Measuring the ROI of Copywriting: The Ultimate Guide for Marketers

Copywriting / 16 Aug 2022

Measuring the ROI of Copywriting The Ultimate Guide for Marketers. How to measure the ROI of copywriting. Beesting Digital

ROI is one of the most important metrics for every business to track, but are you tracking the ROI of your copywriting?

We might be a bit biased, but we’d argue that copywriting is one of the most important things that your business can invest in. After all, great copywriting can:

  • Position you as a thought leader
  • Add authority to your business
  • Adapt into many different marketing materials
  • Set you apart from your competition

Despite all of this, copywriting probably isn’t what springs to mind when you picture an ‘investment’. The reality is that it’s just as much of an investment as anything else that you put into your business and–like everything else–you need to be able to measure how effective it is.

Why it’s important to measure copywriting ROI 

Whether it’s on social media, in printed media, or over the radio, every marketing campaign has a different KPI. From engagement and shares to page visits and click-throughs, you’re probably already measuring a wide range of KPIs across all of your other campaigns. 

Part of this process will look like a comparison between these metrics and the cost of running the campaign, which is a key part of measuring success.

So with this in mind, why aren’t you measuring the ROI of your copywriting? Engagement and page views are just half the story. The real insight comes when you sit down and actually calculate the value of your content in comparison to the investment needed to create it.

You wouldn’t continue to run a media campaign that wasn’t producing the right results, so why wouldn’t you treat copywriting in the same way?

Graphic of Semrush statistic mentioned below

If your content isn’t performing then it can be doing your business more harm than good and there’s only one reliable, sustainable way to identify problem areas.

You guessed it: by measuring the ROI of your copywriting.

Why it’s so difficult to measure it 

We’ve covered all of the reasons why you need to make measuring the ROI of your copywriting a priority, but, as with most things in life, it’s not actually that simple.

Many businesses aren’t measuring the ROI of copywriting. Not because they don’t want to or aren’t interested in the results, but because they simply have no idea where to start, or they’ve realised that it’s more complicated than they might think. 

The problem is that it’s rarely as simple as just looking at the revenue that your content has brought in. There are a number of other metrics that you need to keep an eye on to really understand how hard your copywriting is working for you.

If you’re anything like us then the only thing that you love more than data and statistics is an easy, straightforward way to work them out. We’ve done all of the research for you and there are some simple ways to calculate the ROI of copywriting.

How to measure it: calculations

Image of an orange calculator on a yellow background

The calculation for ROI is pretty simple:

Revenue minus investment, divided by investment, transformed into a percentage.

It’s a pretty standard ROI calculation, right? The problem for many businesses comes with identifying exactly what information those calculations should take into consideration.

  • Determine and calculate investment

You might think that the only outlay for copywriting is the cost of the copywriter but that’s not quite true.

  • Fees and salary

Whether you use in-house copywriters or outsource the work to an agency, the fees or salary of your writer is a good place to start when determining cost. On top of this, however, you also need to take into account any work that others do to support the writer.

  • Graphic design

It’s unlikely that your copywriting will be published without any imagery or accompanying media so it’s important to factor in the cost of the graphic designer that will create these. 

  • Website management

Speaking of media, will your copywriter be the one to upload the content–copy, graphics, and otherwise–to your site? If a separate person will be responsible for this then you’ll need to take their salary and costs into consideration as well. 

  • Promotion and tools

It’s not just the cost of your people that you need to factor into your calculations. You also need to consider whether you’re going to be paying to promote your content and also if there are any key tools that your team will use to create and monitor its effectiveness. We’ll get into our favourite tools for measuring effectiveness in a little bit.

  • Determine and calculate revenue and return

Once you’ve worked out the costs attached to your copywriting then it’s time to calculate the revenue and returns that can be linked back to the piece.

  • The most common measurement of success for content marketing programs is Total Sales. (HubSpot, 2020)

The easiest way to do this is when there’s a clear link between the sale and the content. For example, if you have a clear call to action included in the content then you can measure sales that are made as a result of this.

However, not every piece of content will be directly attributable to your sales and this is where measuring the ROI of copywriting gets a little bit more complex.

  • Other considerations

Copywriting is first and foremost, a way to showcase your business’ value. It’s your opportunity to educate customers about why you’re the best–and only–choice for them to work with in the future. 

