Guest blog by Nikita G Copywriter & Strategist
Setting website goals is key to building a successful website – not just a site that looks good, but one that boosts business.
Too often, businesses spend money and time creating a website that doesn’t help their brand grow or bring in cash. One of the main reasons why this happens is because those brands didn’t build their websites to fulfil a specific purpose, a.k.a. a website goal.
Some brands often skip this crucial step in the website planning process because they don’t really understand the benefits of having a website.
In the past, many companies had websites because their competitors did, or they wanted to show their customers that they’re a legit business. But websites have become so much more and can actually be a very effective part of your sales process.
More than just a pretty online destination for your company profile, well-built sites can:
- give you the competitive edge
- bring you customers that are ready to buy
- help you close deals right on your website – no human interaction needed
But you can only benefit from these advantages if you realise the true value of having a website and spend time setting goals before you start creating your new online home.
Why website goals are important
When you and your creative team sit down to decide what you want to put on your website, you’ll quickly come to understand that there are hundreds of ways to write, order and structure information on your pages.
The content, layout and visual elements you choose will all work together to create a particular impression on website visitors – and hopefully inspire them to take a specific action, whether that’s getting in touch with you, making a purchase, or simply following you on social media.
But not all website actions are valuable to your business. You might not benefit directly from more social media followers, or you might not want lots of people to email you with requests for more information.
And this is where website goals come in. Once you decide what you want your website to achieve, you’ll know what content and structure will help you reach these specific goals. Not only that, but think of all the time you’ll save by creating only the content that your website needs.
In a nutshell:
Less time spent + more business goals reached = More $$$
So, what are some of the goals you want to achieve? We’ve listed the most important ones in this post. They aren’t that complicated to understand, but it’s essential that you choose carefully and only target one or two.
When you try to tick every box here, you’ll end up right where you started: with a website that tries to be all things to all people and eventually becomes way too much work to build and maintain.
Don’t do it! Just pick one or two of these aims:
Website goal examples
1. Increase awareness
Increasing awareness means educating users about your offering and providing them with the information they need to consider your business as a suitable provider. One way to achieve this is through reputation-boosting static content that a) sticks closely to your brand positioning and b) differentiates you from competitors.
Measure your success through traffic and a low bounce rate.
2. Generate more leads
There are many definitions of lead generation, but for our purposes, lead generation is when a website visitor is transformed into someone who actively shows interest in what you offer. When a user shows interest, you can continue marketing to them until they are ready to convert.
Achieve this goal by clearly highlighting the benefits of your offering. You can also grow your leads database through newsletter subscriptions and downloadable content that requires visitors to submit their details first.
Measure your success through return visits to your site and the growth of your marketing database.
3. Convert qualified leads into prospects
A website conversion happens when someone completes an action on your website that shows intent to buy. These people then become prospects in your sales pipeline or, simply put, a contact you can “work” until you seal the deal. You’ll want to include lots of calls to action on each page of your website and buttons or web forms that will allow visitors to easily get in touch with you/transact with you.
Measure your success through online chat messages, direct communication as a result of your website’s content, online purchases or registrations to your platform or shop.
4. Generate more sales
E-commerce can streamline your sales process and reduce the amount of one-on-one time you need to spend with potential customers. Of course, e-commerce isn’t for every business and only makes sense if you have frequent purchases, but it’s a great way to speed up business growth.
If your focus is on selling your products online without the direct involvement of a salesperson, your website has to become your virtual storefront. That means all your pages, including your static ones, need to be built to place your latest offers front and centre.
Measuring your success is easy! A steady increase in online orders is proof that your site is doing its job.
5. Validate the sales team
When this is the goal of your website, your content will be centred around validating and supporting the communications of the sales team throughout the offline sales process. This goal is obviously aimed at larger businesses with a big sales team and requires that what’s on your website backs up the claims of your salespeople.
Ensure you have lots of testimonials on your site and that your content reflects the information in your sales team’s scripts.
One of the best ways to measure your success is to see how much direct traffic you’re getting to your website, a.k.a. potential customers typing your URL into their browsers after Sales have contacted them.
6. Improve customer satisfaction
Ideal for websites that serve a support function for existing customers through portals or accounts, these websites’ features are centred around easy navigation, ease of use and helpful functionalities. If this is your goal, make sure your client or e-commerce portal is well-designed and that your website includes highly visible buttons to your portal. You don’t want customers to comb through your site in search of the Login button.
Measure your success through return visits to your portal and traffic to the different pages of your platform.
7. Optimise workflow
This goal applies mainly to enterprise-size companies or businesses that get loads of traffic and leads every day. Wading through large amounts of enquiries from website visitors can be time-consuming – and even a waste of your sales force’s time.
You can build a website that optimises the flow of information from lead to salesperson by integrating the site into your company’s IT ecosystem. You’ll want to incorporate as many of your systems as possible, including your CRM, marketing automation, accounting software, customer support systems and document and asset management.
When this is your website goal, make sure your integrations don’t complicate the user experience. The user journey should still be seamless and straightforward.
Measure your success through the growth rate of your CRM database and time saved on administrative tasks.
No matter the size of your business, your website can – and should – have a goal or purpose. Spend time envisioning what that is before your start building your site or briefing your creative team. It’s an investment that will pay off in business growth, wherever you are in your brand journey.