10. May, 2021

What happens when you invest $3000 in SEO over a year?

Author avatar
Karsten Madsen
Co-founder & CEO @ Morningscore.io

Let’s say you invest $3000 on your website’s SEO over 12 months. That is an average of $250 per month.

What happens then?

The illustration below will show you the details. Here are the main takeaways:

  • After 8 months you will start making a monthly profit
  • After 15 months the investment will be paid back
  • After 36 months you will have made a return of investment of $24,215!


The numbers in this table reflect an average of revenue insights across +200 small and medium-sized businesses, the typical company being a 5-year-old webshop, consultancy or services company with no previous SEO work done. All data is extracted from our own SEO tool Morningscore.

Open full-size image

What happens when you invest in SEO over 12 months? infographic


Year 1 explained

As you can see, you end up with a total spend of $5,400 but since you will also make $3,995 in revenue from the traffic (that lead to revenue from new customers) achieved throughout the year, the end result of the year is a balance of $1,595.

This is a loss of $1,405 on the original $3,000 investment.

But the table also shows that the loss will soon be turned into a profit if you keep maintaining your SEO throughout year 2.

This concludes your first year of investing in SEO.

Year 1 total spend

Year 1 total revenue

Year 1 results


Year 2 explained

Now let’s look at the second year of your SEO investment.

In year 2, it is assumed that you spend the same per month as in December of year 1 = $100 x 12 months = $1,200

This means you are maintaining your SEO. But just maintaining a “rolling snowball” still brings in fairly big growth.

Year 2 total spend

Year 2 total revenue

Year 2 results


Conclusion on the 2 years of investment

the initial investment was $3,000.

At the end of year 1 the result was -$1,405

At the end of year 2 the result was +$10,290

Combining the profit of $10,290 in year 2 with the loss of -$1,405 in year 1 gives:
A total return on investment of $8,885 after 2 years.


36 months results

SEO is a long game.

It’s a bit like investment dividends. It pays off better over time if you keep maintaining your SEO properly.

Here is the same investment but over a 36 months period (1 more year):

Grapf of SEO investment over 36 months

So after 36 months you will have made back your initial $3,000 investment 8 times with a return of investment of $24,215!

What if I invested way more than $3,000?

Of course these numbers are easily scalable:

If you invested $30,000 upfront instead of $3,000 and you spent the money well, the return of investment would be $240,000 after 36 months instead.

There is definitely an upper limit to the size of the initial investment you could do, but depending on the size of your market, that limit is quite high. Possibly in the millions.


Why trust these numbers?

These numbers are not drawn out of thin air. They are based on my 10 years of experience as an SEO consultant where I have witnessed similar returns in a wide range of industries over the years.

I also base this budget on an analysis of +200 revenue insights from customers of our SEO tool Morningscore.

The numbers you see here are the median of likely outcomes. There are no guarantees. A lot depends on your ability to invest in and work on the right things.

Are the numbers 1:1 applicable to my business?

I made 5 simple methods to test whether these numbers work for your business and how to avoid investing blindly.

Download SEO investors guide


  • 36 months spreadsheet budget
  • 5 methods to test applicability for your own business


What exactly do I need to invest in?

Every case is unique. If you want our advice on how to invest, we do offer that advice for free as part of a video demo of our SEO tool Morningscore.

If you’ll let us, we’ll do our best to impress you with our tool and give you enough actionable advice so you might decide to buy our SEO tool. Or you might not, and in that case we fully respect that.

We go through your website to see how it performs on Google and give you a suggested plan to work on.

If you are interested you can book a demo here:

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