The anchor of your online marketing is your website. In many cases, your website provides the first impression people will receive related to your business or service, which makes it vitally important to have a professional-looking website that operates well and has all the information anyone needs to find about what you do. But how do you know that you are getting your money’s worth from your website? Many factors can determine the Return On Investment (ROI) of your online marketing efforts. In this article, we will review the top tools you can use today to figure out if your website is delivering a good return or is just costing you more and more to keep online in its present form.
First Things, First
Before you can begin figuring out what your website ROI is, you need to do some preliminary math. To accurately measure what your website is bringing back to your business, you have to know what it is costing you to keep online. The numbers you should include are the initial cost for your original website, and what the ongoing maintenance costs are. This should include everything from annual fees, any rebuilds or changes that have taken place, and anything else that you have to spend on your website for security, domain names, server space, backup storage, and all other related website requirements. Once you have a figure, this is what will be used to measure against your website to determine the return. Don’t be too alarmed if you discover that your website is costing you a five-digit amount. Great websites do not come cheaply and over time, will produce massive gains.
The Goals List
Now that you know how much your website costs you, the next factor to determine is the goals you have set for your online presence. Without a solid set of goals, it is difficult to measure what kind of success there has been. The goals of your website will be specific to your business so they will differ somewhat from the goals of a neighboring business with a website but, your goals should include some of the following benchmarks for easy measuring:
– Increasing brand awareness
– More brand engagement and interaction
– More lead generation
– More conversions (this can be anything from sign-ups to subscriptions, purchases, donations, etc.)
Monitor Website Activity
Measuring and tracking website stats is made simple with the tools available with Google Analytics. However, it is easy to become overwhelmed with data if you do not know what metrics you should focus on. The Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that mean the most in figuring out a website ROI include:
The monthly traffic to your website is an effective measuring tool. Google Analytics tracks this and gives you a clear indication of where the traffic is coming from if you are using specific marketing strategies ranging from PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising, backlinks, or other website sharing tools.
Conversions vary from website to website. For one site it may be measured as contact form submissions or content downloads. For another, conversions maybe emails or online donations received. The formula to use to determine your website conversion rate is by dividing your monthly website visitor total by the number of conversions that same month.
A bounce is when a visitor to your website leaves shortly after landing on it. Many factors can influence bounces and a high bounce rate points to something wrong with your website. It could be that it is difficult to navigate your website, or the visual look of your site is outdated and boring. Other reasons may include slow page loading times, content issues, and even device incompatibility.
Watch Search Rankings
Search rankings are a very important measuring tool for determining the ROI of a website. However, giving your website an extreme makeover does not guarantee that it will help search ranking. But if the new website design is properly optimized, it is going to help with rankings. Consider that search engines keep visiting websites to locate new, relevant content. They will also figure out how often new content appears on your website. Just by blogging regularly and updating your website content, your website will start to inch up the ranking scale. Over time, this will pay many dividends.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
If your website is not optimized correctly, it will serve your company in much the same way as an unlisted phone number – you become difficult to locate or get in contact with. SEO provides many effective strategies to increase the exposure of your site. SEO targets the things that search engines rely on when crawling web pages for information. The data you add to your website such as meta tags, meta descriptions, and keywords are meant just for the search engines. This data helps them to properly index your website and the content within it. With your web pages indexed, the search engines can better serve you by offering up your website as a search engine result to visitor queries that include information that matches what your website data contains. SEO quickly impacts the ROI of your website and provides long-term benefits that will increase that ROI.
The Time You Save Has Value
The information collected by a website through submissions made by visitors becomes vital data that will assist you in fine-tuning your marketing efforts at specific demographics. The leads, downloads, email subscriptions, and other conversions would have taken a lot more work and time to achieve without the assistance of a website. Therefore, many hours of effort were saved. This demonstrates another form of ROI that may be difficult to measure but does have verifiable results.
A new website can save your company a great deal of money if it is done right. Figuring out the actual ROI will take some work, may require you to establish certain rates based on goals or results, but there are means available to show that the website is producing favorable stats. Considering that a good website does most of the speaking for you to new visitors online, it has to be effective in reaching people, explaining what your business offers, and converting casual visitors to more engaged customers. It all takes work and a delicate balance but once you get it right, you will see many benefits come your way.
About the Author
Codrin Arsene often talks to the most brilliant minds in healthcare about the cutting-edge technologies reshaping the delivery of healthcare in this world. You may check out his recent interview with Jeff Arnold, founder at WebMD and CEO at Sharecare on Covid-19, artificial intelligence and the future of medicine.