17 Minute Read
Posted by SocialSellinator Team on Mar 19, 2024 1:52:53 AM

Quick Guide to Calculate ROAS:

  • Step 1: Find your total ad spend.
  • Step 2: Find your total revenue generated from the ads.
  • Step 3: Divide your total revenue by your total ad spend.
  • Result: This gives you your ROAS.

In digital marketing, understanding the return on ad spend (ROAS) is crucial. It tells us for every dollar spent on marketing, how much money we get back. Simple, right? But this simple metric is pivotal for making big decisions in small to midsize businesses, especially when resources are tight and every dollar counts.

For marketing heads and digital strategist at these businesses, ROAS isn’t just a number. It’s a beacon guiding where to allocate the next set of marketing dollars for maximum impact. Whether it’s deciding to continue a current campaign, rejigging strategies, or pulling the plug, the ROAS can offer clear direction.

Improving marketing efficiency is all about getting the most bang for your buck. A good ROAS means your marketing is on point—it’s engaging, it's hitting the right audience, and most importantly, it's turning views into revenue.

So, if you're swamped with responsibilities and need a straightforward way to measure the effectiveness of your ad campaigns, understanding and calculating ROAS is your first step.

How to calculate your return on ad spend with an example - calculate roas infographic pillar-3-steps

Understanding ROAS

What is ROAS?

In simple terms, ROAS stands for Return on Ad Spend. It's a metric that tells you how much money you make for every dollar you spend on your ads. Think of it like this: if you put $1 into a vending machine and get a snack worth $2, your return on that spend is $2. ROAS works the same way but with advertising.

The Formula

Calculating ROAS is straightforward. The formula looks like this:

ROAS = (Revenue from Ads) / (Cost of Ads)

For example, if you spend $500 on a Facebook ad campaign and it leads to sales totaling $1500, your ROAS would be:

$1500 / $500 = 3

This means you get $3 back for every $1 you spend on ads.

Why Is ROAS Important?

Understanding your ROAS is crucial because it directly tells you whether your ad campaigns are effective. A high ROAS indicates that your ads are resonating with your audience and driving sales, while a low ROAS might mean it's time to revisit your ad strategy.

  • Efficiency: Knowing your ROAS helps you identify which campaigns are working and which aren't, allowing you to allocate your budget more efficiently.
  • Growth: By optimizing campaigns with high ROAS, you can scale your advertising efforts in a way that contributes to business growth.
  • Strategy: ROAS provides insights that can guide your overall marketing strategy, helping you invest in the right channels and creative approaches.

ROAS is not just a number. It's a reflection of the health and effectiveness of your advertising efforts. By keeping a close eye on this metric, you can make informed decisions that boost your marketing ROI and drive your business forward.

Next, we'll dive into the first method to calculate ROAS, using Excel. This approach is perfect for those who prefer a hands-on, customizable tool for their calculations.

Method 1: Excel Calculation

When it comes to calculating ROAS, Excel is a powerful tool that can help you organize and analyze your advertising data efficiently. Whether you're a seasoned Excel user or just getting started, this method allows you to see the direct impact of your ad spend in a clear, concise manner. Let's break down how you can use Excel, along with a step-by-step guide, to calculate your return on ad spend.

Excel Software

First things first, you'll need access to Microsoft Excel. Excel is a part of the Microsoft Office suite, and it's available for both Windows and Mac computers. It's a spreadsheet program that lets you create grids of text, numbers, and formulas specifying calculations. This is incredibly useful for tracking and analyzing your advertising campaigns.

HubSpot Guide

HubSpot offers a comprehensive guide on how to use Excel for marketing analytics, including calculating ROAS. While not specific to ROAS calculation, the guide provides valuable insights into how to set up your Excel spreadsheet for marketing data analysis. You can find this guide on the HubSpot blog or by searching for "HubSpot Excel marketing guide."

Step-by-Step Setup

  1. Open Excel and Create a New Spreadsheet: Start by opening Excel and creating a new spreadsheet. You can name it something relevant, like "ROAS Calculation."

  2. Input Your Data: In the first column, list down all your advertising campaigns by name. In the second column, input the total cost for each campaign. In the third column, record the total revenue generated from each campaign.

  3. Calculate ROAS: In the fourth column, you're going to calculate the ROAS for each campaign. The formula for ROAS is (Revenue from Advertising / Cost of Advertising) * 100. In Excel, you would input this formula as =(C2/B2)*100, assuming your revenue is in column C and your cost is in column B.

