What's the purpose of your website? What are you looking to achieve with it? Any web designer is going to ask you these two questions, and they'll be quickly followed up with who is the website for? How will it support your business? What are your website's overarching goals? This is an absolute conversation killer. Trust me it is.
From a client's perspective, I'm asking all the wrong questions. They think I should be asking what their brand is, and what logo do they have and what fonts. All of this is secondary to the purpose of your website and its goals.
What are your website's goals?
Be honest… Do you have any?
You want to make money, but how will you make it? Does each page on your website have a goal? If so, does the goal of the page also support your business goal? When you have your goals in place you may talk about your ideas for colours, logos, and fonts. Because your goals impact upon these too!
Your website goals might include:
- To sell a product
- To sell a service
- To stimulate an opt-in
- To inspire a visitor to click on an affiliate advertisement
- To provide information and receive ad exposure and PPC income
Each page of your website will have a different goal, or there will be multiple pages with the same goal. A page does not have more than one goal or one single focus. For example, one page may be designed to promote your opt-in offer. In addition to your call to action, there are other things you can do like move to the previous page or move to a new page. The goal of that page is to persuade the visitor to opt-in, although they may do other things.
Reviewing your website's goals: The 3 step process
Now you've established what your website's goals are, they now need to be reviewed so you can assess their effectiveness, and whether your website is supporting your business goals.
Who are your visitors?
What content and tools will you need to help or convince your visitor you're the one, and at the same time accomplish your goals? For example, you want them to sign up for your opt-in form. What content and tools are you using to motivate that action? Are you providing them with a sample of the offer? An ebook? A resource guide or checklist? Do you make it easy to opt-in or do they have to jump through flaming hoops, backward?
How does your visitor move through your site?
When someone visits your landing page, where do they go next? Is it where you want them to go? Does it support your business goal? Use your website goals to help you create content and determine the path your visitor takes. Each piece of content on your site should influence an action that ultimately leads to your goal. Again, imagine you want to motivate an opt-in. Does the path support the goal?
Each piece of content, form and promotion on your site should lead to your business goal. Take a look at your flow of information and the path your visitors take when they’re at your site. Does their path support your goal? When adding or removing something on your site does it support your business goal? If it doesn't, don't do it.
Include a call to action with each website page.
Every article, every page, every form, every video and every single image on your website needs to support your end goal. They do this by having a call to action that supports your goal and purpose. Your visitors shouldn't have to read between the lines or read your mind – guide them. Tell them. Nurture them.
Finally, make sure to respect your visitor's time. Whilst it may be nice to know your visitor's shoe size, if it's not essential to the goal, don't ask for the information. Dragging them through a never-ending cycle of questions to achieve your goal isn’t going to win you any friends. If you want your visitor to sign up for your opt-in list, make it as easy as possible. If you want them to buy a product, make it happen. If you throw up blocks, expect visitors to stumble on them, and then leave.
Audit your website. Check all the pages, new and old. Determine if it supports your business goals or detracts from them.
Help your visitors. Make it easy for them to do what you want them to do. If you don't, they'll go somewhere else.
P.S. If you'd like to chat about your website goals book in a call with me and let's work it out