Building a website is fundamental to online business success. Increased traffic, better lead generation, and improved customer retention are only a few of the benefits derived from taking your company to the World Wide Web.
But before getting to work on UI UX design or CMS development, there is another crucial box to check. If you want to achieve your goals in online business, you need effective goal setting for your website. These predefined objectives will act as a roadmap for the development of your website, preventing you from drifting away from what you want to achieve.
1. Your website’s main objective
In other words, why did you create this website? Was it to sell a product, generate leads for your business, find followers for your blog, or have visitors sign up for a newsletter?
Of course, your main website goal may differ from the ones outlined above, but you should get a clearer picture now. Your main objective should indicate what the primary function of the website is. Without a solid answer to this question, you risk derailing the entire project before it even starts.
One of the most powerful tools in project management is visualisation. After setting your primary website goal, you should aim to visualise the ideal, finalized project. What does the web design look like? What metrics do you use to track performance? How is your brand established through this website?
You should also aim to visualise the results you are looking forward to. For instance, does your ideal, finalized project generate 100 leads every month? Or does it retain 30% of visitors as newsletter subscribers?
Having a better idea of what the ideal project looks like will make it easier to set goals effectively, manage expectations, and understand what you should be working towards. If your website design is modern and easy to navigate, but the landing page copy is suboptimal, you will not generate those 100 leads a month. Thus, you know what you need to improve to reach your ideal faster.
After getting a better grasp of this, it’s time to move on to the actual goal-setting.
Setting SMART goals
One of the worst things that you could do to damage your online business success is to set ambiguous objectives. For instance, let’s say you want to “increase the email click-through rate.” While obviously something desirable, this is not an example of effective goal setting.
This goal does not tell us anything about how large of an increase we are expecting, or in what timeframe we want this to happen. An increase in the email click-through rate can be both a 1% increase in 3 months and a 10% increase in a week.
Thus, you need to be setting SMART objectives to achieve your goals faster and prioritize online business success. These website goals will tell you exactly where you are, where you should be, and what you can do to get there faster. The SMART acronym stands for:
S – Specific – focus on one thing at a time;
M – Measurable – understand to what extent something succeeded or failed;
A – Achievable – set goals that are within your reach;
R – Relevant – ensure that it is relevant for your main objective;
T – Time-bound – set your timeframe as short-term rather than long-term.
What does a SMART goal look like?
To illustrate this better, let’s say you visualise a website that generates 50 new followers for your blog every week. Right now, you are generating between 5 and 10. A SMART goal would be to aim to increase this number to between 15-20 over one month.
This website goal is specific, as it only focuses on increasing the number of new followers. It is measurable, as it allows you to see the numerical change in weekly followers. It is achievable because you have multiple ways of improving the visitor retention rate. The relevance stems from the fact that it helps you get closer to your website ideal. Lastly, it is time-bound because you aim to achieve it over one month’s time.
By using a session replay feature, you notice many of your visitors leaving after a certain page they were redirected to. You also find highly converting sections of the website with a funnel analysis tool. Lastly, you change the copy and interface of the underperforming page to match the performant ones. Thus, you have made significant progress on your project through setting and following a SMART goal.
This SMART goal derives from your main objective and visualisation efforts. It is based on the main objective, a website that generates followers, and it can be measured against the visualised, ideal scenario, namely 50 followers a week, to track your progress. But the most powerful benefit of a SMART goal is that you aim for small, attainable successes, instead of large leaps of faith.
Through this kind of effective goal setting, you prepare for a realistic, measurable situation that allows you to see progress as it is and manage your expectations accordingly.
What is a website consultancy service?
If you feel that effective goal setting may be overwhelming, too complicated for the beginning stages of your online project, or that you lack the proper expertise to do it yourself, you can opt for a website consultancy service instead. This essentially implies hiring a team of professional website developers and analysts who will create an effective website strategy for you.
With a Website Consultancy Service, you will receive an actionable, detailed, and optimal roadmap for the development of your project. By making use of SEO expertise, digital marketing strategies, and tools such as visitor heatmaps, A/B testing, or split testing, the roadmap will be your best course of action for achieving your website goals quickly and efficiently.