load of other similar related terms.
Now just a couple of things to mention about this. This is not 100% accurate at all. You can't rely on this as being an accurate guide to how much you would be making if you were ranking in that position. It's a very approximate guide because there are so many variables that go into this that would determine the actual money, the actual value of this, and how many people click on your site. It's just to give a rough idea. That's really the whole point of it.
All this data, in terms of the number of clicks, in terms of the position of ranking, and all the related searches, this is all coming from the SEMrush database which uses the API, which it's tapping into, which is a fantastic source of data. If you don't know, the SEMrush website, great way to go and check out what your competitors are up to and get a whole load of different information for different keywords.
But I just thought this tool would be just a handy little thing, especially to people working in digital marketing. If you've got some clients you want to convince them of the value of SEO, or if it's your own business and you want to just get some very approximate idea of what it would be worth to you to be ranking on Google, then you can use this tool. It's completely free to use.
And there's just kind of a few links down the bottom here you can print out this information, and it goes into a bit more detail. You can click on Methodology to go and see a bit more detail about how the tool works.
So yeah, I hope you find this useful. I hope you have fun playing around with this. We certainly had fun putting the thing together. Thanks for listening. Bye now.