Measure Website Return on Investment (ROI)

While tuned into BFM’s Open for Business, one of the Pink Sage restaurant’s partner asked about the ROI for their website. The answers were lead only towards the website traffic and nobody corrected the question. Seated on my couch, I was thinking, shouldn’t they have explained the ROI for the website depends on what you’re aiming to measure in the first place?

screenshot of graph
Traffic schmaffic

ROI is not online traffic only

Today, I’ve noticed website traffic doesn’t necessarily bring you an investment. Yes, it brings you awareness but is that what you’re measuring in the first place?

It’s not even right to say website traffic will give you sales because social media is heading this right now. We eat at places friends have tried – Facebook. We eat at places our friends have checked out – Foursquare. We eat at places others have wrote about – blogs or media. So, only as a last resort, we visit the unknown.

picture of doors
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daviderwin/

Which ROI are you measuring?

Based on above, you can already tell there are many channels to measure your ROI. Hence, what is the ROI do you want to measure for your business?

If you haven’t heard, these were some ways ROI was measured for some platforms.

Facebook

Invited events to fans only or special promotions only attainable by your fans.

Foursquare

Check-in to get a free mud pie. Or, overthrow the current mayor and get a free beer.

Blogs and Twitter

Bloggers write everything from the environment, quality of food to how well your services is at the restaurant. Not to mention, bloggers who know the meaning of a food blogger would have really great photos and honest write-ups. Twitter is a great tool to find out instantly, how good of a service have you delivered to your customers. But it can also be your worst nightmare if overlooked.

Media Write-ups

I categorized this outside of blogs because there are media reviews which are paid, mostly. This awareness exercise still works among those who still read newspapers. However, I can’t say for its future in 5-10 years. Especially if the news continues to be repetitive and uninteresting.

goal post
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11962077@N04/

What is your ROI objective?

In the world of marketing and sales, I’d believe ROI is about:

  • Numbers (sales)
  • Popularity (awareness)

And now, emotions – social activity.

So before you start to ask what’s the expected ROI from your website, pause.

Ask yourself, what ROI do you want measured and achieved? ROI alone is a 3-letter word as vague and plentiful of opportunities.