How to Set Goals for a Website

Let's take a look at some strategies for analyzing and creating goal oriented navigation for your website.

Define Your Goals

What purpose does your website serve for your business? Once you get a targeted visitor to your website, what do you want them to do? Creating a goal oriented navigation for your website will take your website from a place that people get information to a tool that works for your company. Some common goals include:

  • getting a prospective customer to contact you
  • getting a visitor to purchase a product
  • get a visitor to fill-out a feedback form
  • make it easy for your visitors to find the information they are looking for
  • provide useful and helpful information

Organizing Navigation to Get Customers to Contact You

First, you need to understand what your prospective customer is thinking. Most of the time, they will want to find out a combination of the following; who you are, what you do, how much your services/products cost, and why you would be a good fit for them. You will want this information to be easy to find because if it isn't, then they will leave your website before contacting you.

You WANT your potential customers to find the answers to the above questions because if they do, they will already be "pre-sold" before your sales staff closes the sale. So where do you put your contact info in your navigation? Logically, you will want to put your contact page last (either at the bottom of a vertical navigation or the far right of a horizontal navigation because this will usually be the last pages/sections they visit if they contact you. This is a pretty simple concept, but if ignored, it can lead to disaster for your contact goal.

How to Measure Your Goals

Either you or your webmaster can install a program called Google Analytics on your website. This is a tracking software that allows you to measure activity of your website in detail. Once you have your website in place, you can measure pertinant aspects of your navigation effectiveness such as how many seconds users spend on each page or in what order your pages visited. This is a very effective tool that will help you make educated decisions on improving your website. Not having the information that Google Analytics provides is like flying an airplane with a blind-fold.

Getting a Visitor to Purchase a Product from a website

This is very similar in concept to getting a visitor to contact you about your company's services. Your visitor will be thinking... What does this product do? What does this product look like? How much does it cost? Are there shipping charges? How many days will it take to deliver? Is it a new product or used? What do other people think about this product? Is there secure check-out for the credit card transaction?

These are the questions that people ask when they are on an ecommerce website. Probably the most important aspect of an ecommerce site is making the customer feel comfortable purchasing something online from you. You definitely need to make sure that they know your website is secure. Look at leading websites, most have security certificate validation logos at the bottom of their sites. If you are selling products, then your website should have the same.

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