Redesigning or rebuilding a website can be an interesting process. It’s also an opportunity to fix those problems that have been bugging you for a long time, refresh the look and feel and come up with new features.
But creating a new website is a big investment and to be successful, it needs to be undertaken with a strong strategic foundation that is directly linked to your business goals.
Setting the right goals can make the difference between the success and failure of your website. According to research, the number one reason for website failure is the lack of a clear business objective. If you haven’t set one by now, we recommend you reconsider your actions. A successful website can completely transform your business. It can increase sales, raise awareness, improve customer experience, reduce costs, improve workflow and help you grow your company.
Before you set your list of website goals, you need to know why your website exists. What actions do you want your site visitors to take? What do you want them to do or know after they leave your site?
After that you will need to determine how well (or poorly) your current website is performing:
-Is your content easy to read and understand. Do you discuss relevant topics? Is the text broken up in an effective way.
-Check the speed of your website using tools such as Google PageSpeed or GT Metrix. A slow website is a great way to send your visitors elsewhere.
-Make sure your website is usable on all screen sizes, mobile devices and browsers.
-Make sure your site is easy to navigate and that your visitors can find what they’re looking for in seconds.
-Make sure your images are optimised for the web (otherwise they will slow down your site).
-Consider whether pop-up windows are driving visitors away. Instead of being effective, they can sometimes annoy your users.
If your goal is to increase relevant leads, you should know how many leads your current website is now generating.
A good method for setting business goals for your website is the SMART model. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. This model helps you set website goals in a way that focuses on achieving business success.
Specific – what would you like to achieve? Set a measurable business goal for your website. Example:
-Increase the number of relevant leads by 20%.
-Improve your sales conversion rate by 5%.
-Improve customer satisfaction by 10%.
Measurable – how will you know it’s happening? Establish concrete criteria and methods for measuring progress towards each goal:
-Retain qualified leads through CRM
-Conversion rate tracking through Google Analytics
-Inquiring customers before and after website redesign
Achievable – can it realistically be achieved? Goals set too high or too low become meaningless. Compare your goals with your current numbers and ask yourself if they can realistically be achieved. Most importantly, how do you intend to achieve these goals?
-Engaging your target audience through unique value propositions and more effective prompts are designed to produce a 10% increase in lead flow. An additional 10% can be achieved by driving traffic to the website using paid advertising and SEO.
-Usability testing suggests that UX improvements to the website can lead to an increase in customer satisfaction of 10% or more.
Relevant – does this fit your business needs? Will it help achieve your company’s vision and mission? Example:
-Growing website leads by 20% aligns with marketing department goals next year to generate 20% more leads than last year.
On time – set a timeframe for the goal. 6 months? 1 year? Setting an end point gives you a clear target. The timeframe should also be achievable and realistic. Example:
-Growing 20% of potential customers for the website will start with an initial 10% resulting from website improvements that can be achieved 6 months after the website launch. The other 10% will result from generating additional traffic to the website through paid advertising and SEO, which will take at least another 6 months before reaching the desired results.
Another way of thinking that we often find useful when setting goals is to differentiate goals that exist at the top of the funnel versus the middle to bottom of the funnel. At the top of the funnel goals are more likely to focus on generating new leads and influencing customer perception of the brand, for example:
Increase new visitors from a specific market segment
Reduce bounce rate
Increase CRM/database records
Increase engagement with branded content
From the mid to bottom of the funnel, goals will focus more on driving the consumer through the funnel and achieving a commercial outcome, for example:
Create an easy user experience
Increase online conversion rate for sales (bookings)
Reduce abandonment rate
By setting these goals, you will increase traffic, increase reach and increase sales by a large number. Remember, set yourself a realistic but hopeful plan to get started.
SMART goals leave no room for interpretation or procrastination. They make you think realistically about what is achievable and what is not, and they are measurable over time so there is no possibility of not achieving a goal this year. How you define goals will determine their success.