Website Goals for the New Year

Website Goals for the New Year (2024 Update)

As the new year unfolds, it’s a season of reflection and ambition for many of us. We often find ourselves setting personal resolutions – eating healthier, committing to a fitness regime, or perhaps cutting back on certain indulgences. But amidst these personal aspirations, have you considered the potential and promise that lies in setting website goals for the new year?

Think of your website as a digital marathon, not just a sprint around the block. While aspirations like running the London Marathon might fade with the chill of early morning runs, the journey to elevate your website is a realistic and achievable endeavour. It’s a path that can lead to significant milestones and successes throughout the year.

Let’s embark on this journey together, setting tangible, impactful goals for your website that not only stand the test of time but also propel your digital presence to new heights.

1. Set Realistic Goals

It’s easy to look at the success of some online businesses and think that having a great website design will lead to untold riches.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Like training for the London marathon or even your local park run, it requires a lot of preparation and hard work. Setting realistic goals for your website is more likely to succeed which you can continue to build upon.

A realistic goal is one grounded in tangible, solid data.

If you’re familiar with SMART objectives, then you’ll know that Achievable is right there in the middle and that’s what I’m talking about with “setting realistic goals”.

Use Google Search Console to see the current state of your website. The Performance report page is really useful for seeing the amount of traffic you’re receiving and which search terms result in people clicking through to your website. By looking at impressions, you can also see which search terms trigger your website to appear in the search results – even if they don’t click on your link.

Google Search Console data

Take a look at the Average Position report. If you filter the results and show those results that are greater than 10 and then sort by the Position column, you can see what search terms you are ranking for that are top of the second page of Google. It might be that your goal to to try and boost leads by getting more of those keywords onto the first page of Google.

Another useful report page is the Search Console Insights. This gives you some handy and very digestible information about the activity on your site over the last 28-day period. Not enough data to base your whole plan on, but useful for monitoring your website’s SEO progress throughout the year.

Click on the following link if you want to know How To Find SEO Quick Wins With Google Search Console, which goes into more depth and gives practical examples of how to use Google Search Console to identify opportunities and drive more traffic to your website.

When you’re looking to set realistic website goals for the new year, this article offers some really useful and practical advice.

Key Actions

  • Log into Google Search Console and check what you’re ranking for
  • Explore all the options on the Performance report page
  • Learn how to use the filters to refine your results
  • Need some help? Give me a call on 07986 113 391

2. Identify Your Website Goals

Having viewed the data and thought about your broader business goals for the year, you now need to identify the changes you’d like to see and create clear, achievable steps that lead you to achieving your goals.

Your broad goal categories might include:

  • grow organic traffic
  • generate more leads
  • increase revenue from your e-commerce site

Make sure you tie your goals to a data source. If your goal is to grow organic traffic by 10%, then ensure that you use the same data source for all your measurements.

Aligning your goals to data also eliminates some of the fuzzier goals like “post more on social” or “blog more”. Both, however, may well be essential components in achieving your website goals for the new year.

Whilst both are admirable, their value isn’t objectively quantifiable. I would definitely include both in my plan to achieve my goals but they are not the goals themselves.

This would be the “M” of your SMART objectives – Measurable!

Key Actions

  • Nail down your goals for the year ahead
  • Pick a data source on which to base your goals
  • Make them detailed and tied to SMART objectives

3. Assessing Your Website’s Current State

Begin by conducting a thorough assessment of your website’s current performance. This involves more than just a cursory glance at your traffic numbers; it requires a deep dive into various metrics that define your website’s success.

Consider aspects such as:

  1. Website Traffic Analysis: Look at your total number of visitors, the sources of your traffic (organic, direct, referral, social, etc.), and the behaviour of these visitors on your site. Tools like Google Analytics can provide a wealth of information in this regard.
  2. Engagement Metrics: Understand how users interact with your site. Metrics like average session duration, pages per session, and bounce rate give insights into user engagement and content relevance.
  3. SEO Performance: Evaluate your current search engine rankings for key terms relevant to your business. Tools like Google Search Console can help you understand how well you’re performing in search results and identify areas for improvement.
  4. Conversion Rates: If your site is e-commerce or lead generation focused, assess your current conversion rates. How many visitors are taking the desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form?

Recording Baseline Data

Once you’ve gathered this information, it’s time to record it systematically. Whether you’re a spreadsheet expert or a novice, the key is to create a clear, organised method for tracking this data over time.

Here are some tips:

  • Create a Dedicated Tracking Spreadsheet: Set up a spreadsheet where you can log key metrics monthly. This could include columns for traffic numbers, source breakdown, engagement metrics, keyword rankings, and conversion rates.
  • Use Visual Aids: Incorporate charts and graphs to visualise trends over time. This can help in quickly identifying areas of progress and concern.
  • Set Up Regular Reviews: Decide on a regular interval, such as monthly or quarterly, to review this data. This practice helps in keeping track of your progress and making data-driven decisions.

