Ok, so I’m a little late with these

I’ve been preaching about website goals and I have yet to write down any goals for this blog. Shame on me!

To follow my own rule: I have a website. I have something to say. I need goals, gosh darn it!

Goal 1 (personal). To learn. Learn more about web analytics. Learn more about higher education. Learn more about how web analytics can live (and be happy!) within higher education. Writing meaty blog posts forces me not only to get back to basics, but to dive in and read and research. It’s a re-education (or just a plain education)! I love it!

Goal 2 (personal). To be spread the word about web analytics. I know not everyone is going to be as passionate about web analytics as I am, and that’s fine. I just hope to get people talking about analytics. Get them thinking that maybe, just maybe analytics can help then constantly improve their website – whatever kind of website they own.

Goal 3 (personal). To be succinct in my thoughts. I tend to have thoughts and ideas all over the place. I want to force myself to really narrow down what I want/need to say in one post. I’m finding it very hard. When I’m done with a post, though, I feel like I’ve accomplished something that falls outside my comfort zone and that makes me feel good. : )

Goal 4 (measurable). To increase readership month-over-month. There are a couple different metrics I can use to measure readership.

First, I can measure this by simply measuring visit trends over time (week-to-week, then month-to-month). I’ll start gathering the data now and this will establish a benchmark for which I can measure things in the future. Benchmarks! Yay!

Secondly, I will measure readership using a visit-to-post view conversion rate. I’ll make the “post view” my “success event.” You’ll notice that I’ve changed my main page to only contain “blurbs” of my posts. This will force the reader (if he/she is so intrigued) to click “continue reading” and view the entire post. So, I can take the number of visits to the post page/number of visits to the homepage x 100. Boom. A conversion rate!

Goal 5 (measurable). To increase subscription rate month-over-month. I want the number of people who subscribe to my rss feeds to increase from month-to-month. Since I’m new to the blogging world, though, I’m trying to read and figure out how feedburner works. If someone can help, please comment!

Goal 6 (measurable). To increase loyal readers month-over-month. To measure the success of this goal, I can look at a few metrics – loyalty (repeat visitors), length of visit (how many minutes users spent on my site), and depth of visit (how many pages users viewed). These metrics can give me an idea of how loyal my readers are.

And that’s about it for now.

What? That’s it? Are you kidding me?

Were you envisioning 8, 9, maybe 10 measurable goals? Nah. Keep it simple. Remember, too, that your goals can (and should) change over time. If you start to dabble in different things with your website, change your website goals accordingly.

There you go. Now I don’t feel like such a slacker! So what are some of your website goals?

4 Responses to “Ok, so I’m a little late with these”

  1. Thanks for focusing on this aspect of it. These are important details that sometimes go overlooked (by me, and I’m sure others). I’m reading alot about how people are interesting in creating conversation by way of blogging, so to put numbers alongside the process is very interesting.

    I think we have much to learn from your posts!

  2. I’m really enjoying your posts, Shelby. I’m not a ‘numbers’ kind of girl. I hate math, I hate statistics, but I really am learning from your blog and seeing how using analytics in whatever way and for whatever reason each person chooses.. is a good thing.

  3. Shelby says:

    Thanks, Shannon and Reginald (Daniel – I’m so confused!), for your comments.

    I’m sitting here chuckling, Shannon, because if you asked me ten years ago, I would have said the exact same thing. I’m so *not* a numbers girl!

    As I started getting involved in analytics, though, I came to realize that if a company (or college, or university) is putting money into their website, doesn’t it make sense to make sure the website is useful and delivering what it promises to users?

    Of course personal websites and blogs don’t *need* analytics because it’s not like you’re losing money (or maybe you are!). If you think about it, though, everyone has some sort of investment they put into their website, whether that investment is money, time, or lack of sleep!

    Anyway, thanks for the kind words. I’m glad your both finding it useful. : )

  4. [...] like setting goals for a website, I find goals helpful going into a [...]