7 Goals You Need to Set For Your Website

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Happy New Year! We’re now in well on our way in this new year and it’s time to talk about what you want to accomplish with your website.

It’s the time of year when all kinds of goals and resolutions are made. But this post isn’t about those lofty oft-forgotten resolutions that follow the change of a calendar.

This post is about making progress and building your website putting it in a position to take you where you want to go in the new year.

So then, the question needs to be asked: If you have a website, a blog, an e-commerce store, or some other kind of site, what goals do you have for this year?

Have you thought about that? Goals for your website easily fit within the SMART goal philosophy because it’s so easy to measure how you’re doing.

Measurable progress is at the core setting goals. Improvements are measured by the numbers in all facets of life. Sales. Business. Marketing. Medicine. Sports is probably one of the biggest examples. Athletes are measured by their numbers, and baseball is a perfect example. There are so many statistical indicators in baseball it will make your head spin!

But this isn’t about getting buried in the numbers and overwhelmed. It’s about setting some benchmarks, looking at where you’re at now, and where you want to go. That’s why SMART goals are so powerful.

Michael Hyatt does a great job with describing SMART goals:

  • Specific – simply put they’re clear. An example would be “I want to get 100 unique visitors per day to my website.”
  • Measurable – this means you can chart your progress. SMART goals are quantitative rather than qualitative.
  • Actionable – actionable means that they’re action-oriented, not passive. The goal, whether a big task or a small task, is one where you can take action in quantifiable ways to make steps towards its achievement.
  • Realistic – this means that your goals are realistic and attainable. It means that they’re something you can actually see happening. Doesn’t mean they’re not stretch goals, just that they can happen.
  • Timely or Time-bound – This is your due date or time frame. This means that your goal has a deadline.

I learned the lesson a long time ago, and it’s as true now as it ever was:  the bottom line is what doesn’t get measured doesn’t improve. (click to tweet)

So, now the at know the kinds of goals that we want to set for this year, here are 7 goals to set for your website.

1. Subscriber Goals

Make a plan to increase your subscriber list. It has often been said that building your list is among the most important things you can do to build your business so having a plan to increase your email subscriber list is essential.

Why it’s important

Seth Godin wrote the book on permission marketing and by building your list you join a ton of other successful entrepreneurs who’ve put the time and effort in to building their business who have reaped the rewards. Pat Flynn said one of the biggest mistakes he “made as a blogger and business owner was not starting an email list right from the start.” Even if you’re not entirely clear on what you plan to do with your list, getting started on it is crucial to your growth.

How you can do it

Make it easy to opt-in to your list. You can take a lesson from what  Derek Halpern does on his site. On his home page he has three different ways for visitors to opt-in to his list. It’s the first thing you see.

Neil Patel at QuickSprout.com has also done a great job with presenting visitors with a compelling pop-overs and landing pages which convert like crazy for him.

Another thing you can do is to provide an incentive. This is an option that’s been around for a long time and there are a lot of people who’ve done really well this way.

2. Unique Visitor Goals

What do you want your daily traffic to your site to look like? How much do you want it to grow? Set a plan to increase your daily unique visitors. Getting unique visitors to your website is an issue of creating great content, promotion and contribution.

You want traffic, and you want the right kind of traffic. Spending time learning about how to increase the right kind of traffic on your website is worth the time and effort.

Why it’s important

Simply put, it’s a numbers game. The greater the number of visitors you have to your website the greater the opportunity you have to provide them with something awesome, and the greater the opportunity you will have to have visitors share your content and find potential customers and clients that you can help.

Just as an arbitrary example, if 100 unique visitors per day means you add 5 subscribers per day, then it’s reasonable to assume that 1000 unique visitors per day will add 50 subscribers per day. That’s the kind of growth you want to see.

How you can do it

It always starts with great content, but it doesn’t end there. Even if you’ve done a great job optimizing your page for your keyword terms, you still have to hustle and promote and share your content like crazy. Don’t be a jerk, and don’t spam people, but build a plan and a way to share your content in those places where it will be a service and add value.

We’ve put together a plan on how we share out our content and you can  learn more about that here.

3. Bounce Rate Goals

Reducing your bounce rate is among the most important concerns I ever hear from website owners. Going through all the hard work of creating great content, promoting and sharing only to have someone leave shortly after arriving is disappointing. That’s why it’s important to find ways to keep people on your site, and keep them engaged.

Why it’s important

Reducing bounce rate is about giving visitors opportunity to engage with you and your site. Reducing your bounce rate means that visitors stay on your site longer and potentially have greater opportunity to engage with you. When traffic bounces, it can mean that your content isn’t compelling, your site is too slow, or you’re not giving them reasons to dig deeper.

