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How to Set SMART Goals with Key Metrics (Video) - Part 2

How much website traffic did you get last month? What was your website conversion rate - the number of leads you generated relative to the amount of traffic? How many sales did your website influence or directly lead to last month?

If you don't have a good grasp on those numbers, don't worry about it! We're gonna set some smart
goals in today's video. It's an essential piece of your online marketing plan. We're also going to run through some of the key metrics you need to keep your eye on.

Here's a list of the other steps in this series on Building and Online Marketing Plan for Manufacturers:

How to Find Your Web Metrics

First things first. If you don't know your website traffic last month, the number of leads you generated, that's information you're gonna have to know, and you're gonna have to find. If you're not sure where to get that data, reach out to your web vendor or an IT person or maybe a marketer within your team and try and find access to Google Analytics.

If you don't have Google Analytics set up, don't worry about it. Your vendor can do it. An IT person can do it, and it's free. It's going to give you more data than you could ever ask for.

We also highly recommend taking a look at HubSpot Marketing. That tool has excellent, integrated reporting that kind of breaks down everything that's in Google Analytics at a broader level. It's a little more intuitive and easier to understand. Once you have your data in hand and you know your numbers month-over-month with a historical view of some of the ups and downs, we can actually take a look at setting some smart goals.

So what are SMART goals?

SMART stands for

  • specific,
  • measurable,
  • attainable,
  • relevant, and
  • time-bound.

Let's run through each so we have a better understanding of what each element means.

Specific - This means we have to pick a particular metric and focus on it. We also need to identify who will be doing it, and what will the action plan be. How we're going to get there. So, maybe we're going to analyze visitors or leads or customers. So that's the specific metric that we want to focus on.

Measurable - to gauge progress towards the goal we need to quantify them. We need to understand if we're trying to achieve an X% increase or a solid number of something by a a time frame, which leads us to attainable.

Attainable - If we want to set let's say 20% increase in a metric, we have to make sure that that is rooted in reality. So the goal should be based on our own analytics not necessarily industry benchmarks. If you increased blog traffic by 3% last month, aim for 5 to 8 this month, not 20%. That's not attainable.

Relevant - Your goal should be relevant to your company's overall goals. Will more blog and website traffic yield more sales? Will Twitter followers yield more sales? Obviously those things are a yes so they are relevant.

Time-bound - This is probably one of the most important. Deadlines have to be set. You're going to achieve an X% increase in metric A, B, or C by this time frame. Deadlines apply pressure needed to make sure a team hits that goal.

What's a Crappy Goal? 

We know the elements of a smart goal. Now, what is a kind of crappy goal? A crappy goal is:

"We want to increase website traffic and leads."

Okay, that's great... So next month we can get one more website visitor or we could get one more lead and we've achieved our goal. That's not a very high bar to set and it was definitely not specific, so how do we take this kind of crappy goal and make it a smart goal?

Turning Crappy Goals into SMART Goals

Let's start with the first item, specific. We're going to double our blog volume by blogging twice a week instead of once a week. Jim is going to contribute his regular blog post and Mary will now kick in and provide another blog post a week. So we're going to have two blog posts a week.

How do we make this measurable? By doing these two blog posts a week, we feel that we can increase our blog traffic by 6%.

This is attainable because we know that by kicking up our blogging last month, doing one blog post per week instead of one post every other week, we increased our blog traffic by 4%. We think by doubling the number of blog posts going out every, week we can increase our blog traffic by 6% this month. 

Is it relevant to the overall goals of the company? By increasing our blog traffic we're going
to drive more visits to the website. We're probably going to generate more leads and sales opportunities. And, we're going to grow our brand awareness. This definitely lines up and is relevant
with company goals.

Now how do we make it time-bound? We say that we know we're basing our plan on data from last month. We're saying by the end of this month. If it's September, we're saying by the end of September. The last day of September, close a business, we're going to have seen a 6% increase in blog traffic.

We put it all together in one smart goal that says:

"By the end of September, we're going to increase our blog traffic by 6%, by increasing our blog posting frequency from one post a week to two posts a week."

High Level Metrics that Matter

So let's take a look at some of the online marketing metrics that we should be using in our smart 
goals to try and improve our numbers month over month.

Let's start with our baseline metrics:

  • overall website traffic
  • leads or conversion rate
  • sales opportunities that have been influenced by our website or
  • closed sales that have been influenced through our website

Whether that means they've bought through the website or they found us online and that's what started the conversation.

So these are really great high level, probably intro levels. If you're just getting started with your online marketing plan, and you haven't really focused on these numbers very often, this would be a great place to start.

More Granular Metrics that Matter

Once we get progressing with our plan a little bit and we're starting to see the improvements in data, we want to start breaking down our plan into some of the more finite metrics that really impact the overall metrics.

Let's start with website traffic. So when we look at website traffic, there's all sorts of elements that go into driving new website visitors. We'll have things like:

  • visitors by source - where are they coming from? Email? Social media? Direct traffic? Search? Paid ads? What source is driving visitors to the website?
  • How much time are they spending on the site?
  • What's our bounce rate? Are they leaving as soon as they land here?
  • How many blog views did we have?
  • Inbound links to us which helps with our search engine optimization?
  • How many keyword impressions are we showing for in Google?
  • What's our social reach, meaning how many followers do we have across the different social media platforms?
  • How much of our content is being shared in those social channels?
  • How many blog subscribers do we have?
  • What's our email open rate?
  • Email click-through rate? The number of people that open your email and click through and land on your website, becoming some of your website traffic?
  • What is our net new email subscriber ratio looking like?

These are all really important metrics for website traffic and what kind of go into all of the potential channels driving eyes to your website.

If we take a step further and say okay, let's take a look at our conversion rate:

  • what are calls to action doing? What are the CTA conversion rates that we're seeing?
  • What are the landing page conversion rates? So how our landing pages are turning visitors into leads?
  • What are our leads by source? Are we getting more from organic search or are we getting more from email or social channels?

So those are some of the conversion related metrics. There're certainly more metrics that you can
monitor in all of these categories, but this is a great start for to get going with your online marketing plan.

Then diving a bit deeper down the funnel, taking a look at sales opportunities.

  • How many of your leads turned into actual sales opportunities, where you're having a
    conversation, and you know that they're qualified to buy. They may or may not buy, but you at least are having a good quality conversation with them.
  • How many of those leads are turning into those SQL's?
  • How many of those sales opportunities are turning into customers?
  • How many leads are turning into customers ?

These are all metrics that you can track and set goals for month-over-month to continually improve your numbers.

One of the biggest downfalls to any online marketing plan is a lack of clarity into the metrics and what numbers you're aiming for. Without setting a concrete SMART goal to achieve a new level some of your metrics, you'll never get there. Unless you're focused on achieving that new metric number, you won't put the steps in place and deliver the plan to get there.

SMART Goal Workbook

You should have a better understanding of how SMART goals go into your online marketing plan. They're essential. They're a building block for your entire strategy. They make sure that you're
hitting new targets month-over-month.

For help with your SMART goals, check out this FREE SMART Goal Workbook:
Download the SMART Goals Workbook

Part 3 - Building a Buyer Persona for your Online Marketing Plan