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- It’s never too early for businesses to review their website’s performance and set some goals and objectives for the year ahead.
- When setting goals and objectives for a website, the first step is to decide exactly what the website needs to accomplish.
- Website’s purposes vary from new customer acquisition and development, driving conversions or conveying knowledge.
- Once the overall purpose of the website is determined, it’s possible to measure existing performance in the correct light, which is necessary to set goals for future performance.
- Each goal should serve a specific, measurable business purpose and should have a realistic timeline to accomplish it.
- Implement action items and track performance over time, using analytics to determine what’s working and what’s not.
Businesses everywhere already know how vital their website is to their overall marketing efforts. In many cases, it’s their primary point of contact with customers, a company’s public face and the most visible symbol of their presence in the digital economy. Despite that importance, it’s not uncommon for businesses to let their websites exist in autopilot, expecting it to deliver consistent value and high return on investment.
The truth is that the average business website only remains viable for two to three years without a redesign. In between, there are also all kinds of updates and changes that should be taking place to make sure the website keeps meeting the marketing imperatives it was designed for. It’s never too early for businesses to review their website’s performance and set some goals and objectives for the year ahead. Here’s how.
Figure out the Point
As odd as it may sound, the first task that businesses must undertake when setting goals and objectives for their website is to decide exactly what they need their website to accomplish. If any length of time has passed since the site’s launch, there’s a good chance that the company’s needs have changed and the content of the site will need to be adjusted. Depending on those needs, the website may need to be reoriented to serve different functions, such as:
- Customer Acquisition and Development – The site’s primary purpose is to develop leads and drive them to interact further with the business.
- Driving Conversions – The site’s primary purpose is to drive existing leads to take action, such as purchasing items, signing up for services, or otherwise taking part in the business.
- To Convey Knowledge – The site’s primary purpose is to educate customers and potential customers about the business, its expertise, and how it may be useful to its target market.
Once the overall purpose of the website is determined, it will then be possible to measure existing performance in the correct light.
Measuring Website Performance Correctly
There are plenty of metrics by which website performance may be judged. The ones that will be the most important will vary, depending on what the site is trying to accomplish. Standard metrics correlate to website goals as follows:
- Pageviews – Overall visibility among new and existing customers
- Unique Visitors – A trend line indicating how many new potential customers the site has reached in a given period
- Bounce Rate – A measure of engagement with visitors, and how useful the site is to them
- Qualified Leads – How well your website is feeding likely new customers into the sales funnel
By comparing these metrics to industry averages, past company performance and their relevance to the purpose of the website, it’s possible to see just how well the site, as presently constructed, is accomplishing its mission. These metrics also provide a base of comparison for future efforts.
Setting Goals Through Realistic Planning
Once the purpose of the website is known and its current performance has been quantified, it’s time to set some goals for the year ahead. Each goal should serve a specific, measurable business purpose and should have a realistic timeline to accomplish it.
For example, if your website currently has 100 visitors per month, setting a goal of increasing that total to 1000 within two months may be unrealistic. Setting such goals will lead to wasting resources in a futile effort that’s doomed from the start. Instead, it’s necessary to identify more attainable targets for the time period the plan will cover.
If the overall goal is to increase website traffic, consider setting a target of a 10% increase in visitors over the 12-month span. While that may sound underwhelming, it’s important to remember that there’s no rule that says the site can’t exceed expectations. If it does, it will help set a new benchmark for future goals. The key is to balance the company’s needs against current performance to arrive at growth targets that make sense – so the efforts towards the goal won’t be for naught.
Executing the Plan
Once the plan is in place, it’s vital to map out a timeline and distribute tasks with attainable duedates – and then stick to it until the work is complete. Failure to do so makes it impossible to use metrics to adjust the overall success or failure of the initiative, which will only serve to jeopardize the effectiveness of future planning. For that reason, it’s important to determine who will be responsible for executing and measuring the key components of the plan, so completion will be assured.
If in-house staff can’t be spared, it’s well worth it to engage the services of a marketing partner like Comit Developers to facilitate success. Our experts will also be able to help your business set realistic goals and determine which parts of your business website aren’t meeting expectations so you can decide how best to fix them. If you’re ready to map out your website goals for 2019, contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you make sure the new year is the success you know it can be!