One thing you can say about the end of the year is that it's a great time to reflect on what's worked for your business over the past year and what has not. That second part is especially important. Knowing what didn't work for you in 2021 can help you decide where to focus your energies in 2022.
An email newsletter tanked? Time to rethink the content, the audience, or even consider whether email is the right tool for your business.
Didn't get as many followers as you wanted on social media? Now is when to look at whether you're posting at the right time of day or are pushing out information your followers can get from anywhere.
And what about your website? Did your website perform the way you needed and wanted it to in 2021?
A website should be an extension of your brand and provide value to your customers. It should also serve as a marketing platform that helps drive traffic to your physical location.
The best websites do all three things well. They have clear messaging, a strong design, and a user-friendly interface that can be accessed from laptops to tablets and is compatible with screen readers and other tools used to help ensure everyone has access to the web.
But if your website isn’t performing the way you want it to, now is the time to evaluate your strategy and make changes.
Now that the general overview is out of the way, let's talk specifics. Understanding what your website should be doing and what it's not doing are great first steps, but how do you get from where you are to where you want to be?
Problem: People are leaving your website almost as soon as they get there.
2022 goal: Decrease your bounce rate.
Problem: Website visitors are not entering your sales funnels or completing purchases.
2022 goal: Increase your conversion rate.
The first step to increasing your conversion rate is to clearly define what counts as a conversion. Do you want people to sign up for a consultation? Purchase a product directly? Contact a franchisee or contractor? Once you've designated what a conversion means for your business, try these simple tweaks and see what happens:
Problem: You've got a lot of traffic but no one who wants to do business with you.
2022 goal: Better define and target your target audience.
Let's be honest. Web traffic volume doesn't mean a whole lot if it's not bringing you the people you need to make your business a success. This year, take the time to specifically define and research your target audience. Once you have an understanding of who they are, what they're looking for, and where they (digitally) hang out, you can devise a marketing and SEO plan to target them and bring them to your digital front door.
Problem: Your search ranking is in the tank.
2022 goal: Invest more time in content creation and SEO.
There's nothing that Google hates more than a stagnant website. While the search algorithm changes seemingly every week, the one thing that remains constant is its emphasis on new, relevant content. If you haven't updated your website since launching it, it's time to reconsider your strategy. Think about starting a weekly blog or building out more in-depth content around your core offerings.
Setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (SMART) goals is one of the most effective ways to set yourself up for success. These four components will help you determine how much progress you need to make in order to reach ultimate success. They can also help you create an action plan around those goals.
For instance, "Increase ranking on Google search" sounds like a fine goal but, well, it leads to more questions than it answers. For what keywords? Where is your rank now and what do you want your rank to be? When do you want this increase to happen? Is it a one-time increase or do you want to stay there?
A better goal is "In support of our business goal of increasing website traffic (relevant), we will implement an SEO strategy (specific) to move from page 2 of Google search into the top 5 results (measurable) by the third quarter of 2022 (attainable and timely)."
Your website is the most valuable piece of digital property your business owns. It needs to be performing as such. Now is the perfect time to assess that performance and set yourself up for success in 2022.