  4. Drag the Formula Down: After inputting the formula next to your first campaign, you can drag the fill handle (a small square at the bottom-right corner of the cell) down to apply the formula to the rest of your campaigns.

  5. Analyze Your Data: With your ROAS calculated for each campaign, you can now analyze which campaigns are giving you the best return on your investment. This can help you make informed decisions about where to allocate your budget in the future.

Excel Spreadsheet with ROAS Calculation - calculate roas

Why Excel?

Using Excel to calculate ROAS gives you flexibility and control over your data. You can easily update your spreadsheet as new data comes in, compare campaigns side by side, and even create charts and graphs to visualize your results. Plus, Excel's formulas can save you time and reduce the chance of manual calculation errors.

Remember that calculating ROAS is just one piece of the puzzle. It's essential to consider other factors, such as customer lifetime value and conversion rates, to get a complete picture of your advertising efforts' effectiveness. But for now, mastering ROAS calculation in Excel is a great place to start.

Next, we'll explore how to calculate ROAS directly within Google Ads, simplifying the process for those who primarily use this platform for their advertising campaigns.

Method 2: Google Ads ROAS Formula

Google Ads is a powerful tool for advertisers aiming to reach new customers and grow their business. When it comes to understanding the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaigns, calculating your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is crucial. This method simplifies the process, focusing on the basic formula of Revenue/Cost.

Simple Calculation

The formula to calculate ROAS in Google Ads is straightforward: Revenue generated from Google Ads divided by the cost of those ads. Here's a step-by-step breakdown:

  1. Identify Your Revenue: This is the total income generated from the products or services sold through your Google Ads campaign. Let's say you made $1,000 in revenue.

  2. Determine Your Ad Spend: This is how much you've spent on your Google Ads campaign. Suppose you spent $250.

  3. Apply the Formula: Divide your revenue by your ad spend. Using the example above: $1,000 (Revenue) ÷ $250 (Ad Spend) = 4.

  4. Interpret the Result: A ROAS of 4 means you're earning $4 for every $1 spent on Google Ads.

It's essential to regularly monitor this metric to understand how well your ad spend is translating into revenue. By doing so, you can make informed decisions about adjusting your budget, refining your target audience, or tweaking your ad copy to improve performance.

Why This Matters

Calculating ROAS directly within Google Ads allows you to quickly gauge the success of your campaigns without needing external tools. It provides a clear picture of how effectively your advertising budget is being used, helping you to optimize your campaigns for better returns.

A healthy ROAS indicates your marketing efforts are on the right track, but it's also essential to consider other factors like profit margins and overall business growth. By keeping a close eye on your ROAS, especially through a straightforward platform like Google Ads, you can ensure your advertising efforts contribute positively to your business's bottom line.

In the next section, we'll dive into how to calculate ROAS for Facebook Ads, another critical platform for digital advertisers.

Method 3: Facebook Ad ROAS Calculation

Calculating ROAS for Facebook Ads is like finding a hidden treasure that tells you if your map is leading you to gold or if you need to chart a new course. Let's break it down into simple steps, using the revenue generated from your ads and the amount you've spent on them. And, we'll take a peek at a handy resource from Quora to guide us through.

Facebook Ads: A Quick Overview

Facebook Ads are a powerful tool in the digital marketer's kit. They allow you to target your audience with precision, using detailed demographic and behavioral data. But, the real question is, are you getting your money's worth?

The Simple Formula

To calculate your ROAS for Facebook Ads, you only need two pieces of information: the revenue your ads generate and how much you've spent on them. The formula looks like this:

ROAS = Revenue from Facebook Ads / Facebook Ad Spend

This formula gives you a clear picture of how effectively your ad spend is turning into revenue. It's straightforward but crucial for understanding the impact of your Facebook advertising efforts.

Using Quora as a Resource

Quora, a treasure trove of knowledge, offers insights from real people who've been in the trenches of Facebook advertising. By searching for "calculate ROAS Facebook ads," you can find detailed explanations, tips, and even stories from others who have navigated the challenges of Facebook advertising. This real-world advice can be invaluable as you refine your approach to calculating and improving your ROAS.

Why It Matters

Knowing how to calculate your ROAS for Facebook Ads is more than just a number-crunching exercise. It's about understanding the effectiveness of your marketing efforts on one of the world's largest social platforms. A healthy ROAS means your advertising strategy is on the right track, while a lower ROAS signals it might be time for a pivot.

