With a never-ending to-do list and limited time in your day, it can be hard to prioritize the work you do and the goals you set for your business — specifically your website! So I’m taking a data-informed approach to feasible ways you can grow your business (whether it’s sales or views or clicks) with seven website goals you can set right now.
We’ll divide our goals into two different categories:
While it may sound ideal to spend more time achieving all these website goals, it’s not always realistic. Before we dive into all the website goals you’re going to start tackling, we need to talk about the elephant in the room: How are you actually going to make it happen? It’s one thing to say you’re going to tackle all these things, but it’s another thing to set yourself up for success from the start.
In fact, in the content surveys we’ve run over the last several years here at Layout and Flywheel, the #1 answer to the question, “What do you wish you knew more about” and “What do you need to do your best work” are most-often answered with a variation of “time management” or “more time.”
To make sure you’re setting yourself up for success to crush these website goals, let’s first talk about opportunity cost.
Opportunity cost: Set yourself up to achieve your website goals
Welcome to website economics 101! Today we’re talking about time management (or for some of us, the lack of time management). So until someone creates a usable time machine or we find Hermione’s Time-Turner necklace from Harry Potter, we have to think about this thing called “opportunity cost.” That’s the fancy business term for “prioritizing the things we should spend our time on and finding solutions for the others.”
How opportunity cost works
We make decisions based on opportunity cost all day, every day! Here’s an example: You’re out of coffee and feeling really tired and sluggish today. So you have two options: 1) go get coffee from the nearest coffee shop or 2) continue your day with potentially less productivity.
The first option includes the time and money it would cost you to go get the coffee, as well as the increase in productivity you get from it. Let’s call it twenty minutes and five dollars. But maybe you could have cleared out your email inbox in that time or finished that project brief you’re behind on. That’s your opportunity cost for going to get the coffee.
In the second option, where you don’t go get the coffee, your opportunity cost is less productivity. Maybe you saved time and money, but you weren’t able to get through your whole inbox in that time or completely finish the project brief.
But the key to opportunity cost is in tradeoffs. Maybe if it would only take you ten minutes to get that coffee instead of twenty, you’d be more likely to choose that option. You get the productivity increase but it costs you less of your time. In that example, the opportunity cost of those extra ten minutes justifies the productivity increase.
Opportunity cost for your website goals
Now back to your website goals. What opportunity cost are you willing to concede to prioritize these website goals? Pause for a second and ask yourself: What’s it worth to me to have more time to prioritize my website goals, do the things I need to be more creative, and not feel like I’m compromising too much? Hopefully, you’ve come up with some dollar amount or maybe an idea of how much time you’re willing to set aside. And how are you going to make the most of that time?
Now that we know all about opportunity cost and you’re ready to make the time to prioritize your website, let’s dive into these website goals!
Part 1: Optimize your site for SEO and to be more organically discoverable.
While it may seem like you need to “pay to play” in search engines or social media these days, there are still countless things you can do to make your site climb to the top of the search results organically. If you’re meeting your target audiences where they’re already searching and focused on those SEO keywords, you’re well on your way to success. But let’s discuss a few goals you should also prioritize in order to climb to the top of that search engine ladder!
1. Make your site mobile friendly
For years now, mobile devices and desktop have battled for the majority of internet access, but since 2017, mobile has surpassed desktop almost every quarter. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re serving up a less-than-ideal experience with your brand for half of your users. The fallout from that user dissatisfaction means higher bounce rates and lower search rank.
The good news is there are tons of solutions for optimizing your site for mobile use. While there are all kinds of solutions like plugins and Google tutorials, I highly recommend starting with this article on how to make your site mobile friendly to help you achieve this goal.
Feel like your site is already pretty mobile-friendly? Take it to the next level! Look at your site users and metrics. (For example, check out this Google Analytics device report.) If most of your users are on mobile, maybe it’s time to consider a mobile-first approach to site design and optimization. Then make that your new goal so you’re continuing to provide the best user experience for most of the people on your site.
