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How to set goals for your website

When building a website it’s tempting to skip straight to the fun parts like designing out your homepage. You’ve probably already started looking at other sites for creative inspiration and planning what functionality you want.

But, fancy features and designs shouldn’t be your first priority when it comes to your new website. There’s a lot more important things to get straightened out first—like the goals and objectives of your website.

Not knowing what your goals and objectives are is like driving a car without knowing your destination. You’ll just keep going in the hope that you’ll get somewhere. Even though the journey is the destination, you still want to know what direction you’re heading so you don’t drive into a lake (or spend endless amounts of hours building your site without a plan!).

How do you know your website’s success without knowing what that success will look like?

It’s time to figure out what your website’s goals are and why they’re important. We’ve put together a few simple steps and example goals to get you started, so you can make your website a success long-term.

 

How can you figure out what your website goals should be?

Start off by listing any general business goals that come to mind.

Then, it’s time to explore how your website can help achieve those goals. You already know you want a great website. What does that actually mean for you though?

  • Increased revenue? 

  • Maximize profitability? 

  • Improved client satisfaction? 

  • Reduction in your personal working hours?

  • Showcase your portfolio or services?

Avoid pulling random and unachievable figures out of thin air. Yes, a million website visitors in a year sounds great, but unless you’re a huge company it’s pretty unlikely that’ll happen. Plus, what’s your reason behind wanting a million visitors?

Good website goals are SMART:

  1. Specific.

  2. Measurable.

  3. Achievable.

  4. Relevant.

  5. Time sensitive.

Great website goals are driven by purpose, they’re more than just looking good. What’s the purpose of your site? What information do you want visitors to know and what’s the number one action you want them to take? Write it down.

 

What Website Goals Should You Set?

Once you have a clear understanding of the purpose of your site you can set your goals. Your goals will vary based on your industry, products or services, where your site is right now and many other factors, but here are the top three common website goals for most businesses:

Increasing the company’s bottom line

This means converting leads into online sales. Whether it’s selling more products, gaining new subscribers, contact form submissions, email inquiries, or phone calls asking to purchase your services, paid speaking opportunities or improving profit margins, making more money is probably the most popular website goal there is.

Examples of this type of website goal include:

  • Increase the number of monthly qualified leads by 25%

  • Increase the website’s conversion rate by 5%

  • Increase online monthly sales by 40%

  • Reduce website costs by 10% (measured in dollars or employee hours) by using a CMS that automatically runs updates

Establishing authority/brand recognition in the industry

Getting known as the go-to authority in your niche shortens the sales cycle, helps marketing efforts and well, makes everything a hell of a lot easier. Showing your audience your expertise by explaining your services and providing valuable information is a great way to do this.

Examples of this type of website goal include:

  • Improve awareness of a new service by 70% (measured by surveying before and after website launch)

  • Repositioning yourself to a new target market

  • Implementing a rebranding

Automating & streamlining processes

Your website should save you time. With the right software and integrations, your website can streamline and automate processes—like sending an automated email to a new subscriber. Your website should work for you, not the other way round.

Examples of this type of website goal include:

  • Improve client satisfaction by 10% 

  • Reduce the time it takes to complete a task by 25%

  • Reduce support time/costs by 15% by rolling out online customer support on the website

Be realistic with your goals. They should match what your company is capable of achieving. You don’t want to set your self up for failure with a goal that’s out of reach because that can be demotivating.

BUT if you’re a big dreamer and small goals won’t satisfy your soul, ask yourself, what’s your big hairy audacious goal? The one you’re telling yourself is unachievable? The one where you keep saying “I can’t” right before it. Write that one down too.

Post your goals on your vision board, journal, social media, or bathroom mirror right next to that sticker that says “you are beautiful” and believe you will achieve them. Then get to work! Or hire a website designer to do the work for you.

Now that you’ve figured out what your business goals are, and you have the faith YOU CAN DO IT, let’s talk about how you will crush those goals with the help of your website.

 

How to Accomplish Your Goals With Your Website

Create small objectives to step in the direction of accomplishing your larger goals. Your how-to’s will vary based on the goals you set, but here are some simple steps that will push you in the right direction.

Appeal to your ideal visitor

Want to get more online leads? Copy is key. Write your website content to attract your target market. What problems are they facing and how do you help? State the problem and explain your solution in no more than three simple steps. Then make it easy for them to take the next step with clear calls to action. If you are struggling with your sales copy, hire a website copywriter for help.

Make your site design user-friendly

Want to gain new readers and subscribers or increase user happiness? Make your site have a responsive design, have a fast load time (under 3 seconds), format your copy with headings so it’s easy to scan, and have effective navigation (less than five top-level pages in the primary nav). Remove any unnecessary content on your site and flashy third-party advertisements.

Drive more traffic to your site with SEO

Increase your website traffic from with search engine optimization. This means using keywords on the page, using proper heading tags, great meta descriptions, frequent blog posts or content updates, quality backlinks, and social media advertising (organic or paid). Get started with your website SEO in 5 easy steps.

Blog regularly and update popular posts

I am repeating saying this because quality blog posts will increase your traffic, especially if authoritative websites reference and link to them. This post you are reading now is currently our most popular blog post. I’m updating it with new information and re-posting it with a current date to boost our traffic.

Want to be an authority in your industry? Well, you can write a book OR write a regular blog and share it far and wide. Share topics within your industry and show people you know what you’re talking about. Provide free info that’s quality to build trust. Once people trust you, and like you, they will buy from you! Plus when people spend lots of time reading your website (dwell time), Google recognizes that, and it will help your search engine ranking.

Increase your email subscribers

Want to sell more? Get an email list and use it. Email marketing is more powerful than social media. Use your website to capture emails by offering visitors something in exchange for their email—an eBook, discount code, exclusive newsletter goodies, etc. Email marketing will keep customers informed, keep you top of mind, and get you more sales.

Increase social mentions

You love when friends or family directly refer potential clients to you right? Social mentions are organic online referrals. Start by simply making your content easily sharable. For example, add a “click to tweet” link for text quotes, a “pin it” button for images and graphics, and definitely have social sharing buttons for your blog posts. When people share your content and repost you they are marketing for you!

Make your website accessible

This one goes hand in hand with making your site user-friendly. Accessibility is important as it lets people with disabilities, or even poor eyesight, use your site easier. Use descriptive links like “read more”, add alt tags to your images, and use subtitles for videos. Make sure you have adequate font size (no smaller than 16px for body type) and strong color contrast. You can scan your site to see violations and/or add this awesome accessibility widget to your site to ensure that you deliver an accessible digital experience.

 

Measure your success and keep building on it!

Take a look at your analytics right now to see where you’re starting from. Pick as many goals as you can manage and implement them on your website for a certain amount of time.

Then, check back on your analytics every month to measure the changes. See what’s working and what isn’t.

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