Defining website goals

In this first step in the content process, you’ll take the time to think through your website at a high level before diving into the details. 

Why am I doing this?

Before taking a closer look at your content, it’s best to start with a solid understanding of the overall goals of your website. The best websites have a clear purpose that informs and trickles down into the actual content of the site. You should think of your website as one tool in your communications toolbox that helps your users understand what your department or organization does and why they should care about what you do. This step will help you connect your organizational goals to your website. 

What does this have to do with the overall content strategy process? 

Everything! This step in the process will ground you and give you something to refer back to throughout the other steps in the process. If you get stuck at any other points in the process, you should come back to the questions you’ll answer below to understand how your content speaks to the overall goals you’ve set out for the website. 

What steps should I take to define my website goals?

We’ve come up with a series of questions designed to help you reflect on how your website connects to your organizational goals. While it might feel somewhat silly and obvious at first, taking the time to come up with answers to these questions will put you in the best possible position to move forward, and might even surface some tensions you weren’t aware existed. We recommend actually copying these questions and writing them out, either on paper or in a Word or Google doc, so you can refer back to them later. This exercise is best completed as a group so your department or organization is aligned around a common sense of purpose for the website.

Questions to answer

  1. What are the main goals and objectives of your department or organization?
  2. What are the goals and objectives of your website? 
  3. How does your website serve your overall departmental or organizational goals? 
  4. Who are your primary audiences? 
  5. What do you hope to convey through your website? What actions do you want users to take when visiting your website?
  6. What distinguishes your department or organization and how is that conveyed on your website?

Resources for further reading