What is your website’s goal?
I’ve long thought that many people shouldn’t have a ‘website’. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be online in some way, but it does mean they should rethink the goals.
I was part of the mid to late 90’s run up to get websites. It was like a gold rush at advertising agencies as client came to them and said: “we need a website”.
Image via Wikipedia
And from that, we have many millions of websites from local restaurants, to international oil companies, to everything in between. And a long the way, we seem to have settled on a form and function that was really designed back in the day when the only goal was getting up there
Websites have ‘home pages’ and navigation to take one through the seemingly boundless amount of information about a company.
What must we have done before the internet to discover the wealth of information in the about us. We wouldn’t have known about them!
Anyway, back to the question: what is the goal of the website? Because back in the day, analytics or tracking was expensive and the realm of programmers. now it’s free, and as easy to use as web e-mail. So we should all be using it to track more than hits. Incidentally, at Web 2.0 Expo I learned that ‘hits’ stands for “How Idiots Track Success”.
Analytics lets us track goals through conversions. For example, the goal of the website could be to get people to click on the about page. For this website, that would be a legitimate goal that I would track (currently, the about page is the third most requested page.)
Just think how differently we would approach a page if the goal was to have people click on the “about us” page. First of all, we would make it interesting. But more importantly, we would build the site with a goal. And we could tweak it on the fly to see if certain things help achieve the goal.
The brand website is finally coming of age. I heard someone at my agency call it “traditional interactive”, meaning it’s old enough that we should be doing a better job with it. In an era of free and available analytics, the time to start is today.