I’ve written about site goals before, and I often speak about goals for WordPress sites, but for some reason I feel like it’s time for me to revisit this topic. [Previous article: Defining Goals For Your Site]
Too often, web developers, designers, DIYers and the like are so consumed with how a site looks that they forget why they are developing a new site.
Before you kill me, of course a site needs to look good, but that should go without saying. You need to launch something that is a great representation of you and/or your brand, but that’s not the starting point.
Start With The Why
At Marketing Press we always say, “No one wakes up in the morning and says, Today is a great day to get a new website.” Unless a company is cutting edge and has a solid marketing department, websites fall into the category if it’s not broke, why fix it. So, if a company calls and says they are thinking about launching a new site — I guarantee there is a business challenge at hand. They may not know what the problem is, but there’s a problem. It’s our job to identify the problem, solve it through strategic development and measure progress.
Why Are You Building A New Site
The three goals that coincide with why people want to build new sites are:
- Content to increase visibility. This means developing a platform to produce articles and content that positions your company as subject matter experts and rank with search engines. Ranking well is always on business owners’ minds, but some are not prepared to do the amount of work it takes when it comes to execution.
- Community: This goal is popular with non-profits, organizations and the public sector. If you build a successful community, you empower others to spread your organization’s mission.
- Conversion (or Commerce): One of the most important things a site can do, but often the most overlooked. There is a science to making people act in a certain manner. (In life it’s called manipulation, in digital marketing we call it conversion.) Conversion looks different to every site owner. Some want leads through contact forms, some want the phone to ring, some want newsletter signups, and many want online sales. Whichever you desire, these are all conversion points and important to business for various reasons.
There are many tools available to measure your site’s success. To measure content and conversion the most often used tool is Google Analytics. GA will measure traffic, conversions (if Analytics goals are set correctly), keywords etc.etc. This is one of the most valuable tools any web developer or marketer can use. Ignore analytics at your own peril. Tools like SEO MOZ, Authority Labs and SEM Rush (paid tools) also provide valuable insight into to site’s growth. (There are others, but these are three that we pay the most attention to.)
To monitor the growth of community newsletter signups (yes, this is a conversion point) and social shares are usually a great indicator of growth. Mentions in social media and on other sites (including links) can show how your site’s message is being spread.
Start thinking differently. All great problem solvers start with the why. Don’t just launch a site that looks good — launch a site that looks great and solves your challenges.