There’s a phrase that you’ve probably heard many times: “If we have facts, we’ll use facts. If we have opinions, we’ll just use mine.”
As smart as we think we are, it’s always preferable to make business decisions based on quantifiable data. If your website’s data is not available, it’s time to create a baseline by firing bullets not cannonballs. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting all your gunpowder.
It’s not plausible to develop a website that will accomplish goals for multiple people with multiple visions, or worse – their objectives conflict or contradict each other. You’ve got to have clarity of vision during the discovery/inception phase of your web design project. This might make multiple meetings painful (in some cases you may need to bring in a consultant to help clarify some points) but without this essential step, it’s impossible to have a successful end result.
How to Ensure Web Design Achieves Your Business Goals
Identify Current Baseline
The first step is to identify your current baseline by using analytics. One truly beautiful thing about digital marketing is the fact that you can measure literally everything. The caveat, however, is that you can waste a lot of time measuring the wrong things.
Clearly Identify KPI’s Based on SMART Goals
Set up realistic KPIs (key performance indicators) that will be leading (not trailing) business indicators. Make sure to establish SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic & Time-based.
An example of a SMART goal might be to increase overall traffic to your website by 25% in the next 90 days.
- Specific: We’re measuring website traffic.
- Measurable: by 25%.
- Agreed upon by all key stakeholders that this is the target we want to hit.
- Realistic: this an attainable goal (25%, not 250%).
- Timely: over the next 90 days.
Understand Potential Risk
There is a risk to anything. An example of a risk with a website redevelopment project is losing organic search rankings after the new site launch. (There are SEO launch preparations you can do, but it’s still a risk).
By clearly identifying risks at the beginning of projects, we can mitigate the potential impact on the success of the project.
Design to Your Buyer Personas
It’s essential that the design and messaging of your website are geared towards your customers and solving their problems. By designing to your customers’ needs you will increase your chance of conversion.
When you’re the coxswain of a rowing crew, it’s important to know the direction you want to go so everyone can be rowing in the same direction. The development of the website is no different. Everyone needs to know where you’re going, why you’re going there, and what the plan is to get there. With a clear vision, SMART goals, and data-driven business decisions, you can create a roadmap that includes timeline and budget for building a website that is the mechanism you’ll use to accomplish your objectives.