Next Steps

Once you've calculated your ROAS for Facebook Ads, the next step is to use this insight to make informed decisions about your advertising strategy. Whether it's tweaking your ad design, refining your target audience, or adjusting your budget, the goal is to improve your ROAS and, ultimately, your bottom line.

In our next section, we'll explore how to calculate your break-even ROAS, a critical step for ensuring your advertising efforts are not just breaking even but actively contributing to your business's growth.

Method 4: Break-Even ROAS Calculation

Understanding your break-even point is crucial in advertising. It's the moment your ad spend equals the revenue generated from those ads. Knowing this helps you ensure that your campaigns are not just a financial black hole but a profitable venture. Let's dive into how you can calculate your break-even ROAS, factor in your profit margin, and utilize online tools to simplify the process.

Break-Even Formula

The break-even formula is pretty straightforward. It's all about finding the point where your costs equal your revenue. In terms of ROAS, the formula looks like this:

Break-Even ROAS = Ad Spend / Revenue from Ads

But, to make it even simpler, remember this: At break-even, your ROAS is 1:1. This means every dollar you spend brings in a dollar in revenue. Not a penny more, not a penny less. It's your starting line for profitability.

Profit Margin

Your profit margin plays a key role in understanding what ROAS you need to aim for above break-even to actually make money. Here's a simple truth: The higher your profit margin, the lower the ROAS you need to be profitable.

For example, if you have a 50% profit margin, you don't need to double your ad spend in revenue to make a profit. A ROAS of 200% (or 2:1) means for every dollar spent, you're bringing in two dollars in revenue, which after considering your 50% profit margin, leaves you with a profit.

Online Tools

Calculating your break-even ROAS doesn't have to be a manual headache. There are plenty of online tools designed to simplify this process. These tools often require just a few inputs: your ad spend, revenue, and sometimes your cost of goods sold (COGS) to consider your profit margin in the calculation. After feeding in the numbers, these tools can instantly provide you with your break-even ROAS and more.

One popular example is the FREE ROAS Goal Calculator mentioned earlier. It's not just about finding your break-even point but setting a competitive and profitable ROAS goal. Another handy tool is Google's own suite of analytics and ad performance tools, which can help you track and analyze your ad spend and revenue in real-time, making it easier to adjust your strategies on the fly.

Calculating your break-even ROAS is a fundamental step in ensuring your advertising efforts are financially viable. By understanding and applying the break-even formula, considering your profit margin, and utilizing online tools, you can set a solid foundation for your campaigns. Next, we'll explore some frequently asked questions about ROAS, including what constitutes a good ROAS ratio and how to further optimize your advertising efforts for better returns.

Method 5: Advanced ROAS Calculation Techniques

After getting a grip on the basics, it's time to level up your game with some advanced techniques to calculate ROAS. These methods can provide deeper insights and help fine-tune your advertising efforts for even better results. Let's dive in.

A/B Testing

A/B testing, or split testing, is like conducting a science experiment on your ads. You create two versions of an ad (A and B) and test them to see which one performs better. This method is essential because even small changes can lead to significant improvements in your ROAS.

For example, changing the call-to-action (CTA) text from "Learn More" to "Get Started Today" might increase your conversion rate. By analyzing the results, you can determine which version gives you a higher return on ad spend and optimize future ads accordingly.

Multi-touch Attribution

When customers rarely take a straight path from seeing an ad to making a purchase, multi-touch attribution becomes your best friend. This technique involves assigning value to each touchpoint that contributed to the final sale. It recognizes that the first ad a customer sees might spark interest, but subsequent ads or interactions might play a crucial role in converting them.

By understanding the value of each touchpoint, you can allocate your ad budget more effectively, focusing on channels and messages that drive conversions. This, in turn, helps improve your ROAS by ensuring you're investing in the most impactful parts of your customer's journey.

Incremental Sales

Incremental sales focus on the additional revenue generated by your advertising efforts. It's about asking, "What sales would we not have made without these ads?" This approach helps you understand the true impact of your advertising by distinguishing between sales that would have happened anyway and those driven by your ads.

Calculating incremental sales can be complex, involving control groups and testing, but it gives you a clearer picture of your advertising's effectiveness. By focusing on incremental sales, you can better assess the value of your ad spend and make more informed decisions to improve ROAS.

Invoca for Marketing

Invoca brings a unique angle to calculating ROAS, especially for businesses that rely on phone calls as a significant part of their customer journey. Using AI-powered conversation intelligence, Invoca tracks call-based conversions and attributes them to specific marketing efforts.

