When The CEO Wants To Know About Digital ROI Before Sanctioning The Digital Marketing Budget (With A Focus On SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing & Content)

November 10th, 2014

Recently many companies though convinced about investing in the online presence are hesitant about sanctioning budgets for SEO, Social Media, Content Writing, Email Marketing and other online presence campaigns. The reason being, the top management need the facts, figures and futuristic growth assurances before sanctioning these budgets.

Digital ROI - SEO, Social Media, Content , Email Marketing

The earned and owned media help in establishing online reputation and also help in building a brand. Focusing on earned and owned media i.e SEO, Social Media, Content and Email Marketing a business can sow the seeds of web presence which in the long run can help in branching out to the world wide web and gain the targeted traffic to their website and increase the outreach on the social media platform.

In order to achieve this of course a well planned strategy and a holistic approach is needed. Every media has got a different purpose but eventually leads to a common goal i.e quality online presence.

Just as a balanced diet is needed to keep oneself healthy an integrated approach or a healthy marketing mix is essential for an overall web presence which leads to the online growth of the business.

We shall focus on :


· Social Media

· Content

· Email Marketing

When The CEO Wants To Know About Digital ROI Before Sanctioning The Digital Marketing Budget (With  A Focus On SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing & Content)


SEO is at the root of the earned and owned media campaigns. Only when the website will be indexed and crawled properly and will get correctly correlated to the relevant search queries the targeted traffic from the search engines will be accessed.

  • SEO Campaigns work on the On-Page factors, Off-Page Factors and the Technical factors of the website to see that all the pages of the website are getting crawled and indexed regularly.
  • SEO also monitors that the relevance of the search queries for which the website is getting correlated to.
  • Moreover, SEO also checks whether the traffic is coming from the targeted geo locations.
  • More pages becoming the landing pages for relevant and targeted search queries is also one of the goals of the SEO Campaigns.
  • Increase in non-branded search queries over a period of time is also a positive offshoot of an SEO Campaigns.
SEO ROI can be easily calculated by the data available from Google analytics and from the in-house sales team.
A simplest SEO ROI calculation would be attained by answering these following questions:
How many visits received from search engines?
Let us denote this as – a
How many enquiries received via the website form or calls received from visitors after visiting the site which they found via search engines?
Let us denote this as – b
The no of enquiries thus received got converted to sales?
Let us denote this as – c
The amount of profit from these invoices drawn?
Let us denote this as – d
The cost of SEO monthly / annually depends on what basis you are calculating ?
Let us denote this as – e
I suggest the ROI to be calculated half yearly or annually as this gives a clear idea.
Hence , (assuming you keep the period of the calculation the same for all the metrics)
SEO ROI = (d – e) / e * 100


ROI = ( Annual Profit from the sales which were achieved via the Enquires from search engines – The annual cost of SEO for the website) divide upon (The annual cost of SEO for the website) multiplied by 100

There can be many permutations and combinations that can be worked out in order to get various performance data as per your requirement. For example if you want to measure the conversion ratio of your sales department keeping in mind the online enquiries received then it can be done as follows:

Conversion Ratio = c/ b * 100

This can become as a KPP (Key Performance Parameter) for your sales team which can be monitored on a periodic basis to have a direction and guidance for chalking out the sales plans for the next period with a targeted approach and also the reasons for the low or high ratio can be discussed and therby helping to find the strengths and weaknesses in the system .

Social Media:

Measuring the ROI for social-media marketing can be a lot more challenging since its results involve such intangibles as engagement, audience reach, and “buzz.”

Social Media may or may not be an engine for direct sales but it surely helps in reaching out to the existing and potential online customers by creating a communication platform where both the parties have a equal chance to voice their say.

Usually people focus on the no. Of likes, followers, +1s and other such quantifiable metrics to calculate the ROI from social media but it does not limit to these metrics only. Social media ROI is much more it is the online reputation and brand awareness that gets generated as a result of the engagement on social media platforms which is the real ROI from social media presence.

Social Media is the platform where the word of mouth goes viral. Hence it reflects not only the plus points of the products and business but also the drawbacks get a chance to get highlighted. The challenge lies in how the criticism is faced and handled to turn the tables in your favour. The social media is a place where you interact with your existing customers and the potential customers in one place which can be tricky but can help sales too as your satisfied customer can be your best evangelist.


Content is at the core of any online marketing activity. As a result the term “Content Marketing” has surfaced as a new wave online. But, we need to understand that “Content Marketing” does not mean marketing the content , but using content to market the product or service which your business offers. Just adding blog posts written by any third party regularly does not achieve the purpose of content marketing.

Regular fresh content can trigger the conversation and engagement on social media as managing social media for business is not like personal social media . Content Marketing adds more footprints on the web for web presence but also becomes the crux of connecting to people on the web which in the long run help share the word of mouth which is the basis on which decisions are taken by online buyers. As in real life we are what are thoughts are and we share our thoughts via discussions, seminars, exhibitions, road shows , etc. on the internet we need to share our thoughts via blogs, social media sites, videos, comments, reviews, etc. And establish the thought leadership.

Email Marketing

In 2011, the Direct Marketing Association estimated that email marketing typically returns £40 for every £1 invested. A number of sources have suggested that this is better than any other platform.

Email is an easy and inexpensive way of establishing early and long-lasting relationships by sending newsletters, promotions, new service announcements or event invitations we can remain connected .

Via email the receivers receive curated content about your company and industry and are kept informed. The recent trend is that people want to be informed about the latest without searching for it and email is the best platform that any business can use for this purpose.

With email, everything can be tracked and you can see who clicked on certain links and much more

Email marketing is 20 times more cost-effective than traditional media it’s six to 12 times less expensive to sell to an existing customer than to a new one.

The fact is that just one platform in particular and singularly is not going to reap the desired benefit and the ROI needed. Only when all the above mentioned media are implemented together a certain online reputation can be created.

When your potential customer sees your website ranking for the searches he made on the search engine and then also checks the social media for the buzz and finds the presence of your business and reads what his contacts had to say and also get an email from you in his inbox giving more information it surely going to register in his mind and will surely consider when he takes a decision related to the products and services you have to offer.

An accurate ROI of any one media may not be possible but the real ROI is generated when each of these activities supplement each other and make the web presence of the business stronger and boost the online reputation so that the people can trust you online. Gaining trust online should be the long term goal for any web presence activity. (Read more about the Trust Factor on What Influences The Trust Factor Online ?)Eventually , If Content Is King Then Context Is Queen And The Trust Factor Is The Royal Crown.


About The Author

Founder of WebPro Technologies a Web solutions company based in India which focuses on building quality web presence for businesses. Bharati Ahuja is a SEO Trainer and speaker, Web Entrepreneur, Blog Writer, Internet Marketing Consultant.

Website: http://www.webpro.in/about-bharati-ahuja/

Digital Marketing Agency India