When it comes to online marketing, most people tend to focus heavily on measuring past performance with the use of KPI’s such as click-through rates, conversion rates, bounce rates, number of likes and so on. However,they forget about setting goals and targets in order to improve on those metrics.
It is by being clear on your goals, making them meaningful, documenting them and then creating a detailed plan of action, that you can then make progress in marketing your business.
There are a million and one different KPI’s that you could be setting goals for and all of them have their place, but there are 3 goals that all the metrics lead to and those are:
Ultimately in business the most important goal is getting and keeping customers. In order to get customers, you need leads and in order to get leads you need visitors. If you have a clear customer target and you know your numbers, you can easily work out your leads and visitors goals.
Let’s run through an example…
Start off with your customer goal. We want to clearly define this, I’m not going to let you get away with saying “I want more customers”. How many do you want and by when? I’m sure that you’ve heard of the SMART model for setting goals. A goal should be:
- Time Related
A SMART customer goal would be “I want to generate 25 new customers within the next 6 months”.<
From this, you can work out what you need to do in order to reach that goal. Let’s say, for example, you knew that your conversion rate from lead to customer, i.e. the number of leads that you need to speak to in order to make a sale, is 1 in 10. It’s then easy to see that you need to generate 250 new leads into your company.
So your leads goal is “I want to generate 250 new leads within the next 6 months”.
You should then work backwards to determine your target for number of website visitors. If your visitor conversion rate (the percentage of people that visit your website and leave their contact details) is 1%, then in order to achieve your 250 new leads, you need to generate 25,000 quality visitors to your website.
Therefore your visitor goal is “I want to generate 25,000 quality visitors to my website within the next 6 months” (4,166 per month). It is at this point you’ll be able to determine whether with your current conversion rates, that your goal is achievable.
In the example above, the conversion rates are reasonable and therefore the place to start would be to put a plan of action in place in order to meet the visitor goal.
Start by looking at the existing numbers and determine the gap between where you currently are and where you want to be. For example, if you are generating 3,000 visitors per month and your goal is to 4,166 your gap in order to meet your goals are that you need to generate an additional 1,166 visitors per month. You are now in a position to put together a plan of action in order to meet this goal.
This plan may be to increase the number of social media posts, increase your Google AdWords spend, send out more emails with links to your blog content, etc.
Of course, you could focus on increasing your conversion ratios to reduce the number of leads and visitors that you need in order to meet your customer goal. But if you start by creating and documenting your visitor, lead and customer goals, this will bring all the other metrics into focus.