Keeping your Website S.M.A.R.T Now and into the Future

Keeping your Website S.M.A.R.T Now and into the Future

We all know that websites, whether it’s an e-commerce site or a company website, play an important role in your success online. It serves as your business’ online storefront and creates a new platform for connecting and engaging with your target customers virtually anywhere in the world.

But there’s more to a website than having a cool design and awesome content, and it all begins with understanding the purpose of your website. Knowing the reasons for building your website will help you create a website that meets the goals you wish to achieve.

Be S.M.A.R.T

Whether it’s for personal growth or business success, setting goals should be a top priority. Creating a website is no exception. Keep in mind that an awesome brand experience is a result of setting clear and concrete goals that meet both the company’s and user’s targets and needs.

Some of you might say that your goal is to have a “great website” that offers customers a “good experience”. That’s a neat idea but that is not a goal. Why? It’s because it is neither actionable nor measurable. So, how does one create business website objectives? Simple. Create S.M.A.R.T goals.

What are S.M.A.R.T Goals?

S.M.A.R.T goals are SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, REALISTIC and TIME-BASED. Some examples of smart goals are the following:

  • Increase Facebook page likes by 20% in 3 months
  • Increase website traffic by 60% in 4 months
  • Improve conversion rates by 30% in 2 months
  • Add 2000 new subscribers to company newsletter within 6 months

Identifying the goals you want to accomplish and creating a strategic plan on how to achieve them in measurable manner can spell the difference between success and failure.

Defining S.M.A.R.T Goals

Specific

To put it simply, your website goal should be clear and specific. You need to narrow it down to its most basic idea. This will help you focus on design, content and functionalities that are relevant to your customers. Plus, it will help avoid getting sidetracked by distractions because you have a clear direction of how you want to proceed.

Why is this important? Let’s say your specific goal is “To get 1000 daily unique visitors to the website in 3 months”. By putting a specific number on the unique visitors as your goal, you can determine the strategies or action plans you need to execute in order to achieve this goal.

What type of content will you use? What are the distribution channels you will utilize? Will there be promos to increase the website’s visibility? These are just some of the questions that will come up when you have a specific goal in mind. In addition, it will be easier for you to measure the effectiveness of your strategies based on the number of unique visitors gained three months after.

Measurable

Your goals should be quantitative rather qualitative, meaning it should be measurable. It’s important that you can track and monitor how your campaign progresses. For a website, there are several metrics that can be measured such as the number of page views, number of clicks, bounce rate and traffic sources. You can also measure conversion rates, number of new sign-ups and even sales/revenue generated.

If you can’t measure your goals, how will you know if your campaign is working? Set clear, specific and measurable goals for your website.

Actionable/Attainable

Your website goals should be attainable and action-oriented. It should be something that can be executed. A goal of 100 newsletter signups in a month is attainable and actionable using a wide range of strategies including but not limited to promos and ads. However, if your goal is to gain 1million signups in a month using the same strategies as the above goal (100 signups); then the results may not be what you expect.

This is because the higher your goal, the more challenging it will be to execute; hence, it is not easily attainable. So, you need to break it down into smaller chunks and create strategies that help you achieve said goals.

Relevant

Your goals should tie closely with your website’s purpose or use. This means that the goals for the homepage (ex: Gain subscribers) will be different from the Shopping Cart/Checkout page (ex: Purchase an item). Doing so allows you to choose the right strategy necessary to achieve said goals.

Time-based

Set a deadline for your goals. Let’s say your goal is to gain 4000 Facebook page likes. You need to set a timeframe on when you’ll be able to achieve that goal. Why is it important? First, it’s because this will motivate you to take action within a specified timeframe and to ensure its success.

Second, it’s because it’s cost-effective in the long run. It wouldn’t be wise to invest on a strategy for an indefinite timeframe without knowing whether it works or not. By setting a deadline, you know when to measure your KPIs and determine which strategy should be retained or scrapped.

What’s In Store for Digital Marketing in 2015?

2015 calendar

Photo credit: wiccked / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The only thing constant in life is change.

2014 has paved the way to several innovations and trends in the digital marketing arena including the emergence of new social networks like Ello. Now that 2015 is just around the corner, anticipation of what’s looming in the horizon for digital marketing is high.

