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3 Ways to Make Sure Web Projects Are Able to Meet Their Goals

Chris Osterhout SVP of Strategy
#Industry Insights
Published on June 2, 2015

We share some examples of how to take a company's broader objectives and convert them into realistic, measurable goals that will determine the success of a web project.

What’s your web strategy? A vast amount of modern life takes place online, with the web affecting our personal and professional lives, and all points in between. For this reason, it is incredibly important for any company to have a web strategy. However, at Diagram, one thing we often encounter when working with clients to redesign their websites is that their strategy is overly broad and lacking in specific goals.

It’s common for a company’s senior leadership to set yearly goals or goals pertaining to a larger, five-year roadmap, and while these types of goals are helpful in providing a wider direction for the company as it moves forward, they can often be too vague to be measurable.

If we take Diagram as an example, what if one of our strategic goals was to be the best website design company in the world within the next five years? Obviously, this is a great goal, but it’s so broad that it is basically unachievable. How do you measure whether that goal has been achieved?

Connecting Initiatives to Goals

While broad goals like the example above can be a good motivator that gives teams something to strive for, they’re not going to actually help a company succeed in achieving those goals. To do so, you need specific, measurable goals that everyone can work towards. These types of goals are known as Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs.

Normally, the best way for a company to set measurable goals is to look at strategic initiatives and determine what measurable things need to be accomplished in order to make them happen. Let’s look at a few examples of how to break these initiatives down into measurable KPIs:

1. Client Satisfaction

One measure of success for a digital agency is how happy the agency’s clients are with the work that is completed. At Diagram, we want 100% of our clients to be satisfied with their partnership with us but how do you measure client satisfaction?  One way is by asking them to complete pre and post project digital surveys. If the current level of satisfaction is less than 100%, we can determine what needs to be done to reach that level and meet that goal.

2. Life Time Value

Many software companies have a broad goal of “increasing revenue”, but even if the total amount of revenue goes up each year, this isn’t necessarily the best indicator of success. Short term gains don’t always lead to long term income, so it can be a good idea to focus on retaining existing customers alongside attracting the right kind of new customers who will continue to provide revenue for years to come.

We’ve found that a good way to measure this is through customer Life Time Value (LTV). This metric measures the amount of revenue generated by a customer for multiple years, and it is especially helpful for tracking things like annual software license costs. The formula for determining the ideal LTV will differ at every company, but it provides a great measurable goal to work towards.

3. eCommerce

A broad goal for eCommerce companies is often something along the lines of “get more orders.” This can be made more specific by setting the goal at a certain number of orders each month, or increasing the number of orders by a certain percentage. However, what if an increase in orders doesn’t actually translate into more revenue?

When setting goals, it's important to understand what you are actually trying to achieve.  So perhaps the goal is to increase web order revenue by X% by Y date and to do so, you need to either increase the number of orders per day by A% or increase the average customer order value by B%. It’s important to realize that success is often not as simple as “increase X by Y%.”

Every Company is Different

At Diagram, we’ve worked with companies in a wide variety of industries, so we can confirm that the goals and KPIs are going to be different for every website we develop. But while there is no rule that is set in stone for measuring a website’s success, we can say that there are certainly guidelines that every company needs to follow.

One key guideline is that while it’s important not to set broad goals, a company’s specific KPIs should be realistic and feasible. These goals require research into how the specific measurements can help meet the company’s overall goals, rather than arbitrary numbers that you hope to reach one day. Keeping this in mind while you develop your digital strategy will help you ensure that you are able to reach the success you deserve.

Do you want to know more about how to determine the goals and KPIs for your website and how Diagram can help meet them? Please contact us to speak to a Solutions Engineer; we look forward to working with you and helping you succeed in your digital strategy!