Integrate, Don’t Isolate: Why You Must Consider Business Goals AND Website User Goals
To put your web project on the path to success, you need to start with a set of clearly defined business goals. They’re essential to determining what kind of improvements you should make, and how you should budget for, execute, and measure those improvements.
But business goals aren’t the only goals you need to consider. Your users’ goals are just as—if not more—important. Which is why you need a marriage of the two to really make your website the best it can be.
Why User Goals Matter
I was recently reading a book written by Paul Boag, owner of the respected British digital agency Headscape. In it, he recounted a client who was so focused on his company’s business goal of generating sales leads that he failed to consider what his potential customers would want to do when they arrived at his website.
The client insisted that a user register before viewing their site content. That typically makes people bounce off the site quickly—most users don’t want to provide their info before they even know if a product is right for them.
That intense focus on the client’s business goal without considering the website users’ goals created a serious roadblock in the user experience. It actually did a disservice to the sales goal as well.
While the client did get slightly more leads with that approach, the leads actually weren’t as strong, because customers were still in the discovery stage. The client increased quantity while decreasing quality—and that doesn’t help big picture business revenue goals.
If users had actually been able to view content and learn about the product first, they may have been more likely to contact the client’s company, take action, and become high quality, qualified leads.
Finding The Balance
Your website exists for a reason, and that reason is (most likely) to help sell your company’s product or services.
But you can’t isolate your focus into this one area. A complete, balanced online experience speaks to both your company’s needs and your users’ needs.
To maintain that balance, remember to:
- Put Yourself In Your Users’ Shoes. Why are visitors coming to your site? What are they looking to do? What do they want to know? Make sure you tell the story they want to hear, not the story you think they should know.
- Think Quality, Not Quantity. If generating leads is your goal, give users the information they need, instead of forcing them to commit up front. This may produce fewer leads, but the quality will be better because your users are genuinely interested and motivated.
- Track Your Progress. Even if you’re considering both business and user goals, you MUST check in regularly to make sure they’re hitting the mark. We call it continual improvement. Otherwise, you’re doing little more than crossing your fingers after investing time and money into website development or improvement.
The more you keep this top of mind, the more successful your website—and your business—will be.