Have you sat down and spent some time thinking about goals? Your site should have a reason for being. Is your website living up to it’s goals? Is it a cornerstone of your business, bringing in new business, making you a leader in the marketplace? Does it add value to your business? It all comes down to your goals and your marketing plans.
You don’t have any goals for your site?
What are you waiting for?
Today, marketing your website is more than just making sure you have a web address printed on your brochure or business card. Your website should be a part of your overall marketing efforts. More and more research is done online, in some cases, nearly all of the pre-sales information gathering comes from online search and information gathering. In other cases, the entire sales cycle takes place online. Your site may just be missing out on opportunities to reach your market.
It’s not enough to say, “I want my website to make lots of money.” Sure that’s a goal, but really, it’s pretty vague. You need to be more specific – and your web designer or developer or marketing department can’t do this for you – this is a business level decision that only you can make. What things can you measure will result in more money? Those are the things you should be looking at and basing your goals on. Take a few and think about it now.
Some like to measure traffic or pageviews. This is fine, it’s an easy to understand number. More is better, right? The problem is, it doesn’t necessarily translate into revenue. All the traffic in the world does no good, if you don’t do anything with it.
What kind of goals can you have for your website?
Some companies track the number of contacts their site generates. How many inquiries are made either through e-mail, a web-based form, or even via phone calls to a special web-only phone number. This is better, and suits many service related companies who have a long sales cycle, who don’t directly sell a product online, or offer service available for purchase directly from the site. Enable your staff to follow these leads through your system.
A company engaged in e-commerce has more options. You can set goals for: overall sales, number of items ordered per invoice, percentage of visitors who buy, and so much more. Most shopping carts have a means of integrating tracking and reporting for this information. This information gives you an up close view of your market and the best thing is you can take this information and respond almost immediately with changes to increase your results.
So how do you measure the results on your website?
Website statistics, or analytics is one way of gathering performance information on your website but it can be as simple as listing items in a spreadsheet. There are lots of options, some even free to report this information. (this is a topic for another post or even series of posts)
Having goals and a means to measure your site’s progress gives your company the ability respond to your market. How do you measure up?