Setting SMART Goals

Once you have invested the time in dreaming big and setting overall goals to achieve business growth, now it's time to break things down into smaller pieces. Specifically we want to explore how you can set goals that will help you use online marketing strategies in order to reach your growth targets.

The reality is that many organizations attempt to use online marketing for business growth without having a strategy in place. Implementing a strategy requires that you know where you are now and where you want to go. That requires setting goals.

The first question you must ask before you can set goals for your online communication is this:

What do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts?

  • Increased website traffic?

  • Increased lead generation?

  • Increased customer conversions?

  • Increased customer retention?

Your primary goal now might be to increase traffic, while in 6 months time your goals may be aimed largely at generating more leads.  To determine your primary goal for now, you need to know where you current are. 

It is absolutely essential to collect this data:

  • Current site traffic

  • Current monthly online leads

  • Current conversion rate based on online leads

Once you have that, you can get an idea where your initial focus needs to be. That data will also allow you to define goals that actually make sense: SMART goals.

SMART goals are:

  • S = Specific

  • M = Measurable

  • A = Attainable

  • R = Relevant

  • T = Timely

Specific could mean visits, leads or customers. Choose the area on which you want to focus for improvement right now.

Measurable means that you need to give your target growth an actual number.

Attainable goals are reachable based on your benchmark data.

Relevant means that these targets relate to and will help you achieve your overall business goals.

Timely indicates that you need to set a time frame by which you intend to reach these goals.

You could word your SMART goal like this:

Increase _____ by _____ ( starting at this amount _____ and go to this amount _____) by this date _____.

(For example: Increase visits by 20% (5,000 per month to 6,000 per month) by March 31, 2017.)

After you have initially defined your SMART goals, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do these goals align with your overall company objectives and core values?

  • Are your goals:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Relevant

  • Timely

  • How do you plan to monitor and measure your goals?

Without monitoring and measuring, setting goals is almost useless. You'll never know if you've reached them or not. 

Congratulations on taking this step towards reaching your growth targets. Now it's time to create a plan that will help you get there and implement a measurement process so you'll know what's working and what isn't.