How To Set SMART Website Goals That Guarantees Results (With Examples)

February 4, 2021
15 min read
Website
Mindset

Do you ever feel like you are doing everything in your power to generate results from your website but you are not getting anywhere?

Do not worry, the majority of the time the reason for this is because you failed to come up with a strategic plan. According to research done by Hubspot, 72% of business websites fail due to lack of business objectives, i.e a strategy.

So what is the best way to make a strategy for your website that guarantees results? 

What are SMART Goals?

According to an article about SMART goals by Mind Tools the first known use of the term SMART occurred in November 1981, George T. Doran. Then, a professor from Saint Louis University wrote an article about SMART for the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He stated that SMART is an acronym for:

Specific: Your goal needs to be very specific. This is to ensure that the goal you are pursuing has a clear end. 

Measurable: This is to ensure that the progress of the goal can be tracked to help you stay motivated to get one step closer to your goal. This also will help later down the road when you are refining your strategy for the goal.

Achievable: The goal you set must be realistic, this is to avoid disappointment which will make you feel discouraged to continue pursuing your goals.

Relevant: Make sure the goal you set is important to you or for your business. Ask yourself, will this goal be worth it?

Time-bound: This makes sure you have something to work towards. Humans have a tendency to work better with a deadline.

These 5 criteria are used as a guide to effectively and strategically set your goals. Making your goals SMART allows you to set clear and realistic goals that maximise your chances at achieving them. 

As Winston Churchill once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. This quote is especially relevant to business websites. Without planning your website goals you are setting yourself up for disappointment. So now, let us take a deeper look at the best practices for setting SMART website goals.

Types of SMART Website Goals 

If you need to refresh your memory on how to apply the SMART model to your goals, scroll up one section. For those of you who already know this, let us look at some examples of website goals that you may want to set.

Sales - Convert more website visitors into buying customers

Marketing - Attract more prospects, attain more leads and build awareness

Traffic - Have more visitors to your website that engage more with your content

Brand Identity - Become an authority in the industry and increase your perceived value to increase profitability

Building Trust - Have customers trust your business more to increase conversions and perceived value, all of which increases revenue/sales

SMART Website Goals - Sales:

Every single business wants more sales, there is no doubt about that. However, not many businesses know how to do this effectively through their website. For instance, a business may set a goal of making £10,000 a month in sales through their website. But there are many problems with this approach. Firstly, the goal is not specific enough, it may not be attainable for the business and it not time-bound. Essentially, the goal does not adhere to the SMART model. So, to help you tackle this problem we listed a few SMART website goals that’ll maximise your chances of increasing your sales. 

1.Increase monthly sales by 10%:

Now this is more like it. This goal is very specific, it is also relevant to the ultimate goal of increasing sales and it is also time-bound. Also, you are the rate of this goal is a percentage, which means it will account for seasonal sale changes and overall will accurately reflect your goal. The majority of businesses that may want to set this goal will be an e-commerce business, but anyone can set this goal because all businesses need sales!

How To Meet This Goal:

Collect as much data as you can. Calculate how many calls you must do to close a sale. Calculate how many “add-to-carts” it takes to get a sale. Use this data to work out how much it takes to get one sale and use this to churn up the numbers. For example, let’s say it takes 100 calls to close one deal and my goal is to increase sales by 10%. All you need to do is increase sale calls by 10%! 

2.Increase annual website conversion by 10%:

his is pretty similar to the last one however this is more targeted to businesses that get sales directly from their website, such as e-commerce businesses. Again, it is specific enough to the point where you can make small improvements to your website to reach this goal. 

How To Meet This Goal:

You can add better copywriting to improve user retention or you can optimize your website for mobile users to improve user experience. 

3.Boost profit margin by 10%:

Again, this goal is very SMART. Boosting profit margins will mean more cash in your profit, you can do this by reducing cost, customer acquisition or increasing prices. It is quite a simple strategy, however, it will lead to an enormous increase in sales. This goal can be set by both service and product-based businesses.

