Follow these 3 steps to set your website's goals
Jessica Baldwin / Updated June 29, 2023
When planning a new website or getting ready to refresh an existing one, the first thing to do is set goals.
What is the goal of your website?
Duh! To get customers!" you might say. Of course, that's the ultimate goal, but it oversimplifies things a bit.
Your website must attract and engage your target audience, educate them about your products and services, and convert them into customers.
Your goal-setting process must encompass strategies that align your business objectives with your marketing efforts.
Attracting and engaging your ideal customer
One of the primary goals for any business owner's website should be to attract and engage their target audience. It requires a deep understanding of your ideal customer profile and their needs. Who is most likely to resonate with your products and services? The ideal customer persona is the foundation for crafting compelling website content, design, and user experience tailored to audience preferences. By aligning your website's messaging and visuals with your ideal customers' desires and pain points, you increase the likelihood of attracting and retaining their attention.
Educating visitors about your products and services
Another critical goal for your website is to educate visitors about your products and services. While attracting users to your site is important, providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions is equally vital. Your website should be a comprehensive resource that educates potential customers about your offerings' value and benefits.
Converting website visitors into customers is the ultimate goal that drives your business forward. To achieve this, you need to incentivize users to take action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or submitting their contact information. Clearly define the desired actions you want visitors to take and strategically place compelling calls to action (CTAs) throughout your website. Whether it's a prominent "Buy Now" button, a free trial offer, or a newsletter subscription form, your CTAs should encourage visitors to take the desired steps toward conversion.
3 Steps to Set Your Website Goals
Complete the three statements below to set your website's goals and define how you'll achieve them.
1. "I'll engage my website visitors by...
In the early stages of marketing your brand to your audience, you want to focus on engagement. At this stage, your potential customers are learning about your organization for the first time. How will you get and keep your audience's attention? How can you provide value and make an excellent first impression?
Your website's engagement goal will be specific to your business and the audience you are trying to reach.
Below are a few general examples of how you might fill in the statement, "I'll engage my website visitors by..."
- Featuring helpful blog articles for my ideal customer, optimized for search engines: Publish informative and relevant blog content that addresses your target audience's pain points and interests. Optimize your articles for search engines. Content creation increases the likelihood of attracting organic traffic to your website.
- Creating a library of free downloadable files visitors can access: Offer valuable resources such as e-books, guides, templates, or whitepapers that visitors can download in exchange for an email address. Build an email list and position your brand as a reliable source of information.
- Including a calculator, questionnaire, or quiz related to my business that helps my potential customer: Integrate interactive elements into your website that provide personalized insights or solutions for your audience. This can include calculators, questionnaires, or quizzes that address specific challenges or offer tailored recommendations.
- Offering free videos to help my target customers solve a problem: Create and share informative videos that address common issues or provide entertainment. Visual content is engaging and can effectively hold your visitors' attention.
Attracting and engaging potential customers is a crucial aspect of website goal-setting, especially in the early stages of brand marketing. By focusing on engagement, you can establish a strong connection with your audience and lay the groundwork for further interactions and conversions.
2. "I'll educate my visitors about my products and services by...
Once your audience knows your brand, educate them about your products and services, highlighting how your offerings can address their needs.
Below are a few examples of how website owners can complete the statement, "I'll educate my website visitors about my products and services by..."
- Featuring case studies of successful clients or customers: Showcase real-life examples of how your products or services have benefited others.
- Including customer testimonials: Share testimonials from satisfied customers. This form of social proof demonstrates the positive experiences others have had with your offerings.
- Adding before and after photo galleries: Visual representations of the transformation or improvement of your products or services provide validation of their effectiveness.
- Answering frequently asked questions: Anticipate and address common queries and concerns to proactively provide information that helps visitors better understand your offerings.
- Providing a "how it works" section: Clearly explain the process or steps involved in using your products or services. Understanding the process makes it easier for someone to take the first step.
Utilizing these educational approaches empowers your visitors with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for your offerings.
3. "My website visitors will convert by...
What is the main objective of your website in terms of conversion? How will visitors to your website sign up for or purchase your product or service? It's essential to establish the process through which your visitors will convert. Once you have determined this, you can define your call to action: the specific action your website will urge visitors to take.
Here are a few ways website owners would fill in the statement, "My website visitors will convert by:"
- Purchasing a product through my e-commerce store: Provide a seamless online shopping experience with intuitive navigation, clear product descriptions, and a secure checkout process that encourages visitors to purchase directly from your website.
