Website goals are an essential part of any online business strategy. They allow you to measure how well your site is performing and identify areas that need improvement.
The purpose of a website goal
Many businesses have a website because they think they should have an online presence. But is that enough? The purpose of a website is so much more than pretty layouts. It is a tool that when planned and set up correctly can meet big picture goals and achieve business growth.
You can’t grow what you don’t measure. And to be able to measure you need to start with a goal.
Start with the end in mind
The first thing you need to ask yourself when it comes to your website is what is its end goal / overall purpose? You can then work backwards to set objectives to meet this.
In this article we will take a look at different types of website goals, the benefits of understanding your end goal and what will happen if you create a website without a goal.
Types of website goals
Most websites are a hub of information and a central place to signpost your audience and customers to. Knowing your end goal is great, but it is also important to be able to measure whether the goal is being achieved.
You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down and it is no different for your website goals. We talk a lot about setting foundations and how important it is to know your end goal. Taking a step back will help you to re-direct your path, enable you to focus on what you actually want to achieve and help you get there.
Some good examples of end goals are:
1. Generate more qualified leads
Lead generation is an excellent website goal because you can get your website working harder for you at all times of the day or night. But ensuring you pre-qualify your leads is important to avoid time wasters. So, how do you tell your potential customers, ‘you need this product/service’? The best way to do this is to identify your audience and then create powerful content that resonates directly with them. A well-thought-through sales funnel would be ideal with this goal, to initially attract the right audience, get them to engage and lead them through to the potential sale. Provide them with information that is valuable. Don’t just tell them why they should purchase your product/service, explain how it will solve their problem and change their lives.
2. Increase awareness of YOUR business
Another excellent website goal is increasing brand awareness. Measuring awareness is not quite as easy as measuring leads, although if thought through there are some effective tactics and tools you can use.
In ‘Building A Strong Brand’ by Donald Miller, he explains how the human brain is drawn to clarity, not confusion. Your customer should know what you are selling within 5 seconds of visiting your website. “If you confuse you lose.”
So, how can you increase your brand awareness online?
Social media is a great way to find and connect to potential customers. But it is not just about increasing your following, it is about building genuine engagement with your content. Drive traffic to your website (where more information resides), by first whetting their appetite with some engaging social media posts, videos and articles. If they consume this, find it useful and want to share it, even better. Make it easy for them to be able to share your content. Google Analytics (a free tool) provides a great way to measure engagement to specific pages/posts.
3. Be helpful with tools, resources and downloads
Customer retention is another important website goal. They say it is cheaper to retain a customer than to have to go out and find a new one. With this in mind, keeping your existing customers happy is key. Save them time by providing helpful tools and resources that are easily accessible and provide a wealth of information. Utilising your website in this way will also save you and your team time, so it is win win!
So, what tools and resources could you provide?
- A chatbox could speed up communication to resolve any issues
- Blogs and articles that highlight your wealth of experience and knowledge
- Infographics and ‘how to’ content which is both informative and engaging
- Automation tools, such as ‘buy now’ or ‘book here’ with a simple online diary tool.
What if you don’t WORK OUT your website goal?
A better question might be, can you afford to invest in a website that might not work?
If you were planning a trip somewhere new, you would want to know where you were going and how you were going to get there. In order to do this, you’d check how long the drive takes, the best route, and anything you may need for the journey (water, map, music, food). This is sensible in case of hiccups on the way, but also without a map, how will you even know where you are going?
It is no different from your website goals. If you don’t plan for your end goal, how can you ever expect to get there? Business success is interlinked with goal-setting, so failing to set out website goals, means your company’s bottom line may suffer. Below are three examples of what may happen, if you don’t clearly envision your end goal:
1. Your website won’t BE VISIBLE
If you have no goals in place, then you won’t know what should be included on your website to enhance the customer experience. Your content and keywords may not align with Google searches, meaning you could miss out on potential business because your website is not visible.
2. your message will be lost in a sea of competition
Without clear goals in place, your message, content and overall awareness of your business will be lost to the competition.
3. You’ll waste time, money AND ENERGY
Without an end goal, you will end up wasting time, money and energy on a website that is likely to confuse and need redoing in the future.
The benefits of knowing your end website goal
Having looked at what may happen if you don’t know your website goals, now let’s look at the key benefits of knowing your end goal:
1. Website goals guide and align focus
Creating an end goal for your website, will set you on the right path to achieving it. For example, if your end goal is to provide a quick and efficient service, you may want to introduce a chat box to your website. Without setting an end goal, you won’t know what type of tools and services your website should provide.
2. Goals encourage you to take action
Having an end goal will enable you to measure your progress, to see what is and what isn’t working. Then, once you know if something isn’t working, it allows you to take action and make changes/improvements. Without goal setting, you won’t be able to measure your progress, which will leave you in a state of limbo.
3. Website goals enable you to take manageable steps
You can’t get from A to B, without smaller, more manageable steps in between. By creating an end goal (B), it allows you to start from the beginning (A), and slowly, but surely, get to where you want to be (B). When you set an end goal it can be daunting, but with smaller, more manageable steps, you will feel confident to move forward and reach your end goal.
Once you know the website goal, then what?
Once you have identified your end goal, there are three things you need to do to optimise success:
- Plan your website
- Figure out who your ideal customer is.
- Profile them in more detail and undertake market research.
- Tie this in with keyword research and competitor research so that you can position your website
- Create engaging content such as landing (money) pages that talk directly to your ideal customer.
- Research and create topical blog content that is relevant so that your audience can relate to it.
1. Plan your website
There is a lot that goes into planning a website. With your end goal in mind, begin to think about what should be included on your website to get you there. You will need engaging marketing components such as landing (money) pages that detail your products or services in more detail and help to convert prospects into customers.
2. Keyword and competitor research
Keyword research isn’t an easy task, and it is well worth investing in an SEO professional if your budget allows. Please speak to us, as this is something we can help you with. The main point of having a website is to generate sales, increase custom and create brand awareness. You cannot achieve any of these things without optimised keywords, which are found through keyword and competitor research. By optimising keywords, your website will become more accessible via search engines. Without it, you will be invisible online.
3. Create content
Now it’s time to start writing content for your web pages (from your home page, through to your service pages). You’ll need to incorporate the keyword research you have done, so that your pages are optimised for Google. We advise starting with a service page, as there will be sections you can re-use on your home page. This is a lengthy process, but an enjoyable one. If you need any help, guidance or advice on creating your content, we can help.
Hello blog scanner! Here’s a summary of the above…
- You can’t grow what you don’t measure and so you need a website goal.
- Work backwards to achieve your website goal – start with the end in mind.
- Ensure your website is visible and attracting your ideal customer.
- Create content that solves your customer’s problem.
Need help with your website goal?
If you’re unsure of your website goal, or need some assistance to help bring your plans to life, then please get in touch, we’re more than happy to help. Please get in touch