When most companies get their websites redesigned, the first thing they want to talk about is how it will look.
That’s where we have to jump in and pull back the reins.
How a website looks and functions should be a result of its goals. So before you start talking about colors, layouts or even responsive design, you must figure out what the heck the goal of your website will be.
But determining the goals can be difficult. So we’ve broken down the process into easy-to-follow steps. Read on for the how-to (but only if you want your website to be successful.)
1. Know Exactly Who Your Customers Are
If you’ve been in marketing circles for very long, you may have heard the terms target audience or personas.
While creating these can be helpful, the main idea is simply to know your customers intimately. A good place to start is with their:
- Family size (do they have kids? How many?)
- Level of education
But these things are just the basics. You should also know things like:
- Where your customers shop
- Which websites they frequent
- Where they get their news/information
- How often they need or want your product/service
- What they currently think of your company
- Which brands they prefer
- The type of neighborhood they live in
Collect this information for your perfect customer. This will not only help your website be successful, but all your online marketing. After all, how can you market yourself if you don’t know who you’re marketing to?
2. Understand Your Business Objectives
You can’t understand your website’s goals until you know what your business is trying to achieve. That’s what business objectives are. Your business objectives are your specific targets you’re trying to achieve to fulfill your business goals.
For example, many businesses’ objective is to increase revenue by a certain amount or percentage by a certain date. Or maybe you want to increase the number of customers you have.
Your website’s goals, then, should be complementary to those business objectives.
3. Decide What Action(s) You Want Your Website Visitors to Take
Now that you know your overall business objectives you must decide what actions your visitors should take on the website in order to help you achieve them.
Here are a few examples of how to translate your business objectives into website actions:
An Ecommerce business’ objective is to increase revenue. They do that by selling things online. Therefore the actions they want want are:
- More people to buy their products.
- Get people to buy more per order (upselling).
Service-based businesses (like HVAC, home security, landscaping and other companies) also want to increase their revenue. However, because they don’t sell products online, the actions they want people to take on their site are different. Their desired action is:
- To get people to contact them (also called a lead capture)
- Get people to subscribe to the newsletter
Nonprofits are a different beast entirely. Their business objectives are usually less money-focused and more cause-based. However, they do need money to function. But they also need help spreading their cause. So a non-profit may want their website visitors to:
- Make a donation via an online form
- Volunteer to help out at an event
- Share their cause with their friends/family
Restaurant websites are a hybrid of ecommerce sites and service-based sites. They’re looking for their website visitors to:
- Make online orders
- Find their store address so they can come in
- Call in an order
There are many other types of businesses that will have different desired actions. And even if your business fits into one of the categories listed above, you will likely have additional actions that are more unique to your business and business objectives.
The important thing is to find the website actions that will help your business’ objectives.
Step 4 - Done!
That’s it! You now have the goals for your website.
You see, those actions you just determined in step 3 are your website goals. (And you thought this was going to be difficult.)
The next step in a successful website redesign is to figure out what features your website should have. (Hint: only ones that help you achieve your goals.) Keep an eye out for that blog, coming soon.