How you can do it

Make sure your site loads as fast as possible. Slow loading pages and websites suffer from a lot of different problems, and bouncing traffic is among them.

Have engaging content that makes your visitor want to stay on your site longer. This can be a poll question, or an opt-in form. Whatever it is, make sure it’s appropriate and adds value.

4. Search Ranking Goals

Establishing a plan to make progress in your search engine rankings is key to being a website owner. Search isn’t the only way someone will find your site, but it’s a huge part of any website owner’s marketing plans.

Why it’s important

Search engine rankings are important. It’s not the only thing that dictates your level of success, but it is a way for people to find you and what you have to offer. Ranking well is a vital part of any online marketing plan and if you don’t have a goal for where you’re trying to go, and what you’re trying to rank for you’re missing a great opportunity.

How you can do it

Know what keywords you’re trying to target. Know your competition. Share and promote your content.

5. Back Link Goals

Systematically building your back links to your website will help in so many different ways. It helps with search engine rankings, helps get exposure for your content, and helps raise your profile in the tribes and communities in which you participate.

Why it’s important

Quality back links are merit citations for your content. They’re not easy to build, but they’re worth the effort because of value the confer and how they’re viewed by search engines. It’s precisely why you see Wikipedia at the top of virtually every search result. The links pointing back to that site from all corners of the internet have given that site immense authority.

How you can do it

Make it a part of your daily routine to build one or two back links on high-quality sites. Guest posting is one way to do it, building relationships and asking for back links is another way. You can also submit your site to relevant directories. If you need help Jon Cooper’s SEO course is worth every penny. (affiliate)

6. Number of Downloads

It doesn’t really matter what it is, if it’s downloadable and targeted at delivering value you’ll want to make goals for how well your downloadable content performs. It can be a product, a report, an e-book, or podcast, whatever it may be, you need to measure the number of downloads it’s generating. You need to see how things go if you launch new downloadable product, and your podcast episodes to see which ones are drawing the most attention. Track your performance over time to make sure you’re meeting your goal for these downloadable items.

Why it’s important

Downloads let you know whether your product or podcast is going well, or may need some tweaking. It helps you know how things are going which is important feedback for your roadmap for the future. Quality feedback is awesome will help you refine your downloadable products and podcasts. You’ll learn how well your campaign or podcast is going too.

How you can do it

Use your web analytics to track performance. Set up goals and campaigns to help you chart your progress. If you’re using a service like Libsyn for your podcast they have their own suite of statistics that describe how things are going with your audio content. Youtube has its own statistics for your video content that you post too.

7. Content Publishing Goals

Have a goal to publish something on a regular basis. Notice that I said publishing and not creation. This goal is all about delivery and it assumes that you’re creating great stuff. This is probably the biggest one for me, and among my greatest challenges.

Why it’s important

Planning is everything when it comes to producing quality content over time. Without a plan, failure is crouching at the door.

How you can do it

Build an editorial calendar. This is one thing I’ve done where I’m working on the 4 major areas of content that I want to cover this year. In Workflowy I’ve got a schedule broken out by quarter for what I want to cover through the year. Each of those quarters is broken down in to months, and for the first quarter I’ve got a list of things I want to cover each month within the overall major category for the first quarter.

Set a daily writing goal. For me, it’s been about making sure that I’m doing something every day. I’ve noticed that I think a lot about what I want to write about, but I’ve done a poor job of actually capturing those thoughts. That’s already changed and I’ve got several posts already started for the new year. You can use an app like Lift to help you stay on track for the things you need to do each day, and set a daily word count as one of your items.

Conclusion

Setting goals for your website can lead to fantastic growth in the new year. Make sure that you set your goals to be SMART goals – specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound.

Break your goals down in to daily tasks. Start by looking at the year in its entirety and what you want to achieve. Then start working back to quarterly milestones you’ll need to hit to make your annual goal. Then start looking at monthly milestones you’ll need to hit to make your quarterly goal. Then what you need to accomplish each week to make your monthly goal, and finally what you need to be doing each day to hit your weekly goal. It really is just a numbers game. To hit your yearly objective you have to take daily steps to get there.

Of course you can correct and adjust your goals as you move through the week, month and year. Maybe you started too low, and you need to increase where you want to be. What a great problem to have! Or, maybe something isn’t quite working out the way that you thought it would work. That’s good to know too, because you’re learning and when you learn you’re better prepared for the next steps you need to take to get to where you want to be.

You’ll be getting constant actionable information when you work on taking daily steps to achieve your website goals. Your processes will get refined and you will get better and better at what you’re doing and the results will show.

What are your website goals for this year?

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