ROI or Return On Investment is on everyone’s lips these days. It’s become so widespread that you could call it a buzz word now. Although its meaning gets a bit diluted, I have to admit that I use it sometimes outside its strict sense myself.
Originally ROI meant the extra monetary return, while increasingly it may mean any value that you get back for something you invest in, be it time, effort or money.
With SEO, and especially social media, ROI has become very fuzzy.
Everyone wants it but it’s not so obvious, so more and more people come up with their own notion of how the actual ROI of SEO and social media might look, and how you can measure it.
Over the recent months I have collected a multitude of ROI-related resources that often introduce new concepts of it or try to adapt the old definition to the new areas the metric isn’t native to.
While SEO and analytics are closely related, for years many people focused on old school SEO metrics like rankings and traffic, instead of hard core business metrics. More recently there is a growing trend to measure SEO success in ROI. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible. Still, it’s not as exact as in other areas. Nonetheless we can already clearly see that some aspects of SEO have a tangible ROI.
- Confidently Projecting ROI for SEO: Can it be Done?
- Crafting an SEO Budget to Maximise ROI
- If I Spend X on SEO, What’s My Y?
- Why Local SEO has the Highest ROI for Small Businesses
- How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line
- The Real Cost of Cheap SEO
- How to Value Links?
- The growth of mobile search: huge in numbers, not in CTR (research)
- A Simple Way to Calculate Return On Investment for SEO Services
Social Media ROI
The spectre of social media ROI has been among us for years, but there are many issues with measuring social media as a business metric. There are many ways to deal with the ephemeral character of some social interactions online. You can either just focus on them, or you can try to redefine ROI for an actual social media campaign as something other than actual revenue.
- The True ROI of Social Media
- 7 Social Media ROI Value Indicators – Microsoft Advertising Blog
- The Relevance of User Experience: Using Every Opportunity to Impress Users
- ROI of Social Media
- Why you’re wasting time with Twitter right now
- Most Marketers Not Profiting From Social Media
- Top 5 Business Networking Benefits
- How Social Media Drives New Business: Six Case Studies
- Tailoring Twitter: The ROI of Curating Content on Twitter
- Social Media Metrics Superlist: Measurement, ROI, & Key Statistics Resources
Analytics and ROI Metrics
So how do you actually measure the actual ROI? What factors can be measured? There are many approaches. Some use common tools like Google Analytics, while others depends on their own ways to collect data and calculate ROI. Additionally you have to dig deeper than the numbers. You have to understand how they affect your business.
- Web Analytics – The ROI of “Why?”
- Is It Worth It? An ROI Calculator for Social Network Campaigns
- SEO Benchmarks and KPI | Web Analytics | Conversions
- Likes to Leads – Actionable Social Media Analytics
- The Metrics of Social Media
- Are You Making These 5 Social Measurement Mistakes?
- The Google Analytics Metrics That Help You To Monitor The SEO Progress And Also Calculate The ROI
- 6 Social Media Success Metrics You Need to Track
“ROI of Human Relations”
The obsession with ROI has also created some considerable backlash among Web professionals. Some of them already question ROI as it is or parody it, while others use the term in a metaphorical sense.
So as you can see, ROI is not always what you expect it to be, and without measuring ROI or anything else that lets you determine the actual value of what you do on social media and in search, you can end up wasting your money.
Even in cases where the investment is still higher than the benefits you can measure, now you can at least determine the long term or soft factors of your investment in SEO and social media.
On the other hand, you can’t measure everything – especially on social media, where monetary metrics often collide with human relationships you can’t easily quantify. There is also the question of whether you should quantify relationships; this is one you have to ask as part of your social media strategy.
* Image by Gunni Cool.
- Video Blog: ROI – Social Media vs. SEO
- 50+ Advanced Web Analytics Tools for Business Use [2010 Edition]
- Stop Comparing Social Media to SEO to Denounce One of Them