Defining Goals & Objectives for Your Website
Welcome everyone to the podcast. I’m your host Randy Dueck where we learn to speak digital. On today’s podcast we are talking about setting goals for your website.
We are often told that we need to be setting all kinds of goals in our life. What are our financial goals, spiritual goals, fitness goals. We are told to set annual goals, and then make quarterly goals and on and on it goes. Many have even suggested that we create ‘Vision Boards’ a pictoral representation of our goals that we put on our walls to remind us everyday. We can become so enamored with all the goals that we need to set, yet our website is simply taking up virtual space on the internet without much care or maintenance.
One of the things I see everyday that’s hard to miss is the shear plethora of blog posts, training, and other resources all about how to better market your business that it’s become to many, an obsession. Teaching people how to excel at social media, facebook or google ads. What I don’t see is too many people talking about websites. Isn’t the whole point of all that marketing to get people to your website? So what happens when they get there?
If we want to have a truly successful website that generates leads and makes us money, then we need to be setting goals.
I know personally when I hear someone talk about settings goals I role my eyes and let out a deep sigh.
But yet, there are some great advantages to setting goals such as bringing focus, and being able to measure the success or failure of an objective.
I see goals like laws such as the speed limit. Laws tell us the difference between right and wrong. When you merge onto the freeway, you likely look at your speedometer to determine what your current speed is in relation to what you know the speed limit is. So it is with goals. When you set measurable goals, you are able to look at your actual results in relation to the goals you have set.
With regards to your website, there are 5 major areas to which objectives fall under.
1) Sales Your website should at least be generating sales and/or quality leads.
2) Customer Service Think about how your website can offer or improve customer service. For example, frequently asked questions and contact details.
3) Reducing Costs How can your website save you money? Could resources be made available online instead of being mailed etc.
4) Customer Interaction Your website doesn’t have to be a one way street. Can you increase engagement using articles, surveys or competitions?
5) Brand Building What experience do you want your visitors to have? How does it fit into your brand?
Now of course, in order to make our goals meaningful, they need to be measurable. Here are a few examples of how you can make your goals measurable.
- Online Purchases
- Contact form submissions
- Appointment Requests
- Leads generated via links clicked
- FAQ page visited
- Clicked email links
- Inquiry form submissions
- PDF Downloads (reduces postage and mailing)
- Online inquiries (saves time)
- Live Chat Sessions (saves phone costs)
- Survey completions
- Competition entries
- Article Page Visits
- Event Sign-ups
- Video Views
- Website feedback forms
- Time spent on key pages
Now that you have some great measurable goals set out for your website, you can begin to strategize how to meet those goals. That could be using Facebook Ads, Google Ads, strategic social media posts, or a myriad of other marketing options.
But the big question I want to discuss is how does all this work and effort relate to building your website? The short answer is that it makes a huge difference.
For example, If my primary objective is to build a list, then I might add pop-ups or slide-ins of my optin form, or I might put the optin form on the feature area of the home page. Or if a primary objective is to show myself as a resource, I might place my recent blog posts higher on the front page, or even make the blog index my home page. The objectives you have for your site can dictate the placement of elements as well as the type of elements on your site.
The objectives you define will also help dictate the user journey for your website. We’ll be talking about creating a user journey in an upcoming episode. Put simply, a user journey is the path a visitor takes throughout your site in order to bring them to an action you want them to take.
In conjunction with a user journey, your website goals will help to dictate the calls to action on your website, as well as the content that is created. If one of your objectives is to get visitors to phone you, then you might have more strategically placed buttons on your site that say, “Call Me”.
In this stage of the process we need to make a list of the functionality that facilitates the meeting of our website goals. If you want rotating images on the front page, what objective does it relate to?
While the overshadowing goal of anything online is to increase leads and sales, a great website is carefully crafted in such a way so that every element has a purpose. This is in part what defining your goals do. So don’t forget to include some of the obvious things such as…
- Communicate what we do
- Be clear about our process
- Demonstrate the quality of our customer service
While those may be pretty straight forward, there are also some objectives that might seem obvious but often not thought of that speak to design and layout. Things such as…
- Column background should be a different color to emphasize “this” piece of content.
- I want to make sure all visitors get to our services page.
As I mentioned, every piece of content has a purpose. I see so many people add things to their website in order to just fill space. Particularly on the sidebar of their blog. It’s common for people to add their twitter feed, facebook like box and others. I have never read any reports or articles that state the importance of such things because of how much it increases engagement. The truth is that if someone is interested in following you on social media, they’ll find your links in the footer of your website – Which is where they belong by the way.
As you begin to create your objectives, go back and edit them and add sub-goals as needed to make them more specific. For example, a primary goal might be to communicate who we are, while a sub-goal might be to display your process. Both of those items could be under an even larger goal of credibility.
There are a lot of things that can be listed, so don’t be shy, create as long of a list as you need to. Then you can go back and edit the list accordingly.
Setting your website goals is the first step to creating a well crafted successful website.. By the end of the series, we’ll be putting it all together and you’ll see exactly how a powerful website is created with custom content where others will be admiring your site instead of you admiring theirs.
Mapping your goals to functionality.
Creating your goals and objectives are great, but mapping them to functional elements on a page is where the rubber meets the road. The process to accomplish this is pretty straight forward. Let’s take a look at some examples.
Let’s begin by filtering out your list with some of the obvious items. One of the items on your list might be to have people contact you. The functionality to that is to display your phone number prominently and/or have a contact form – Create a contact page that includes a form and links to your social media accounts. It may also include department contacts. Do you need to have your address there? It may be an option for SEO, but do visitors need to know your address?
Another common objective is to grow your email list. This again would mean that an opt-in form is prominent on your website or on key pages. What priority is growing your list? Some place their opt-in form on the feature area of the front page right under the navigation while others simply put in the sidebar of their blog, and maybe further down on the home page.
Take another look at your list and separate them into primary objectives and secondary objectives. This is a huge help to the designer who can take your list and design a site around it.
Another great help is to write down what are the key ideas or pieces of content that you want to communicate? These are elements that may be broken out and highlighted strategically on pages to help bolster depth of content and can help clarify messages as visitors scan your website. They are also helpful in further developing content and can be re-written as headlines.
Before the next podcast, I’d like you to jot down some website goals that you have, and then if you have a current site, see how that compares to your list. Does it stack up? What needs to change?
Until next time, I’m Randy Dueck where we learn to speak digital.
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Randy Dueck | Founder Street Smart Creative