As a small business owner, website planning may not be top of your priority list for the New Year, but it should be! You’ve probably spent the last week of two making plans, setting up new projects and dreaming about the future. But has your website been part of your planning?
All too often, a website is seen as something static, like a brochure, and once it’s put in place it’s largely ignored until it’s outdated. But a website can evolve to support your business and can form a vital part of a dynamic marketing plan.
Defining your website’s purpose
What is the point of your website, anyway? Have you ever actually sat down to consider what it does for you, and whether it pulls its weight? Or is it just sort of hanging out there, like a teenager on the sofa?
If your website is working hard for you, here are some of the things it could do:
- Establish your brand identity,
- Communicate your values,
- Promote awareness of your industry or cause,
- Generate qualified marketing or sales leads,
- Automate self-service for your clients,
- Build a community,
- Save you, a busy business owner, time.
Review your website’s past performance
If you set goals for your website last year, now is the time to review them. Dig out those spreadsheets that have been gathering dust, and take a look at what you hoped to achieve.
How are you going to tell if you did well? You need data and some of the best places to find it are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or any other analytics you have access to, such as social media metrics.
Use the metrics you have available to review how well your website achieved its purpose(s).
- Purpose: direct online sales
Metric: revenue ($)
- Purpose: build a community
Metric: membership signups
- Purpose: recruitment
Metric: number of job applications submitted via website
- Purpose: lead generation
Metric: number of emails collected through form submissions
If your website is part of your marketing strategy, consider using the AIDA model to refine your website goals.
You can define goals and define metrics to:
- Increase awareness – SEO, paid ads, or social media reach
- Create interest – website visitors
- Stimulate desire – track “add to cart” or signing up for a discount code
- Promote action – actual online sales or other conversions
Setting SMART goals for your website
Having data on your website’s performance will make it really easy for you to set goals. If you don’t have data, then your first goal will be to set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console and learn how to use them.
When setting goals, don’t fall into the trap of making them vague and/or unreachable. Here at Flax Digital, we recommend using the SMART technique to set your goals – make sure that your goals are:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Accountable or assigned
R – Realistic
T – Time-based
For example, a SMART goal would be to increase website visitors to your website to 1000 per month by June 2020, or to grow your mailing list to 500 by December 2020.
Once you’ve set your goals, assigned responsibility for achieving them and set timelines for when they will be measured, it’s time to get to work. Break each goal into quarterly and monthly sub-goals and decide what action you will take to achieve them.
If you follow through, you will be rewarded with a hard-working website and a more profitable business.
Kickstart your 2020 website planning
Download our FREE workbook “Setting SMART website goals.”