Yup – it’s that time of year we all look back at the last twelve months, dust off those planning documents and goals that we set for ourselves this time last year (you DID set goals for yourself, right?) and start looking at the new year ahead.
I hope that your website and the various moving parts of your web presence are all on the new year plan. Keep on track by planning some goals that have a good chance of succeeding – to do that, here are my top 5 tips for planning your 2013 website goals.
I always start with major website projects because you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, especially since big projects usually mean extra staff, budget, your time, etc. Do you need to upgrade your software? Time for a site language makeover? Ready to make major business process changes that impact the site? Get those on the calendar first, because that kind of stuff is totally going to take a lot of your attention span.
One of the biggest problems with business websites is that they aren’t maintained. If you’ve finished your business plans and looked at the major projects for the year, coupled with unforeseen things that will happen in the year, you have plenty to do. Don’t add any other major goals to your plan if you can’t manage the capacity.
A check like this might mean you need to put on your plan “hire help.” Even if that’s just a writer to help you with the blog or an assistant to put together your newsletter, make sure you’re thinking about the resources you need to keep moving forward.
It’s easy to put lots of analytics-based goals onto your website plans – e.g. “increase traffic to 50,000 uniques per month” or “lower product page bounce rate by 10%” – because these are simple to state and quantifiable.
The trap is that because they’re easy to enunciate, it’s easy to load up your plan with them. Don’t do that. It’s really hard, near impossible, to make meaningful progress on more than one analytics goal at a time. My suggestion for these types of goals is to give each goal its own 2 month time period; 2-3 weeks for your to research and make tweaks, and then the rest of the time to measure the response and make changes. Don’t rush.
Unless you are an IT shop or website designer, your website is probably not in the business of selling websites. (Feel free to skip ahead if this is you.) Since you’ll no doubt be dependent on external contractors, or just the whims of the marketplace, make sure your plan allows for some air. That’s just how websites work – we make a change sometimes doesn’t work as planned, or perhaps a business pivot means the site needs a bit more work than earlier thought. Make room for that stuff, because stuff happens.
If this is difficult for you, you can always create a Google Doc or file somewhere called your “Website Idea Garden.” Dump all the things that didn’t fit into the plan onto this doc. And, when you’ve surprised everyone by being ahead of schedule on plans, you can open up this file and pull out some projects to work on.
Last but certainly not least, get some external input into the website plans. If you have staff that deal with the website on a daily basis, their input is crucial. So is input from your customers – have you asked them what they’d LOVE to see? You might be surprised at their answers. A variety of feedback will make for a very healthy and comprehensive 2013 plan.
Whether you’re looking to save money, make more money, spend less time or just improve your customer’s experience, a bit of thought going into your 2013 plan will mean less gray hairs for you this time next year – I promise.
With that in mind, any website critiques ordered by Friday, December 21st, will also get an exclusive goal planning pack. That includes two worksheets and a consultation on those worksheets. Specifically:
Many of you have asked about installment plans or payment plans, and I’m pleased to let you know those are now available! You can now get your website critique for just three payments of $199. Remember, a website critique is a tax deductible business expense!
Whether you have your own goal planning already in progress or you choose to take advantage of this short-term offer, I really hope you are thinking big about next year. You deserve it and so do your clients.
Click here if you’re ready to get started with your website critique.
P.S. If you don’t want a full critique, but do want a hand with the mentorship and goal planning exercises, you can just book my $100 creative consultation (a 1 hour call, recorded) and we can work through those worksheets together. Just drop me an email and I’ll get you scheduled.