- New York Times
Not having a valuable marketing goal for your website cost your company a lot of money in wasted effort.
Notice that I said valuable goal. There are any number of goals for a website but you will miss out on the value of a website if you don’t understand how to establish valuable goals to benefit the company. Find out about the three goals that will return value for any marketing strategy in my video “How to Establish Worthwhile Marketing Goals for Your Website”
There could be any number of goals for a website but the difference between getting real returns on your investment and not is establishing goals that actually have real, measurable value vs. goals that cannot be measured and don’t have real marketing value. Aside from the value of the goal the two most important qualities of these goals are: They must represent something and that something must be quantifiable. To better illustrate this lets look at a goal that is not a good goal because it does not have these two qualities:
Goal – create a beautiful website.
This goal is expressed as an action. It is something to be done rather than something to have. This may seem like a trivial point but it is actually the first mistake when formulating a goal that will lead to not getting value from the project. We could change the statement of the goal to “a beautiful website” and the goal now represents something tangible, something that you can have as the end result of actions taken. However even after restating that goal we still don’t have something that is quantifiable. You cannot quantify “beautiful” – there is no objective way to measure that.
Now let’s examine three of the most common goals that companies can use to get real value from their websites:
Goal Number One: A large audience of fans or members
First note that it has both qualities required: It represents something and that something is quantifiable i.e. we can measure the number of visitors that a site is getting and thus know if the goal is being achieved or not. A large audience of fans or members also expresses something that has marketing value .
Prominent examples of sites geared toward this goal are:
All 3 of those sites are trying to build large audiences so they can sell advertising. Facebook does this by providing services to help users stay in touch with their family and friends. The audience is attracted by the fun that they derive from being able to find and communicate with friends from all over the world.
YouTube gets it audience in two ways: The first is by providing an easy way to publish and share videos for people to see and comment on, with an integrated online video maker for the masses who like to make videos but aren’t professional editors. The second is by making available a variety of original content for people looking for some entertainment.
The New York Times is simply extending its model of attracting an audience with interesting news stories to the web.
Once they get a large audience then advertisers will be interested in buying space on the site to try to get their message in front of that audience.
Goal Number Two: Sales of Products or Services
Again we have a goal that is quantifiable and valuable from a marketing perspective. Actually it pretty much could represent the ultimate goal of any marketing effort but it is worthwhile to separate it out as a goal because the Internet is a great way to get sales from people who a company otherwise could not get sales from. At the same time it is not good to use this as a goal for websites who ultimately have a sale as the end result but the sale does not occur via the website.
Examples of websites geared toward this goal are:
Those websites all measure their success by the quantity and dollar value of the products sold. You can clearly see that everything about the site is to direct the visitor to make a purchase. Sites with this as a goal are also called ecommerce sites.
Goal Number Three: Leads of potential customers
This goal generally is or should be the goal of most websites for professional services businesses or businesses whose products or services are too complicated to be sold directly via the web. The object is to get interested visitors to minimally fill out a form with at least an email address so that the company can follow up and stay in touch or better yet get them to make an appointment to come in.
A great example of a lead generation site is Barackobama.com
These types of sites are offering something to get you to sign up and give your information. This is obviously quantifiable (you can count how many people sign up) and it is very valuable. The first step in marketing is to get a line of communication to an interested audience. An important point here is that your offer is targeted to be interesting to a particular market i.e. offering a book on how to choose the right chiropractor will get you the identities of people who must be, at least to some degree, interested in the services of a chiropractor. In this manner you get a valuable quantifiable return from your website.
Your Website’s Goal
The goals you establish for your website are what guides the design process. Without well defined goals the graphic designer will not know what to emphasize in the layout , the copywriters won’t know how to focus the copy and in the end the website will not result in a good return on your investment.
If you are looking for a good Internet Marketing Consultant or a Small Business Web Design Firm to help you get value out of the Internet: Yves A Martin Consulting, LLC has over 10 years experience helping companies get value from the Internet – http://yamcllc.com .
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