How SMART Goals Fit Into an Inbound Marketing Plan
One of the most critical aspects of creating an inbound marketing plan is to set appropriate goals that can help you track your marketing progress. Setting traffic and conversion goals is a crucial step in measuring the return on your inbound marketing investment, helping you to pave the road for continued future success.
When it comes to setting goals for your inbound marketing plan, use the SMART goal framework:
- Specific: Your goal should include a very specific outline, including who exactly on your marketing team will be involved, any constraints in place and why this goal is important.
- Measurable: Avoid ambiguous ideas of growth and progress. Stick to figures that can be measured using concrete criteria.
- Attainable: While you don’t want to set goals that are too low, it’s equally important to be realistic about your limits. Shoot high, but make sure your goal is within a reasonable range of attainability.
- Relevant: Your goal should be important in some way to the overall success of your business and address a core initiative.
- Timely: Set a specific date when you expect to reach the goal. Again, specificity is key.
Once you’ve determined an outline for your traffic and conversion goals, it’s time to assess the current state of your website so that you can compare to your ideal outcome. You can assess your current website’s effectiveness by calculating your average monthly unique visitors, the number of inbound leads and traffic sources.
When you have this information organized, you can compare to your goals and set a couple of scenarios. It can be helpful to come up with a conservative scenario and an optimistic scenario. For example, you might have a conservative visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 3% and an optimistic visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 5%. Develop conservative and optimistic outcomes for the following on an average monthly basis:
- Number of unique visitors
- Visitor-to-lead conversion rate
- Number of leads
- Lead-to-customer conversion rate
- Number of customers
The area of focus for your inbound marketing plan largely depends on your website’s current effectiveness at attracting traffic and converting visitors to leads and leads to customers. For example, if your website if fairly new, it makes sense to focus on number of visitors first, or traffic, since this is the first step in eventually converting to customers. On the other hand, you may want to focus on leads if you already have decent traffic rates, but have difficulty converting visitors to leads. Lastly, if you’re satisfied with your website’s traffic and are able to convert a reasonable amount of visitors to leads, but can’t seem to make the final conversion to customer, focus on customers.
While customers are the end goal, it’s important to remember the value of each step. Without visitors, there would be no customers conversions at all, so determine where your website needs help and focus your goals in that area. Eventually, you can make your way through the steps until your focus is primarily on customer conversion.
Our inbound marketing experts offer assistance on developing an inbound marketing plan and setting traffic and conversion goals. To reveal gaps in your inbound marketing strategy and identify areas for improvement, take our free survey.
Marketing Matters Inbound is an inbound marketing firm specializing in online conversions, content strategy, PPC campaigns and traditional media placement. Our experience in B2B digital marketing and traditional media allows us to deliver results through a strategic media mix. We believe in aligning and merging marketing and sales/operations for optimal return on your marketing investment.