Follow these 3 steps to set your website's goals
Jessica Baldwin / Updated February 27, 2023
When you're planning a new website or getting ready to refresh an existing one, the first thing to do is set goals.
What is your website's goal?
"Duh! To get customers!" you might say. Of course, that's correct, but it oversimplifies things a bit.
Your website needs to engage your visitors, educate them about your products and services, and convert them into customers.
3 Steps to Set Your Website Goals
To set your website's goals, you can complete the three statements below.
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 hearing about your organization for the first time. How will you get and hold 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 blog articles that are useful to them.
- Creating a library of downloadable files they can access for free.
- Including a calculator, questionnaire, or quiz related to my business that helps my potential customer.
2. I'll educate my visitors about my products and services by...
Once your audience is aware of your brand, you can help them learn about your products and services and how you can help them.
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 my successful clients or customers.
- Including customer testimonials.
- Adding before and after photo galleries.
- Answering frequently asked questions.
- Providing a "how it works" section.
3. My website visitors will convert by...
What will be your primary website conversion? How will your website visitors sign up for or purchase your product or service? You want to define how your visitors will convert. Then, you can define your call to action, the action your website will encourage your website 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.
- Signing up for a course.
- Requesting a quote.
- Filling out an inquiry or contact form.
- Booking an online demo.
- Setting an appointment.
- Signing up for my newsletter.
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.
Let's consider a couple of examples.
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.
- I'll engage my website visitors by providing a free video series for a seven-day "jumpstart your health" program.
- I'll educate website visitors about my online health program by including in-depth case studies on successful program members.
- My visitors will convert and become members by completing the registration form on my website (with a seven-day free trial included).
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.
- I'll engage my website visitors by providing blog posts that feature plants that thrive in our area's climate.
- I'll educate website visitors about my services by showcasing before and after photos with corresponding client testimonials.
- My website visitors will convert by requesting a quote through an online form.
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.
- I'll engage my website visitors by publishing blog posts that help people learn how to get more done.
- I'll educate my website visitors about my newsletter by including testimonials from current subscribers, extolling their enjoyment in reading it each week.
- My audience will convert by entering their email to subscribe.
When it comes to setting website goals, you can see how each of the examples above has very different objectives.
Your conversion goal is, of course, your primary goal. You want customers! However, most organizations will need engagement and education to move their website visitors to convert.
Once you've set your engagement, education, conversion goals, and corresponding strategies, you can design your website around reaching those goals.
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