- Signing up for a course: Offer a straightforward registration process for educational courses, ensuring that potential learners can easily enroll and access the necessary materials or resources.
- Requesting a quote: Provide a simple and user-friendly quote request form that captures essential information from visitors interested in your services, allowing you to respond promptly with pricing details and tailored solutions.
- Filling out an inquiry or contact form: Make it convenient for visitors to reach out to your team by having a well-placed inquiry or contact form on your website. This enables them to express their needs or queries and facilitates effective communication.
- Booking an online demo: Offer the option for visitors to schedule an online demonstration or consultation, allowing them to experience firsthand how your product or service can meet their requirements.
- Setting an appointment: If your business operates on an appointment-based model, enable visitors to schedule appointments directly through your website. Provide an intuitive booking system that allows them to choose a suitable date and time.
- Signing up for your newsletter: For content creators, audience growth is a primary goal. In that case, optimize your website for email subscriber conversions.
Completing the statements above will determine the goals of your website. These goals work together, building upon each stage of your website visitor's journey with your brand.
Website goal-setting examples
Let's walk through a few examples of how various businesses may set their website goals.
Health Coach Heath
Heath is a health coach. His online program includes member-only content, including meal plans and recipes, simple workouts, and mindset resources. He also operates a private Facebook group for his members.
Here's how Heath could fill in the three goal-setting statements.
- Attract and engage: "I'll engage my website visitors by providing a free video series for a seven-day "jumpstart your health" program."
- Educate: "I'll educate website visitors about my online health program by including in-depth case studies on current and past members who achieved positive health outcomes."
- Convert: "My visitors will convert and become members by completing the registration form on my website (with a seven-day free trial included)."
In line with his business goals, Heath, the health coach, can augment his website strategy by incorporating additional marketing strategies like social media and email marketing. By utilizing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Heath can expand his reach and engage with his target audience through health tips, motivational content, and previews of his member-only resources. Furthermore, by implementing email marketing tactics, such as offering a compelling lead magnet and delivering valuable insights, success stories, and program updates, Heath can nurture leads and strengthen his relationship with subscribers. These integrated marketing efforts will enhance his website goals, increase program enrollment, and support individuals in achieving optimal health.
Lisa's Landscaping designs, sources plants, and materials, and completes landscaping projects for residential homes in her local community.
Here's how Lisa might fill in her website goal statements.
- Attract and engage: "I'll attract and engage my website visitors by providing blog posts that feature plants that thrive in our area's climate."
- Educate: "I'll educate website visitors about my services by showcasing before and after photos with corresponding client testimonials."
- Convert: "My website visitors will convert by requesting a quote through an online form."
To augment her strategy, Lisa can leverage additional marketing tactics such as posting her articles on Pinterest and running retargeting ads. Social media marketing will expand her reach while retargeting ads will re-engage visitors and increase the likelihood of conversions. These strategies complement her website goals, driving traffic and maximizing her landscaping business's growth potential.
Newsletter Publisher Penelope
Penelope publishes a newsletter titled "Power Productivity." The newsletter offers weekly tips on how to get things done at work and home. Penelope generates revenue through sponsorships. Her main goal is to grow her subscriber base.
Penelope would fill in the goal-setting statements like this.
- Attract and engage: "I'll engage my website visitors by publishing blog posts that help people learn how to get more done."
- Educate: "I'll educate my website visitors about my newsletter by including testimonials from current subscribers, extolling their enjoyment in reading it each week."
- Convert: "My audience will convert by entering their email to subscribe."
Penelope aims to grow her subscriber base for the "Power Productivity" newsletter. To reach these goals, she can employ additional online marketing tactics. This includes content marketing on other platforms like YouTube and LinkedIn, search engine optimization to improve visibility, and partnering with complimentary newsletters for promotion. These strategies will enhance her online presence and attract a larger audience, ultimately driving the growth of her newsletter.
Setting website goals is a crucial step in achieving success online. The examples above demonstrate how objectives can vary based on business models. While the common goal is conversions and to increase sales, it is essential to recognize the significance of engagement and education in the process.
By setting specific engagement, education, and conversion goals, you can develop effective strategies to guide website design and content. This strategic approach ensures that the website is tailored to attract and engage visitors, educate them about products or services, and ultimately lead them toward conversion.
By aligning website design and content with these goals, you can optimize your business's online presence and enhance the user experience, increasing the likelihood of converting visitors into valuable customers. The key lies in understanding the importance of each goal and implementing complementary strategies to create a cohesive and purposeful website that drives results.
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