illustration of darts missing their target

Setting goals for your website is a vital step everyone should take. As I talk about in my Website Planning Guide, setting out clear steps for your website in a plan allows you to realistically achieve your goals.

When you can plan, write a better website scope, analyse results, and learn from your mistakes you have the best chance of finding success.

What I have learned from talking to my clients and colleagues is how wrong people went when they began to set their goals. Not only was it wrong but if those goals went through to being implemented (as many rushed to do) the end result was a weak or distracted website focus.

In this post we dive into common mistakes people make with their website goals and how you can avoid mistakes in your own goal setting as well.

Here’s the big take outs:

  • Don’t use tactics as goals
  • Don’t confuse all your marketing goals with your website goals
  • Stop designing in your scoping process
  • Make your goal a commercial objective

You can also have more than one goal, what I often recommend is having a primary goal and two possible sub goals.

A primary goal is just that. The primary goal you are setting for your website.

To access resources and templates for how to better identify and create your goals you can download The Complete Website Planning Guide ebook for only $7.99.

The Example:

Your business sells shoes. You have physical stores and an online store. Your business goal is to sell more shoes overall with an improved profit margin etc.

You will then outline marketing goals that will help this be achieved as well as operational goals.

In these goals you will set website goals. In doing this you have outlined that you want to increase sales and get better profitability per sale by increasing the repeat sales through the site.

So the Primary goal for the site will be: “Increase sales on the website for shoes by X % to Y Level by Z date”.

Note: No mention of repeat sales.

In our above business goal there was an AND between increased sales and better profitability.

A sub goal could then be: “Increase repeat sales on the site by D %”.

If we make the repeat sales the primary goal then we may not end up with the key primary result which is increasing sales overall.

Why is this important?

The purpose of scoping a website is to invest upfront in planning to get the right result in development.

It will help make decisions not only in the build phase but also afterwards when measuring the results.

If making a sale is the most important part of your site then as you scope it out each and every decision will be based around that.

What do you mean Tactics as goals?

By this I mean don’t put a squeeze box on your home page to get someone to sign up to your newsletter when your primary goal is to sell more shoes.

If your primary goal is entirely to get more signups to your newsletter, I still doubt squeezing a box onto your homepage would present the best results.That lacks understanding of the process of selling people on value.

If you want to sell more shoes then on your homepage your homepage goal will be based around that. If you know you need to get people to see the current specials to engage them first, before showing them other offerings this is part 1 of the sales process on this site.

You use tactics to meet a goal, not to be a goal.

The correlation between getting people onto your newsletter and then getting them to buy is a process that you need to craft into your overall site and process, not to make it the primary focus in development.

This isn’t the post to cover that topic in depth.

This post is about focusing back on what your real primary goal is.

Get SO tunnel visioned on what your END is that you narrow it down to the major result you need to get success in your business from this website.

Is it:

  • More sales
  • More leads
  • More signups
  • Faster Customer support
  • ??

Get clear. Really clear. Write it down.

Get REALLY clear on what you are trying to achieve and NOT how you are going to achieve it.

When you are trying to design how things will work before you even have a clear set of goals is when you mess this up. Don’t design anything until you are well into the scoping. Just clearly outline what you need as measurable results!

SO when setting your goals:

  • Set goals that are about your business (not other people’s)
  • Make sure the goal is simple and improves your business
  • ONE primary goal. What is the main purpose of your site in supporting your business?
  • Sub goals are fine, just know the hierarchy of your goals
  • Don’t bother even thinking about how it will look or even exactly how it will function, just state the goals
  • Write then down and stick them on page one of your scope

That’s what Ireckon! What do you reckon?

For a step-by-step guide to planning your next project, you can purchase The Complete Website Planning Guide and companion workbook.

PS. Of course if you can’t be bothered with all this and want to pay me to come and do all this for you, that’s great. I look forward to your call.

You might also like