2. Invest in video
Did you know Youtube is the second most-used search engine as of 2020 and has been on the rise for years? That just goes to show how important it is to meet your audience where they’re searching. Not only is video important on YouTube, but we’re also seeing trends in other search engines like Google, too. Video can even boost your SEO ranking if you’re optimizing it correctly and your visitors are finding relevant content in it.
With that, you’re probably wondering, “why video?” and the answer is actually in some of those trends we just mentioned and how people are using video on the internet:
- More mobile users who don’t want to read on tiny screens — it’s easier to just watch something!
- YouTube is the second most-popular search engine, meaning people are looking for visual content!
- With video, you can consume more information in less time — it’s much faster for the average person to watch and listen rather than read.
- People want to be entertained, and video provides much more dynamic and engaging content.
While video is certainly a trend on the rise (and something becoming more and more popular with search engines, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy task. This section is called “invest in video” because it’s just that — an investment. Typically, it’s much easier to write, edit, and publish something on a typical website CMS like WordPress. With video, there’s usually script planning, more equipment needs like camera or editing software, and the list goes on. Here’s a great go-to guide for creating YouTube videos for web designers that can help you get started!
If you’re on a tighter budget or maybe a tighter timeline, think about what’s feasible for you and your skills. Make video work for you by working with what you have. Have a great designer? Maybe try an animation with a voiceover. Have someone who’s a great public speaker or maybe a subject expert? Make them your video talent! Have a brand that’s just whimsical and quirky? Make a fun, low-budget video that gets your point across. The key to video is making it work for you, your constraints, and most importantly your brand.
3. Optimize your site performance
You’ve heard it a million times, and you’ll hear it a million more. Spend time optimizing your site performance. I’d bet you’ve probably heard a stat or two on how half your site visitors will bounce if your site takes more than even a few seconds to load, and it’s the truth! What’s to keep someone waiting on your site when they could just click the next link on the search results with answers virtually instantly?
Performance is becoming increasingly important for discoverability not only from a user experience perspective but also from search engines themselves. For example, Google recently announced SEO algorithm updates that will de-prioritize sites from search results if your performance isn’t within a certain threshold.
There are a million resources available at all levels to help you learn how to increase your site performance, so start with something that works for you and your team. Here are some great ones to get you started:
- Test your site performance with GTmetrics
- How to boost your WordPress speed and performance ebook
- How to optimize images for web: a step-by-step guide for better site performance
- Front-end optimization – 9 tips to improve web performance
Part 2: Increase your conversion rate
4. Invest in your brand
People will support your brand if they feel connected to it. That’s why we see people so loyal to brands like TOMS, for their mission of giving back, or Adidas, based on a favorite sports team. In fact, research on different generations showed that among people across all generations, from Gen Z to Boomers, the majority of all generations still find themselves loyal to certain brands.
So how do you create brand loyalists? Well, it starts with an amazing product or service, so let’s just assume you’ve got that nailed down. Good for you! But what about when it comes to your website? How can investing in your brand be a website goal?
Make your website the living breathing experience of your brand. Decide how you can make the biggest impact. Here are some examples:
- Increase brand awareness. Spend your time adding your logo across your site, on all your downloadable resources, or collaborating with other brands for more awareness. Build a consistent brand across your site and all your channels.
- Make your core values known. If you feel like the people behind your brand are core to your beliefs, take the time to put those people on your homepage banner. If your company is committed to giving back, highlight how you did that.
- Consider a rebrand. Not selling like you thought? Struggling to stand out against other brands? Not meeting the right audience you intended? A rebrand (or a brand refresh) is a big deal, but it can be an important step for growth.
5. Build personalized experiences
Let’s face it: Everyone should expect websites to cater to a broader audience (and that’s certainly the easier option for all of us who are managing and creating content for websites). Instead, everyone actually wants to go to a website and think, “Wow, this is the perfect thing I was searching for, made just for ME.”