How To Meet This Goal:

If you are a service-based business you can reduce time spent per project (e.g list your process on your website to reduce time-spent explaining your process to prospects), increasing prices (e.g list prices higher on the website) and reduce customer acquisition. And if you are a product-based business you can reduce costs, increase prices listed. All of which will boost your profit margins!

4.Decrease Customer Acquisition cost by 5%:

This is very SMART. Customer acquisition costs refer to all the costs incurred in the process of winning new business, from sales and marketing to salaries and other overhead/expenses. Reducing this means you can get more customers for less and therefore making more profit per customer. 

How To Meet This Goal:

You can integrate a CRM to your website to collect customer emails, this will mean you will have a list of warm leads. Warm leads cost less to acquire, resulting in a decrease in customer acquisition. You can then email these customers by sending them valuable content, a discount or any type of incentive. 


SMART Website Goals - Marketing:

Marketing is such a powerful tool. If all you need is a bit of exposure to get your name out there then there is nothing better than marketing. There are several results a business would like to see when marketing. Typically these include an increase in high quality and targeted leads, more prospects, increase in awareness and an increase in engagement. . However, marketing has to be done the correct way for it to be effective. To do this you must set clear and realistic goals, which can be done by using the SMART model as a guide. Here are some examples of SMART marketing goals that you can set. 

1.Increase Monthly Form Submissions by 30%:

Form submissions are an extremely effective way of gathering warm leads. Warm leads are leads that already have expressed an interest in your service or product, for example by a form submission. However, it is not as easy as asking a prospect to fill in a form. A prospect will not take out time from their day to give you to fill out a form for no reason. What’s in it for them? To tackle this, there must be an incentive for the prospect in order for them to feel like filling out your form. 

How To Meet This Goal:

There are many incentives you can offer to visitors on your website. For example, if you are a product-based business you can offer a 10% discount if someone fills in a form asking for their email address. This way you get the contact information for a lead and they receive a discount. Which means they are more likely to purchase something on your website, increasing conversion rate and you have another warm lead.

A service-based business can offer a free guide to a topic in their niche. For example, a marketing agency can offer a free guide on the 10 best ways to market a local business in exchange for an email address. However, you don’t always need to offer an incentive. Another way of doing things is to use better copywriting and social proof for your business to seem more professional and trustworthy, to the point where a prospect fills in a contact form on your website.

This technique doesn’t convert as well as an incentivised approach, however, it is still very effective and has long-term positive effects. 

2.Increase Weekly Website Content Reach by 30%:

The more reach, the more eyes are on your content, the more potential customers view your content, the more likely you are to attract a paying customer. So you need to reach more people in order to get more sales. So how do you reach more people?

How To Meet This Goal:

Every social media platform has its own algorithm, however, they all follow a few basic principles. Create high-quality content consistently while engaging with your audience. Create, be consistent and engage. Simple. To create high-quality content you must know what audience you want to target. Create an avatar of your ideal customer and create content that this “avatar” is most likely to engage with.

For example, let’s say you own a clothing brand that is in the skateboarding niche and your ideal customer is a male between the ages of 16 - 25 who lives in America and is interested in skateboarding. Knowing this you can create content that this person is most likely to engage with, for example because they are quite young you can create meme-like content or because they are interested in skateboarding you can create skateboarding montages/compilations.

3.Increase Website Engagement Rate by 5%:

The higher your website engagement rate means that more users will be viewing your website content and clicking on more links. Inevitably, users are more likely to perform the desired action, such as form submission a call or whatever your call-to-action may be. 

How To Meet This Goal:

Have better copywriting. Make sure your copywriting is clear and concise. Avoid jargon, make it skimmable and always back up your claims. It can be quite hard to do this so your better off hiring a copywriter or a website design agency.

Another major thing you can do to increase website engagement is to have a good call-to-action. To have a good CTA, make sure you include strong command verbs, keep it short and clear and highlight the immediate benefits.

