I find a lot of small businesses look at Q4 as a time to start thinking about re-doing their website. Either they hope to have a new site to usher in the new year and hit the next year running strong, or they want to get ready and start working on it once they’ve solidified their marketing budgets.
If your personal goal is to get prepped to redo your website anytime soon, then you need to read this.
One of the things that a lot of web design agencies forget to help you with is what your objectives are for a new website. Whether this is your first website or you’re redoing one, you need to know what your goals are. After all, you’re making an investment into your business. That investment needs to drive some sort of ROI right?
(The answer here is, yes, yes it does.)
Grab a notebook, post-its, or open up your favorite Notes app. I’m going to walk you through how to decide on what you want a website to do for your business. Once you know what you want it to do, it’s far easier to create an ROI and hit those goals.
Notes Before We Begin
Websites are Never “Finished”
One thing to keep in mind before we dive in – a website is never really finished. The great thing about the platform is that it’s digital, so it’s easy to tweak and change until you get it right. When it comes to websites, done is definitely better than perfect.
That doesn’t mean, however, that a little bit of this planning up front isn’t important. It’ll do a lot to help you get it right the first time.
But, keep in mind that you can always make changes and none of these answers have to be permanent either.
In fact, I just did a big change to my own website because my objectives had changed a bit. It’s totally OK!
Using SMART Objectives
As you set your goals, I want you to keep in mind that you want to include objectives and goals that are realistic and trackable. Can’t have goals if you don’t have a way to measure them, right?
One thing that I teach my students is to use SMART goals. These are goals and objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable (gotta be realistic!), Relevant, and have a Time Frame.
That basically means that you want to choose a specific goal that you can measure, that is realistic (probably not going to go from $50,000 to $1 million in a year), relevant to your business/services, and has a time frame attached to the goal.
For instance, you could want to increase your website visitors, specifically to your blog, by 10x over the course of a year.
Or, you want to increase sales on your website by 2x every 60 days.
Establishing Website Objectives
Now that we have some back story, let’s dive in.
First thing you have to decide or write down is what kind of business you have. Then, what are you looking to increase financially?
For instance, if you’re a service-based business, do you want to sell an extra one-to-one coaching package each month from your current? Do you need to sell three new group memberships every month? Do you want to increase webinar attendees or registrants into your email marketing list?
If you’re more product based, do you want to increase your sales? Grow your email list? Have to have fewer giveaways/coupons?
Here are some questions to get you thinking:
- Do you want to increase phone calls?
- Decrease time-wasting phone calls?
- Increase products/services sold?
- Do you have a certain product or set of products you’d like to sell more of?
- Do you want to decrease sales on a service/product and sell more of another?
- Increase website visits?
- Increase email newsletter sign ups?
- Increase webinar/funnel registrants?
- Increase events booked?
- Offer fewer discounts?
- Get more leads into contact forms?
- Have fewer time-wasting leads into contact forms?
- Increase blog readership/podcast listens?
- Get more viewers on your YouTube videos?
- Increase downloads of lead captures or other resources?
- Increase public perception of your expertise/thought-leadership?
- Build up your brand or personal brand?
You’ll notice that not all of these questions are straight revenue-generating either. For a lot of my clients, cutting out the unwanted communication and sales is almost as important as getting the ones that you actually want. Building up your brand, your email list, and your readership can do a lot for your long-term financial success, too, so don’t discount those for just “sales” that you get instant gratification for.
Choosing Your Objectives
Personally, I’d say to choose anywhere from 3-5 main objectives for your website rebuild. What are you trying to do differently? Write those out and put them in order of what’s most important to you and your business.
Make sure to mix and match with the ones that will have short-term and long-term benefits.
Now, assign real numbers to each of those objectives and add the date by which you’d like to hit those numbers. Remember to be realistic. If you have it, I’d even recommend breaking down your previous data to help you figure out what’s realistic.
Some of these objectives may go “off site” a bit, too, to impact your social media and other channels like YouTube. That’s totally OK! Your website is your marketing’s foundation, so the goal of it should be to not only build up your website, but other areas of your digital marketing strategy, too.
Building a New Website
That’s pretty much it! Depending on how much previous data you’re working with, these can be pretty quick or can take a bit more time to put together. Plan an hour or two though and then keep these somewhere you can find and reference it again.
One key component to these objectives is they will drive the copy, design, and even how your website is built. So once you’ve decided on what you want, you need to communicate these to whomever you hire to build your website. They should be able to take these and make suggestions for what you need!
And well, if they say they don’t matter, you know who to call instead.