Personalization may seem overwhelming at first, but it can take all kinds of shapes and forms. You can start small with some basics about who you know your target audience is or even generalizations people identify with. Take for example how Tarte calls their shoppers Tartlettes or how almost all Local content is talking directly to WordPress developers. Small things like this still make users feel connected, and it’s an easy way to start.
Another example could be personalizing your home page for customers versus non-customers. KlientBoost is a brand that does personalization really well and isn’t afraid to use personal pronouns like “my” or call out saying “Hey Flywheel!” when I visit their site.
These examples show that whether you’re new or well-versed in personalization, take some time to research how you can make your users feel more connected to your brand and your website experience. You might be surprised how personalization can boost some of your conversion rates.
6. Create content with real value
Think of something on your site with a call to action, or CTA. Now ask yourself: Does that CTA have the right information around it that makes me think, “I’m getting real value out of this” or “I know how this benefits me.” If the answer isn’t a resounding “Hell yes!” then it’s time to take a step back.
CTAs are meant to be self-serving for the business, right? You need information or engagement in order to grow. But if you think about it from the end user’s perspective, why would they willingly give you something (whether it’s an email address, a click to that affiliate link, or even their hard-earned money!) if they don’t understand the real value they’re getting in return?
In a time when big data and privacy breaches are a standard occurrence, you have to earn someone’s personal information, whether it’s an email list, an ebook, a report, your product itself, or even just another visit to your site? Tell them exactly what they’re getting! No fluff, all value.
If they’re downloading the PDF you created, tell them how it will grow their business or exactly how to make the most of it. If they’re signing up for your mailing list, tell them you send discounts once a month — and actually deliver on that promise. If you want someone to sign up on your membership site, give examples of exactly what they’re getting or case studies on exactly how and why it works.
Trust is a two-way street, so by understanding what to share freely on your site and what provides enough value to warrant someone’s personal information is something to really think about. This two-way trust not only makes your users appreciate you and your business for the value you’re receiving, but it also gives you the opportunity to grow that relationship.
7. Set yourself up to have more time to create
Remember at the start of this article when we talked about opportunity cost? Well this is when it really comes into play. While it may sound ideal to spend more time creating and experimenting with your website content and design, it’s not always feasible unless you make time for it.
Keep thinking about the following: What are some things you can offload in your day-to-day or business operations? What are some things you’re doing manually that you can find a better solution for?
We’re talking about websites here, so let’s use that as our example: Maintaining your website isn’t easy. You constantly have to think about keeping your content up-to-date and increasing conversions, all while making sure you’re not getting hacked (or worse, your site’s down). So what’s your opportunity cost? What other solutions are there to help you focus on the things you need?
That’s where something like managed hosting can be incredibly helpful, even though it may cost a bit more than the cheapest hosting option out there. With most managed hosts, you don’t have to worry about all the nitty-gritty details like security, server-level performance, site backups, etc.
Take Flywheel for example. Flywheel is a managed WordPress host that can save you time and hassle in managing your site. While it may cost you something like $15 a month, you’ll sure be glad you have a team of website experts to have your back instead of having to pay someone to clean up your site after it’s infected with malware. They take care of all those things I already mentioned, but they’re also other site needs like SSL certificates, WordPress updates, malware cleanup (for FREE I might add!), and so much more.
Now instead of spending hours maintaining and optimizing your site each month, that gives you more time to spend ideating, learning, and achieving all these goals for your site!
And that’s it! Here are your seven website goals to set yourself up for success:
- Make your site mobile-friendly
- Invest in video
- Optimize your site performance
- Invest in your brand
- Build personalized experiences
- Create content with real value
- Set yourself up to have more time to create
Now go crush some website goals this year and watch your business soar!
Cross some goals off your list with Flywheel managed WordPress hosting!
When it comes to your site, choose a hosting partner that’s going to do the most for you. From free SSL and site backups to better performance and security, we take care of your sites so you can focus on crushing your website goals and growing your business! Learn more about Flywheel here.