Website Objectives

by Jan 27, 2020

In the last post of this blog series on being success­ful with digital analyt­ics, I discussed why your old, outdated Solu­tion Design Refer­ence (SDR) will not help you get to the next level in digital analyt­ics. The main reason for this is that the SDR only tells you WHAT you are track­ing, but not WHY or HOW you are track­ing it. This is not helpful for digital analysts and busi­ness consumers or your digital analyt­ics data. In this post, I will walk you through how to start the process of iden­ti­fy­ing the WHY and HOW behind the WHAT of your SDR.

Let’s start off with a simple ques­tion — why does your website (or mobile app) exist? What would happen to your busi­ness if it were shut down? Amaz­ingly, when I work with clients and I ask them why they have a website or app, it takes them some time to artic­u­late it. This is likely because the website/app was built many years ago by prede­ces­sors who no longer work at the orga­ni­za­tion. In most cases, the busi­ness objec­tives of the website/app don’t change very much over the years, but in some cases they will. Most websites have two super high-level goals:

  • Make the orga­ni­za­tion more money by provid­ing access to content or selling prod­ucts or services 24/7/365
  • Save the orga­ni­za­tion money by enabling visi­tors to perform actions that would other­wise cost the orga­ni­za­tion money in human resources

Each of these macro-level objec­tives can be broken down into smaller objec­tives. For example, a finan­cial insti­tu­tion might deter­mine that their busi­ness objec­tives are to:

  • Allow customers to deposit money, trans­fer money, perform trades, etc. online so it can reduce head­count at branches and possi­bly reduce branches as well
  • Provide a venue for prospects to read about finan­cial prod­ucts and reach out to the orga­ni­za­tion with ques­tions
  • Provide a venue for prospects to apply for prod­ucts online and process appli­ca­tions without human inter­ven­tion
  • Provide online support to customers via FAQ’s, support chats, etc. that may reduce overall support costs

As mentioned in a previ­ous post, I am a big fan of asking open-ended ques­tions and if you want to do some inter­nal research, go ahead and survey your key stake­hold­ers and ask them why they think the website/app exists. You will see some consis­tency but may be surprised by the responses. Once you solid­ify this list, I recom­mend working with your stake­hold­ers to rank them by prior­ity.

Next, you should work with your team to deter­mine how much time is being spent on each of the website objec­tives. Using the finan­cial example above, is your team spend­ing its time primar­ily on trans­ac­tional analy­sis and less on the others (i.e. 80%/5%/5%/5%)? Or is work evenly split amongst the objec­tives? Once you have your objec­tives down and you know where time is currently being spent, you can have an intel­li­gent conver­sa­tion with your exec­u­tives and stake­hold­ers about the focus or align­ment of your team. If together you can help you prior­i­tize the objec­tives and map that to where your team is spend­ing its resources, you will mini­mize the risk that your team is not deliv­er­ing what the orga­ni­za­tion needs. For example, it may be the case that there is a new push from the “C” suite to improve customer satis­fac­tion scores, so perhaps more time should be devoted to the support objec­tive. Either way, this process will also help you get buy-in from the people who will ulti­mately consume your analy­sis and fund your budgets!

Action Items

  • Survey your inter­nal stake­hold­ers and ask them why they think your website/app exists, consol­i­date the responses and prior­i­tize them.
  • Iden­tify where your team is spend­ing its time and map it to these busi­ness objec­tives.

Once you know and are aligned on your busi­ness objec­tives, the next step is to focus on busi­ness require­ments. In the next post, I will cover why busi­ness require­ments are so valu­able and how they can be used to continue digging into WHY you are track­ing what you are and what may be missing from your imple­men­ta­tion.

We’re here to help you through this.

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