How do you know your website actually works?
Most people have a hard time answering that question. And if you don’t know where you’re starting from, how do you grow from there?
Your website has a job to do—a very crucial job. And if your website doesn’t transform traffic into leads and sales—it’s not doing its job.
In this post, we’ll offer resources to not only get you online but also set yourself up to grow an online business. We’ll define what work your website needs to do, how to measure its impact and improve its performance over time.
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Setting a foundation
It's easy to rush into making a new website, but it's important to take just a moment to reflect on what it is that you actually want your website to accomplish.
Tennis champion Venus Williams says, “I don't focus on what I'm up against. I focus on my goals, and I try to ignore the rest.”
Lay out the things you want to achieve and then your business will hum along. So when tasks get thrown at you, you can focus on your website goals without any hiccups.
The most effective way to make your website an income-generating, the business-building machine is to clearly define how it will support your business and how you’ll measure its success.
One of the best ways to do so is to set your goals in a three-tiered process:
- Define your business goal →
- Define your marketing goal →
- Define your website goals!
This framework illustrates how your website contributes to your marketing efforts and, ultimately, to the profitability of your business.
There are three different types of website goals you should have:
First, measure your goals and determine a benchmark against which you’ll measure your progress. Then, track your progress over time, checking in each:
- One month
- Each quarter
- One year
Take stock of your success both with data-driven measurements and anecdotally. Some goals won’t have a number attached to them; instead, they will rely on a gut-check. (But wherever possible, get data into the mix!)
1 - Conversion goals
The first category of the three-goal types is conversion goals. While obvious, conversion goals will help you get to another level with your business. These goals are numerical. Here are some examples:
Generate qualified leads
Whether or not you need 10 new leads or 10,000, for your business to grow to the levels you want you should set and track lead generation goals.
Book more appointments or reservations
If you want your calendar to book up, use appointment setting or reservations as a conversion goal. This is great for restaurants or service-based businesses.
Close more sales
Think about this by the number of customers you have and the money you’re generating from each customer as you close sales online.
This is not just about getting more sales but also increasing the price you’re charging customers. The better your website performs, the more confidence you’ll have in raising your prices.
Shorter sales cycle
There is a time frame when people are first introduced to your business through content, social media or other marketing channels. Your sales cycle is the time it takes for customers to make the decision to opt in to your messages and then become a customer. For some businesses that might be six months to a year. For others, it could be a week. Whatever the case, a well-oiled website will shorten that sales cycle.
Increase lifetime customer value
Once you get savvier at marketing your business online, people will not only buy more from you at the get-go but also over a long period of time. Any business should have the goal to have customers repeat that purchase, be a referral source or be someone who can give you new product ideas. Regardless, you should increase the amount of money each new customer adds to your business over a lifetime.
It’s easy to fall into a trap “of always thinking about your website goals in the same, one-dimensional way: converting traffic.
Focusing on conversion rate is excellent practice, but it can also limit the ways in which you put your website to work for your business.
To add to this category, you should think full-picture and track not only conversion goals but also traffic and engagement goals!
- Traffic goals (How will you draw visitors to your site?)
- Engagement goals (What do visitors need to understand?)
Put it together
We created a handy worksheet to keep track of your goals. It’s a document you can download, print and customize. Use it to help you set and track your goals over the next month, quarter and year. Whatever your goals, be willing to have the discipline and effort to achieve them. Here’s a snapshot of it:
Within each category, list your goal for current, 30 days, 90 days, and one year. In the cell below, document your actual results. This way, you can determine if you met, reached or fell short of your goals.
Fill out the chart completely for each conversion goal category.
After you complete the conversion goals worksheet, think about how you can apply the same framework to traffic and engagement goals. Take a cue from the screenshot here:
2 - Content goals
Now let’s talk about content goals, the second type of goal. It helps you determine what you have on your website. Remember: this goal is a work in progress. You will always iterate on your website. Your website doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to be out there working for you. You can always edit and revise.
Have three to four core website pages created
Your goal should have three to four core website pages created: a homepage, service or product pages, a contact page, and page about you or your company.
(Pro tip: Our Leadpages site templates come with several pre-written pages. Easily add or subtract site pages, with our pre-designed page templates, based on what works for you!)
Publish one to three signature articles to attract visitors
Another content goal is to have content that lures in readers. If you're like most small business owners, you don’t have time to be writing all the time… But you should have a few solid articles that solidify your expertise and showcase what your knowledge is in relationship to the problems that your target market faces.
Create goals for what article topics, when you’ll create them and when they will be published is helpful.
Create one or more lead magnets to generate leads
A lead magnet is something you put on your website and in exchange for your visitors’ email addresses. Setting up a goal of what the email will be and how it is a stepping-stone toward your service is going to be important to think about.
Build SEO goals
Create a content goal around your search engine results so when people search for a keyword phrase or term on a search engine, your website shows up on page one in that search result. The goal is to appear on page one for your top three primary keywords. If you do have a sense of what people should search for to find your brand, go on Google to see where you appear. (And get more SEO tips here in the meantime.)
Use our worksheet to help determine your content goals. It is the same worksheet as the conversion goals. Simply scroll down and see the different types of content that would be most likely a good fit for your business.
The worksheet will better prepare you to create content. With signature content articles, come up with, themes, two or three of the top reader takeaways. You don’t need to write the articles, just have a plan and a timeline.
As you dive into article creation, use this helpful worksheet to identify takeaways and a key call to action.
With your lead magnet, brainstorm a name and theme that connections to your primary product or service to commonly asked customer questions. Think about selecting a topic that you can easily elaborate on and that would drive people to download it.
3 - Confidence goals
If you're like most small business owners, the idea of creating a website by yourself can be pretty intimidating and something that you would expect to spend thousands of dollars on.
But what if in a matter of days or weeks from now, you completed your entire website and saved the money? Beyond that, you have the control to make any changes you want to your website.
That's the goal with Leadpages websites… Confidence, control, and creativity.
Confidence goals are a bit more anecdotal than other goals. They are:
- Creating an entire website yourself; with the ability to update your website in minutes instead of days or weeks going back and forth with other contractors
- Being able to direct revisions with freelancers if you choose to go that route
- Being able to quickly create additional website versions for testing or seasonality (for a Facebook ad campaign or time-sensitive campaign).
Use that worksheet!
Use the downloadable worksheet to answer some key baseline and track “confidence” questions.
When it comes to working with your own website, what expression best matches your current status? Take a pulse of where you’re at over time. Has your sentiment improved? Our worksheet will help keep tabs on it! Then jot down additional thoughts in this document so that you can set that as a goal and be able to work towards it.
Give yourself the opportunity to really think through your website goals.
Remember: you are not alone! Connect with our Facebook group for Leadpages. Ask questions and let us and other community members know what you’re struggling with.
We look forward to seeing you grow your website by creating goals!