Meeting your website goals starts with first having a website.

You’ve decided to have a website for your business, which means you have a specific set of goals you are working to meet. Clearly, the best way to start meeting your website goals is to create and launch a website that will hit it out of the park from day one. Right? Not quite.

There is more to meeting your website goals than identifying your audience and publishing the perfect content for them. To begin with, factors outside of your control—technology, competitors, shifting interests—can make your perfect website fall short of those goals. Therefore, it is crucial to think of your website as one of many steps instead of the first and last one.

For this reason, your imperfect website is the perfect baseline against which you measure future progress.

Without first having a website, there is no basis for comparison. What exactly are you comparing success to? Consider the following important website metrics:

  • Who is the audience? And are they visiting the website?
  • What technology is used to view the website? Moreover,  are any devices performing worse than others?
  • Is the content engaging? In other words, do people take action after consuming it?
  • Finally, where is there room for growth or improvement?

Without a website already live to the world, your answers to these questions are hypotheses at best. To clarify, they are the testing points to build your next steps around.

But, where does investing in a custom website come into play?

It’s true, custom websites are an investment financially and of your time. Is it smart to spend those resources on something you expect to meet your goals? To be honest, probably not.

In fact, my official recommendation to companies and individuals who are truly starting out is to put up a simple website and/or blog instead of diving straight into a custom website.

There is tremendous value when meeting your website goals when a well-executed but imperfect website is your company’s first. Most of all, this value is the insight this website provides in regard to your audience, their behavior, and what is worth spending future time on.

First, focus on your company content strategy.

Meeting your website goals is impossible without content. More than that, visitors can’t find your website without content. Therefore, your first website will serve you best by focusing solely on the content.

Second, assess performance and expand your overall plan.

After developing a rhythm of content creation and website management, you can take a step back and analyze your progress. Accordingly, the problems to address in order to better meet your website goals will start to show themselves through use with actual visitors.

Finally, build a custom website designed to address known problems.

As mentioned above, custom websites are an investment. By first launching an imperfect website and second assessing its performance, your resources are spent on solutions. Contrastly, beginning with a complete custom website spends the same resources on hypotheses. Indeed, as a business owner you know the importance of investing wisely.

In summary, while it is important to strategize and build a website that you expect will meet your website goals, the reality is your website is at the starting line of a marathon. In other words, your website’s goals are closer compared to the mile markers of the race and not the finish line.