Reassessing objectives and setting new goals to boost key metrics and drive growth are processes that are inherently beneficial for all businesses. As the establishment of goals and the development of strategies is often far from a simple process, utilising the SMART methodology will help you to both streamline this process and effectively form a selection of clear and beneficial objectives for the year ahead.
What are SMART goals?
The SMART methodology revolves around 5 specific criteria: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time. When applied to your goal setting process, these principles will ensure that your objectives are considered, ambitious, and attainable.
Specificity and success go hand in hand. You might, for example, decide that you want to secure the top ranking position for a series of key search terms, but this is an objective that simply doesn’t have the level of detail required to develop strategies to help you to achieve that goal.
Ranking positions are determined by a variety of factors, and this means that you will need to understand precisely which elements of your strategy need to be refined to successfully boost your performance and, ultimately, positively influence your overall ranking position.
In the digital world, everything is measurable. If you fail to identify specific enough metrics to analyse however, you will quickly find yourself overloaded with data that simply won’t tell you what you need to know to continue to make informed business decisions.
There are a variety of KPIs you could choose to track, including ranking positions for converting keywords, the number of links successfully gained from relevant sites, and overall increases in organic traffic. Your central metrics will, of course, depend on your unique business objectives, but it is imperative to understand precisely what you need to measure and analyse, so you don’t find yourself getting easily distracted by superfluous information. KPIs are key for tracking performance on all channels, you should have KPI’s set up for SEO, paid search and social media channels.
There are many benefits to aiming high with your goals and there may be several occasions where the chance of successfully achieving your objectives is sitting at around 50 per cent. It is also important, however, to ensure that you aren’t falling into the trap of setting goals that you simply aren’t ever going to achieve.
As well as being widely demoralising for you and your team, unachievable goals are nothing more than huge distractions channelling energy and resources away from areas that will deliver positive results for your business.
As well as considering whether your goals are achievable, it is also vital to think about whether you have access to the resources you will need throughout the process. This consideration might reveal that although achieving your objectives is a realistic expectation in the long-term, your attention in the short-term should remain focused on setting goals which will propel you 75 per cent of the way to your eventual goal.
Failing to set an end date for a project means that it can’t ever fail, but you need to know whether your approach can deliver positive results for your business or whether some level of refinement will ultimately be required to help you to achieve your objectives.
It’s time to make your goals work both hard and smart for your business.