As a business owner, it’s important to make sure all your steps are measured, contributing to the bigger picture. That’s why setting SMART website goals can help you build a business website that helps you achieve growth.
Website goals inform what to look out for when building a website that helps you achieve overall business goals. The advantages of establishing an online presence for your business cannot be overstated, but you will not enjoy them without the right objectives in place.
Always remember that good website goals are those that not only take into consideration what the business wants to achieve but the customer as well. Business websites and their online presence have become an important touch point in the customer purchase journey.
Even for brick-and-mortar businesses, online assets are often utilised while the customer is in the consideration stage. Your website goals should be clear on how your business website will be used to enrich the customer experience.
Generate Good Traffic
This is perhaps the most important website goal. If no one goes to your website, none of the other goals can be accomplished. You need to make sure your website gets regular relevant visitors.
This is one of the factors that has stayed consistent in the brick-and-mortar and internet era. You need to get your business in front of your audience and make sure they interact. In the brick-and-mortar world it’s “location location location”, online it’s a few more factors, but the goal is the same, get more traffic.
Not only do you need to make sure the number of users you are getting grows, but you also need to make sure your return visits are great as well. Not only is this a sign of a great user experience, but it also builds customer loyalty. Unless of course, you run a government website then people are back for lack of a choice more than anything.
But for everyone else, make sure the number of people visiting your site and those returning is high. It’s not just about the number of visitors though, quality counts as well. A million visitors who have no relevance to your business will add no value to you.
Therefore as you focus on getting and measuring your visitors, prioritise quality. A good business website not only boosts online traffic but will boost foot traffic as well. This is true for all your online assets actually. A lot of clients will start their shopping journey online even if they intend to make a physical purchase.
A good online experience will determine if they actually complete the purchase in person. So winning the battle for traffic online directly benefits your brick-and-mortar operation. So much so that “location location location” has become less of a factor because of the internet.
As the internet has become more dynamic, the purposes of websites are growing diverse. For a business website, however, it remains one thing above all, an important marketing tool. As far as website goals go, generating valuable high-quality leads ranks high.
Even if you were to get all the traffic the web could offer, it wouldn’t be of much value if it wasn’t interested in your products. This is how to align your website goals with your business goals because a business needs to sell to thrive. So, over and above informing your visitors, your website should allow visitors to take particular actions that leave their information.
This could be an email, phone number, or anything that allows you to communicate with them later in time. What’s important, however, is to make sure these leads are qualified. This means that your leads need to have a desire to purchase your products or services.
When it comes to leads generated from your website, quality beats quantity. Your leads should ideally be high converting, low bounce rate, and sign up for email. These are qualities you can use to determine interest to engage further with your business.
These leads should then be qualified, that is followed up on, with the intent of closing a sale. As already stated, a business needs to sell to thrive, and as a result, sales is an important website goal. It’s important to remember that sales take different shapes and forms for different businesses.
Your business needs to be optimised to gather the leads that convert best for your industry. In addition to generating sales from leads, you could actually have opportunities sale directly from your website.
Again, it’s important to know that a sale is different for different industries. While for e-commerce sites it could actually be a purchase, for your website it could be a digital download. Whether you want to sell the most stylish jeans or you want visitors to download your fire memes, make sure your call to action makes it possible.
Answer Questions and Inform
If there’s one undouble benefit of the internet, it is just how much it has put answers at our fingertips. We all remember the good old days of the Encyclopedia, 50 volumes on a shelf. All of it was so tedious that arguments would last for days until someone was tired enough to just concede.
No one had the time to sort through all that just for answers. Making a purchase was no different. Evaluating options meant consumers had to walk or drive everywhere within reach. In the age of the internet, a consumer can shop around the whole globe before they have to make a purchase commitment.
All this is just a search bar away. Additionally, with the advent of voice search and AI, it’s just a question away. Helping your consumers in their purchase journey by answering key questions and informing them is a key website goal. Not only will this demonstrate authority and quality, it instantly builds an element of trust that’s dwindled, ironically because of the internet.
Having a quality Q & A section and blog is a must for your business website. Your business site shouldn’t be shy to answer questions that could potentially take business away from you. If you know of some home remedies, good recipes or DIY tips as a GP, restaurant or handyman respectively, share them.
You might not get the sale at that time, but the customer loyalty that gains will have a greater lifetime value. Be sure to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer personas.
Take the time to investigate and research the most burning questions regarding your product or service. Also, actively ask for pain points and feedback from clients, then make all efforts to make sure these are answered.
Increase Product Awareness
This is a website goal that often goes unmet. Copywriting is understandably tough, and it’s usually a miss on many websites. A lot of us have visited a website with pages upon pages, but after all of them, you can’t tell what the product/ service does.
Frustratingly, we are usually left with more questions than answers. Not only will this be disastrous for SEO, the traffic you do get from other channels will not convert. Your website must be the go-to guide for everything on your products. It should answer every question regarding not only the product itself, but also how it meets your target consumer’s needs.
Always remember that products may come and go, but needs stay. Humans may have transitioned from organic to GMO, and now slowly back to organic foods, but the need to eat stays.
So, in as much as you increase awareness of the product itself, connect the product with the market by increasing awareness of how it meets their needs. Your product awareness goals should include making it part of a culture.
In that way, it may even transcend the needs it’s meant to meet and become a cultural necessity. Think of a brand like Adidas. Over time, it’s more important than any clothing need, it’s become a definition for some.
So, an important website goal: make sure it makes your product an entrenched aspect of your target market.
