Start by determining your goals and objectives
How can you tell if your website is doing any good? Every successful business website moves the business forward. Starting with specific, measurable goals puts you on the right track. This article provides examples of goals that will drive your business website to success.
Goal: Increase sales
Strategies: search engine optimization, effective calls to action, well-organized content, user-friendly website, increase conversion rate
Goal: Be an authoritative resource
Strategies: provide quality content on your website, consistently and regularly add new information and content, establish trust by marketing your site on social media and on other websites
Goal: Improve interactions with customers
Strategies: email marketing lists, live chat support, webinars, content designed to give your visitors a reason to return
Goal: Build your brand
Strategies: maintain an active social media program, offer a variety of promotions, manage your business reputation
Your goals need to match your business capabilities
You will need several hours each week to commit to creating posts and engaging with followers to be successful on social media. If you don’t, social media may not be the right path for you to create a successful business website. You may prefer press releases, an opt-in email newsletter, or a series of white papers. These can also provide the content and engagement your business needs while allowing you more control of how you invest your time.
Be able to measure your success
Setting goals for your business website isn’t enough. You need to be able to measure your progress toward those goals. This is where analytics comes into play.
Before you can track if your website is achieving results, you need to know your starting point in a few key tracking metrics.
Who’s visiting your website? This provides some interesting information about who is looking at your site but it isn’t the best measure of success.
This metric shows you how much time visitors are spending on your website, the number of pages they visited, and the bounce rate.
The bounce rate tells you the percentage of visitors who don’t get past the first page they land on and leave after only a few seconds.
- 50% is average
- 60% can be cause for concern
- >80% is a strong indication that it’s time to take a hard look at the design and content of your website
What constitutes a conversion on your website depends on the type of business you’re in and the type of engagement you want with your visitors. Some examples are:
- Form submissions
- Downloading a file
- Event registration
- Email inquiries
- Joining your email list
- Receiving more (or even fewer) phone calls
Make a record of your starting point for each of these metrics so you can compare them with the results after your new website is launched.
You have the results, now what?
Knowing how your business website is performing is nice but if you don’t use those results to continue improving your site they’re going to waste.
If all indicators show that you have a successful small business website
- Don’t lose your web designer’s contact information. You’ll want to stay in touch to keep your site up to date and optimized for performance.
If the results are less than awe-inspiring
- Contact your web designer with your concerns. There may be technical issues that are impacting the user experience.
- Meet with the entire design team — your marketing person, copywriter, and your web designer — to evaluate what has been done and what can be done to provide improved results.
Invest in a professional SEO campaign
Don’t wait for the search engines to move your business website to the top of their list. The SEO pros stay on top of what the search engine algorithms are looking for and will take the guesswork out of getting your site noticed. Plan on allowing this campaign to run for at least 12 months.
Invest in a content writer
If you have the time and inclination to write 2-4 blog posts each month that are relevant to your customers, you can skip this suggestion. However, if you’re busy running your business and don’t have time to do the writing yourself, hire someone to provide you with SEO-optimized blog content to keep your website fresh.
A final word
Your business is probably the biggest investment of your life. In this day and age, your customers are looking for you online. Having a website will open your door to eager consumers ready to trade their money for your products or services. Take the time to sit down with your web designer and marketing team to set goals for the success of your business website.