SMART Website Goals - Traffic:

Who doesn’t love traffic? The more traffic you receive the more potential customers view your content, which means you are more likely to get a sale. Traffic is the number of opportunities you have of getting sales, generating high-quality targeted leads building rapport with your customers or increasing brand awareness. Traffic is the catalyst that can amplify your goals to the next level. In order to increase traffic effectively, you must set SMART goals. Most businesses say “we need to hit 10,000 visitors a month by the end of the year”. Although that is a goal, it doesn’t fully adhere to the SMART model. So, to help you out, here are some examples of SMART website traffic goals that you can set. 

1.Increase Monthly New Users by 30%:

What is the point of having a pretty looking website if no one is visiting it? Without traffic, you will see no results. Setting a SMART website goal for increasing website traffic is imperative if you want to see results. However, you do not want low-quality traffic. Low-quality traffic is when users that are not likely to engage with your brand, visit your website. For example, if you are a business that sells bicycles in the UK and users from India are visiting your website. High-quality traffic is when users that are your ideal customers visit your website, these users are more likely to engage with your website and therefore they are more likely to convert into paying customers.

How To Meet This Goal:

To get more traffic to your website you must rank for more keywords and to rank more keywords you must create more content. Create content around your niche. Try to aim for at least 3 blog posts per month, but depending on your niche this could be higher. Another piece of content you need to be creating are landing pages. Landing pages are pages you create on a website to highlight a geographic aspect of a business for its customers. You should create a separate landing page for every location that you provide services to.

2.Rank On Page 1 Of Google for 10 Keywords:

Did you know that the number one position on Google receives three times more traffic than the rest, and only 20% of users scroll past the first page. With all these facts we can conclude that ranking on the first page of Google is extremely important in order for you to receive the majority of traffic for a search term, if you are not then your competitors will simply over shine you.

How to Meet This Goal:

There are over 200 factors that Google uses to determine your ranking for a specific keyword. Don’t panic, because most of them are out of control and are some are not as important. There are around three main factors that you should be focusing on. One is targeting the keyword throughout your content, including h1 tags, URL, meta title, links and the actual content. Secondly, content creation. Lastly, backlinks. 

3.Post 3 Blog Posts A Month For a Year:

Writing articles around your niche will make you an authority in your industry and will allow users searching for anything related to your niche to find you. In essence, you will receive more high-quality and targeted traffic.

How To Meet This Goal:

The easy way is to hire a professional content creator, but if you are doing this yourself is to make sure you research keywords that you want to target. A great way of doing this is to use a keyword search tool such as SEMrush or Ubersuggest. You can use these tools to find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for and then you can use these keywords to curate your own blog posts but better!

How do you do this? Well, as long as you got the basics right it is all a game of numbers. If they are using the target keyword 10 times in the blog post you use it 20 times. If their article is 1000 words you write 2000 words. However, remember to get the basics right. Write high-quality and relevant content, use the target keyword throughout your content and titles/headers, link to relevant external sites as well as internal pages.

All of this can be quite difficult to do especially as a single individual. This is because you will need a lot of experience, resources and expertise. This is where a great SEO agency comes in. A great SEO agency has all the experience, resources and expertise to effectively curate blog posts for your specific business that are targeted towards your ideal audience. Saving you time and money, so you can focus more on your business.

SMART Website Goals - Brand Identity:

A brand is what a customer thinks about your business. So taking this into consideration, every aspect of your business needs to be appealing in one way or another. This can be done through design, excellent customer service etc. Setting goals for brand identity however can be very difficult to set and to fall in line with the SMART goals model. This is because it is difficult to measure, however, we tried our best to come up with some examples of SMART brand identity goals that you can set.

