In our everyday lives, setting goals is a great way to keep ourselves on track. We think of who we are now, and who we aspire to be, and we work to get there. We may aspire to lose weight, drink more water, run a marathon, or finally beat Fallout 4 – whatever the goal may be, working towards it makes us stronger. Setting goals is a conscious step towards bettering ourselves, and our lives.
In business, goals are a great way to grow. We may set goals to secure two high-paying projects, make $10,000 in sales, or turn 50 leads into clients in a month. These goals help keep us focused on the growth and direction of our business, and, ultimately, help us make more money.
Setting website goals is just as important. You see, having a website isn’t just part of owning a business. You shouldn’t just have a website for the sake of having one. The web is a tool; if you utilize it properly, you can accomplish amazing things. And setting clear website goals is the first step.
Using SMART to Set Website Goals
We learn about SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) goals in school, and they often follow us through life. Whether it’s a personal challenge or a business goal, we use the SMART template to set goals that will help us grow and succeed. It’s no different when setting goals for your website.
Specific goals are, well, specific. Instead of saying “I want to drink more water”, you say “I want to drink 64 ounces of water a day.” Specifying a target helps you clearly visualize your goals.
In your website, you may want to increase sales, or grow your subscriber list. Instead of generic goals such as “increase subscribers” or “increase sales”, be specific. “I want to add 200 subscribers to my email list.” or “I want to do $5,000 in sales.” are clear-cut, specific goals.
Everything you do on your website should be measurable. Every post posted, every sale made, every button clicked should be tracked. If you can’t measure your goals, how can you measure your progress?
Online, many tools have built-in tracking – those who don’t can often be tracked through Google Analytics. Whatever your setup is, be sure you are tracking your goals. If your goal is to make $5,000 in sales, be sure to regularly check sales reports. If your goal is to add 200 email subscribers, jot down your starting number and keep track of subscribers added.
It’s important to keep yourself grounded when setting goals in real life, and when it comes to your website, it’s no different. Achievable goals are realistic, attainable goals that take your current situation into account. It’s okay to dream big – and even to chase those dreams – but everything starts with baby steps.
If you’re currently making $3,500 in sales a month, $5,000 goals a month may be achievable. If you’re just starting out and averaging $1000 in sales monthly, $5,000 is a big jump. Keep your current progress in mind when setting goals, and work towards realistic, achievable goals, until you reach your ultimate goal.
Making sure your website goals are relevant is important. Relevancy isn’t just determined by your business or your products, but also by your pre-existing marketing efforts. If you’ve been running a campaign in the hopes of increasing subscribers by offering a free e-book, don’t have your goal to be to gain an additional $200 in sales this month.
Keeping your website goals relevant with your business, your products, and your current marketing efforts will ensure your website is a cog in a well-oiled business machine.
This may be the most important part of a SMART goal. Time-bound means you’re setting a deadline for yourself, and for your goal. It may be as long as five years, or as short as two weeks – what’s important is you’re setting a cut off date.
This is important for two reasons: 1) it motivates you to move towards your goal with more passion, and 2) If you don’t achieve your goal, you can sit down and evaluate why your efforts didn’t work. Maybe you would have hit the goal if you’d given yourself more time, maybe you lost motivation, or maybe your goal wasn’t as achievable as you thought. Having a set time to stop and reflect will help you, your business, and your website grow.
There are numerous ways to set SMART goals for a website – every business is different, and your website goals should reflect your overall business goals.
If you’re a online boutique that’s currently averaging $5,000 in sales a month, a SMART website goal may be “I want to average $7,500 in sales monthly in the next 6 months.”
If you’re a blogger and or coach with 500 views each post, a SMART website goal may be “I want to get at least 700 views on each post this month.”
Why Are Website Goals Important?
Just as in life and business, having clear goals helps you grow. When you approach your website from a goal-oriented perspective, it lets you think objectively. Instead of worrying about the frills, bells, and whistles, you think about how you can use your website to accomplish your goals.
Having clear website goals factors into all aspects of building a website, including:
- Your Content: Is the content you’re publishing on your website relevant to your goals and your business? Is it going to help you achieve your goals?
- Your Content Management System (CMS): Is your current CMS (or blogging platform) suited to help you accomplish your goals? Does it have the features you need to be successful? Can they be added?
- Your Design: Does your design help or hinder your goals? Does it drive users where you want them, or confuse them? Are you choosing form over function?
Knowing what you want to accomplish with your website, and what you want to use it for, before you start is a great way to keep your website on track, and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your website.
After all, a website is a tool. And if you’re not utilizing it to the betterment of your business, what’s the point?
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