By integrating Invoca with your other marketing tools, you can capture a more comprehensive view of your ROAS, including the often-overlooked phone conversions. This complete picture allows you to refine your strategy further, ensuring that all aspects of your marketing mix are working together efficiently.

Understanding and leveraging these advanced ROAS calculation techniques can significantly enhance your advertising strategy. By embracing A/B testing, multi-touch attribution, focusing on incremental sales, and incorporating tools like Invoca, you're not just spending on ads. You're investing in data-driven decisions that propel your business forward. Next, let's answer some frequently asked questions about ROAS, including what a good ROAS ratio looks like and tips for improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions about ROAS

What is a Good ROAS Ratio?

When it comes to ROAS, many folks wonder, "What's a good number?" Well, a 4:1 ratio is often cited as a benchmark. This means for every dollar you spend on ads, you're bringing in four dollars in revenue. However, it's crucial to remember that this can vary widely across different industries. Some sectors might see a good ROAS at 3:1, while others might aim for 5:1 or higher. The key is understanding what works for your business and how it contributes to overall profitability.

How to Improve Your ROAS?

Improving your ROAS isn't just about spending more money on ads; it's about spending smarter. Here are a few strategies:

  • Optimize CPC (Cost Per Click): Lowering your CPC means you're getting more bang for your buck on each click. This involves crafting compelling ad content that resonates with your audience, ensuring more clicks without increasing spend.

  • CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) Strategies: This is all about smoothing out the customer journey on your website. If your ads are getting clicks but those clicks aren't converting into sales, it's time to look at your landing pages. Are they clear? Do they match the promise of the ad? Improving these can turn visitors into customers.

  • Increase AOV (Average Order Value): Encouraging customers to spend more per purchase can directly boost your ROAS. This can be achieved through upselling, cross-selling, or offering promotions on multiple items.

Difference Between ROAS and ROI?

This is where things get a bit nuanced. ROAS is about the direct return from ad spend — simple and straightforward. It's a short-term metric focusing specifically on the effectiveness of your ad campaigns. On the flip side, ROI (Return on Investment) takes a broader view. It considers the overall return on all marketing and advertising efforts over a longer term. ROI includes costs and returns beyond direct ad spend, like salaries, software tools, and more. Think of ROAS as a snapshot and ROI as the full movie of your marketing efforts. Each tells a different part of the story, but both are crucial for understanding the big picture.

By understanding and optimizing these aspects, you're not just throwing money at ads and hoping for the best. You're making informed decisions that drive your business towards sustainable growth. Next, we'll wrap things up and look at how SocialSellinator can help you craft a comprehensive digital marketing strategy tailored to your business needs.


We've journeyed through the intricacies of how to calculate ROAS, uncovering methods that span from straightforward Excel calculations to the nuanced realms of A/B testing and multi-touch attribution. But understanding how to calculate ROAS is just one piece of the puzzle. To truly unlock the potential of your digital marketing efforts, a comprehensive strategy is essential — one that not only focuses on maximizing returns but also aligns with your broader business goals.

This is where SocialSellinator steps in. Our expertise isn't just about helping you calculate ROAS; it's about integrating this metric into a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that propels your business forward. We understand that each business is unique, with its own challenges, opportunities, and objectives. That's why we don't believe in one-size-fits-all solutions.

Our approach is tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you're looking to enhance your social media presence, optimize your content marketing efforts, or drive more targeted traffic through Google Ads, we have the tools, knowledge, and experience to make it happen. We leverage the latest technologies and strategies to ensure your digital marketing efforts are not only efficient but also effective.

But it's not just about implementing strategies; it's about achieving results. Our team is committed to helping you improve your ROAS, but beyond that, we aim to drive meaningful engagement, increase conversions, and boost sales. We believe in building partnerships with our clients, working together to navigate the complexities of digital marketing, and unlocking new opportunities for growth.

In conclusion, calculating ROAS is crucial, but it's just the beginning. With SocialSellinator by your side, you can transcend beyond numbers to craft a digital marketing strategy that resonates with your audience, differentiates you from the competition, and drives sustainable growth. Let us help you turn your digital marketing investments into profitable returns.

Are you ready to elevate your digital marketing strategy and achieve unparalleled results? Let's get started. Together, we can unlock the full potential of your digital marketing efforts, one data-driven strategy at a time.

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SocialSellinator Team

SocialSellinator is a full-service digital marketing agency for startups, small and mid-size B2B/B2C businesses. Our clients benefit from increased brand awareness and leads, created by our data-driven approach to social media marketing, content marketing, paid social media campaigns, and search engine optimization (SEO).