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Define Effective Goals For Your Web Site

Even the simplest web site should have clearly defined goals. Web Site Goals

If I ask you to shoot these targets, you're going to find the second one easier to hit because it's nice and clear.
And this is exactly what we need from our goals for our web site. They need to be clear.

Every decision that you, your copywriter, your graphic designer and especially your staff make about your web site should be made within the context of your web sites' goals. This ensures everything that everyone does with your web site is heading in the right direction.
So what ever your goals are, define them and document them clearly. Share them with everyone who has anything to do with your web site and ensure every decision is based on your goals.

Which Goals?

So which goals are right for your web site? The 2 most obvious goals for most web sites are to attract enquiries or generate sales directly off the web site.

Generating enquiries is a typical goal for a service-based business, for example electricians, accountants or web designers.

Generating sales is a typical goal if you sell a product, especially if you sell a niche product. For example ergonomic keyboards, natural health books or pet collars with name tags. Niche products like these can work really well on the Internet because of the 'scarce factor'.
Not all products are well suited to be sold directly online. For example people will usually need to talk to a sales person before buying a bed or a car. So your goal here would be to generate enquiries, not direct sales.

Your web site can also do more than that:

  • Reduce enquiries from tyre kickers & time wasters
  • Provide great after sales service (which increases word of mouth referrals)
  • Save you time

Joe's Lawn Mowing

As an example, Joe who provides a lawn mowing service wants to build a web site to generate more enquiries.
Joe gets a lot of enquiries from price shoppers who call every lawn mowing service in the yellow pages to find the cheapest price.
So Joe's goal for his web site is to get more enquiries.

By adding some standard pricing to his web site (or even an indication of pricing such as "from $17 per cut") Joe gives the time wasters enough information to show them that he's not the cheapest. He might eliminate (for example) 40% of those time wasters, and Joe estimates that could save him 3 or 4 hours per month.

Specific, Achievable, Measurable & Motivating

The best goals are specific, achievable, they are measurable and they should have solid motivation. With everything you do on the Internet, you should understand why you are doing it and have a good reason for it. Don't do it just because it's the in thing.

Having a goal to "increase enquiries" will not help you much. It's not specific and you can't measure it so you don't know when you've achieved it. And worst of all a vague goal like this will not properly motivate you to achieve it.

Joe, the lawn mower, has a small operation so he can't handle a huge number of enquiries. He wants more good enquiries and he wants to reduce tyre kickers - they waste a lot of his time.
So a good goal for Joe might be to get 15 extra enquiries per month and reduce tyre kickers by 30%.

Those goals are specific and they are achievable. He can measure whether he's achieved them without much trouble and he has really good reasons for having these goals. This means he's likely to follow through and achieve his goal.

Keeping It Simple

If you plan your web site well you'll get a much better result, save plenty of time and money and you'll make your life much simpler.

Here's a web site action plan template to help you identify your goals.

Make this process really easy and contact us - we'll do it for you!

For more info about building a profitable web site register for our free seminar: Simplifying the Internet - the small business owners guide to a profitable web site.  



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