OK…So, the title of this blog post is a double entendre. I’ve found that many entrepreneurs and business owners have websites that are growing cobwebs because they haven’t been updated in ages or are unfocused in the purpose and goals for the site. When you go to a website and have no idea what that website owner wants you to do…that’s a problem! I understand that we, as business owners, have so much to do that most times our websites are the last things on our minds. That is, of course, unless your entire business is online and you’re selling through your website. I’ve been guilty of this myself. You get so bogged down with working in your business that you have little time to work on your business. Your website is a major part of your marketing strategy. So today we’re going to talk about goals for your website and the purpose of marketing – and this should get you focused on your website and making sure that your marketing goals are being met.
Before your website is created you should first determine what it is that your website needs to do for your visitors or customers and your business. This should be the main goal and purpose for your website and defines the role that your website will play in your marketing strategy. If your website was created without this in mind – don’t worry! It’s not too late. So let’s talk about those goals, shall we?
Sales is the easiest goal to identify. If you’re selling products through your website – your goal is to sell and make as much money as you can, right? So of course your website should be designed in a manner that’s clean and organized in a way that makes it very easy for your customers to find what they’re looking for and can make it through the payment process with ease. If your website is built on WordPress you can find many shopping cart plug-ins that can help accomplish this. They help you get your products loaded, set up tax and shipping charges, and even provide functionality to sell downloadable products. E-books or music, anyone? Don’t make them have to hunt around for products. Get them organized and displayed so that they can be purchased easily…before your customer leaves to find another site to purchase from. And it’s easy to tell whether this website goal is being met! Either you’re making money – or you’re not!
A website can be used to generate leads. A great way to do this is by building an email list. You can use a page within your website or a landing page to collect names and an email address – at the very least – of your website visitors. Building a list enables you to have a list of potential customers you can sell to at a later time. Imagine you’re an author. You’ve gotten people to your website and collected their email addresses. These are sales leads that you can now inform of your book that has been released and you want them to buy it. You send them all an email with a link to a sales page where they can purchase the book. Acquiring sales leads is an important part of a sales funnel or sales process. And you can easily tell if you’re meeting this goal by keeping track of the growth of your list.
Another goal or purpose of a website may be to build awareness of your business or organization. Think non-profits. A non-profit website would most likely not have a shopping cart. It would be designed and organized in a way to quickly make you aware of their mission, how they go about meeting that mission, and giving you information on how you can get involved. To determine if this type of website is fulfilling its purpose you may track the number of visitors to the site – and/or the number of people who contact you to get involved or donate to the cause.
Your website could be created to connect with an audience. Think blogs. Maybe baking cupcakes is your passion. Or you’re looking to create an online support group for new mothers. Creating a blog or forum to connect with others who have a similar interest or problem to which you are looking for a solution or support can help with that mission. Your goal success can be determined by your viewership numbers which can be tracked and analyzed with Google Analytics. You can also determine the success of your website by membership sign-ups – if your website is designed so that people have to register to join like Facebook.
Communication is another goal or purpose that you may have for your website. It could be designed to simply provide information on a particular subject, product, company or organization. Or it can provide information in the form of online training courses for a fee like Coursera or Lynda.com. And of course you can determine success of the intended goal by number of visitors to the website and/or the number of people who have purchased training courses.
Determining the purpose or goal for your website is very important and should be done before the site is built so that a way of measuring success can be easily built into the site or set up in your analytics. Your goal can be sales, lead generation, building awareness, connection or communication. Google Analytics allows you to set up some of these goals so that if, for example, your goal is sales – you can see how effective your website is and will get counts based on a dollar value or when someone reaches a particular page in the sales process. Don’t forget to make it easy for your visitors to reach that goal. Don’t make it confusing or leave your visitors hanging when they get to a certain point in the process. (I once went to a website and filled in a form only to discover there was no submit button… WTH!?) Once your website is set up, then comes the fun part – tracking and determining Return on Investment (ROI).
Do you a specific goal for your website that isn’t mentioned? Leave a comment below and let me know what other goals you’ve determined will make your website or business a success. I can’t wait to hear about it!
Until next time…TTYL!