Many businesses will have several goals or objectives for their website. What are yours? How clearly explained are they? Does everyone know about them?
Steven Covey wrote in his book '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' about the need to begin with the end in mind. The Habit of knowing where you want to be when you reach the end before you take the first step.
For many businesses (and life) practices, this is important and necessary to create a successful result or to know when you are there, that you have reached the end point.
In this chapter, I want to remind you about how important Goals are for your website and your business so that you have a plan for success.
This chapter is an updated written version of a previous video I recorded on the subject. You can watch my Goal Setting video at your leisure.
When creating your website brief/scope, you need to know exactly what success will look like.
It is pointless to run around your office high-fiving about winning a design award for your new website if that wasn't why you built it. The only celebrating should be about how it is meeting or exceeding the business goals you need for your business. Unless you are a design agency, then I doubt winning design awards is a real goal you have.
Your website goals will guide every decision you make, every word you write, and will help guide the design team and development team in implementing something that works.
Goals for websites aren’t overly complicated; there are only so many things your site can do for you.
It’s not my role to tell you what the goals should be, you need to choose them, but here are some of the key goals you may end up choosing from:
If you had to pick just one which one would it be?
In our blueprint method, we want you to create a hierarchy of goals so that you have an easy way to answer the most important questions when they arise.
You need to create a single Primary Goal.
What specifically is the most important Goal you want your website to achieve.
Don’t fall into the trap of many websites where you want to make everything important, and suffer from visual or process overload, or worse blandness and no clear and obvious essential elements.
Only you can truly answer this question. Make sure when you do you are very clear about it.
To help you with this, view our Website Goals Template and use it to get very Clear on your primary goal.
You will notice on this template several essential elements:
A goal isn’t useful if you make it vague and generic.
e.g. “We want a modern and fresher feeling website that makes us look more hip.”
There is nothing very particular about this as it is entirely subjective, it offers nothing of measurable value to the business, and while I have heard this many times, it doesn’t provide any value to you.
Instead something like “We want ten new inquiries a week for our premium products” is specific and measurable. Make sure it’s realistic too. If to date you only get ten inquiries every six months, and you don't have any supporting evidence about total market inquiries then you might just set yourself up to be disappointed.
There is nothing like a stretch goal to set you to push forward in your market but don’t make it so unachievable it kills ambition in the site from the get go.
It could be “We want to get to 6 new inquiries every month, by month 6, and then increase this once we have better data on our target market”. That sort of goal sets you up for success on many fronts including a re-evaluation six months down the road.
If you haven’t worked out your goals, then you aren’t ready to build a site that outperforms its competitors.
Stop the guesswork and write out the goals now, so you have a clear pathway moving forward.
When you have completed your site goals move onto the next chapter.