Please raise your hand if you've ever set a New Year's resolution that you didn't achieve. We all start out the New Year with the best of intentions, but two weeks later we've usually abandoned the goals we created.
If you’re really good you make it a month or two before slipping back into familiar habits. Well, there’s good news: setting goals for your next website project doesn’t have to end the same way. So we’re going to help you with a New Year’s resolution that you can keep. With the right template and tools, you can impact your bottom line. Take a look at this goal setting template and we’ll walk you through how to use it in this blog post. When we’re done you’ll know exactly how to set goals that impact your company’s revenue. Together we’re going to resolve to set and achieve your goals for our next project.
4 Steps to Creating Goals for Your Project
1. Align Business Goals with Customer Needs
Before you dive right into listing project goals, you need to ensure overall business goals are aligned with your customer needs. You want to establish two or three main business goals and two or three top needs for customers. The business goals can be simple e.g. increase revenue. For customer needs, focus on the tasks users are trying to accomplish when visiting your site. We’ve provided some example goals for you in the template to help out.
There are a number of goals like “helping users find information faster", or "making it easier to navigate our menus” that are measurable and baselines can be set for them. Avoid setting goals that are nebulous or non-actionable like “We want our new website to really pop”. Instead, consider setting a goal like “increase user satisfaction with our website design”.
2. Gather Data
After you’ve written out a few main business goals and top customer needs, it’s important to gather current data and assets and connect them to your goals. For example, if your business goal is to get more customers to sign up online, you should gather information on current online sign ups. You may find that you don’t have data for some of your goals. For instance, you may know that your website’s navigation isn’t “intuitive”, but you don’t know how to measure it outside of hearing that customers don’t like it. At this point, that’s ok, but write down "anecdotal" as the source. Identifying these gaps is important because it helps focus on areas where more research and measurement is required. Now go ahead and use the worksheet to tie your goals to a data source.
3. Set Baselines
Now that we’ve established goals and their data source we can review that information, determine gaps, and set a baseline. Tie your goal and data source to a number with a time frame. For instance, if your goal is to increase web traffic and you’re tracking it through Google analytics, write down your average monthly traffic for 2014. What we want to do here is understand where we’re starting.
4. Update Goals
We’re almost there! With the information we’ve already written down we can follow the S.M.A.R.T. format i.e. (specific, measurable, attainable, results-focused, and time-bound) and list out some combined goals. Our example goal would be “increase web traffic to an average of 15k visits per month by the end of 2015”. We want to make sure that the goal we set is attainable and time-bound.
At this point your worksheet should be complete with some goals listed out for 2015. Now all you have to do is get going! If you have questions about any part of this process just drop us a line!