The success of a new website depends largely on how much planning you do ahead of time. Be prepared to discuss the goals you want your site to accomplish before you get started on design. Below are a few real world examples of how to get the most out of your website investment.
Does the new website meet your business objectives?
One of the first things we ask a new client is why they need a website in the first place. While the answer is often vague, it begins to define some of the business objectives for the website. In many cases, they simply need to improve their image. Whether it was poorly designed, or just outdated, updating their design is usually at the top.
It’s important to define goals before you begin a website project. Without these you have nothing to accomplish and nothing to measure. It’s a big investment and without goals or a feeling of success it can often lead to hard feelings down the road which may jeopardize your relationship with the designer.
At the beginning of all of our website design projects we establish several business objectives and how we can effectively measure them. Here are just a few examples:
- Monthly or annual revenue goals
- Monthly leads or inquiries from the contact page
- Overall increase in monthly visitors
- Increase in referral traffic (other sites that send you visitors)
- Traffic from your social media channels
- Downloads, clicks or views of online marketing material
- Improvement in search engine traffic (achieved with SEO)
Are you tracking visitor behavior and activity?
The simplest activity for a visitor to perform is visiting the site in the first place. Counting how many people visit your site every month is great, but you can learn so much more with proper tracking software. You can track and measure all kinds of valuable data such as where visitors came from, what the most popular page or blog post is or how many people submitted a contact form. Without proper analytics in place you can’t measure any of this.
Do you feel good about the finished product?
This is obviously a very subjective question, but it is an important question to ask. Feeling good about the new website means you’re proud to show it off. You may be more inclined to keep it updated and fresh. It means you were able to effectively communicate your vision for the site to your designer, and they were able to interpret that vision into a visual design.
I’ve heard many times that ownership and employees are embarrassed about their website. That’s sad. You should be proud of it. It’s arguably one of the most important marketing pieces your business has. Your team should be excited to send prospects and customers to your website. They should be excited to share it with the world.
I realize it’s hard to measure “feelings” or assign an ROI to a good vibe, but you hopefully identified other business objectives that will actually demonstrate ROI. Still, it’s important that you and your coworkers feel good about the new site.
Is the new website generating leads or revenue?
This is the meat and potatoes. Does your website actually produce leads or revenue? Even businesses that do not have an ecommerce website can still track leads and revenue. Tracking this kind of data can be measured by analysing various online contact forms or what actions were performed on the site. You then need to track that lead through your offline sales funnel to see if they actually became a customer.
Here is an example from a client’s website. We are able to track contact form submissions and workshop revenue.
Be sure to ask your sales team how customers or leads found them. If they mention your site, that means it probably influenced their decision to contact you. This is especially important for B2B businesses.
The success of a new website can be measured by aligning the goals of your business with the marketing goals of your website. After that, you need to make sure you have all the right tools and applications running to engage and track visitors behavior.
A new website should be generating new business for you. If it’s not, maybe it’s time to take a step back and reexamine your business objectives.
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