I remember the first time my husband and I went camping. We were both prepared with all the essential gear. We bought a new tent, some good sleeping bags, food, charcoal etc. We were all ready to camp. The first night was perfect all the gear worked perfectly.
The next morning we woke to the smell of coffee wafting through our tent. And it hit us we had forgotten an essential camping item – a kettle. No kettle meant no hot water which meant… No Coffee!
I can still remember looking around at people sipping their morning cup of java, taking in the morning air while we drank water. I never made that mistake again! Now, my camping trips always include a kettle, coffee, eggs and even bacon. It’s easy to forget the essential stuff that prevent you from having a great time. Unless you plan for it.
Good planning is equally important when thinking about your websites goals. The essential, and I would even say crucial elements, will go a long way in helping you, define the goals for your website.
So just why are website goals important?
As a small business owner you create a business to make money. When you invest in your website, you expect to get a return on your investment.
But how do you measure your return? By having a goal! Having goals will help you measure the success or failure of your website. And help you to take corrective actions when needed.
Setting your goals ensures that you set clear expectations for your website.
Here are 4 essential elements that you should consider when setting your goals:
1. What is the purpose of your Website?
2. Who is your target profile?
3. Why will people visit your website?
4. What action do you want your visitors to take?
Let’s delve a little deeper shall we..
1) What is the purpose of your website?
It is most important to understand why you are building your website. Do you expect your website to be:
- A personal blog: A blog just for your own satisfaction
- A business website: A website setup for an online business
- Just a web presence: Which is like having a business card on the web
- A lead generation tool: Where you want to build a list that you can sell to
- A portfolio website: Like a website for photographers who need display their portfolio
- An e-commerce site: A website designed just to sell products like Amazon
These are just a few examples. But understanding the broad goal of your website will help you get more focused on understanding who will visit your website.
2) Who is your target profile?
Imagine you are in large airport where flight information is being announced constantly. But the announcer only calls out flight destinations instead of the airline name and flight number. Would you be able to find your departure gate? The airline would not be able to find their passengers and the passengers would not be able to find their plane.
So, when determining the goals of your website it very important to be very clear who is your ideal visitor.
Say you have a weight loss website. It is important for you to know that your website will be visited by someone like say Melanie, who is 38 years old. She weighs around 250 pounds and has tried every diet and failed.
It is also important for Melanie to know what you are offering on your website.
3) Why will people visit your website?
It is important to determine:
- What your visitors are looking for
- What they are expecting to find
For example, will Melanie be expecting to join a Group Therapy Session? Is she also looking for articles on her special conditions? Will she expect to find other like minded people?
These are questions that should be answered when creating your goals.
Let’s say Melanie is now on your website, and she is impressed with your articles. Then what?
4) What actions do you want your visitors to take?
This is the place where many good websites lose out. It is important to understand what specific action you wish your visitor to take. Which means defining your ‘Call to Action’.
Do you want Melanie to sign up for a regular newsletter? Or do you want her to contact you? Or do you want her to buy a therapy session?
Remember your call to action needs to put customers on a path to get immediate results. Don’t create a great website only to have potential clients directed to a list of phone numbers and emails, tell them exactly who to call and what to do next.
Defining the action you want your visitors to perform on your website is one of the most important goals that need to be defined.
But what if you already have a website?
It is never too late to get started on defining your website goals. Defining your goals will also help you take corrective action on your website
Website goals lead to success
Just like how I now always have all the essentials to make a great camping trip. Answer these 4 essential and crucial questions:
- What is the purpose of your Website?
- Who is your target profile?
- Why will people visit your website?
- What action you want your visitors to take?
And you will be well on you way to defining the goals of your website. And of course this will also lead, to you creating a website that will work for you. And you will be able to measure your success.
Does all this seem a little overwhelming? Feel free to contact me.