Setting Goals for Your Website

By admin, September 3rd, 2009

Why Goals?

Many people will purchase a website from a designer and sit back and wait for magic to happen. A bit of a “build it and they will come” mentality. We all know that’s not how it works in real life. If you want to see real results for your website, you need to put some effort into it. A website can be one of the best investments your business makes or one of the worst. It depends on what you do with it. Setting goals is a concrete step you can take to increase your ROI.

What to Measure?

But what to measure? It depends on what you use your website for, but for most small businesses a website usually works as a marketing piece. As such, it’s purpose is to increase sales. So if sales is important, there are a few things (metrics) you could measure.

  • The number of inquiries from your website.
  • How long visitors stay on your website.
  • If visitors sign up for your newsletter (an indication they want to learn more).

As well, you can use your website to gauge the effectiveness of other forms of marketing. If you’re planning a direct mail, add a special url to it and see how many times that page gets visited.

How to Measure it?

The most common tool for measuring statistics on a website is Google Analytics. It’s a free service and there is a ton of information out there on how to use it. We provide it with all our websites and chances are your designer (if that isn’t us) has it installed on your website as well.

Obviously Google Analytics can’t measure everything. You should consider what your goals are when it comes to the tool for measuring it. A CRM might work better for measuring leads. Newsletter sign ups? Dig around your newsletter tool to see if it allows you to track sign ups (if not, you should find a different provider).

What are Reasonable Goals?

It’s true what they say. Goals should be specific and measurable. You should reach a little higher than what you’re comfortable with. Then work backwards to get actionable items.

If you’ve never had a website and don’t do a lot of offline marketing, don’t expect it to magically take off. For a decently search engine optimized site, you can expect 2-5 hits per day after 3 months.

The Art of Testing and Incremental Improvement

Testing in the formal sense is making a change and measuring it’s impact. Testing can involve making changes to text, the design, or offline marketing tactics. It’s a learning process and often you find things you would have never expected (like seeing an increase from changing the wording on a form). It’s truly an art, but sometimes even the most subtle change can create double digit improvements in performance.

Category Icon Posted in Effectiveness

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