Having a well designed, responsive website in Cornwall (or anywhere for that matter) should be a central part of most business’ marketing plan. In this post we are going to have a look at how to set goals for your website, whether its in existence already, or you are starting afresh.
If you are starting a new business, your first port of call is to make sure your website goals are in line with your business goals. If you’re business and website is up and running we’d suggest a slightly different approach. Firstly, you need to establish where you are currently at. The old adage rings true here, its very hard to get to where you want to go without knowing where you are currently at.
Once you’ve done your initial assessment it’s time to get some ideas together. Most people attack this by brainstorming; you should hopefully have a handful of thoughts together and be ready to form them into some kind of plan. How do you know if your notions are any good or not? Well, here is a list of 5 criteria to run each and every idea through to help you decide if they should make your final cut.
Is your goal specific? It needs to be something that can be ticked off a list and not open ended. If you’re starting from scratch ‘having a nice website’ is not very specific. In comparison to ‘having a 10 page website which is responsive across devices’ which is very specific. Similarly with existing sites ‘getting more traffic to the site’ should be revised to ‘increasing traffic by 20%’ etc.
Closely intertwined with the previous point, each of your goals needs to be measurable. After all, if you can’t measure it, how do you know if you’ve achieved it or not?
If you’re running an online web store, ‘increasing sales’ is not particularly measurable and doesn’t have an end point.
How much of an increase is enough?
By contrast, ‘increasing sales by 20%’ is much more appropriate because you can easily tell as and when you have hit your target.
It may sound pretty obvious, but surprising how many get this simple step wrong. Getting 25,000 visitors to your brand new website in the first month probably isn’t going to happen, so there’s no point setting it as a goal as you’re unlikely to achieve it.
Maybe you’ve settled on the idea that you would like to get more visitors to your site. You can even quantify it by saying you want to increase your traffic by 100%. Nothing wrong with that at all. Unless this is completely irrelevant with your business or wider website goals. If you’re primary focus is B2B in a niche market, its probably irrelevant whether you have 10,000 or 1,000,000 visitors a month; there will only be a limited audience you can market too, and you’re probably already in contact with most of your potential clients. Therefore, doubling your web traffic really isn’t going to help you in this situation because your website is purely a spring board for you to prove you exist and be a digital business card, you have nothing to gain as a business for inviting in the masses.
With most of examples we’ve mentioned in this post, we’ve given two dimensions to our goal, the specific goal and a number with which to make it measurable. Whilst these are helpful to give your marketing plan direction, they are missing the final crucial element, time. Without a timeframe attached to your goal, you’re setting yourself a never ending target which you keep working towards until you achieve; it could take weeks, months or maybe even years.
Not only does setting a deadline for your goals give you a good yardstick to work towards, it helps you break a bigger goal into smaller pieces, and regularly adjust according to your progress. If ultimately you want to increase your monthly web traffic by 100%, its realistic to expect that this is a 3,6 or even 12 month process. Therefore, set yourself the task of increasing the monthly traffic by 25% in a quarter of your expected time. You will know far quicker if your larger goal is achievable and also stay motivated by regular achievements in bite-sized steps.
Thats about it from us on this one. You may have noticed that we’ve used the SMART goals criteria to help with planning your goals. It’s a tried and tested method of tracking your progress, and we like to use it quite regularly around here.
If you’d like to know any more about this topic or our web design services in Cornwall, get in contact today.