One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is launching and operating a quality website. While it’s not difficult to get a website up and running from a technical perspective, it takes more planning and effort to make a website that’s actually effective. In order to make sure your website is effective, you must come up with performance goals.
What Makes a Good Goal?
First of all, any goals you set for yourself should be specific and measurable. This means that having a goal of “bringing in more customers” isn’t as valuable as “increasing new traffic by 50% over the next six months.” In the case of the latter, you’ll be able to evaluate how you’re actually performing, and to set yourself up for a new set of goals that will take your website to the next level. Furthermore, your goals should be achievable. It’s ok to be ambitious, but you’ll find it to be more valuable if you have a realistic chance of reaching your goals.
Questions to Ask When Defining Your Website Goals.
While different businesses will likely come up with different goals for themselves, it may be worth following a standard set of questions in order to determine what the most appropriate goals are for your business.
First, ask yourself what is the goal of your website. Is it to drive customers into your store, get them to buy something online, or get them to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with you?
Second, who visits your website? Is it someone looking for more information, or someone who’s already decided that they want to buy your product? The answer to these questions can help you what types of goals you want to make with respect to driving the right types of visitors to your site.
Third, does your website currently work to support your business goals? Sometimes a business won’t focus on whether their website is actually working together with other promotional efforts, and the result can be bad website performance.
Goals Can Help You Save Time and Money.
Launching any website (even a sub-par one) will require time and resources. Goals allow you to prioritize the deployment of your time and resources so that you can make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck. Having goals is even more important if you’ve just redesigned all or even a portion of your website (or are just about to do so); goals can help keep you focused so that you don’t spend any unnecessary time or money in the redesign.
Goals Can Help You Avoid Lost Opportunities.
Without goals for your website, you won’t know what business you’re potentially “leaving on the table.” For example, you might set a goal of a particular conversion rate (defining a “conversion” in whatever way makes the most sense for your business), which will give you the incentive to try to turn more website visitors into paying customers.
A business website without goals (or with unrealistic goals) is destined to fail. Without a target, you don’t know what to aim for, and you won’t know when you’ve accomplished something good.