To measure website success, you must know your website’s goals. More specifically, you must know how your website helps your business grow. Then you need to translate those goals into website performance metrics. Those key aspects are the foundation of effective website performance monitoring. This article is the first in a series that walks you through this process.
In this article, we will focus on identifying those website goals.
As a business owner, you know how crucial it is to know what you want to get done and when you want to have it done. Those goals are the foundation for growing successfully. And the exact same thing can be said for your website.
Each website should be designed to lead your users toward specific actions. Actions you need those users to take to grow your business. Identifying those actions is a necessary foundation for effective website performance monitoring.
The First Step to Measure Website Success: Find Your Goals
We’re going to break this down into three components:
- How does your website grow your business?
- What actions do your users need to take on your website to do that?
- How valuable is each action?
How Does Your Website Grow Your Business
Your website exists to grow your business. To measure website success, we need to start by reminding ourselves of how it does that. We need to remind ourselves of our website objective.
Once we know how our website grows our business, then we can identify the actions our visitors need to take for that to happen. Those two components are the basis for the goals we need. Goals that will help us effectively measure website success
Take a minute now to write down your website objectives.
Here are a few examples to get you started:
Blog: This type of website usually grows a business by increasing the number of visitors and purchases through affiliate links.
Influencer: This type of website usually grows a business through brand recognition, visitors on the site, and purchases through affiliate links.
eCommerce: This type of website usually grows a business through sales.
Your website may be different than any of these examples.
Perhaps you have exclusive, tailor-made offerings. In that case, your website may grow your business by helping visitors contact you for a quote. A quote you custom design based on their needs.
Either way, consider what you want your website to do for you. Then, write that objective down.
Actions your Users Need to Take
Great! Now you have your website objective. You remember exactly what your website needs to do to grow your business. Time for the second step!
Step two for effective website performance monitoring: finding the actions our users take that meet our objectives.
Consider opening your website now and clicking through the pages your visitors need to be on in order to meet your objectives. Write down each click or action you have to take.
Break it down into as many actions as makes sense for your business and your website.
Here are a few examples to get you started:
I want my users to complete a contact form.
I want my users to join my newsletter.
I want my users to buy my service.
Here, again, your users may have some very different actions to take. Your service may be so elite that you need customers to call you. That way your customers can have a white-glove experience. In that case, you will want to identify all of the ways a customer can call you from your website.
Be sure to write down each action. We will need it for the last step.
How Valuable Is Each Visitor’s Action to My Business?
Fantastic! Now we know our website’s objective and the actions our visitors need to take to meet that objective.
Onto the last step, we need to take to create goals for effective website performance monitoring.
Now we need to identify how much value each action brings. There are many ways to assess value. But, if you get stuck, consider asking yourself these questions:
Is this a tangible return like a sale?
Or does it potentially lead to money in the bank like a quote request?
How much effort does the business need to put in once a visitor takes this action in order to grow?
Roughly how much does this increase my revenue?
By asking yourself those questions you can narrow down the value of each action and assign a ballpark figure of growth. This will come in handy later when you measure website success with free tools like Google Analytics.
Building on the example above, here’s what adding that value to each action might look like:
I want my users to complete a contact form because this generates a lead for me which (on average) makes me $XX in sales.
I want my users to join my newsletter because XX% of those people end up buying my service which brings in $XX revenue.
I want my users to buy my $XX service.
Remember to write down these values next to your actions. You’ll need them for the next articles in the series where we learn about the tools that help us measure our users actions.
Part 1 Complete!
You have Built the Foundation to Effectively Measure Website Success.
Whew! The hardest step is out of the way. You now know what users need to do on your website. And you know how valuable each of those actions is for growing your business.
From here, we’ll learn about the tools that help us see if our users are taking those actions. Then, we’ll take a look at some other very valuable metrics to watch! Stay tuned as we update this series.