The goal of copywriting is to ensure that your customers are regularly exposed to your business and begin to equate ‘quality’ with the name of your company, especially those who are not yet ready to make a purchase. 

By doing this, you’ll be prospective customers’ first choice once they’re ready to buy, therefore resulting in sales further down the line. 

It’s also worth noting that the initial reaction to your completed content is not the end of the story. Great content is timeless and will continue to attract attention far after it’s first been published. 

This is especially true if you’re repurposing this content for use on things like social media. The content on your site is basically one giant resource of information that you can use in your future marketing activity. 

Have a blog all about the top five ways you’re the best choice for your customers? That could potentially become five posts for your social media channels, and each one will be driving traffic back to your website.

With this in mind, although sales are a popular metric to measure, traffic and page views are increasingly popular as a measurement of success.

In order to properly measure the ROI of copywriting, we need to have a full overview of every single metric that could be impacted before we can make any real analysis around effectiveness. And these measurements need to be carried out regularly, not just in the initial few hours or days after the content is published.

How to measure it: other metrics 

There are countless different metrics that you can monitor when it comes to measuring the ROI of copywriting, but some of the most commonly tracked (and in our opinion, the most important metrics to keep an eye on) are:

  • Dwell time

Dwell time is exactly what it sounds like. This measures the amount of time that someone spends looking at a webpage once they’ve clicked onto it. 

Every single time that you search for something on the internet and click a search result, you’re contributing to that page’s dwell time. You might open it up and find exactly the answer that you were looking for, or you might be faced with content that has you pressing the back button pretty quickly.

The industry standard for dwell time is between around 2-4 minutes.

If you notice that your dwell time is very low then it’s likely that your content is boring, poorly written, or inaccurate.

  • Bounce rate

It’s pretty commonly known that a high bounce rate is a bad thing, right? Not necessarily.

A ‘bounce’ is when a visitor to your website only views a single page before navigating away. Now if that visitor is ‘bouncing’ from your home page then that might be cause for concern as that suggests that your home page isn’t convincing them to make a purchase from you.

If they’re ‘bouncing’ from a piece of content like a blog post or case study then this might look concerning. But remember that the bounce rate doesn’t take into consideration how long a visitor spent on that one page.

This is why it’s so important to take dwell time into consideration alongside your bounce rate. There’s a big difference between someone reading all of the content before bouncing and someone only reading a couple of paragraphs.

  • Engagement and shares

Notice an increase in the number of people sharing your content or interacting with it on social media channels? That’s a fantastic sign that your copywriting is producing a high ROI.

  • 56% of marketers who use blogging say it’s effective and 10% say it generates the biggest return on investment. (HubSpot Blog Research, 2021

Remember that one of the goals of any piece of content is to increase brand awareness and position yourself as a ‘thought leader’ or trusted voice in your industry. If customers are going out of their way to share your content with their family and friends then this is a really promising sign.

(Most of the time that is, it’s always well worth checking exactly what your customers are saying when they share and engage to make sure that it’s all positive and that you don’t have a potential PR crisis on your hands.)

  • Rankings and traffic

An often overlooked benefit of copywriting is that it’s a great way to boost your SEO and improve your rankings in search engine results.

If your content is appearing high up in search engine rankings then you’ll be increasing brand awareness and solidifying your position as a trusted authority. A natural side effect of high rankings is an increase in web traffic.

Tools like Google Analytics and Leadfeeder can help you to not only track the number of visitors to your site but also the pages that they navigated to. This information is crucial as it allows you to understand your customer’s journey throughout your website. It also means that you can track things like the page that they bounced on which can help you to identify any pages that may need to be updated or reviewed.

Tools available 

Different types of software to measure the ROI of copywriting

Copywriting is something that takes skill to get right and measuring ROI is unfortunately not as simple as we might like it to be.

Thankfully, there are a wide range of tools that can help to take all of the guesswork out of measuring the ROI of copywriting. There’s nothing that we love more than a tool that makes our lives easier, so we’ve put together some of our favourite resources that will take all of the mystery out of copywriting ROI.

  • Google Analytics

A classic tool, Google Analytics is basically every marketer’s bread and butter.

From page views to demographics to conversions and sources, Google Analytics tracks everything that happens on your website and breaks it down into handy reports that can be easily digested and understood. 

Screenshot of Google Analytics dashboard

Part of this includes showing you the most popular pages that your users are currently viewing, as well as how long they stayed on this page and what they clicked on next.

