Having small business website goals is a crucial part of tracking progress and growing your website in 2023.
Knowing how to define and set suitable website goals for your small business is a powerful skill that every business owner should know. In this article, we’ll teach you how to use the SMART goal system and guide you through the goals you should be making as a small business!
Let’s get started.
The Importance of Website Goals as a Small Business
Small businesses need clearly defined goals to build websites that will generate high amounts of traffic within the next couple of years. Growing a site takes a long time, so you can’t go into it blindly and hope for the best. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your time and money.
There are many reasons why website goals are vital for small businesses:
- Encourages focus and clearly defined expectations
- Promotes teamwork and collaboration
- Increase morale
- Makes success measurable in quantifiable terms
By allowing your team to focus and measure success, you zone out all the noise that isn’t important to your business. Promoting teamwork and increasing morale make teams more productive as well, especially when goals are met within time.
Nugget of Wisdom: How to Make SMART Goals
Before we start talking about the goals you should set, here’s how you can make SMART goals. SMART is a method of setting goals that are well-defined and attainable.
- Specific – clear and easily imagined
- Measurable – a criteria that measures progress, failure, and success
- Achievable – attainable within reasonable expectation
- Relevant – impactful and helpful to your vision and mission
- Time bound – with a deadline and timeline that you can hold yourself accountable to
Here’s an example of a SMART goal.
“I have 400,000 monthly visits on December 2022”
The goal is specific and measurable (400,000 monthly visits), is both achievable and relevant to the growth of the website, and is time bound (December 2022).
Now that you know about the SMART system, it’s time to start setting goals.
Sell More Of Your Product
This is one of the most important goals for eCommerce websites. If you’re selling a product, setting a goal of how much you should sell is an essential first step to starting 2023 right.
You can figure out how much more product you should be selling by looking at your previous sales. Do some math and figure out the average increase in sales by percentage per month. Use that formula to find out how much you should be making next month and the months after that.
This way, you’ll have a realistic, specific number of sales that are based on your past performance.
If you try out a new system and find that your sales do better, don’t be afraid to make another set of numbers for that system. That will help you evaluate which strategies and systems work best for your business.
Increase Website Traffic
Another essential part of growing an online website business is increasing traffic to your site. Whether it’s organic traffic from Google or someone clicked a link on your advertisement, take advantage of any strategy to get visitors to your website.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to growing website traffic is knowing the traffic cycles in a year. For example, if you’re a tech how-to site, you may not get tons of traffic during December since people are celebrating the holidays. For January, however, you can expect a lot of people on Google looking for help on operating the new phone or gadget they got for Christmas.
You should also invest or learn some SEO tips and tricks that will help your site rank better. We’ll touch more on that below, so keep reading!
Increase Your Community Presence and Brand Awareness
Increasing your community presence and brand awareness via social media platforms like Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook is a great way to leave a footprint in your industry.
Post and be active in subreddits or Facebook groups with members who are your ideal client. Chances are, when they see how helpful and knowledgeable you are about the industry you’re competing in, they’ll trust more the product you’re selling.
They’ll also link your aptitude back to your brand, helping them understand what your company is trying to solve and why they should invest in it through purchase or subscription. If your brand is different from the rest, filling a market that your competitors are struggling to do, then increasing public awareness of your brand is going to get you more recognition and customers.
A good start in this goal is to be active in at least five groups this year.
Another great source of networking is by attending online events like webinars, lectures, or press conferences. Just seeing your brand or name in the comments goes a long way to familiarize yourself with customers, especially when people find your products after several days or weeks.
Be Active on Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool when used correctly. If you can filter through the irrelevant content that’s posted on a daily basis, you can build a good following and become a figure in your industry.
Business owners build the brand and company profile through social media outlets. Your social media profile highly reflects your company’s behavior and being active in your industry shows other users that you’re enthusiastic and passionate about the industry you’re in.
Now, advertising your website through social media doesn’t mean typing in the title of your article or product then posting the link.
