February 22, 2010

What's Your Web Site's ROI?


Hostway Team

By Jen Brister

If you're relatively new to Web site creation, you might be wondering how to measure ROI, or return on investment, for your Web site. In order to determine if your Web site is bringing in more money than you are spending to create it, you need to figure out exactly how much money you are making on the site and how you are making it.

First, determine what your site's objectives are. Is the purpose of your Web site to attract new customers to your in-house business? Is your objective to make money selling products from your Web site?

You will also need to know exactly how much your Web site is costing you. What are your hosting fees? How much are you paying a designer? How much does it cost to maintain the Web site?

Here are a few ways to measure exactly what you Web site is doing for your company's bottom line.

Track Your Ads and Coupons

Install tracking cookies on your Web site ads and coupons. By studying the click-through rates, you will be able to determine which ads are working best for your Web site and eliminate the ones that aren't producing any sales, thus freeing up valuable space on your site.

Track your Leads

Once you make a sale online, ask the user how they heard of you or how they got to your Web site. This will help you to determine if your on-page SEO is working and how your name is being spread. For customers who purchase products in the store, ask them at the checkout why they decided to buy from you. You might be surprised by how many people choose to buy from you after checking out your Web site.

Setting Objectives

Setting tangible objectives is a great way keep track of exactly how much your Web site is helping your business. You could set an objective to attract more 18- to 25-year-olds to your Web site. This is very easy to measure by setting up a small exit survey on your site. Another measurable objective might be to increase your monthly Web site visits or your monthly Web site sales. By setting such objectives, you can statistically measure the success of your site.

Reduced Costs

Another way to determine you ROI is to measure how your costs have been reduced since launching your Web site. Are you eliminating time spent in other areas of your business, such as customer service, by having information readily available on your Web site? If so, then you have reduced costs.

Using Software

For Web sites that focus on simple retail sales, there is plenty of software available that can help you determine your ROI. This type of software tracks the number of visitors to your Web site, how many sales you make, the average amount for each sale, the demographic information of your buyers and important site keywords. This type of software can be very valuable, as you can assess the ROI report each month and tweak your Web site in order to maximize your success.

Using these strategies, you can begin to compute your ROI and learn how to increase your profits, making your Web site an important part of your bottom line.

About the Author

Jen Brister has been a writer, researcher, and Internet marketer for three years. She makes her living writing full time, publishing videos and creating Web sites.

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