By Lucy Bradley
So you’ve decided you want a new website, but what is it that you actually want to achieve from it? It’s easy to jump ahead and start thinking about the fancy features you want your site to have, but you need to establish some goals and objectives you want to work towards first. There is no use in a site that has nice graphics if it lacks in functionality, and therefore isn’t catered towards your end goal. But don’t worry – this post will be able to help you outline what you need to prioritise when it comes to your new site.
Before getting to work on what your new site looks like and the graphics and features involved (typically the ‘fun’ bit), you need to outline the goals and objectives you’re wanting to achieve. Websites goals aren’t all centred around receiving website traffic and page views alone, you’ve got to pinpoint why you want that traffic and what it is you want to achieve from it.
For many, this overall aim might be in terms of generating sales, but this isn’t the case for all businesses. Goals and objectives are specific to your business, and the industry you work in, so it will differ from business to business in terms of what you want to achieve.
Building your brand
Improving interaction with your customers
So now you’ve put together some more generalised goals you want to achieve, and know what you’re working towards, it’s important to put some SMART objectives in place in line with this.
Simply saying you want to build your brand is not specific enough, as it doesn’t outline exactly what you mean or hope to achieve in terms of this. Is this in terms of your approach with social media, recognition of your brand or perhaps market penetration? There needs to be a specific value/concrete number attached to this i.e increase by 20%.
This comes in line with being specific, is the objective something that you can quantifiably measure? ‘Giving better customer service’ is not quantifiable, however saying ‘increasing customer satisfaction by 15%’ is.
Making achievable objectives is something that is really important to think about, as it can be easy to get carried away with the excitement of creating a new site. But objectives that are too easily achieved, or impossible to meet have no use – and therefore should not be set. A great way to set achievable objectives is to look at your current website, and if an objective is easily met on that site, then it is not ambitious enough.
Creating relevant objectives for your website that match your business needs, and that are also in line with your mission statement and overall business objectives is also key. If there is no consistency across objectives, it makes it difficult to achieve overall business goals and objectives.
Finally, it is important to consider when you want to achieve these objectives by. So whilst you initially need to think about how long it’ll take to put your site together, it’s important to think about the short and long term effects of a website, and how this will impact on the achievement of your overall objectives and goals.
No website is going to attract everybody, so outlining who your ideal website visitor is is key to making your website in a way that is best suited to them, and will aid you in working towards your goal. Optimising your website, in terms of content, usability and user journey for your ideal visitor is key to achieving your website goals. For example, if you were looking to increase sales you would look at using having a very accessible site, with well-organised content and plenty of calls to actions in order to drive more conversions and take a user through the sales funnel more successfully.
There is no use in setting goals and objectives for your website if you’re not going to measure them to know whether or not you’ve achieved them. The way you measure success depends on the goals and objectives you’ve set for your website, so whilst tools such as google analytics and hotjar can help to measure some objectives, they are not a fit for all.
Once you know whether or not your website is working towards your goal, you can adjust your strategy accordingly, and know what to look at going forward to really make your website one of your most important assets.