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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.