ROI : What’s the point of measuring it?

Definition and meaning

The acronym ROI, Return On Investment, comes down to wondering: how much have you earn compared to what you spend? Or again: did you earn more money than you spent on a given investment ?

To estimate the ROI, it’s necessary to define specific objectives, as well as the most efficient levers of communication to solve it. These objectives can be: website traffic, a number of downloaded documents, a number of contacts, or online store profits. The transformation of these objectives is then analyzed compared to the financial resources committed.

In the Internet field, the ROI is an important data for the different actors of the web. This is the key element, that makes possible to check whether an online communication campaign is profitable or not.


An e-shop, visible on the Internet for a few months, decides to set up a sponsored links campaign to promote its products and increase its online sales.
At the end of the campaign, the e-shop would like to know how much profit this action generated, compared to the expenses granted.

Thanks to its audience analysis tool (eg Google Analytics, Xiti, etc.), it can keep up with the transformation rate of its objectives, and especially the profits generated.

By crossing this data website traffic that turned into sales, in this case the visits resulting from the sponsored links campaign, the e-shop will know the profit that this communication lever has brought, and therefore it’s ROI.

How to increase ROI in Web marketing?

It’s almost impossible today not to be present on the internet, because consumers of all ages are online almost all the time. You would like to know where and how to spend your online marketing budget to get a ROI.

The main rules of web marketing ROI can be summed up in two themes: relevance and popularity.

The relevance

1. Be relevant to the target audience: the success of your web marketing efforts depends on your ability to reach the right consumer with the right message, giving them the information they are looking for. Your business website should therefore, be optimized for this consumer. Your website must be useful to your customer base. Otherwise, your customers will go elsewhere. Studying your traffic data, and your conversion rate is very useful in diagnosing your website.

2. Be relevant to search engines: your target customers use search engines to find solutions to their problems. The vast majority of Internet users only consult the first results of their search. Search Engine Optimisation allows you to be viewed as reliable and relevant by search engines. The higher the relevance level is, the more it will be placed in the first search results. This relevance directly increases the popularity of your website.

The popularity

1. Search engines: for your website traffic, these provide a very interesting traffic growth opportunity. Search Engine Optimisation is an important step, but it’s not the only one. There are several other tactics to ensure good search engine positioning such as link building, the quality of your content, or social media mentions.
The link building is the action of setting up links to a website to be popularized in search engines. This action is essential for good SEO since links are considered important and they allow search engines to determine the popularity of pages.


2. Online Advertising: when it comes to your web advertising campaigns, the execution of your advertising will be the subject of several strategic decisions. Define your target customers and your goals. Several advertising models are available and your goals will determine which one to use to maximize ROI:

– CPM (Cost Per thousand impressions) to increase your brand awareness;
– CPC (Cost Per Click) for rapid growth in your number of visits;
– CPA (Cost per Action) to boost your conversions.


What about social media?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest… many social media have changed the business world and the communication professions. The Community Manager has become the man for the job! He spends his days setting up an adequate communication strategy for the web…

If the web is so important today, why is it still so difficult to integrate this new profession and this new communicative approach within a company? Mainly because it’s extremely difficult today to measure the return on investment of a strategy based on social media, because it requires transforming human interactions into quantitative data. Not to mention the number of tools a business can use: blogs, multiple social media, videos, photos, comments, forums and so on.

The contribution of social media traffic to a website and their conversion rates; changes/evolution in the number of returns or direct calls to the company are all data which are nevertheless quantifiable. Here are some essential tools to measure the return on investment of your actions on social media:

Native social media tools

Networks are starting to answer this question and sometimes offer internal statistical tools to highlight their effectiveness: make the most of them! Like the statistics of Facebook Fan pages but also the “People Reached” which allows to know the percentage of fans who see the posts of a Facebook page.

The Google Analytics statistical tool also allows this data to be linked to an account that can measure the traffic that social media bring to your website. Reading the “Social Networks” section will already tell you a lot about the contribution of social media to your website. The “Referring social networks” and “Landing pages” submenus allow you to find out the number of visits to your website / blog coming from social media and the pages to which the networks have redirected.


Remember that the ROI of social media is not a calculation that is taken into account on its own but must be integrated into the calculation of the return on investment of all the media used for the communication strategy. Using social networks in a communication process is an activity that takes time and patience.