So you want a new website, but where do you start, the design, the features, the hosting or maybe the domain name. All good answers and all things you should consider but our advice would be to start by setting some SMART goals.
Now SMART goals have been around for decades but if they are new to you SMART is an acronym that stands for:
- Time Bound
Why do I need to be specific?
Well everything we do online leaves a digital footprint (other terms are available), information left behind which is stored as cookies and sent back to the website we were visiting. This information can be used in different ways:
- Some are crucial to the websites features
- Some track the sites performance, noting things like the pages that are visited or where visitors come from
- Other cookies enhance the users experience
- Whilst others are used for targeted advertising
Whatever their end function cookies have given website owners access to on the spot, up to date marketing data, an ideal resource for setting SMART goals.
Where do I begin?
For existing website owners the task is a little easier as you may already have analytics stored from your current website, but if not now is a good time to start gathering data (see Google Analytics).
Don't have any data…
You can still set SMART goals, for instance, a local shop with an ecommerce website want's to encourage 100 new local website visitors in 6 months.
Specific - Local website visitors.
Measurable - 100 of them, check analytics for locations of visitors.
Use local focused SEO and social media techniques, perhaps give a card referencing the website in the shop.
Relevant - Local customers mean footfall to the physical shop and visitors to the website, it is also easier to engage with local visitors.
Time Bound - When does the 6 months fall, add the actual date as a fixed point in time.
In the simplest terms you have 6 months to monitor your analytics and possibly adjust your techniques to make sure you achieve your goal. There are many powerful tools available today and you really should consider using some of them to your advantage, I bet your competition is.