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As a digital marketing and web design agency, we have a ton of conversations regarding healthy website goals. Goals are critically important because simply having a website is not enough. Almost two-thirds of small businesses now have websites and just owning some real estate on the web won’t move the needle very far.

Your website has to be working for you and setting out to redesign your website without clear goals will set you up for mediocrity. How do you set good website goals? We cover that below. 

What’s the Purpose of a Website?

A website should exist primarily as a means to help your organization grow. 

For years, the purpose of a website has been to tell people about your business. That isn’t the case anymore. 

If you want to compete in the modern, digital world, your business can’t merely be a brochure of information. It needs to actively help you grow and achieve business objectives—whether as a tool for lead generation, brand awareness, client retention, or all of the above.

Your website should grow your target market’s interest in your organization. 

What Is a Website Goal?

Good website goals are aligned with business goals and actively work to support the organization. Good website goals must trickle down to the top and must be connected to internal metrics that help your organization determine success then refined to reflect specific, measurable results. 

Note: We’re big on SMART goals at Engenius, meaning every goal must be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Results-focused, and Time-bound to be a solid goal. 

Let’s walk through one example of setting good website goals.

Let’s say a local HVAC business has a goal to reach $1 million in revenue next year. In order to do so, management figures they need to install 80 new units (they probably have other streams of revenue, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s say they only do new installations). 

The Website Goal

With this in mind, a good goal for this HVAC business would be to increase the HVAC installation leads generated from their site. This is the big-picture goal. But, this isn’t nearly SMART enough (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Results-focused, and Time-bound).  

Let’s look at a few more aspects of this goal.

The Website Objectives

Time to make our goal a little more actionable. We’re looking to increase leads. The next logical question you might ask is, “How do we do that?” This is often referred to as an objective. 

There might be a couple of objectives as a result of this goal–for instance,  increasing the number of general form submissions on their site or increasing email signups. 

The Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)

We’ve got a bit more actionable direction. Now, let’s make this goal results-focused, measurable, and time-bound.

The next thing a good goal-setting person might ask is, “How many submissions and signups do we need to hit our $1 million revenue goal?”

Let’s say 1 out of every 4 people who submit a “Request a Quote” form become clients. In that case, you would need roughly 320 form submissions to bring in 80 new clients.

Since goals should stretch your organization, it’s safe to say our example HVAC company is not getting 320 form submissions a year. Thus, an appropriate key performance indicator would be growing the request a quote form submissions by the specific amount needed to get to the final goal of 320. 

We’ve got our website goal, some website objectives, and key performance indicators we can use to track our progress. In other words, we have a solid website goal that can help us track company success.

Good Website Goals, Objectives, and KPI’s

We’ve just walked through one key example of a website goal, but what are some other good goals, objectives, and KPI’s for effective web design?

Increase Leads

We discussed increasing leads as a good and legitimate website goal. If you’re looking to grow a business, gaining new leads is probably permanently at the top of your mind. Your website objectives, however, may change over time.

Here are some other common website objectives around the goal of gaining leads:

  • Increase engagement on your website:
    • Increase time on site by x%
    • Increase pages per session by z%
  • Increase email captures:
    • Increase email signups by x%
    • Increase conversion rate on email signups by y%

Note: Many of these goals would need to be set up as Goals in Google Analytics, one of the best free digital marketing tools on the web. Google has many training resources for you to set up key goals, but we’re also happy to help you figure out what’s best for your organization to be tracking! 

Sell Products

For any eCommerce website, the obvious goal would be to sell products directly on your website. Just like increasing leads, however, there must be objectives and KPI’s behind this goal. For the majority of these, you will likely need to set up goals in Analytics. Here is a brief post from Google on setting up eCommerce tracking.

  • Increase sitewide conversions
    • Increase conversions on sales by x%
    • Increase conversion rate from category pages by y%
    • Increase conversion rate from organic search traffic by z%
  • Decrease abandoned cart rate
    • Decrease sitewide abandoned cart rate by x%
    • Increase cart recoveries by y%
  • Increase size of orders
    • Increase size of orders by x%
    • Increase product adds at checkout by y%

Retain Clients

Another goal might be to retain clients. If your business is largely dependent on keeping clients and creating returning customers, client retention is a great website goal.

There are many ways to go about this. You could create instructional content on how to get the most out of your products or services. Maybe it’s through pushing offers and deals through your site to returning visitors. Here are some good objectives for retaining clients:

  • Increase Blog Engagement
    • Increase time on blog posts by x%

How to find this: these metrics live in Analytics under Behavior > Overview. You can filter your pages by blog posts.

  • Increase Returning Visitors
    • Increase returning visitors by x%
    • Increase traffic from marketing emails by y%

How to find these: these metrics live in Analytics under Audience > Behavior > New vs Returning.

Pretty Isn’t A Website Goal

Don’t forget, your website is a tool to help your organization move forward. Don’t settle for merely having a “pretty” or “clean” website. Let your website work for you by setting goals that line up with your organization’s growth plan. 

It’s our hope that the next time you begin a website project, your first thought isn’t “what photo will go on my homepage,” but “let’s make sure to set good website goals that will help move our organization forward.

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