Improve Customer Support and Satisfaction
From the onset, the internet was invented as a means to make human lives easier. In a lot of ways, it has done this. The internet makes it easier to access information, communicate, shop, bring ideas to life, kill time at work, everything really.
This is an advantage your business website must take full advantage of. A well-built website can improve the overall experience for your clients when dealing with your business. By combining all of the goals discussed here, your website can be an invaluable tool in ensuring clients are satisfied with the service you deliver.
By utilising your website to the fullest, you can augment your service to a level that would otherwise be out of your reach, financially or time-wise. As a small business, an important website goal is making sure it assists you in offering a level of service at par with large competitors.
At every stage of the purchase journey and after, make sure you are a click away to resolve queries. Take advantage of your small size to communicate directly. While AI has brought exciting progress in chatbots, maintain the human touch for as long as you can.
Your limited traffic is a small business advantage you should leverage to establish connections. Use your understanding of clients to make sure you not only convert them to make a purchase but maximise their lifetime value.
Demonstrate your Authority
The modern consumer is extremely spoilt for choice, and as a result, they want to buy from the best. Your online assets, including your website, should help you establish yourself as the business partner they need.
Your website, blog and social media should go beyond just informing, it should anticipate questions and answer them. You can let past customer queries and interactions inform your content. You can even outright ask clients by way of surveys or other feedback what their burning questions are, and answer them.
These answers should be skillfully blended into blog content, product descriptions, company information and social media posts. Consistently interacting with this information will not only keep your brand top of mind with clients but improve their chances of choosing you when they get around to getting services.
This is also a great way to approach your SEO. The questions clients have about your business, products and services are what they’ll search for, and having this information out there will help you perform better in search.
Build your Brand
With your website demonstrating your authority in your field, it’s an important opportunity to build your brand. But it’s an opportunity to build your brand in a different way. The truth of modern brand building is that it’s a double-edged sword. On the one end of the spectrum, the general sentiment is that of a lack of trust in large brands.
Consumers see large corporations as increasingly evil. Because of this, it’s tougher to put out messaging that resonates and captures the audience. On the other hand, though, some brands are building great communities around themselves. They are managing to build a following of brand ambassadors who absolutely stand by their brand.
These ambassadors basically provide added support for other clients and engage in great additional marketing for these brands. A great website goal could be to build this kind of brand following. You can do this by going beyond informing clients and also engaging them with your content.
You understand your target market best, so you’d know the kind of content that would not only make them recognise you as a brand but one they want to associate with. Red Bull does this very well with their marketing in general. Their brand is about energy, and nothing is more energy than extreme sports.
You can see this theme in all their content, particularly their website, that’s why extreme sports supporters like me are all Red Bull. Most importantly though, they have fun with it. So as a brand, Red Bull is one of those brands you never get tired of seeing content from.
Between the silly cart races, the heart-stopping building jumps and the adrenaline-pumping GoPro bike shots, you want to see more. This is what you should aim to do with your website. Build a brand that understands its target market so much, you build a website they consistently want to visit and hear from.
Improve Task Completion
Whatever kind of website you have, it should streamline how tasks are completed internally and externally. Both you and your clients should be able to do things faster and easier because of the addition of that website to your business.
Clients should be able to get critical information and communicate faster. This means that clients who land on your site should be able to complete anything they came on there for, hassle-free.
These tasks could include:
- Looking for contact information and contacting your business
- Looking for product information and placing orders
- Lodging queries or looking for support
- Giving feedback
Even if you are not in e-commerce, your website should help clients buy your products.
The business website is also a good asset to improve task completion for your staff as well, particularly regarding clients. Particularly when it comes to support, your website can take the customer experience to a whole new level.
You can easily facilitate this by adding instant communication like a chat window on there. Because your website can be online at all times, ensuring customer satisfaction doesn’t need to be put on hold for anything. Clients don’t need to wait in frustration, they can get the help they need as soon as they can.
Search technology has completely changed the way we browse the internet, for the most part, for the better. We all remember the dark days when forgetting even one letter in the web address meant you couldn’t visit a site. Perhaps because of that, we now almost always start browsing the web with search.
Even when we know the sites we want to visit, we still Google them first. Ranking well in search engines has become an important determining factor in business success. With websites now an important source of information, a reputation asset and an overall central touch point when clients deal with your business, if your clients can’t search for you and find you, you are losing out on a lot of business.
While ranking well can be very tough, make sure you own your brand name on search. Before looking at anything else for SEO, make sure you appear first when clients search for your brand. These are clients who are already looking to engage with you, don’t allow yourself to lose them to competition.
Second, work on your local SEO. Make sure all clients looking for businesses around them can find you. With 97% of consumers admitting to searching local businesses before using them, it pays to be found. Considering local SEO tends to be easier with tools like Bing Places and Google Business Profile, you have no excuse.
After you have claimed your brand name and you are competitive for local searches, you can cast the net wider. Arm yourself with a good SEO and start working on getting your site ranking online.
Granted SEO is becoming tougher, with regular changes and updates, but approach it from the perspective of your user. Put yourself in their shoes, understand why and how they want to find you, and you’ll have a strategy that stands the test of time.
While it’s becoming increasingly easier to take your business online, it’s becoming harder to meet business goals with online assets. Your clients spend a significant amount of their time on the internet, but they are constantly bombarded with messaging.
With such strong competition for their attention, it’s going to take something special to stand out. A good place to start to make sure you stand out is to set good website goals. Then let these goals inform the rest of your decision-making on online strategy.
Put your customer’s pain points first, and your overall business goals second, and marry these into an online experience that enriches the customer journey and helps achieve business growth.