Making Your Website Work For You

Published November 22, 2013
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As a business, you have certain goals, be it sales goals, membership quotas, email signups, surveys completed, or any number of other goals. With any of these goals it is important to ask yourself two key questions. First, are my goals reflected in the design of my website? Secondly, am I measuring those goals effectively? If you can’t answer these questions, don’t worry! We are here to help.

Having Your Goals Reflected in the Website’s Design

Let’s say you run a company that makes most of its money from membership dues. Your goal, if your organization’s lifeblood is members, would be to sign as many people up for membership as possible. To do this your website should be designed to lead non-members down a very clear path towards membership. The buttons and calls to action your visitors see should all reinforce and clearly communicate your goal, and visitors should be quickly rewarded for following this path. When all signs point to becoming a member, it is likely that more visitors will sign up., with their ESPN Insider program, is a great model for a website geared towards memberships. Every page has buttons and ads that advertise ESPN Insider and encourage viewers to sign up. They entice people through the offer of additional content that only Insiders can view and by bundling it with an ESPN Magazine subscription.

Measuring Your Goals Effectively

After you have integrated your goals into your web design the next step is to make sure these goals are being completed. You need to make sure that the design you have laid out is actually leading to new memberships. Analyzing traffic data from your website can show you if the path to membership you’ve laid out is working. Scrutinizing your efforts helps ensure that visitors are not getting lost down rabbit holes of content that don’t lead to the desired result (becoming a member).

If the data shows that your website isn’t performing as well as you’d like, experiment. See if people are leaving before getting to the membership page. Find what pages people are leaving on and figure out why. Decipher whether certain content on your site leads to more memberships and examine that content closely and try to replicate it. Try testing two different site paths against each other and see which one leads to more memberships, also known as A/B testing. This is just a small sample of the different things you can try and the good news is that your website is completely malleable and can always be reworked and reshaped until you get the results you want.

It’s very easy these days to get a virtual fire hose of data from all your website traffic. And all that data is a good thing if you can use it to produce actionable steps and recommendations. Just about any goal can be tracked, and it’s okay to have more than one goal. The most important thing to remember is that if your organizational goals are not reflected in your website design and you are not harnessing the ability to track those goals along with all your other visitor data, you are probably working for your website and not having your website work for you.