Learning how to measure success of a website’s purpose or a company’s marketing goals is a critical part of business today. There are multiple gears turning at any given time for the marketing department of a company.
This is true for traditional marketing operations, but even more so for inbound marketing planning and strategizing. How do you know if your marketing and online presence is helping at all?
It all starts with developing a SMART goal.
What is a SMART Goal?
A SMART goal is an objective that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound (S.M.A.R.T.). When developing a marketing strategy to build up your audience and expand your reach it’s all about incremental steps. SMART goals allow for just that.
Focusing on a select group of metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) opens the door to developing SMART goals. They are the building blocks to incremental growth and building your business with inbound marketing.
For example, a company can say, “We aim to be the most popular provider of X service,” but how do they expect to check this? Word of mouth? Publicity? A much more productive approach to achieving company growth would be to say, “We will sell 25% more service plans this quarter than we did in the previous quarter.”
The above example works better as it:
- sets a specific goal (selling service plans).
- provides a measurable data point (25% increase from last quarter).
- is attainable and not a farfetched dream, though keep in mind this aspect is flexible given the timespan sales and marketing efforts are measured.
- measures metrics relevant to the goal (more sales leads to growth and popularity).
- is time-bound (the goal is to be achieved by the end of the quarter).
Aside from turning dreams into action plans, when it comes to a growth mindset, SMART goals like this help keep companies motivated.
Keep in mind that every company has a slightly different take on what success is. This molds the goals of their respective marketing campaigns, which, in turn, drives them to optimize a variety of different metrics and KPIs.
Of course, with the variety of companies and their differing skill sets, the “attainable” aspect will be the most flexible when building all of this out. What some companies dream of doing as a start up would be much easier for a corporation that has been in the market for decades.
However, with SMART goals, it’s only a matter of time until that start up has the same sort of power as their more experienced competitors.
What are Common SMART Goals?
Common SMART goals focus on sales and outreach, such as the example listed in the above section about quarterly sales. Other common goals include:
- Gaining 10 new followers each month on a social platform
- Reaching the first search results page for a new blog post by the end of the next two months
- Increasing customer retention by 50% over the course of the next year
Which Metrics Measure Success in Digital Marketing?
Countless platforms, such as Google Analytics, cater to SMART goals for digital marketing. In this scope, different KPIs will come into play depending on the sub-category of digital marketing being measured.
Metrics for Digital Marketing
- Pay Per Click Advertising: Clicks, Impressions, Click Through Rate (clicks / impressions)
- Lead Generation: Form Submissions, Conversions
- Search Engine Optimization: New Users, Returning Users, Search Impressions, Search Clicks
- Website Marketing: New Users, Bounce Rate, Pageviews
- Social Media: Likes, Reposts/Shares, Followers, Post Rate, Post Reach
Again, what is important to your company will depend on what you’re looking to accomplish in your given timespan. Planning social media goals like expanding your Facebook posts’ Reach and Share statistics would align much better with building your social following than minimizing the bounce rate on your website.
While interested site visitors may very well click on a link to your Facebook page, it’s much less likely than if they loved an informative post you shared on the platform.
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When Should You Start Using SMART Goals for Your Website?
The short answer is as soon as you can. If building your site internally, familiarizing your team with SMART goals is a necessity. However, if working with a development agency, they will likely shoulder most of the process as they have the knowhow. An experienced agency will begin their relationship with you through a discovery call.
A discovery call is where they will work with you to get an understanding of your existing SMART goals. The reason creative agencies discuss SMART goals so early into the website build process is because they understand that it’s never too early to start monitoring and working toward progress.
Providing SMART goals for web developers helps them understand the best way to build your website. They can incorporate the right code and tags to set your site up with the correct tools needed to get the most out of your website build through a process called growth driven design.
Growth driven design is a process in which developers work with you in the way a marketing agency would. They learn your company’s and/or website’s current situation and help you set SMART goals that can create a website from the ground up or even redesign an existing site. The result is a living website that is able to adapt to any new circumstances or changes in goals.
This methodology works regardless of if you develop SMART goals for marketing, sales, customer service, or even internal operations. As long as there are communications at any time, there will be a need for your developer to build a goal-achieving infrastructure into your website.
Once everything is put in place by the developers, your marketing department or hired marketing agency will have a strong foundation to begin their work.
Is It Too Late to Start Making SMART Goals?
It is definitely never too late to start setting SMART goals for any aspect of your business or website. If you are operating and conducting business, there’s still time to start.It is definitely never too late to start setting SMART goals for any aspect of your business or website. Click To Tweet
This is not a race against your competition, but rather a marathon. As mentioned earlier, growth is a long process that requires incremental steps. Don’t feel that you’ve wasted any time, but rather you spent your time realizing exactly what you need to focus on to move forward.
If all the signs point to the need to make a website redesign or change to your marketing strategy, find an agency that is specialized in what you are aiming to do. From there, it’s only a matter of time until your SMART goals guide you towards having a lead generating website that is more productive than ever.
Can I Track Digital Marketing with SMART Website Goals?
Audience engagement is the topic of focus when looking to use SMART website goals to track digital marketing. This is monitored through your standard website traffic analytics: New Users, Bounce rate, Pageviews and Traffic Sources, to name a few. One more that likely holds more weight when it comes to tracking digital marketing efforts is Conversion Rate.
In online marketing, a conversion is defined as an event in which a visitor to your site completes a desired action. This includes purchases, newsletter subscriptions, or, more broadly, whenever a form is filled out or any calls to action (CTAs) are clicked.
Unless you have Conversion Tracking established on your website through Google Analytics, you will need to use a marketing platform to get accurate numbers for this metric. Services like this, such as HubSpot, use the information to provide real time updates on your campaigns through the eyes of your website.
Marketing agencies that specialize in inbound marketing plans can set you up with the platform that best suits your company’s SMART goals – HubSpot Solutions Partners will typically have a selection of services that can be personalized even further to ensure they can help you reach your largest long term goals.
Marketing agencies understand the process of goal setting and know how to enact the right strategies to get the most out of your site to accomplish what needs to be done. Work with them to develop landing pages that convert your visitors quickly for some easy wins and steps towards your goal!
SMART Goals and Website Success
No matter what you’re attempting to do in terms of company growth and digital marketing, you can use SMART goals to monitor your progress. When it comes to incorporating your website, there are plenty of tools at your disposal.
From conversion rate tracking to integrating marketing platforms, you will be able to track any goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
Finding an agency to help with the actual process of setting SMART goals or enabling your website to track your progress towards them will always help along the way. You’re essentially getting an extension of your marketing team when doing so!