Giving your B2B website some goals to measure its performance against doesn’t have to be difficult nor do any goals need to be complex.
I had an interesting meeting a few days ago to discuss a new SEO and Analytics brief with a product manufacturer in the building industry. When the question was asked about ‘website goals’ it was followed by a moment of a silence.
Almost a silence that said “Goals? We don’t really have any”.
“So why have you given us a brief about SEO? I thought.
Most marketers I deal with don’t have any goals for their website(s), but its essential to have some goals as early on as possible well before you start thinking about tactics and agency sourcing.
Goals before tactics – in that order!
So I followed on with a suggestion “So, the objective for SEO will be to grow traffic from search engines for these 10 keywords/phrases right?” (this important bit was missing from the brief)
“…and the goal of the site is to convert that traffic into data capture such as enquiries right?” (optimising for traffic, optimising for conversion)
“What about registrations to your high value technical info?”
“Oh yeah and that!”
“What about PDF downloads? Wouldn’t it be great if search traffic increased by 500% and downloads increased by 100% and registrations (lead generation) by 50% by August 2013? All as a result of our SEO efforts!”
“……………………” (light bulb switches on at this point).
“What about CPD’s? You do CPD’s too right?” (high value goal – face to face opportunity)
I then said to myself “Well why can’t I book or request one via your website?”. I didn’t actually say this as I had to leave something for the proposal.
Anyway, now we had some focus for spending money on growing search engine traffic, we had some keywords, some key measurable goals and we had a deadline. The ‘how we get there’ comes next.
K.I.S.S – Keep it simple stupid
Familiar with this acronym? I learnt this in high school whilst (sort of) studying Graphic Design. Keeping things simple is the best way to get started.
No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying
Even if you have one goal for your website then you are already doing better than most other marketers or your competitors.
Setting goals or objectives should be kept SMART:
- Specific – What do you want to achieve?
- Measurable – By how much?
- Achievable – Do you have the resources and budget?
- Relevant – Is it aligned to your overall marketing strategy?
- Timely – Can you do it in 6 months?
So, if you’ve got a B2B website then your website goals could be one or more of the following over the course of the year:
- Increase enquiries for product X by three fold by end of 2013
- Increase search engine traffic by x% by end of 2013 and see an uplift in enquiries for product X
- Increase PDF downloads for products X,Y,Z by x% by August 2013
- Double bookings for events/CPD’S from the website compared to 2012
- Double the number of newsletter subscribers by December 2013
- Increase the number of monthly registrations to 100 by end of 2013
Now how you achieve these goals boils down to your planning, resources and budget. You may use email marketing, SEO, SEM, display advertising, print advertising, conversion rate optimisation, A/B testing, online PR, blogging or social media marketing to achieve any of the above goals for your website.
One example; if your goal is to increase bookings for events then you may add or increase call to actions on various pages of your site to promote your events, you may increase event emails to your database, you may run some PPC or display advertising programmes, you may do some joint marketing with suppliers and you may do some direct mail activity coupled with landing pages.
For 6 months and tweak as you go.
Again, it all comes down to planning, resources and budgeting. Going back to the SMART principle, keep your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Specific).
So, go and create one or two goals – see if you can achieve it? For those of you who do have some goals for your B2B website then please do share.
Additional reading: I also wrote a post on the Smart Insights blog which my be useful: 10 goals you should be measuring on your B2B website.