On websites of any size and especially large corporate and non-commercial ones, it can often be a challenge to balance business objectives with visitors’ information needs.
Asking the right questions and planning for exact needs will make sure the site always stays effective.
If you ask only one question when asked to change or create a website, ask this:
- Which prospects and clients do you wish to attract to your website and what do you want them to do there?
OK, that was really two questions in one.
The third, if not the most important question to ask is: Why? Why are we doing this?
I always ask:
- What are the commercial objectives of this site or page?
- Who are our target visitors? What do we want them to think and feel?
- What is the main message for every page?
- What problems are we solving in providing this content?
- What action do we want our visitors to take? Have a list of tasks for each page
- What content and in what formats will achieve both 1 and 2?
- What marketing materials do we have already and how good is it?
- What additional content, formats, training and guidelines do we require?
- How will we produce, publish, measure and maintain this content? And who will do it?
Only then can I begin creating or revising my website.
You may find using a website objective setting table like this helps:
|Business objectives||Website visitor goals|
|Business growth – promote new services to prospects and customers||Find out what others say about our services to help make a decision on whether to do (new or more) business with us|
|Increase revenue by upselling||Contact one of our marketing managers about a new service|
|Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty||Find out how changes to services will have an impact on them personally|
This table is just a simple example. Business objectives should always be ‘SMART’ – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.
If you have any comments or would like to know more about objective setting for your website please get in touch.