In our opinion, it’s essential for understanding customer behaviour and how well your content is performing.

Screenshot of Google Analytics realtime overview

Google Analytics is free which is amazing considering how useful it is. There is a paid version available but this is really focused on companies that are getting more than 500 million hits a month and unsurprisingly, the cost is pretty hefty.

  • Leadfeeder

Google Analytics may give you a broad overview of your website traffic, but Leadfeeder focuses on providing insights into the businesses that are viewing your company. 

Not only does it show how many people are visiting your site, it offers you all of the information you need to figure out if they’re from the right kinds of companies too. 

Screenshot of Leadfeeder dashboard

Source is: https-::www.softwareadvice.com:marketing:leadfeeder-profile

It’s easy to integrate into a number of different solutions including Google Analytics and MailChimp and, of course, shows information like pages visited, visit length, and bounce rate.

Prices for Leadfeeder start at €79 per month, but there is the option to sign up for Leadfeeder Lite which is free and shows the last 7 days’ worth of leads only.

  • Google Optimise

Another brilliant resource from Google, Google Optimise is essentially streamlined A/B testing. You can test different variants of a page against each other to directly measure the effectiveness of each one, and you can also test pages with multiple variants against each other.

Screenshot of Google Optimise

It’s probably one of the easiest ways to compare two different copy structures and test exactly how effective they are. As if that wasn’t enough to convince you, it saves so much time as well–perfect if you have tons of content to get through.

Just like Google Analytics, Google Optimise is a free tool. 

  • Hotjar

Ever heard of heatmapping? If not then Hotjar will blow your mind. This tool effectively allows you to see what visitors to your site see and will help you to identify where your customers click, move, and scroll on your site. All of this allows you to see where customer attention is dropping and ensure that your CTAs are in the best possible position for success.

Screenshot of Hotjar

It provides a full overview of customer behaviour and also collects real-time feedback from visitors that you can use to identify and rectify any issues.

Hotjar has a number of different pricing packages available. Their basic package is free and includes up to 35 user sessions a day.

  • For 100 sessions a day, the price is €39 a month 
  • For 2,500 sessions a day it’s €289 a month
  • For up to 4,000 sessions a day it’s €389 a month.
  • HubSpot

HubSpot is not just a brilliant source of valuable content, it’s also an all-singing, all-dancing CRM solution. From marketing analytics and lead generation to customer experience and operations, HubSpot can do it all.

It’s essential for improving conversions and traffic to your website and we’d also recommend checking out their blog as well–it’s full of data, statistics, and really eye-opening content.

Screenshot of Hubspot

Source: https://www.hubspot.com/products/marketing 

HubSpot CRM is free to use, but you’ll need to pay extra if you want access to the Marketing, Sales, and Service Hub. There are three paid plans available:

  • Starter at $50 a month
  • Professional at $500-$800 a month
  • Enterprise at $1200-$3200 a month
  • SEMRush

SEMRush is basically every content marketer or copywriter’s best friend. From social media marketing and keyword research to SEO and content marketing, it’s an invaluable tool.

On top of this, like HubSpot, they have a blog and tons of resources that are full of valuable data and insights to help you stay up to date on industry trends and news. They also regularly carry out reports into marketing to uncover exactly what’s going on and trends to watch.

Screenshot of Semrush

Source: https://www.octoboard.com/dashboards/semrush 

SEMRush has three different pricing models:

  • Pro: $119.95 a month
  • Guru: $225.95 a month
  • Business: $449.95 a month

Key things to remember

By now you’ll hopefully have a better idea of measuring the ROI of copywriting, as well as all of the info you need to pick out your new favourite tool to aid you in calculating and improving your ROI.

It’s worth noting that the ROI of every piece of content will depend on what exactly you want to achieve. It goes without saying that if your content doesn’t have a CTA to make a purchase then you probably won’t notice that much of an uptake in conversions and sales.

However, if the goal of your content is to increase your social media presence then you’ll probably notice an increase in things like followers, likes, comments, and shares.

It’s key to identify exactly what the purpose of your copywriting is and to bear this in mind when it comes to measuring the ROI of your copywriting. Otherwise, you’ll be measuring completely the wrong thing and you’ll end up with an inaccurate view of exactly what your content is achieving and how hard it’s working for you.

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