Setting web marketing goals should be done with carefulness: you should only set S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-ranged. Let’s find out what it means.
The characteristics of any web marketing goals
We all have goals in our life, in every background since we were born: good marks at school, being strong like dad, hang out with the most beautiful girl at school, graduate, get a driving licence, a car, a family, and so on.
Just like people, companies have different goals in different departments: accounting department strives to pay less taxes, HR look for the best professionals to undertake a certain role, while sales deparment, well, wants to increase sales.
What about marketing department? They have goals, too. Of course.
Why you should have web marketing goals
Many companies think having web marketing goals is superfluous, because the internet looks like a place where you just need to be because everyone else is there, but it has no potential.
However, if you are reading this post, it means you know that it is not true and being online is not just a cost for your company, but it is an investment with a potential return.
Having a website and a fanpage on Facebook just for the sake of it makes no sense, but if you have a marketing plan with fixed goals to achieve, well, that is totally different. Having goals means having a direction, a path to follow.
Now, what goals should you set? Not all goals are the same, and you want your experience on the web to be satisfactory, not frustrating.
Marketers usually say that the goals you set should be S.M.A.R.T., but what does it mean?
Obviously, each letter is the initial for some adjective. Let’s figure out what they mean.
You cannot set a general goal and think it is enough: let’s say you want to increase the visits on your website. This is a goal, but still too generic.
When you decide the goals you want to achieve with your digital strategy, keep in mind they must be specific: you want to increase the visits on your website? Good. Which page? Who is the target for that page, i.e. who would you like to take on your website?
Not all the visitors are the same, and you should change your strategy accordingly.
Another example: let’s say you want to increase your newsletter subscribers, but to what extent?
You cannot just decide a random number, but you should obviously expect an increase proportioned to your marketing budget (and, at the same time, invest a figure that is proportioned to your expectations). So, 30%? 50%? 500 users? It does not really matter, as long as your web marketing goals are measurable. Marketing is a science, even though it is not 100% accurate. Measurable goals allow you to adjust your strategy if the outcome is not proportioned to the investment or raise your budget if it is too low. Whatever the case, measuring will prevent you from squandering your money.
Be honest: are your web marketing goals really achievable? Aren’t they out of your reach? If the answer is no, then go on. If your answer is yes, unachievable goals can lead to frustration and make you do strategically wrong choices.
Setting unachievable goals often happens when you compare yourself to your competitors without taking into account some important factors and differences. For example, your competitors may have been on the business longer than you, or they invest more money on marketing.
Just do not confuse an achievable goal with a realistic one.
A relevant goal is different from an achievable one. Let’s explain this with an example. A real one.
A few months ago, at the beginning of this year, we had a client who asked us to promote his brand on Facebook, and told us what kind of people would be interested in his brand, and fixed a number of people to reach, and a budget that was way higher than he really needed. However, the target was so narrow that there was no way he could reach that number of people, simply because there were not enough people interested in that niche. This made his goal unrelevant.
Now, he is currently opening his brand to new niches.
Web marketing goals should be framed in a certain time range. Speaking of the previous example, it does not make sense to increase your newsletter subscribers by 500 users if it happens in ten years.
Web marketing goals lose their soundness if they are not time-ranged, even though they are specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic, because without a time-range you can’t know if your strategy is actually working or not.
How do you decide your goals?
Web marketing goals make your online presence more profitable. How do you decide your goals? We can help you with that.