Building a modern business requires using online tools and a variety of digital media venues, but without knowing if those efforts are successful, you are at the least, wasting time and resources and at the worst, setting your momentum up for failure. Benchmarks, goals and targets are especially useful in the digital age, as numbers and data are far easier to access and examine than they would be for a brick-and-mortar counterpart.
While no metric is a proverbial island in digital marketing goal plans, thinking of your goals in separate sections will help with visualization and implementation on the whole. Here are a few guidance suggestions that will help you form and follow goals that will ultimately support the rise of your business.
If it is a metric that currently “lives” on your site or shortly will be, it’s considered an on-site goal. Your site’s navigation, checkout page and visitor behavior would all be examples of on-site goals that can be tracked and improved upon.
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Generate Revenue – the heart of business is its ability to make money. By tracking the gross or net sales of your online store, you can determine your current rate of sales and set an incremental goal to hit using the collective information inspired by your online efforts. Revenue-oriented goals might include efforts to raise the average number of items purchased or the average sales dollars per customer.
Increase Conversions – Each visitor to your website is an opportunity to generate revenue. The ratio of new site visitors to site buyers is your conversion rate, and it’s a very important on-site metric. If your current conversion rate is in the double digits, it’s an indicator that your off-site reach and traffic might not be doing its job, as your site lacks an influx of fresh eyes and is likely appealing only to current customers. If, conversely, your number is below 1%, it may be a sign that your bounce rate is too high and needs to be worked on. For many industries, conversion rates will generally fall in the 1% – 10% range, but there are so many factors that can come into play when evaluating conversion rates that it is best left for another blog post or for your own independent research.
Reduce Bounce Rate – The bounce rate – a number that reveals how many of your site’s visitors remain and how many quickly they leave once they “land” on your home page or another website landing page, is an interesting peek into how engaging your site really is. The higher your bounce rate, the higher the likelihood that your site is confusing or boring to your target customer and causing them to leave quickly. Reducing this number will help generate revenue through increased conversions – conversions that couldn’t happen if the visitor leaves too quickly. For example, you can aim to reduce a current “bounce rate” of 50% of your visitors leaving after only a minute on the site down to 40% by a certain date, 30% in a period after that, and so on.
Off Site Goals
If a metric is tracked off of your site, even if it leads back to your website directly, it is generally considered an off site goal. These keystones can entail anything from paid advertising to social media marketing, in digital marketing terms, both are methods of increasing reach and traffic to your website.
Paid Advertising – If you set a marketing budget and pay for exposure, outreach or customer engagement, whether it be as a broad effort or specific demographic targeting, you’re using paid advertising to drive traffic to your website. Popular examples of this technique include using Google’s Adwords system, with success measured as an incremental increase in traffic as a whole and conversion rate specifically, as revenue is typically the overarching goal in every metric’s adjustment and study.
Social Media Engagement - Social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, makes an excellent tool for setting and monitoring digital marketing goals. Follower counts are a very visible and a relevant measure of engagement, and if your business’ count numbers are similar across multiple platforms, it’s a good indicator your social media outreach measures are balanced. If they are low and unbalanced, an appropriate goal may be to simultaneously raise follower counts and attempt to keep them fairly even across multiple platforms.
Becoming a Resource – Offering guides, e-books, articles and blog posts on the product or service that your company offers is an excellent way to increase inbound internet traffic to your website. Tracking the views and clicks on media portals such as YouTube videos and guest articles posted off-site is another method of measuring customer engagement in your products, company or brand. Setting a goal for resource offerings might entail raising the number of views or followers that your YouTube channel receives in a given time period. It could also entail how many downloads you receive on a certain e-book that you published.
While each of these suggestions should be considered in terms of being appropriate for your business and current approach plans, they can be used as a jumping off point for nearly every company, regardless of their products, market or industry.