By thoroughly understanding your current position and meticulously recording your baseline data, you create a solid foundation for setting meaningful, achievable goals. This initial step is not just about numbers; it’s about gaining insights that will guide your strategy and actions throughout the year.

Key Actions

  • Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to set your baseline data points
  • Create a spreadsheet so you can track your progress

4. Strategic Planning: The Blueprint for Success

Having established your website goals for the upcoming year, aligned with your overarching business objectives, you’re now at a pivotal stage. Your goals are not only defined but are grounded in realism, thanks to the data-driven approach you’ve adopted. You’ve also set clear benchmarks, giving you a good picture of what success entails.

The next crucial step is crafting a detailed plan to turn these goals into reality.

Breaking Down Goals into Actionable Steps

  • Set Monthly Milestones: Begin by segmenting your annual goals into smaller, more manageable monthly targets. This approach helps maintain focus and allows for regular progress checks, ensuring you stay on track.
  • Weekly Objectives for Steady Progress: Drill down further by establishing weekly objectives. Ask yourself, ‘What specific actions need to be taken each week to hit these monthly milestones?’ This step-by-step progression keeps the momentum going and makes large goals more attainable.
  • Daily Tasks for Consistent Execution: To bring your weekly objectives to fruition, outline daily tasks. This granular level of planning transforms your strategy into everyday actions, making your goals an integral part of your daily routine.

Remember, the essence of effective planning lies in its execution.

By breaking down your goals into actionable steps and assigning clear responsibilities, you transform your vision into a tangible, achievable roadmap. This structured approach ensures that your website goals don’t just remain aspirations but evolve into measurable successes.

Key Actions

  • Create monthly targets to help achieve your goal
  • Create weekly objectives and break them down to daily tasks
  • Ensure that someone is accountable for completing the tasks

5. Diligent Monitoring: The Key to Continuous Improvement

The journey towards achieving your website goals is dynamic and requires constant vigilance. Monitoring your progress is not just essential; it’s a critical component of your strategy.

Leveraging Google Search Console for In-Depth Insights

  • Stay Informed with Monthly Updates: Ensure you’re subscribed to receive monthly emails from Google Search Console. These updates are a treasure trove of valuable data, offering insights into various aspects of your website’s performance, including:
    • Monthly Clicks and Impressions: Track the number of users visiting your site and how often your site appears in search results.
    • First Impressions and Growth Metrics: Identify which pages are making a first-time impression on users and which ones are experiencing growth.
    • Performance Analysis: Understand which pages and queries are performing the best, helping you to refine your content and SEO strategies.

Expanding Your Toolkit with Additional SEO Resources

  • Explore Free SEO Tools: Diversify your monitoring tools by exploring other SEO platforms that offer complimentary services. These tools can provide different perspectives and additional insights into your website’s SEO health. Consider setting up free accounts with:

Each of these platforms offers unique features and reports, covering a wide spectrum of SEO and website performance metrics.

Maintaining a Customised Tracking System

  • Keep a Personalised Record: Alongside these tools, continue to maintain your own tracking system. Use a spreadsheet to record your goals and baseline data, and update it regularly with your progress. This personalised tracking allows you to have a quick, at-a-glance view of your progress and makes it easier to share and discuss these metrics with your team.

Adapting and Evolving Your Strategy

  • Be Agile in Your Approach: If you notice that certain strategies aren’t yielding the desired results after a few months, don’t hesitate to adjust your tactics. The digital landscape is ever-changing, and flexibility is key. Adopt a cyclical approach of setting objectives, monitoring results, tweaking strategies, and repeating the process. This iterative method ensures that your strategies remain effective and responsive to the evolving online environment.

By actively monitoring your progress and being willing to adapt your strategies, you ensure that your website not only meets but exceeds its goals. Remember, the path to success is not linear; it’s a continuous cycle of learning, adapting, and growing.

Key Actions

  • Make sure you’re receiving monthly Google Search Console emails
  • Sign up for some other FREE website and SEO monitoring reports
  • Review and tweak your plan
  • Need some help? Give me a call on 07986 113 391

Summary – Website Goals for the New Year

Embark on a journey of transformation for your website this New Year with a strategic blend of research, meticulous planning, and continuous monitoring.

Harness the power of free, cutting-edge tools to elevate your website and SEO performance.

Remember, setting ambitious yet achievable goals is just the beginning.

With over two decades of expertise in website optimisation, I’m here to guide you every step of the way towards a triumphant and prosperous year for your digital presence.

Let’s make this year count!

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Andrew Lowry

Andrew Lowry

Web Consultant

I started designing websites whilst living in Japan as a means of showing friends and family where I was living.

This grew into a business and, after moving back to the UK, I did the same for businesses in and around Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham.

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