Goals and measuring success on your website



If you’re running your own business or have several “hats” in your workplace, chances are you will find setting realistic goals and objectives fairly intuitive. The main issue people tend to struggle with is making sure to review your goals at the right time, don’t rush making new objectives for future projects and most importantly don’t take ‘higher traffic’ or ‘better search rankings’ as success, what these give you as an end result is your success factor. Now, you may have a good idea of where you want your website to go in the near future and what you want it to do for your business. Keep in mind that a simple goal is a good thing, something like “Sell more XYZ to ABC by the end of the year” will be much easier to communicate to staff than a very specific goal that may need to be altered during its course. Simple goals are a lot easier to come back to whenever you make any website decisions.
Below are some examples of typical goals and objectives. Remember, the goal is the end outcome of your objectives not the other way around. Don’t have “Get the highest search ranking” as a goal if the main reason why you’re doing this is to achieve something else – site activity, leads, subscriptions, then sales. You can use the simple table below to fill in the blanks to give some grounds to achieving these later on.
The first example is already done and relates to Mr. X who has good conversion rates and low exit rates but has noticed a small decline in his page views.
Goal
Objective
How
Outcome and Rating
Notes and changes
Eg. Increase sales from people who have purchased before
- Increase returning site visitors by 15% over the next 2 months
- Increase newsletter subscriptions from previous purchasers and leads
- Show benefits of subscribing on site
- EDM: Email people who haven’t bought in over 3 months
- Social Media: - link to site when new products are available

- 10% increase in returning visitors
- Several more subscriptions
7/10, good outcome for time spent but would like more consistency from previous purchasers
- Need more current Social Media users engaging with our updates
- On site benefits of subscribing looks good but hard to find
Eg. Reduce service cancellations and abandoned carts
- Reduce exit rates on key pages by 10% by the end of next month
- Reduce abandoned carts and cancelled appointments by 20%
- Usability / Aesthetics: make browsing options more natural and remove any unnecessary elements.
- EDM: Maybe we can email or alert people who don’t finish their checkout?
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In this table, it is important not to put too many options in the ‘How’ section, as it will then be more difficult to trace what when wrong (or what went right) later on. When running tests, it is always important to keep things simple. Changing just one element is the best way to measure whether a change has had a positive or negative effect.
To Do For My Business
        I have a Primary Goal that is the purpose of my website’s existence
        I have Primary Actions that I want my visitors to make
        I have Secondary Goals that may lead to Primary Goals and Objectives being fulfilled (eg: registration, subscription, download, phone call)
        My objectives have a timeframe and will be straightforward to measure in the future, they relate directly to my primary and secondary goals

In Practice
Depending on whether you are selling a "billable hour" or a product the sale amount maybe anything from $20 for a product to $300 for a billable hour. Either way you can still get a strong value indication from online goal achievement...
Let’s say you receive 100 phone calls from potential customers a month:
-          On average, around 10 of those calls result in a conversion (i.e. Booking, appointment, treatment or sale)
-          On average, each conversion that originated from a call receives a dollar value of $50
-          Now we know that each incoming phone call has an average value of $5 (10x$50/100)
Now you know the value that each click on the ‘contact us’ part of your website brings, and can incorporate it into your goals! So don’t forget, to really support your ‘goal outcome’ always ask how a caller or visitor found out about you.