Whether you already have a great website or not, setting goals for your online marketing efforts is possibly the most important yet most overlooked element to your online marketing. You might have the best, most efficient website or the least efficient website, but you’d be hard-pressed to prove either way without having setup some goals to help you track all your efforts.
Knowing that you need goals isn’t where many people get stuck, it’s knowing what goals to set. For some businesses, like online stores, goal setting is fairly straight-forward. You can just look at how many sales you need to get or how much you want people spending on average and set goals from there. For the vast majority of us who aren’t selling something online or promoting something that directly links to a sale, setting those goals gets a lot harder to come up with.
At Green Stream, we have the benefit of being able to work with many different businesses in many different situations, business types and markets. That experience has helped us to see some of these less obvious type of goals that hopefully will get your creative minds going in generating your own goals.
I’m sure there are many more than this, but we’ve found 2 main categories of goals that should help you start to form your own list.
- Lead Generation
- Reputation Building
Besides selling products online, generating new potential customers from your website is one of the most valuable activities you can hope for. Setting goals here is more about picking a realistic number of leads you want to get from your website and then figuring out how you’re going to get them and how your going to track it. For the Green Stream website, we track 3 main things:
- Form Submissions – we have unique forms on every single service page as well as a standalone contact form page. This allows us to see which page they were on and what they are interested in. The Goal: Set a number of form submissions you want to receive each month and track it.
- Phone Numbers – making sure your phone number is both at the top and bottom of your website is super important. Whether you believe it or not, people will come to your website on their mobile device and click the phone number to call. The Goal: Set a number of phone calls you think you’ll get and track it.
- Email Addresses – This may sound similar to the form submissions, and it is, but people still do like to see an email address they can just send a message to instead of filling out a form. It’s the simplest way to communicate online and I routinely see people emailing about services by clicking on an email address right next to a contact form box. The Goal: Set how many direct emails you think you’ll receive and track it.
Online reputation is so very important, and getting good testimonials and reviews can be a very daunting and difficult task. Setting some goals around getting reviews online is one way you can start to focus your online marketing efforts on building that part of your online presence. As we see it, here are two parts to online reputation:
- Testimonials – These are mostly found on your website. these are longer and more specific to a product or service and may tell more of the customers’ story. The Goal: Set a goal to contact a certain number of your previous or current customers and ask for a testmonial. Don’t forget to track who you send it to and who responds
- Online Reviews – Google reviews, Yelp, and Facebook are three of the big ones, but getting good online reviews can really drive traffic to your website and reinforce your good name. The Goal: Just like with testimonials, the best way to get these is to ask, but with this ask you can make a plan to email your customers a customized link to the exact page where they can leave the review you’re wanting. Don’t forget to track it.
No matter what your business does, you should be setting goals for your website. We track a lot of these types of goals in a spreadsheet and one of the most satisfying things is when you get to add a result to that sheet and see all your hard work pay off in that new lead, review or even sale!