Are you planning to redo your existing company’s website or make useful adjustments?
Do you want to set goals to make your new website more successful?
You’re probably unsure of how to best do that. Right?
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. We’ll show you how that uncertainty leads many companies down the wrong path, a path that leads you to wasting thousands of Naira. Let’s start there.
The Path of Wasted Money
Over the years, I’ve seen so many companies make the following mistakes. I don’t want to see you make them. Here’s how to avoid that.
When you’re planning a new website, what wastes money?
- First, setting generic goals
- Secondly, looking at other websites in your market.
- Third, listing features and pages.
- Finally, focusing on the tools.
Why do those waste money?
- Here’s an example of setting a generic goal.
If you’re a nonprofit, that generic goal is often more donations. Now, if you’re a business, that’s likely more sales or more clients.
The problem here is that these goals are far too broad. That leaves too much room for interpretation, which often leads your team to work in different directions.
- Looking at other website in your industry.
It’s natural to be curious about what other companies and organizations in your market are doing online. But it’s important to remember that different companies have different goals for their online marketing.
Regardless of the goals, approximately 90% of websites fail to provide a return on investment. Think of it this way. Would you go to the boss and say, “I’ve got an idea that’s going to cost thousands of Naira, and it probably has a 10% chance of working?” I don’t think so. But that’s what many people do when they use other companies’ websites as guidance for what they should do.
- Next, listing features and pages.
What I mean by this is you might begin planning a website design by making a list of pages you need such as What We Do, Who We Serve, About Us. That will lead you to thinking about all the features you want on those pages, like a photo slideshow, links to all of your social media accounts, and so on. It’s really easy to go far down this path without realizing it. But your goal isn’t to have a website full of text, photos, and features all about you. The goal is to motivate your audience to take the next step, call, submit a web inquiry, buy online, make a donation, etc. The features and pages need to serve the goal. It seems like a subtle difference, but it can have a significant impact in the end.
- Finally, focusing on the tools.
When you’re thinking and planning the pages and features of your website, it’s natural to discuss the tools to make everything.
You might innocently suggest that you really should use something you’ve heard everyone is using. That often comes out as, “We have to use,” fill in the blank. “We have to use Facebook. We have to use WordPress. We have to use,” etc.
Every tool works. Not every tool is right for you and what you are working to accomplish.
Now that we’ve covered the traps to avoid, you’re probably wondering, “How should I start? How do I set the right goals?”
Let’s start by making your goals specific.
Make your goals specific
“More donations” is okay as a starting point. Push beyond that by asking questions like, who’s giving the donations? How many more donations? Are the donations money, time, or products?
So who is the focus of your goal?
If you could only focus on one person, who would that be? Why? Why are they motivated to donate? Are they donating money, time, or products? Why? What are they worried about? How can you help them?
Next, ask, are your goals measurable?
When you say “more donations,” how much is “more?” How will you measure? Google Analytics, call tracking, landing pages? Who is responsible for tracking and measuring the data? What past data do you have?
Discussions around these questions will help you create a clear and specific goal to guide other decisions you’ll make for your online marketing.
Answering the previous questions seems pretty straightforward, but there are some unseen challenges you’re likely to encounter
What could get in your way?
First, your resources.
There are two fundamental assets that everyone has, time and money, and obviously no one has an unlimited supply of either. Here’s how you could approach the following situations.
If you have more time than money, ask yourself, “Who in our organization has the time and skills to help us toward our goal?”
On the other hand, if you have more money than time, consider, how much would you invest to achieve your goal? Is the money we have to invest in this project enough to achieve our goal? Who’s the right partner to hire internally, or as an outside company?
Let’s imagine that you’ve decided to hire an outside company.
Your web agency or freelancer could get in the way of your goal.
Here are a few things you can look for. Are they only interested in seeing websites you like, how many pages the website will be, tools like WordPress? Remember these traps I wrote about earlier? Agencies are often guilty of these mistakes too. Or do they ask questions to understand you and why you’re pursuing this goal? This is desirable because they should have as clear an understanding of your goal as anyone employed in your company. Have they helped others with similar goals?
One of the biggest traps
Finally, one of the biggest traps is waiting for you at the launch of the website, “thinking the website is done”.
It’s exciting when the new website is launched. That excitement goes away after a little while. If you don’t update text, images, or pages, you’ll soon be embarrassed about what’s missing and how out-of-date certain things are.
If this goes on for long enough, you’ll end up needing to throw the whole website out and start over from scratch. That’s definitely not efficient with your time and money.
Instead, with a little shift in mindset, you can avoid that by seeing this as a starting point. With your new website online, you can measure your progress toward your goal. This mindset can create tremendous benefits for your company.
In addition to that benefit, there are a couple more. Let’s look at the benefits of setting goals.
First, fewer arguments.
When you have a clear and common goal, it takes future decisions out of the subjective, because decisions can be discussed objectively.
Imagine Dele in HR wants a certain thing, on the homepage. Requests like these are frequently subjective. When you approach this subjectively, it can lead to power struggles, debates, and then someone saying, “Hey, Dele got his thing on the homepage. I want my thing on there too.” The end result is everyone ends up frustrated because of something that almost certainly doesn’t serve the common goal. Now, if you approach this request objectively with the goal in mind, you can have an intelligent discussion. Ask, “How does Dele’s idea help us toward our goal? How could we add to his idea? What if…”
By asking similar and open-ended questions, you’ll enjoy collaborative conversations, rather than arguments.
In addition to objective discussions, you’ll have less uncertainty.
Because if you’re measuring what’s working, not working, and what could be better, your team can make educated decisions and adjustments to your site.
Steps you can take right now
I know this is a lot to take in, so here are two simple next steps for you.
- First, select three to five people to discuss the goal for your new website. Then, ask additional open-ended questions. As you get a clear idea of your goal, start pursuing it with free insight specific to you.
- Schedule your free 30-minute conversation with Nihtem Solutions. You can reach us by calling 07030595653, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.