02 Nov Setting Website Goals that Get Results
When designing a new website for your business or organization, the most important step is planning and deciding what your website goals are. Beginning the project without clear and measurable objectives can result in a website that meets neither business objectives nor user needs. With that in mind, think about what you want your new website to achieve for your business or organization.
- Who are your users?
- How will they use the website?
- What are their needs from the site?
- What do you want them to be able to do on your website?
These questions should be at the core of your goal planning.
Identify Your Target Audience
Identifying your target audience is one of the most important elements of putting together your website goals and strategies. Though you will welcome one and all to your website and any brick and mortar church, business, store, or restaurant, there is a certain subset of people that find your organization the most helpful to them. Honing in on this subset will make the job of setting website goals much easier.
- Who is your target audience?
- Do they live in a certain geographical area near your location, or are they located around the country?
- Do they belong to a certain demographic – young families, business professionals, seniors or single people?
Think about your favorite customer, member, or client. If you could clone that person, who would that be, and what is it about them that makes them your best customer?Think about your favorite customer, member, or client. Who would you clone? Why? Click To Tweet
Set Smart Goals
When setting goals, there is a simple acronym to remember: SMART. SMART goals have been a part of business ideology for decades, and they still are useful today. They help keep everyone focused on the goals and increase productivity. SMART means that the goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Now let’s unpack each of those:
This means your goals should not be simply to increase the size of your congregation, membership, customer base or revenue, but rather to add 115 members or increase your monthly revenue by $6250.
To meet your goals, you need to be able to measure your goals. Keep that in mind when setting them, and also set up the mechanisms or processes to measure them regularly.
Would you like to double your restaurant revenue? Have the church full every Sunday? Of course you would. But is that particular goal achievable within the short-term? Keep your goals achievable, and adjust them upwards as you meet them.
If you are trying to increase your nonprofit organization’s donorship, which goals are relevant? Tracking the number of people that view your website, how many people sign up for your newsletter, and the amount of online donations received, for starters. For restaurant owners, tracking newsletter sign-ups, online orders, and coupons redeemed would be relevant website goals.
Figure out the length of time needed to meet your goal so that you can put together the game plan you need to get there. This number can vary depending on your organization and your goal, but you need to pick a target date and get to work!
Why is it Important to Establish Website Goals for a New Project?
Knowing what you want to achieve, and the steps you need to take to get there, are keys to setting the website goals for your project. Having website goals set up before you get started provides clarity to everyone involved, from the designer and developers to writers. Features can be implemented effectively when the priorities are well-known.
Tracking what users do online and on your website can be achieved with analytics. This gives you quantitative data on how your website goals are working and lets you know what isn’t working well. To get accurate measurements and make the process easier, have your website goals well-defined and easy to track.
As mentioned, setting up SMART website goals for your nonprofit, church or business is one of the keys to making it successful. So, what type of goals should you consider for your website? Here are a few ideas:
Restaurant website goals
Many restaurant owners are extremely busy, and have built their businesses on excellent service, customer satisfaction and word of mouth. But that only gets a business so far, and then investing in your website, website goals and online marketing can help you grow exponentially. For instance, you can add online ordering or reservations when relaunching a website or building a new one.Building a website with SMART goals is one of the keys to online growth. Click To Tweet
Instead of a generic goal such as increasing online sales, effective SMART website goals are specific.
Increase online sales from the website by 20% by July.SMART GOAL
Another ineffective goal is say you want to get new contacts from the website. A more specific SMART website goal would be:
Have 5 or more people interested in opening a franchise fill out a contact form on our website at least 3 of the next 4 months.SMART GOAL
For a restaurant website, the major goal is often to bring in additional customers. It’s hard to track that type of metric, but you can do it. Your SMART goal might be:
Bring in 50 online orders each month from customers who a coupon from our email weekly newsletter.SMART GOAL
Another SMART goal could be set up using an online reservation system; track where your reservations are coming from and set a specific goal for your online reservations.
Additionally, online reviews are extremely important for restaurants, so a SMART website goal should be to encourage customers to leave glowing reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook or Trip Advisor, and to have a total of 50 reviews (5-star ones!) within 6 months. Keys to increasing positive reviews are encouraging customers who have a positive experience to leave one and making them easier to find by adding links on your website.
Nonprofit website goals
Donations are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations, so set your SMART goals to increase donations. Donors are especially receptive when they know how their money will help, so be sure to give them that information.
