Back when the Internet was in its infancy, the first rendition of websites were no more functional than a digital billboard. Businesses simply put up a website with basic functionality and call it a day. However, since then the purpose of a website evolved to become an integral part of any business strategy. Now with more modern tools like Social Media, Email Marketing and so forth...your website design goals should be a powerful ally to your company objectives.
Setting Goals the SMART way!
Before we jump into specific website design goals for your online marketing strategies, we first have to understand what a SMART goal is.
SMART is an acronym for; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Utilizing these parameters, you will be able implement goals that will actually benefit the bottom line of your business objectives. Ignoring these might result in your company bleeding money in their respective departments. Do not implement marketing practices that are not in your best interest, not attainable or simply cannot be measured.
Understand the process of establishing SMART goals now? Let’s see how we can apply these to specific departments within your business model, or see how SMART goals are incorporated in Growth Driven Design.
Breaking Down the Website Design Goals for Each of Your Company's Departments
Firstly, let’s take a deeper look into the specific goals for each department. Understanding these points will help you design your website accordingly. Which aligns the functionality of your online endeavors with the goals each department seeks.
Marketing – Their main objectives will always be to generate leads by driving in traffic, to engage prospects in relation to the Buyer’s Journey and to re-engage old customers for repeat conversions. Sounds like a mouthful, but this is the general gist of it all.
Sales - The sales department of the business will always require a website to assist in closing sales through validating and supporting sales team communications. In other words, utilizing a CRM that will streamline leads to the sales department. Which assists them in closing a prospect on a specific offer.
Customer Support – Here it's all about creating a deeper sense of ‘customer satisfaction’ by providing a more robust service to the customer. This is usually done through, live chat functionalities, email support, support desks, telemarketing services integrated into the website and so forth.
Webmasters – These are the people that keep the site running smoothly. Their goals usually depend on simplifying and optimizing content updates and general website management. They want to keep your site as current and as secure as possible.
IT – The IT Department focuses on cross-platform integration, security issues, performance and scalability issues. Think of everything related to the back-end of your site.
Operations – The ‘Operations department’ works on streamlining and automating the website in order to reduce costs and optimize workflow.
HR – The functionality of the HR department focuses on attracting and hiring new recruits. Additionally, they can create a space on the site where current employees can find additional assistance without having to show up ‘in person’. This also helps optimize the HR Process and reduces costs in the “Operations Department”
C-Suite – For the top dogs of the organization, their ultimate goal is to grow the company’s bottom-line. Which should increase profitability in all sectors. When it comes to websites, it refers to lowering costs, increasing company practices efficacy and streamlining the functionality of all departments.
Now that we know the general objectives of each department, let’s see what we can do specifically in each of the departments to insure that their goals are SMART. Below are some examples to provide you with a general sense of ‘what you should be looking for with your company website design goals’.
Within the Marketing Department, their main objectives is to attract relevant potential customers to the website. Then engage with them on their particular ‘stage’ within the Buyer’s Journey. Lastly, convert them into customers.
Here are some of the most common marketing-related goals for a website:
- Quality Lead Generation – As mentioned, websites of today are meant to generate relevant leads for the business. However, simply generating leads isn’t enough. It is important to focus on quality over quantity. For most businesses, rather than putting “X amount of leads per month” you should be focusing on a lead increment percentage. So instead of saying, “We want 50 leads per week”, you should say something more along the lines of “We want to increase lead generation by 10% monthly”. This gives you the framework for measurability.
- Conversions – Secondly, generating leads is nothing without converting them. Most marketers achieve this through a “Smart Content Marketing Strategy” including blogs, landing pages, bribe gifts as well as many other tactics. Once more, it’s best to establish a percentage goal as opposed to a specific number as the measurability becomes more dynamic in nature.
- Brand Awareness – Another typical goal for the marketing department is brand awareness. In relation to a website, this means ‘how easy is it for your customer to understand what your company does, what your offers are or any other specific element of your business you’d like to promote. Typically, this can be done through landing pages or “squeeze pages”, information sites and so forth.
Now let’s move onto the Sales Department. It is obvious that the main goal of this department is to generate more sales. However, what about companies that do not push sales directly through their website? How do they utilize the website to assist them with their overall objective of generating more sales?
Usually, for companies in the second category, the idea of the website comes more as a “supportive tool” rather than a direct sales mechanism. Allow me to explain in a bit more detail;
- Generating More Sales - Obviously, the point here is that the site (company) ultimately wants to increase their sales. This applies to a wide range of companies. Once more, the idea here is to set a percentage goal as opposed to a “fixed number of sales” per week as the scalability is more dynamic in nature.
