The Goal-Based Website Planning Guide

by | Jul 22, 2020 | Digital Marketing

Your website is your digital first impression. You could be the best in the business, but if you don’t look the part then you’re missing out on a LOT of potential business, whether you realize it or not.

On top of that, it’s more important now than ever to have a website that’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but one that’s strategically designed to convert “clickers” to customers. After all, if you’re going to have a website, why not make it an effective lead generation tool as well?

Below, find information about the most important elements of website planning, from goal setting to sitemaps. 

Step 1) Company & Website Overview

Take a moment to review your company and your ideal customer. For a successful website, you must have a strong sense of your company message and your target audience, and incorporate this throughout your site.

  • What is your company name?
  • What do you do?
  • Who do you serve?
  • What is your Unique Selling Proposition, or your Value Proposition Statement?
  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What products/services do you provide?

Step 2) Website Goals

Determine the top 3 goals of your website from 2 perspectives. The first perspective is YOUR COMPANY (what do you want to get out of the website?). The second perspective is the goal of the visitor (why did they come to your website in the first place and what are they hoping to get out of it?)

It’s important to look at both of these perspectives to make sure that:

  1. The customer can get what they want from your site easily
  2. Your website is converting visitors to customers effectively
  3. You’re maintaining a quality client/visitor experience
  4. You’re maintaining a quality brand image

Step 3) Goal Break-Down

Analyze the 6 goals from step 2 and summarize them into 3 main goals for your website. To reach these goals, every element of your website must be designed to achieve them. Minimizing “blank space” or elements that don’t have meaning will help you optimize your website and drive traffic to where you need it to go.

Once you’ve determined the goals for your entire site, analyze each of them by asking yourself the following:

  • Why is this goal important?
  • What does the visitor need to do/see to help you achieve this goal?
  • How will you get them there?

Step 4) Site Mapping

Use a blank sheet of paper (or something like Microsoft PowerPoint) to draw a map of your website pages. What main pages will be in your menu? What sub-pages (if any) will be under each main page? Are there any extra/hidden pages, like a “thank you” page,  legal/policy document pages, etc.? Your site map is vital to the usability of your page and your visitor experience, so make sure you keep it as clear and straightforward as possible.

Step 5) Page & Section Details

It’s important to make sure that each page and section has it’s own goal that leads back to the main goals of your website, and that every element of your website is working towards achieving one of your main website goals.

Ask yourself the following questions regarding each page:

  • What is the page title?
  • What is the main goal of this page from the company’s perspective?
  • What is the main goal of this page from the visitor’s perspective?
  • What does the visitor need to do/see to help you achieve this goal?
  • What sections/elements will be on this page to get them there?

Once you have the page information answered, ask yourself these questions about each one of the sections that you plan to put on that page:

  • What is this section (name or description)?
  • What is the purpose of this section?
  • How does this section work towards achieving the page/website goals?
  • What components/elements will it contain?
  • How will you track the success of this section?

 Answering these questions thoughtfully and strategically are crucial to the success of your website.

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Goal-Based Website Planning Guide

This is the website planning guide. It's important. Yay.

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