I’m fortunate in that I know an awful lot of business owners and unfortunately these otherwise extremely smart and switched on people seem to lose touch with all reality when it comes to online marketing. They seem to go with whatever they believe is the current trend and of course they believe all the hype about what is and what isn’t working that someone at some networking event told them.
If you ask them a simple question everyone with an online presence should be able to answer, such as:
What are your online marketing goals?
Do you want to increase sale conversion rates?
Do you want to attract more website visitors?
Do you want to improve your businesses reputation, or expand your brand?
As you have probably guessed every single business needs to set realistic online marketing goals. It is very important to understand that for a goal to become a reality, it needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic, as well as time specific, these are often called SMART goals.
Setting Potential Online Marketing Goals
When setting goals, the first thing to do is create a general list of goals, and then get more specific. A potential list of goals is below; yours will be different and based on your products, services and possibilities.
- Generate More Sales – While this may seem like an obvious goal, it’s important to state exactly how many more sales you want to achieve, in what period of time, and for what product. It also worth pointing out that simply stating that you want to generate a million dollars in new sales isn’t going to happen unless you have the resources to market for this sort of growth, in my experience businesses often ask for unrealistic sales growth.
- Expand Online Presence – Every business today needs an online presence but the larger you build it, the more your target audience will notice you, and the more money you’ll earn as a result.
- Increase Website Traffic – You need highly targeted website traffic, not just every tom dick and harry, to ensure that you reach your other goals.
- Get More Social Media Followers – More social media follows engaging with your posts can lead to an increase in so many other business indicators.
- Generate Leads – You want to nurture leads that can turn into sales.
- Grow Authority – The more authoritative your online presence, the better for all your goals.
Making Your Goals SMART
The next step is to make your goals SMART. These points will help steer you in the right direction.
- Specific – If you can’t be precise in what you want to achieve, it will be hard to know whether or not you’ve achieved it or have even gone part way to achieving it. It’s important to note whether or not you want to increase traffic, get more subscribers, or establish yourself as an authority, so that you’re not acting without any knowledge of where you’re heading.
- Measurable – If you can’t provide a number detail to your goal, how will you know whether or not you achieved the results you wanted? To translate that, consider stating that you want to increase subscribers by 1000 or that you want website traffic to grow by 50 new visitors per month.
- Attainable – It’s important to know your audience enough to know if what you are shooting for is possible. Look back on the past as a good indicator of how well your future campaigns will go for your particular target audience.
- Realistic – If you have a goal of increasing subscribers, but you’re not leading them to your newsletter form to sign-up, then you’re not being very realistic. Every online marketing campaign and goal must match each action that you take.
- Time – If you don’t set a time limit, you may never achieve your goals because you will be too tempted to procrastinate. Set deadlines that are realistic for the project that you’re doing, based on your industry and your past experience.
Making SMART goals part of your online marketing repertoire will increase your success exponentially. The reason is that you will have an actual final goal that you’re shooting for in order to succeed, instead of not having a clue where you are going as so many businesses do. Plus, you’ll be able to study the results to see if it worked and if it did not work, you’ll be able to see areas that did work, didn’t work and make adjustments for the future campaigns. I think that is the real secret to online success, smart goals and knowing your numbers… it simply a case of measure, adjust and then rinse and repeat.