Social media advertisements are a little more sophisticated than that and will require some effort on your part. Aim to talk about the different technologies or trends that’s happening in your industry. By providing value to your followers first and then advertising your own brand next, your followers will be more likely to click on your products out of curiosity instead of cynicism.
A popular method by CEOs and website founders on Twitter is to create case-study threads. Twitter threads that are full of relevant information, condensed into bite-sized 280-character tweets. With Reddit, the approach is generally through being active in comments and sharing important news on subreddits to generate discussion and interest.
Optimize Your Website’s Designs for User-friendliness
It’s a common problem for users to find your website on Google but then leave once they open your page. This increases the bounce rate of users and is incredibly bad if you’re trying to tell Google that you’re worth being on the front page.
Sites that have a lot of cookies, pop-ups, and ask for lots of permissions are prone to this. If your users feel violated by your pop-ups and don’t feel safe with their information, then they’ll probably exit your website. You can avoid problems like this by changing from Google Analytics to an alternative tool since Google can be quite invasive with information sometimes.
Another great addition for user-friendliness would be to add excerpts to your posts. This makes it so that visitors can read 2-3 sentences summarizing a post without having to open a new tab themselves. Not only does this help you get more clicks, but it’s also pretty easy to do as well. Just use the same meta description in your article and make that as your excerpt.
Here are some other optimizations you can add to your website:
- Have “Related:” blocks that recommend your other articles or products to your readers throughout each page to increase visit duration and generate more clicks
- Make a table of contents section at the start of each article
- Don’t bombard readers with long advertisements. Instead, space it out evenly across the article. This is especially useful if you have a section that’s just a block of text
These are just a couple of examples of website optimization and there are many other design improvements you can make to serve user-friendliness. Booking a consultation with a web design agency should be one of your goals this year.
Get Your Finances In Order
A good chunk of business owners are either financially illiterate or aren’t. While it’s true that it can be difficult, as well as potentially distract you from making your product better, accounting is the language of business.
Simply opening up a Google Sheet and figuring out how much you pay people, how much you earn, and how much you’re spending can go a long way. You’ll know if you’re profiting, by how much, and if your system needs a drastic makeover or not. If you’re making an investment with a site that’s growing in traffic, it’s still important to know how much money you’ll be spending on content before the returns come back as ROI.
You’ll also have to budget emergency funds for your business, how much money you can pull for personal expenses, and if it’s time to promote some employees to be managers.
You don’t need to be an accountant or buy an expensive accounting program to do this. A quick Google Sheet with your numbers and a system you designed for yourself will do the trick.
Improve Your Content Strategy
The right content strategy can be the difference between thousands to hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors a year from now.
Remember, everything on a website is meant to provide value to a customer, enough that they’ll either continue reading or buy your product. Adding simple things like a list or table to your articles can be game-changing for reader retention. A short list of features or a table that explains pros and cons suddenly makes your content skimmable, increasing the chances of readers actually reaching the end of your article.
A good content strategy also involves SEO, and we’ll talk about improving your SEO game down below. Keep an eye out for that!
Here are some of the best content strategy tips and tricks you can try out for your website.
Update All Your Articles Regularly
There are three reasons why you should make updating articles a monthly or yearly task:
- To keep your ranking articles at their current rank
- To signal search engines that you are always up to date
- To keep the information up to date for the readers
Updating your content while you’re a small business website is relatively easy as you probably don’t have a ton of content which is good news because you have the chance to dedicate more time to existing content and improve it.
Google loves to see when content creators regularly update their content, as their algorithms are always focused on one thing — how to provide users with the best information on a topic they searched for.
Saying that that should be your main goal as well — providing top-quality content for the users.
When creating a content strategy, always seek to have a healthy balance between evergreen content and timely content.
Evergreen content requires less attention after it’s written (e.g. How To Change The Lightbulb) as the information written in it is valid for years to come, but when it comes to timely content (e.g. Top 15 Lightbulbs On The Market Right Now) make sure it’s properly updated so Google and users both know you have the latest information.