Nonprofit organizations do well when they set up sub-goals for specific purposes. For instance, your nonprofit organization that is involved in serving the homeless might set up a SMART campaign goals on your website during a particularly cold snap to raise $3,000 to house 100 homeless people overnight.
Raise $3,000 this month to house 100 homeless people overnight during the coldest days.SMART GOAL
Of course, longer term projects can also be highlighted on the website as well. Perhaps you have a goal to purchase and rehabilitate a building to house homeless people. Images and stories about the people being impacted and how this building will help the homeless transition to work and apartments of their own will inspire people to help make that goal a reality. Again, make it a SMART website goal. Do you need $150,000 to get it done? What is a reasonable length of time to raise that much money from your donors? 12 months?
Raise $150,000 within 12 months to fund the renovation of a building for homeless people. Start date is X.SMART GOAL
Another SMART goal could be to add users to your email list knowing that those users will turn into donations for your nonprofit projects.
Add 400 people interested in the work we are doing to our email list from the website by the end of May.SMART GOAL
Church website goals
For today’s churches, SMART website goals often surround the need to increase the church membership and the size of the Sunday congregation. What are some ways to do that using your website? One SMART goal idea is to have a drive to increase the subscribers on the church email list.
Have at least 90% of our congregation (as measured as 1.5x average weekly attendance) subscribed to our email list by the end of the year.SMART GOAL
By having current members sign up on your website, they’ll be aware of happenings within the church family, and can help with drives to increase the congregation size. If you already have your members on your mailing list, set a SMART goal that involves getting people on the fringe of your church or in the community to sign-up for your newsletter.
Another one of your SMART website goals could be increasing the number of children attending Vacation Bible School. One of the objectives for VBS is often to reach those families that are not already connected with a church. So, offering VBS could be one of the ways your church does that. In this case having a goal to have a certain number or percentage of kids attending VBS not be from your church or another church in the area, might be a smart goal.
Have at least 50% of the kids that attend this year’s VBS be unchurched kids. Registration is through the website.SMART GOAL
When this is clearly defined it can help rally your staff around the reason behind VBS and clarify the objectives, target audience, content and marketing strategy.
Goals like having 25 percent of visitors to the church mark on their guest card that they found the church through the website is specific and measurable, and you can set up your time goal as 3 months or 6 months or some other relevant and achievable timeframe.
Over the next 3 months, have 25% of visitors to the church indicate on their first time guest card that they found the church through the website.SMART GOAL
How about a SMART website goal that makes it easier for current church members to invite their friends and family members to Easter? You can give out a special invite card that gives their first time guest a free speciality coffee drink when they visit. You can have your coffee shop volunteers track the number of cards they receive.
Encourage church members to invite friends using a special invitation that gives their first time guest a free speciality coffee drink. Send the card out via email and social media. Collect 200 cards by Easter.SMART GOAL
Client Success Stories
We have helped businesses of all types, from restaurants to retail stores, service organizations, churches and nonprofits all achieve extraordinary results with a fresh, new website focused on achieving their SMART goals. We can do the same for you!
The Mdprayer.org achieved participation of more than 100 people attending their physcian’s prayer breakfast after we redesigned and streamlined their website. We made their online registration easier and made it a simple process to send out frequent email blasts to their list of subscribers. That attendance was a record for them, and a 25 percent increase year over year.
Have at least 100 people attend the Physician’s Prayer Breakfast in 2016 (a 25% increase over 2015).MDPRAYER.ORG
We also redesigned Brownbagonline.com website and helped them increase their website trafffic by over 30 percent over the previous year, along with reducing their bounce rate from over 25 percent to just 1 percent! That means people came to their website, stuck around, and placed more online orders!
Reduce the bounce rate on our new website to below 5% within 3 months of launching to increase online orders and engagement.BROWNBAGONLINE.COM
Ready to Get Started?
If you are ready to get started, download the FREE SMART website goals worksheet. This tool will help you clarify your website goals before you hire a professional web design company. Get those crystallized before you discuss how you want it to look or feel; it truly is the most important element of website design.
Once you have your website redesigned or launched, how do you know that it is successful? Obviously, it probably looks better than the one you previously had, but how do you prove that the investment is helping your business or organization advance? This is where your SMART website goals help! Comparing them to your achievements over time will let you know if the website hit its mark, or if you need to tweak it or add additional website features. Tracking the progress of your website goals is important, and will help you keep moving forward.
Changes like these bring positive results, and building or refreshing your website will help you achieve your website goals!