SMART: A Roadmap for Defining Goals
For years, businesses have employed the SMART methodology to assist them throughout the crucial process of effective goal setting. This ideology emphasizes how goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. In recent years, many have utilized a longer form of this methodology – SMARTER goals, which include “E” and “R” to represent the importance of evaluating and reviewing goals after setting them.
To start out, jot down a list of basic business goals to consider. You may want to boost your revenue, make your clients happier, or increase profitability, for example. Make sure the quantifiable aspect of these goals is realistic, too. If you want revenue to increase by 80% over the next year, a small company with minimal online reach isn’t likely to hit their mark. Additionally, why do you want to boost revenue by x%? Or, why do you want to make your clients happier? Asking these questions will highlight exactly why these aims are taking priority in your goal-setting process.
For realistic website goals with a higher likelihood of success, the SMART(ER) system is there to guide your online endeavors every step of the way. However not every business has the same goals in mind, similar to the differing goals of industry-specific websites. Essentially, website goals depend on the industry and especially the current priority, whether it be to drive more traffic, generate leads, or garner more sales than the previous year.
Industry-Specific SMART Goals
There’s an array of typical website goals which are specific to an industry or department, though SMART goals should be used no matter the context. For instance, marketing and customer service departments differ in their online priorities due to a few critical distinctions: marketing teams may want their site to drive more traffic, generate new leads and remarket to existing clients. On the other hand, a customer service department is likely to designate their site for an improved customer experience and subsequently higher customer satisfaction.
Another example is the differing objectives between IT and HR website goals: IT departments commonly look to find other integrative systems to use, or strive to keep security in place to maintain a website’s seamless functionality. Among HR departments, priorities such as drawing in new recruits and providing support to current employees are common objectives. The sub-goals which drive these broader desires would be facets such as increasing inbound employment applications or improving overall employee satisfaction within the company.
Goal-setting doesn’t stop here, though. Defining the necessary actions to accomplish goals is possibly the most critical part of the goal-setting process. Why? Well, you need to align the industry-specific goal with effective action steps, and track relevant metrics. If an HR department wants the website to focus on improving current employee satisfaction, then a new survey process could reveal valuable metrics to work off of. For example, surveying employees at the start and end of their employment would reveal data to drive decisions as to what facet of employee satisfaction needs improvement.
Being familiar with your department or industry’s common website goals is a great way to start outlining your own. To filter them down even more, there are three excessively ubiquitous website goals that most businesses take into account: converting leads to sales, building brand recognition, and streamlining workflows with automated software and procedures.
The 3 Most Popular Website Goals
After establishing your website’s specific purpose(s), the goals are ready to be set. We’ve discussed some industry-specific objectives, though these three top website intentions can provide a helpful jumping off point should you face any confusion.
Firstly, raising lead conversion is a goal shared amongst all business types. Websites with this goal are focused on more online sales, subscriber sign-ups, completed “Contact Us” forms, or inbound emails and phone calls which are all stepping stones to resulting sales. This is possibly the single most common website goal, since most businesses are constantly looking for ways to maximize their lead conversion rates. A fitting example of this website goal is an intention to raise monthly qualified leads by x%, or to increase the site’s conversion rate by x% year-over-year.
Secondly, presenting your company as an authority in your field, AKA building brand recognition is another massively common website objective to consider when framing your goals. After all, credibility is what lets prospective customers know that you’re an expert with true expertise to offer. More inbound calls and a much shorter sales cycle are likely results if you’re a known maestro amongst your industry. Much of this involves marketing your business’s services and portfolio – nowadays through social channels such as Facebook or LinkedIn – which also serves to appeal to untouched target markets. Deciding to reposition your business to a new market, or going forward with a rebranding effort are examples of this kind of website goal.
Lastly, adopting new software, integrations, and processes for business websites are popular goals to prioritize, especially towards end-of-year assessments. Modern technology offers software to streamline any industry and vertical in reference to their website automation, and the tools are extremely helpful in smoothing out workflow. An example of this goal for your website would be improving client satisfaction by x%, or cutting time for certain tasks by x%.
Actions to Accomplish Your Website Goals
There’s a list of steps to take for success when striving for these common website goals. This is because attacking a goal in one fell swoop is much too broad of an approach – smaller checkpoints to reach that will build towards a larger goal is a SMARTER route to take. Here are some tips for you to begin assessing your website goals, one step at a time:
- Make it User-Friendly: Remember to optimize for mobile and keep load times low to keep users coming back to your site.
- Reach Your Target Audience: Polish your website content with language more appealing to your target market.
- Bolster Your SEO: Get more search visibility and higher Google rankings.
- Blog All the Time: Establish credibility as an expert in your field with more web articles.
To get started on your website goals, consider using the SMART methodology as a broad outline before specifying your more granular action steps. Your goals will likely depend on a certain industry or department, meaning your website’s appeal and functions should reflect those unique sets of goals. If you’re still confused with where to begin, the three most common website objectives are another jumping-off point that a majority of businesses work towards when building a new website or redesigning an existing one.