Make Your Content Evergreen
Evergreen content refers to articles that don’t need to be changed or updated to still be relevant and accurate. This typically refers to product reviews (since products don’t change, e.g. iPhone 11 specs will be a constant), some how-to articles, and content with evergreen data.
Here’s a list of things you can avoid to make your content evergreen:
- Don’t write specific prices, especially when referring to products that are on sale.
Since prices can always change in the future, it’s better to either link the product directly or just talk about the price through adjectives like “expensive”, “affordable”, or “mid-range”.
- Avoid sticking to a moment in time, like saying “this 2023” unless you plan on updating that content.
Phrases like “this coming May 2023” can quickly make your article obsolete once the date mentioned has passed. If your readers even think that your information is old and outdated, their trust in your content will drop.
- Create case studies
There’s no better evergreen content than doing a case study and sharing your findings with others. That content almost never needs to be updated as it was conducted at a certain time with a certain sample.
Overall, just as we mentioned above, always tend to have a healthy balance between evergreen and timely content.
Interlink Your Articles With Anchor Text
Linking your articles together is one thing, but using proper anchor text is another. Anchor text is when you link an article to a phrase of words that are nearly identical to the article title. Here’s an example with our article titled “How to Find Your Web Design Niche”.
E.g: With almost 80,000 web design service businesses in America this 2022, how can you find your web design niche?
The set of words linked is almost interchangeable with the title of the article linked to it. This means if a reader sees this, he or she will know that opening the link will redirect to a page relating to finding a web design niche. Don’t be lazy and link articles just because they have a common word or two. Making use of proper anchor text is a great way to keep readers on your site and have them explore the other articles that you’ve published.
A good rule of thumb when linking with anchor text is:
- To only use 4 to 6 words when embedding the link
- Link articles that fit the context of your sentence or paragraph
- Link parent pages (articles or pages that are cornerstones to your content and have lots of links to other parts of your site)
- Let links open in a new tab so that readers won’t leave the article they’re reading
- Have only 1 or 2 anchor texts on the screen at a time
These are the general guidelines you can follow to make perfect anchor text. Just keep in mind not to overdo it, as too much interlinked content can feel more like reading an advertisement instead of an informative article.
Have a Backlog of Articles
Having a backlog of articles is both good for your website and your mental health.
Publishing articles consistently is one of the things that Google considers for SEO. Missing a week or two of published articles can tell Google that either something is wrong with your website or it isn’t as reliable as other sites. Accidents and problems happen all the time and it’s impossible for you to stop all of them. Whether it’s losing a writer, getting hit by a storm, or living in the darkness for weeks because of a power outage.
Your website shouldn’t be put on hold just because you are.
Here are some types of articles that you can draft and keep as a backlog:
- Product reviews
- How-to articles
- Informative posts
Basically, any content that doesn’t need to be published urgently to be relevant.
A backlog of articles lets you schedule posts ahead of time and gives you the peace of mind of never missing a week of publishing. If some relevant news pops up, you can always postpone a scheduled post to make way for the flash news you want to publish.
Improve Your SEO Game
If your vision is to grow into a global brand, or at least one that’s recognizable by millions of people, then making your way to the front page of Google is a prerequisite.
Unless you’re a SaaS or service business that relies more on referral customers, then you may not need SEO as much. However, there’s no denying the benefits of making your business SEO-friendly.
There’s always an option to hire an SEO agency to help you improve your SEO game, but since you’re starting a small business website (or you already have one), you should start working on this on your own.
Therefore, here are some good pieces of advice.
Start Using An SEO Tool
SEO Tools are popular for good reason: they provide you with a lot of useful data.
Apps like SEMRush and Ahrefs are a few of the many great SEO tools in the market that you can choose from. This is especially important for websites that generate revenue off of affiliate products or through Google AdSense. If that’s your business model, then increasing traffic to your websites is the only way you’ll scale.
Here are some of the many benefits you can expect from using an SEO tool:
- Keyword research
- SEO competitor analysis
- Website SEO
- Rank tracking your popular articles
- Content marketing analytics
If you’re looking for a worthwhile investment that’s catered to serve your business, then an SEO tool should be among your top choices.
