When starting a business, launching a website may be seen as just another start up cost. This is a very common view; “If I want to be taken seriously, at the very least I need an online presence,” which may include social media (social proof) and a website you can share with pride.
The line of thinking is: most successful business have a website, I’m building my business, I need a website to prove I’m serious.
There is an important question in all this. Why do businesses have websites? Is it because it proves they’re willing to put down money on a host and a domain name the same way you ante in to a card game? Is it so you can be taken seriously? While there’s a sliver of truth to that, the answer is no. The website is a tool and it accomplishes goals, builds relationships and earns revenue.
That is why analytics and metrics to achieve goals should be built into every website.
If you put up a sign on a building, send out fliers or place an ad on the radio you’re looking to accomplish specific tasks. Indicating where you operate, or drumming up business are the “why,” but it can be difficult to measure how effective these efforts are.
Websites are different. You can track how many visits you’ve had. You can see if people are viewing your product or services pages, checking the about page to make sure you’re the right fit or looking for contact information. A thoughtfully designed website can prioritize your objectives and successfully track the outcome. Unlike a store sign, it can be adjusted and optimized to achieve your goals with relative ease.
That is why we integrate analytics into every website. It helps capture where your visitors are coming from, how much time they spend looking at certain things, and where they successfully complete their objective, or abandon it. A website might be of best value to your business if it gets people to click on “our location” or to check pricing and call you. You can set up campaigns online and offline which direct your target market to perform certain tasks and see exactly how effective it was. “Come to our grand opening” or “see an exclusive offer just for existing customers” are trackable and measurable initiatives when properly tied in to your website.
By spending time identifying desired outcomes, you can successfully measure goals and optimize your tactics. It’s a very effective way to utilize your website, something that many successfully businesses do, and flips the script. Serious businesses don’t make websites just to prove they’re serious. They build, monitor and adjust sites because they are serious and they track their outcomes.
The exciting thing is if you have a site, there are extremely powerful tools such as Google Analytics, which facilitate this process. A few minutes of planning what you want as outcomes from your website can be game changing in achieving your business goals. Once you identify desired outcomes and track them, you can be empowered to get them done.