When we start a new website project with a client, the first thing we discuss is what the primary goal is for the website.
We do this for one primary reason: It gets everyone on board and behind the same vision. Right from the start, it forces everyone involved to think about the desired outcome, and agree on it together.
Having A Clear Goal Helps Decisions
When you have a clear website goal set, the decision-making in the entire project gets easier too. You are bound to think of, or find, cool features or ways to do something on your website. Or someone in your team does.
With a clear goal, you help your project stay on track.
This can easily turn into a mix-match of things that just don’t add upp well. Enter the #1 goal that you have set. Now you can always ask yourself: “Does adding X help us reach our goal?”.
If the answer is yes, then keep considering it. If the answer is a clear no, then scrap the idea and move on.
Having A Clear Goal Helps Visitors
As a self-fulfilling prophecy, having that goal helps you design and work towards reaching it, ultimately helping visitors do what you want them to.
When you aren’t convinced internally what your site is meant to do, there is no chance that you can convey this to your visitors. As a result, your visitors are left confused. They will not do what you want.
Instead, with a clear goal, it is going to show throughout your site and help visitors navigate around it, completing your funnels or paths–reaching your goals.
What Are Good Goals?
By now you might be asking yourself, what a good goal might be? That depends. There are some very common goals that many tend to choose:
Get Visitors To Contact Us
Primarily used for more complex transactions or sales processes, these types of businesses (like us) want the customer contacting them as early as possible. Because of the complexity and perhaps because of customization, having a salesperson guide the customer and help them with their very specific questions makes sense.
On websites for these businesses we tend to focus on clear contact call to actions. That is, forms or buttons that make it easy for the visitor to leave their details at the point where they become interested.
For the standard e-commerce website, there is no secret that the purchase itself is the major goal. And websites are heavily optimized towards it. It could be as simple as displaying deals prominently, or removing obstacles from the purchase decision path, or both.
Another common goal for service companies is to show expertise through their website. Some even use their website more as an educational resource, than one to directly draw in leads. They know that visitors will consume the good content, share it and spread the perceived knowledge of the company.
This is essentially a way of building a bit of a high-end brand. You make the customer desperately want to work with you, instead of the other way around.