Have a Consistent Publishing Schedule
Google loves an active website.
That means publishing articles on a consistent basis and sticking to a weekly publishing schedule. You don’t have to be needle-thread specific when it comes to this, but a good rule of thumb means publishing at least one article every week. Of course that heavily depends on the niche you’re in, but in general, you should post 2-3 posts per week.
A consistent publishing schedule will enable you to be recognized by Google as an active publisher but also you will have loyal readers who know when you’re publishing new content, hence your connection with them will improve immensely.
Overall, if you’re setting goals for your small business website, you definitely want to add an improved SEO game to the list, as the benefits you may get from it will help your site grow.
Streamline How You Communicate With The People Responsible For Handling Your Website
Your workspace heavily affects your productivity and in order to get the most out of your time, you should consider streamlining or even upgrading your workspace.
A couple of strategies you can use to streamline your workspace include:
- Make use of tables or Kanban boards if you have that option available
- Create a system for Status that indicates the status of that task
- Use Do dates and Due dates to encourage working on tasks sooner without having to wait for the deadline
- Use relational databases when you can
If you can’t streamline your workspace on one app, then perhaps it’s time you consider upgrading to a better workspace program. Atarim is perfect for web designers and agencies since it was developed for that purpose.
Some of the features that will improve your efficiency while keeping things simple are:
- Auto-login to client sites
- Visual feedback on on-page graphics
- Dedicated chat site for employees
- Overview of ongoing, completed, and tasks yet to be done
Of course, we’re much more than that, but these features are usually the first things that help our clients achieve better productivity and efficiency.
Make sure to check out all features of Atarim as we’re sure they will be a game changer for your business!
Have Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Micromanaging is the enemy of business growth. Sooner or later you’re going to have to bring in a hire that you’ll trust. That means not double-checking his or her work when it’s time for submissions or publishing. Of course, finding someone you can trust at this level is hard and arduous. The process of teaching someone the ropes from the ground up and only having them either leave or fall short is disappointing.
This is where SOPs come in. Standard operating procedures are guidelines that you can send to your hires so you won’t have to repeat yourself when mentioning the details of the role you’re hiring for.
Here’s are some helpful tips when it comes to creating your own SOPs:
- Whenever your employee asks a question regarding that position, save the question and your answer. That way anyone with the same question in the future can just check the SOP
- Understand that an SOP is not written in stone and can change, especially if you’re adding improvements to the document
- Don’t make the mistake of creating an SOP that’s longer than 10 pages. You don’t want the onboarding process of an employee to feel like an exam for them.
- Divide your SOP into sections, and if necessary, separate SOPs. This makes it easier to navigate through as well as lessen the intimidation of opening one long SOP document
Although it might sound ironic, your management team can only grow by taking your hands off the wheel.
Define Your Target Audience
Understanding who your target audience is helps you focus your efforts on the people who are most likely to buy your product or visit your website in the first place.
Instead of wasting your time and resources trying to catch all types of users, try and single out your customers instead. This not only helps align your brand and product, but it also helps your employees understand what your business is trying to solve.
Vertical SaaS is a great example of a phenomenon like this. Instead of building services to be as general as possible, companies like Atarim for web designers or BioIQ for the MedTech industry are offering solutions to niche-specific problems that only they can solve. This is a great way to model your business and profit off of a niche that hasn’t been occupied yet.
Conclusion: Defining and Setting Goals For Small Business Website is Essential for Growth
Making sure you’re using your time and money effectively is a crucial part of making a small website business turn into a bigger success.
There’s a lot of hard work that goes into creating a small business website, especially when you’re competing in a saturated market. But the good news is that it isn’t impossible to pull off. Learning how to clearly define and set suitable small business goals is one of the best ways to start off 2023, especially as a small business owner.
We hope you’ve found this guide useful & are able to set goals that lead to you doubling, tripling, or even 10x-ing your website’s success this year.