Calculate Your Website Return on Investment (ROI)

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What is your website's return on investment? A good question, huh? And, one you likely do not know already. Websites are the largest investment we make today in marketing. In fact, studies show websites get the most resources, both in money and labor, of any other activity (short of maybe tradeshows).

Given that fact, should not we be measuring the results? Some marketers actually do watch their website metrics through the various analytic tools available. They know how many visitors are coming to their site, top pages, etc. Yet, translating this data into an actual ROI is rarely done. ROI is more than just sales minus cost. Depending on your key site goals, look at projecting and tracking one or all of the following three ROI views:

Awareness ROI. This is the metric by which you determine your return based on the number of visitors (or awareness) and the total cost to develop and maintain your site. This analysis translates to a "cost per unique visit."

Lead Generation ROI. This is the metric by which you determine your return based on the number of leads generated (downloads, queries, demo viewings, etc.) and the total cost to develop and maintain your site. This analysis translates to a "cost per lead."

Revenue Generation ROI. This the metric by which you determine your return based on the amount of sales and the total cost to develop and maintain your site. This analysis translates to the traditional "return on investment."

To really determine these three ROI views, you need to have a very good understanding of your website costs (staff, domain name, hosting, development / design, technology systems such as CMS, ecommerce, and web analytics, SEO, and maintenance fees) , as well as the following key metrics:

  • Total Unique Visitors
  • Number of Leads Generated (downloads, inquiries, demos)
  • Amount of Sales Generated
  • With this information, a website ROI becomes achievable.

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