The SEO Formula: ROL

SEO is a discipline that aims to position web pages but at the same time doing it with the highest possible ROI (return against investment).

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SEO is a discipline that aims to position web pages but at the same time doing it with the highest possible ROI (return against investment). To achieve this we must take into account hundreds of factors and we can perform hundreds of possible actions. These actions, in turn, depend on other factors (page type, competition, market, etc.) and do not always give the same result.

For all this, we will need strategies and not just isolated actions, because only when we take into account all the actions simultaneously is when we get the maximum return of investment.

When we start a new project, or are commissioned to perform the SEO of an existing one, we have in front of us dozens of possible actions, hundreds of factors and thousands of possible strategies. And here comes the problem: Where do I start? What does this website need?

If we are good SEO professionals or amateurs, we will know how to do actions and improve positioning. Maybe we spend several hours on SEO onpage and other times to improve content, we may do some action to get user response, or we search and get some links. Surely, all this adds up, but are we getting the optimum? Could we have invested our time and money in another way and get more benefits?

This post deals with that.

“I want to propose a formula that serves as a reference to analyze a web project and define a strategy that provides us with an optimal return.”

The concept is simple but the difference between analyzing a project with or without it, is huge.

Let us begin:

The 3 pillars of SEO

I always try to classify and order SEO concepts and actions in order to apply them more clearly. There are 3 main pillars in SEO: user response, seo onpage and link building.

These pillars are the basis of the structure of the blog and will also be the basis of the ROL formula:

  • SEO onpage: All the aspects that are related to our own page: content, structure or technical points.
  • Link building: Obtaining external links pointing to your portal. Strictly the SEO community does not include the natural links or the link baiting here.
  • User response: These are aspects that Google uses to measure a user’s satisfaction with content.

Any aspect of SEO fits into some of these 3 pillars (if you think that one does not fit, we can discuss it in the comments). Some factors interfere in several of these pillars, such as:

  • The <title> tag: It is a clear aspect of SEO onpage, but it influences the CTR that you will have in Google and that is the user’s response.
  • A link is link building, but if this link generates quality traffic it can increase your user response.

What aspects could we include in each pillar?

This question is much better answered in the different blocks of the blog. However, to have a quick reference in this article, I will indicate some:

  • SEO onpage: Title, meta description, URL, domain, h1, h2, internal link, outbound links, alt and title of images, responsive or adaptive web, loading speed, canonicals, tag robots, HTML errors, broken links, sitemap…
  • Link building: Origin of the links, variety of anchor texts, variety of destinations, times, context, loops and reciprocity, IPs, value of the links, distance to the front page, links with traffic, disavow, reinforce your links…
  • User response: CTR, bounce rate, time spent, recurring visits, brand traffic …

The SEO formula

What do we do? What do we prioritize among hundreds of factors?

The answer is:

We must balance these 3 pillars (user response, seo onpage and link building). The optimum will be reached when none of these 3 is weak, nor none stands out..

If we strengthen a pillar far above the other 2, the positioning will be improved, but to a lesser extent than if we strengthen the weakest ones.

And how is all this expressed in a formula? Let’s see it:

The formula ROL

We will use the following variables:

P = positioning
R = user response
O = SEO onpage
L = link building

Let’s assume that we can assign values ​​to each variable. If we are saying that the positioning is the combination of these 3 factors, a possible formula would be P = R + O + L. If we get 10 points in each variable, we would have:

P = R + O + L = 10 + 10 + 10 = 30

But if we had zero user response (1) and higher link building (19), we would get the same value:

P = R + O + L = 1 + 10 + 19 = 30

This is not what happens. The correct approximation is by multiplication:

P = R * O * L

In this way, if we have “30 points”, to say the least, the optimum is reached when each variable has a value of 10.

P = R * O * L = 10 * 10 * 10 = 1000

If we reduce one to raise another, we lose positioning. Example:

P = R * O * L = 1 * 10 * 19 = 190

Or worse yet:

P = R * O * L = 1 * 1 * 28 = 28

As you can see in these cases, the more we balance the 3 pillars, the more performance we will get out of our effort. Despite its simple appearance, it has some really important implications and utilities.

The formula could be complicated if we wanted, adding logarithmic operators and coefficients to make it more similar to others that are used in SEO, such as strength formulas (DA, PR, CF, etc.), but I think it would not provide any usefulness.


There are endless situations in which we do not understand what happens. When this happens, try applying the formula:

“I include links to it and I do not improve”: It is possible that you have a user response that is much lower than your link building strength.

“I include content and organic traffic is maintained”: You may have the SEO onpage very high and you need more link building or more user response. For this particular case, I even made a post.

“I include a link and grew up instantly”: You would have a general user response or in that section and the correct onpage. You would need to balance the link building and you did it.

“Check goals and internal linking and up”: You would have the user response and the link building, but lame onpage.

“I did not do anything in 6 months and suddenly my website went up”: Maybe little by little your website won user response, which was what you lacked.

We could continue with an infinity of cases. Obviously it’s not all that simple. For example, in the last example there could also be a change in Google and leave you reinforced, or your competition may have been penalized, but as an initial reference, I do recommend to keep this formula in mind.

One case that I have observed and that I want to emphasize is when you do excessive link building while you have lame 1 or 2 of the other pillars. What happens there? In those situations you usually upload nothing, and you have the impression that those links are useless. However, that force is there, making little effect, but it is there. If you manage to upload the other pillars, you will not only upload by user response and SEO onpage, but the links will already contribute their maximum value and your upload will be higher.


Whether you analyze an existing project or start a new one, keep in mind the 3 pillars of SEO and seek to balance them to maximize the formula P = R * O * L.

Hope this post has been interesting for you and looking forward to your comments and recommendations!