You spend precious time or money, and sometimes both, in building your website. Whether you want it to promote your personal brand, a company or a small business, a website is almost always meant to be a means to an end. Therefore, you should be able to tell concretely if your efforts are fetching you ample returns.
Now, effectiveness and ROI of a website are two different things. While effectiveness signifies how helpful your website is to its audience, ROI means how much it is paying you off against the cost you incur in building and maintaining it.
Let’s look at the factors contributing to a website’s effectiveness first:
Is it easy to navigate through?
Do some testing and find out if your users are able to navigate quickly through different areas of your website. Remove bottlenecks if any. A smooth website retains visitors for longer, thereby proving more effective.
Does it have an easily approachable call-to-action page/button/form?
This part greatly affects your conversion rate. If people want to make a purchase, subscribe to a newsletter, or send a message to the company, they should be able to do it instantly. The more time they spend looking around for a page to take that action, the more likely they’ll be to give it up and move on to a competitor site.
Does it send the message loud and clear?
Powerful content is key here. Your website should succinctly convey the message you want to give your existing and prospective customers. It should not blabber around irrelevant and distracting words, or its effectiveness goes down exponentially.
Does it effectively build the brand image you intend to build?
Content again helps you with branding and positioning. An effective website says things that create the right image in your visitors’ minds about your brand.
Coming to ROI calculation:
To be able to calculate ROI, you need information on two main metrics – cost and returns. Cost of building a website includes price of purchasing your domain name, cost of hosting, hourly costs of creating the site, cost of content, cost of marketing, cost of content management systems, payment gateways etc.
Once you know the exact figure of expenditure going into the website, you can start calculating the returns. If used right Google Analytics alone gives you the data to get this part right. Use the tool to calculate the following:
Daily Incoming Traffic
Get data on how many visitors come to your site every day. More specifically, extract data on which platform most of your visitors are coming from. Is it search engines, social media or other inbound links? The number of visitors should be proportional to the investment you are making in that particular channel. When you see a significant surge in traffic coming in through search engines, you know the ROI on your SEO activity is faring well.
Number of Unique Visitors
Getting repeat visitors is an infallible sign that your website is offering something of value to your customers. But unique visitors indicate if your marketing campaigns like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing(SMM), Pay Per Click, etc. fetching enough returns.
The aim of getting people to your site is to sell them a service or product. The consumable could as well be content itself. But there still remains some action that you want your visitors to take. If about 5 out of every 100 visitors are taking that action, you can pat yourself on the back for having achieved a good conversion rate.
Bounce Rate – keep it less than 40%
Google calls it a ‘bounce’ when someone visits your website but immediately leaves. This indicates that your website is offering content that is irrelevant to the audience you are targeting. If your bounce rate is high, you ought to look into two areas: a) improving your content, b) changing your advertising campaign to target a more relevant set of people. A lower bounce rate would mean a higher ROI on your website.
You can feed in custom settings to Google Analytics so as to receive reports customized to your requirements. You can ask for daily, weekly or monthly data for your website depending on the frequency at which you wish to do your ROI calculations.
Contact Pat’s Marketing – Toronto website designer at 1-888-488-7287 for any questions or if you need help designing a website that works!