- Improve Sales Conversions – Secondly, it is just as important to increase the conversion rates of the leads the marketing department is generating. To calculate your current conversion rates, simply take the number of unique monthly visits and divide it by the actual converted customers (those who made a purchase). Similarly, you’ll want to establish your goals by percentage benchmarks as opposed to “physical numbers”.
- Support Systems – Finally, it’s important to be able to increase the support system around your sales. Once you have made a conversion, what are you doing to keep your customers happy, to respond to their follow up questions and so forth. To establish goals within this field, it’s more about understanding your sales department than the external customer. Thus surveying your sales teams about the performance of the website in relation to facilitation of sales is the best way to establish key performance indicators, which can then later be set as goals. Based on what your sales team responds, make the appropriate adjustments.
Customer Care Department
Let’s move onto Customer Care. Most websites today have some sort of customer care option. Whether it’s the “contact us” part of the website, live chats, telemarketing services and so forth. In order to fully understand how we can establish website design goals for this department we can break it down into two sections;
- Satisfaction – In this section, you’ll be focusing on ‘how you can improve customer satisfaction throughout the buyer’s journey. To do this, you’ll need to generate data first which can be done through surveys before and after a customer makes a purchase. It’s not easy, as most customers simply want to purchase whatever they want, and move on. Thus, implementing small surveys throughout the sales process can help quantify this data.
- Task Time Reduction – Secondly, we look at ‘how long it takes’ for your support team to take care of a problem. This is much easier to measure as you will be able to see the steps ‘in-living-color’ as your support team handles requests. To set a SMART objective, once more rely on percentages as opposed to “minutes/hours” as the framework. For instance, increasing the ‘completion time by 10%’ is a good example of setting a proper goal.
Webmaster + Content Creators
These people are usually the people running the digital aspect of your website, from content generation, integrating CMS’ and creating landing pages for specific products/services.
Similar to the Customer Care Department there are two main points you need to be focusing on;
- Satisfaction – We’re not talking about how satisfied your customers are with the content. Rather how satisfied your content creators are with the workload. If you have unmotivated workers, you’ll receive unmotivated content. This will directly affect every other aspect of your online endeavors. You’ll need to listen to your webmasters/content creators and make adjustments accordingly.
- Task Time Completion – What can you do to make your content creators more efficient? Perhaps using task manager apps, weekly calls, summaries etc. To set a goal, simply take the current time it takes for one of your content creators to finish a task (a.k.a create a blog). Figure out their steps and see how you can optimize the process.
The IT Department is all about allowing you to run your website efficiently. They need to keep everything current, secure and working smoothly. While they are not always necessary, they are crucial for the success of your digital endeavors. After all, if a website is “down” or “offline”, you’re not generating sales or activity for any other department.
The IT department has one major goal;
- Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency – In this case, to create a goal for the IT department you will want to look at physical costs (servers, hosting, licenses etc.) In many cases, IT departments charge by the hour. Seeing how efficiently these hours are being used can help set the framework for your objectives. This includes updating platforms, migrating to better systems and so forth.
These guys are all about efficiency and seeing ‘where they can automate’ processes. Thus, one of the major goals of the “Operations department” is set to;
- Automation and Workflow – How much of your website can be automated? Sales, email, customer support, CRM integration etc. All of these elements fall under the goals and objectives of the department. They will need to analyze the current state of the website and see where automation is possible.
For most websites, the HR department focuses on the ‘in-house team’ meaning they look for recruitment and support for current employees. Thus the website design goals they should be focusing are;
- Application Optimization – How easy is it for an applicant to send you their resume? Getting a key employee that will benefit the bottom line of your company is a priority for this department. Similar to lead generation goals and objectives, you can track this process through a CRM. This will let you see here the pain points lie. Understanding the points of conflict and how to optimize them will be a heavy influencer in relation to establishing goals.
- Employee Satisfaction – How can they help make your employees more efficient and how satisfied they are with their current tools. You will need to analyze the current “toolbox” your employees are using, measuring the frequency of use and seeing where there are areas to increase the overall efficiency of it all.
Now that we have looked at every department in detail, what about the ‘head honchos’ of the organization? How does a CEO or a COO fit into all this digital workspace? Mainly, the job of a CEO is to increase the overall revenue of the company thus their main objective is;
- How to Maximize ROI – They will need to analyze every aspect of every department, find where to improve and suggest the changes for each. Based on the feedback of each department, the CEO can measure areas of improvement and implement timeframes of transition. The main question a CEO should be asking is; “How will this new website help our bottom-line?”
Now, you should have a deeper understanding on how to establish website design goals. Especially, if you want to focus on a specific department. Obviously, this is merely touching the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but it should give you a clearer picture when it comes to establishing SMART goals for your company in relation to the digital workspace. Learn more about how we go about our website design service.