Did you start the year with some big goals for your business?
Shockingly, a large number of businesses have big goals in mind but forget to consider how their website can support those goals. Many businesses build a website to be informational and then they leave it for 3-5 years. Does that describe you?
Don’t worry. We see this all of the time and it’s easy to fix. The first thing you need to do is identify your online goals. Ideally, these would support your overall business goals. Secondly, you need pick some measurable metrics for tracking your progress. Measuring your goals is vital in order to know if you’re succeeding or if changes need to be made.
Are you ready to set some goals and put your website to work? Let’s go!
1. Identify Your Online Goals
Most businesses have different goals for their website and online strategy. Some hope to increase their online sales. Others want to capture more leads, or potential customers that they hope to sell to. Others still may want to improve their conversion rates, or the number of potential customers that follow through and become paying customers.
In either case, Google Analytics is a great tool for helping business owners to achieve those goals, but first, you have to know what your goals are.
Navigating Analytics without at least one goal is like setting out on a road trip with no destination, map, GPS, or phone. Okay, so maybe it’s not that dramatic, but truthfully, Google Analytics has over 50 reports that you can run and no one has time to run them all each month, let alone make use of all of that data.
Identifying your goals will help you decide which reports are most important. Here is a short list of some common goals a business could have for their website:
- Marketing Goals
- Generate More Qualified Leads (potential customers)
- Improve Lead Conversion Rate (potential customers that become paying customers)
- Increase Brand or Product Awareness
- E-Commerce Website Sales
- Generate More Sales
- Improve Sales Conversion Rates (increase the number of checkouts and decrease the number of abandoned carts/bounces)
- Improve Sales Support
- Human Resources Website Goals
- Increase Employment Applications
- Improve Employee Satisfaction
- Executive Goals
- Maximize Website Return on Investment (ROI)
Take a quick second to jot down a few goals that you would like to focus on.
2. Pick Your Measurable Metrics
I always recommend making goals that you can actually track using some type of metric.
As a note, try not to fall into the trap of setting vanity goals such as getting more visitors, or keeping users on your website longer. Generating more visitors doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get more leads and keeping users on the website longer doesn’t mean they’re finding what they need.
Because capturing more qualified leads is one of the top website goals used by a wide range of businesses, let’s use that as an example.
When measuring qualified leads, I usually recommend tracking percentages over fixed numbers. Trying to increase your lead count by 10 per month doesn’t allow you to account for a dip in website traffic. But, tracking a 10% increase would.
Before you start tracking your metrics, you need to set some things up first:
- Lead Capturing For/Consultation Form, Request a Quote/etc
- Your lead capture form could be one page, or a series of steps. Either way, this is what you’re hoping people will fill out on your site.
- Confirmation/Thank You Page
- A confirmation page is useful because it lets the user know that their request went through, but more importantly, you can track hits to this page in Google Analytics.
- Bonus: A strong confirmation page will give the use more to look at, which will keep them engaged with your business longer. One idea could include blog posts or infographics related to the very thing they inquired about. So, not only did they inquire, but now they have more useful information at their finger tips.
Once you have these pages set up, we can get inside Google Analytics and can track our progress by setting some goals.