1.Reduce Website Bounce Rate by 20%:

What has a bounce rate got to do with brand identity? Well, if you want people to remember your brand you have to make sure they spend as much time as possible on your website and consuming your content. Your brand is how your business makes your customers feel. In this case, a brand is how your website makes your customers feel. A reduced bounce rate suggests that your customers are spending more time on your website because they enjoy what they see, hear and feel. Whether that’s through your content, visuals, UI/UX, brand message, social proof or copywriting.

How To Meet This Goal:

The answer to this question is pretty similar to the one for increasing website engagement. However, there is one difference. For reducing bounce rate and increasing brand identity it includes more of a design aspect. So, to meet this goal you have to invest time or money into the way your website looks. The better your website looks, the longer users will stay on it, resulting in an increase in brand identity. 

2.Increase Brand Awareness By 10% in One Month (Collect data from a survey before + after):

Brand awareness is quite difficult to measure, so you may be thinking that this is not a SMART goal. Wrong. This goal is indeed very SMART. It is specific, it is measurable, it can be attainable, it is relevant and it is time-bound. So now that we know it is SMART, how do we achieve this website goal?

How To Meet This Goal:

Increasing brand awareness can be done in a plethora of ways. You can implement the techniques mentioned in the SMART traffic or marketing goals section. However, the most important thing about this goal is measuring it and then refining the strategy to improve.

To measure the results of this goal you can collect data from a survey before you start the strategy and after. Another way of measuring this SMART goal is to execute A/B testing. This is where google sends half the users that click on your URL to one page and the other half to another.

From this Google will allow you to gather very important data, such as bounce rate, traffic etc. From this, you can conclude which webpage is better. You can then either refine this webpage further or can stick to the better webpage.

Here is an example; You create 2 homepages and want to test out which one will receive more traffic. More traffic represents more brand awareness. So you go to Google’s A/B testing platform and over time Google will gather data on both webpages, by sending half the users who click on your homepage to homepage 1 and the other half to homepage 2.

You then realise that homepage 1 received more traffic than homepage 2. Now you can use homepage one as your default homepage because it is receiving more traffic.

SMART Website Goals - Building Trust:

Trust is by far the most important factor in the buying decision of a customer. It can either make or break a sale or a relationship with a customer. With trust, not only will you get more sales, you will be seen as the authority and the sales process will be so much easier. Similarly to brand identity, this goal is difficult to measure and may not fully fall in line with the SMART model, however, we tried our best to come up with some of the best examples of SMART website goals to help you build trust with your audience.

1.Collect 5 Google Reviews A Month:

Google rewards a business with good reviews. Having more reviews does not only impress Google, but also the users on your website. Showcasing your reviews, whether it's for a product or service, makes the clients feel like he/she can trust you more. That is the power of social proof. If your customers trust you, the sales will be so much easier and before you know it they will be opening up their pockets for you! 

How To Meet This Goal:

Whenever you get a sale, always follow up (after the customer has received your product or service) with the customer asking them for a review. Most customers will happily leave you a review if they love your product/service. You got to make sure to not be pushy, this will most likely irritate the customer and may even prompt them to leave you a bad review. Doing this with every sale you get will really make it easier for future customers to trust you, resulting in an easier sale!   

2.Provide 5 Pieces Of Valuable Content To Your Audience A Month:

This is essential if you want to build a genuine connection with your customers. Providing value to your audience will make you an authority and your customers will trust you more. 

How To Meet This Goal:

Make content! Blog posts, Instagram carousel posts, videos, infographics, emails it doesn't matter. As long as you can provide the value you are doing it right. One thing you have to remember is to make content that is relevant to your niche. 

Conclusion

SMART goals have proven to be the most effective way of setting goals. They are realistic, achievable and avoid disappointment. You want to avoid setting vanity or unrealistic goals, this will often lead to disappointment and you will feel discouraged to continue pursuing your goals.

Now that you have an idea of what SMART goals are and you are aware of how to set SMART goals, it is time to implement these into your unique business. Every business is different so you don’t have to set the exact same SMART goals as mentioned, we urge you to refine them to your needs and your unique situation.

Learn some more...