Specifying Objectives for Your Web Site

What can convince you that your site is successful? After you establish goals, you need to specify the criteria that satisfy them. That means establishing measurable objectives. First, enter your calculations from Chapter 1 for break-even point, return on investment (ROI ), and budget onto the Financial Profile section of the Web Planning Form in Download Section. Your budget and ROI expectations might constrain how much you can spend on marketing and, therefore, on how much traffic your site will receive. Take this into consideration as you specify numerical targets for your objectives and the dates you expect to accomplish them. There’s no point in setting unrealistic objectives that doom your site to failure before you start.

Table 2-1 suggests some possible measurements for different Web site goals, but you have to determine the actual quantities and time frames for achievement. Define other objectives as appropriate. Enter the numbers and time frames for the criteria you’ll use on the Sample Objectives section of the Web Site Planning Form. These numbers are specific to each business.

Table 2-1Site Goals and Objectives

Site Goal

Possible Objectives to Measure

Managing customerNumber of phone calls and e-mails, amount of traffic to service
BrandingOnsite traffic, time onsite, activities performed, coupons downloaded, gross revenues
Generating qualified leadsNumber of phone calls and e-mails, conversion rate of visits to leads, conversion rate of leads to sales as compared to other lead sources, traffic to various pages, number of e-mail addresses acquired, cost of customer acquisition
Generating online salesConversion rate of buyers to visitors, sales revenue, average dollar value of sale, number of repeat buyers, profit from online sales, cost of customer acquisition, promo code use, sales closed offline that are generated from Web, if possible (that is, enter phone orders into the system)
Generating ad revenueAd revenue, click-through rate, page views per ad, traffic to various pages, visitor demographics
Measuring internal goalsConversion rates for various actions, site traffic, other measurements (depending on specific goals)
Transforming the businessSite revenues, costs, profit, time savings, costs savings, other measurements (depending on specific goals)

If you don’t have objectives, you won’t know when you’ve reached or exceeded them. Setting objectives ahead of time also ensures that you establish a method for measurement.

For instance, you can obtain site traffic numbers from your Web statistics, but you can’t count leads that come in over the phone that way. Your receptionist must ask how a caller heard about you and tally results. Or you can display a separate number, e-mail address, person, or extension for Web visitors to use, just as you would establish a separate department number for a direct mail campaign.

Try to track data for a 13 month period so you can compare same date results. Almost all businesses experience some cyclical variation tied to the calendar.

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