Predicting the future can be tricky, but it’s an insightful and fun way to look at the previous year and determine upcoming trends based on the bits and pieces of information gathered. With the mobile web and social media’s rapid evolution and high adoption rate across the globe, knowing the emerging trends in digital marketing may just be the competitive edge you’ve been waiting for.

Ready to take your online marketing strategy to the next level? Here are some bold predictions on digital marketing trends for 2015:


Mobile-only/Mobile-first

Mobile First Practice

Photo credit: Johan Larsson / Foter / CC BY

In 2015, mobile-only/mobile-first approach will become the rule and not the exception. We’ve seen the shift to mobile in 2014, but 2015 will drive the point further prompting all websites to be on mobile. According to Ovum, one billion people will be using their mobile phones as the primary tool for Internet access in 2015.

These mobile consumers will play a huge role in shaping the behavior of online media in a lot of ways. User experience will be a top priority with focus on sophistication and simplicity. The goal is for mobile to be a seamless and hassle-free experience.

Branding remains an important facet in capturing consumer’s attention, but mobile experience is what will make them stay and engage. However, importing your website to mobile just won’t cut it. Mobile websites have to be fully-optimized for better user viewing experience.


IOT (Internet of Things) and Wearables

Google Glass

Photo credit: danishdynamite / Foter / CC BY-NC

From smart cars to thermostats and watches, there is no doubt that Internet of Things (IOT) solutions are causing waves and changing our day-to-day lives- be it business or personal. The idea of managing one’s own ecosystem through smartphones and connected devices is a foreign yet intriguing concept for many users.

Based on a study conducted by Accenture, there will be a gradual increase in the use of wearables like fitness devices and smart watches in 2015. Many businesses are now streamlining their processes from improved supply chain management to efficient manufacturing or hospital using connected devices and employees.

This trend opens another platform for marketers and brands to position their services/products, and reach their target market while on the go. The idea of “reaching people at the right time and place” is now a reality.


Digital Storytelling

Creating compelling stories is already at the heart of every successful marketing campaign. This trend is shown by the shift towards meeting consumer needs and preferences over product placement. Focusing in on their target market and understanding the motivations behind their purchasing behavior can spell the difference between a successful or a flop marketing plan.

Brands need to start connecting with their consumers on all fronts: visual, audio and written storytelling. Focus on creating stories about the brand and its customers then filter these stories in various channels like videos, blog posts, photos and podcasts.

Online Communities

Online Communities

Photo credit: Brickolaje / Foter / CC BY-NC

Building your brand’s online community is nothing new in the digital marketing arena. With the growing population of online users and innovations in social media, the need for online community has never been as important as now.

In 2014, it showed that putting effort and energy in fostering good relationships with their audience led to a win-win situation.
Brands create buzz and excitement around products and services, which makes the audience feel that their concerns are properly addressed. Through online communities, marketers are also able to zero in on issues and needs that are relevant to their audience.

The audience, on the other hand, enjoy the engagement they receive not just from the brand but from other like-minded users as well. This incentive makes belonging to the community worthwhile and justify any product purchase. In addition, loyal customers become brand ambassadors and extend the brand’s influence by reaching to their network outside the community.

Social Media/Content Marketing

Social Media

Photo credit: Jason A. Howie / Foter / CC BY

In 2015, integration of free and paid content into one cohesive content plan will be very important if brands want to maximize their reach. It is not enough to post your free content (through PR, blogs and press coverage) on your website.

You need to cross-promote your content on multiple channels or be left behind. The challenge is finding the balance between reaching your audience without being too aggressive.

Social media marketing, on the other hand, will no longer just about Facebook and Twitter. In 2015, other social networks like Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and WhatsApp will offer sophisticated advertising tools to reach one’s target market better. Brands know that in order for their social media efforts to perform and sync with their digital marketing plan, an investment in any shape or form is required.

With the innovations in technology come the evolution of consumers. As a brand marketer, you need to leverage on these changes by adapting your strategies on what’s effective and not solely rely on the tried-and-tested. That means being on the look-out for these trends (with more in the pipeline), and ensuring your digital marketing plan has room for unexpected changes.

Are you ready for 2015?