It should come as no surprise that goals are important for your business and marketing strategy. They drive you forward and act as the X on the proverbial map to the buried treasure of success. However, it’s never quite so easy to stick to that advice. Day to day operations shorten your vision, making it hard to keep goals in mind. If you’re not constantly engaging with your goals, then the old adage “out of sight, out of mind” applies — and your business suffers.
That’s why S.M.A.R.T. goals are so important. By breaking them down into specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely steps, you’re more likely to keep them in mind and put them on place when looking at your business processes. As a result, you make strides towards them and reap the rewards.
Relate it to directly something in particular that you want to achieve. A website goal could be specific in terms of visits or conversions. Try to be as small as possible for each goal, so they don’t get overwhelming. If you want to focus on both visits and conversions, write a separate goal for each.
Make sure it has a number. You can’t tell how well you’re reaching your goal if you don’t have a yardstick for what “reaching the goal” looks like. It also should tie into metrics you can gather on your site; if you’re not gathering metrics on your online properties, you have no way of knowing if you’re succeeding or not.
If your goal is more ambitious than the top 25% of companies can attain, or even more than your direct competition is doing, then you may never reach it. While there are some people who change the game and break all barriers, those are the anomalies. You’re better off starting realistic and working your way up to game breaking strategy.
It should relate to what you do. If your business goals are about sales, you want goals that measure how many sales you make. Social engagement is nice to know about, but unless social engagement ties directly into your sales funnel, a goal focusing on it is irrelevant. That being said, don’t ignore something that is genuinely relevant.
As the old saying goes, “a goal without a deadline is just a wish.” If you don’t set a time limit for when the goal should be reached, and don’t hold yourself to that deadline, then your goals will continue slipping out of reach.
Breaking down a goal along the S.M.A.R.T. checklist creates more manageable steps that you can actually achieve. If success is the buried treasure, S.M.A.R.T. goals are the instructions on how to get there.