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October 2010
Stronger and Sustained ROI for your Website
By Kip Cozart

     As we enter the 4th quarter, leading businesses are evaluating the performance of their online marketing efforts for the current year, while also establishing new plans and budgets to ensure continuing improvement of their bottom-line success for 2011. In today’s tough competitive environment, businesses must achieve a higher return on investment (ROI) than ever before.

     Unfortunately, many companies become distracted along the way, forgetting that the pursuit of a successful Web-based ROI requires constant due diligence. Are you strategically positioned to measure, manage and enhance your company’s online return on investment in the coming year? Think “Proactive ROI.”

     Establishing Benchmarks for Web ROI… Creating a successful ROI begins with careful planning. First, define and quantify exactly how your website should earn income for your business, then construct an online experience that supports those requirements. Think backwards. Decide what type of outcomes must be generated through Web interaction and how many instances will be needed in order to meet your corporate goals.

     For instance, if your primary goal is lead generation, place clear motivational content and compelling call-to-action statements “front and center” on your home page. If you need a minimum number of online leads each month to meet your sales targets, determine first how many visitors to your website are needed and what percentage are typically converted as solid prospects.

     Calculating Web ROI… With your initial ROI benchmarks defined, test and measure your results weekly and adjust your tactics accordingly. Alter your creative content to determine which versions improve those conversion rates. Calculate your ROI by determining the dollar value of your increased sales revenue (or cost savings) minus the cost of the investment (the cost of producing and maintaining your Web content, including labor and out-of-pocket expenses), then dividing the result by the investment amount and multiplying by 100 to reach your percentage.

 

ROI = [(Payback - Investment) / Investment)] x 100

 

     Monitoring and Enhancing Web ROI… Building a sustained ROI for your website is an ongoing process, not a one-time exercise. Your website is a 24/7 representative of your business that can become smarter and more efficient incrementally as you monitor your daily progress and reinforce approaches that produce positive results.

     If you are not generating the type or volume of responses that are needed to increase your bottom line performance, then try something new. Experiment with alternate call-to-action appeals, try pay-per-click advertising to better reach your targeted audience, simplify and streamline your website content, integrate a social media campaign to generate more referrals, or test other techniques to strengthen your results.

 

Free online calculators to measure Web ROI for lead generation and direct sales / eCommerce performance:

www.intuitivewebsites.com/resources/website-roi-calculator

www.envisica.com/products-and-services/buyer-enablement/48-roi-calculators-demo

 

Content provided by CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company providing a full array of services to businesses and organizations to enhance and produce effective Web, e-mail, multimedia marketing initiatives and business process improvements. For more information, contact Kip Cozart at 704-543-1171 or visit www.cccommunications.com/resources_articles.cfm.

Kip Cozart is CEO of CC Communications, a Web design, programming and Internet media company.
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