What’s so smart about a SMART Goal?

When we are in the Discover phase of a website build or a Growth Driven Design project one of the first things we do is try to discover a few S.M.A.R.T. Goals. S.M.A.R.T. Goals are critical for long-term marketing success.

A SMART goal stands for:

  • Specific – Your goal should be unambiguous and communicate what is expected, why it is important, who’s involved, where it is going to happen and which constraints are in place
  • Measurable – Your goal should have concrete criteria for measuring progress and reaching the goal
  • Attainable – Your goal should be realistic and possible for your team to reach
  • Relevant – Your goal should matter to your business and address a core initiative
  • Timely – You should have an expected date that you will reach the goal

not smart goal

A good set of SMART Goals helps us stay focused on specific tasks we need to complete to reach project milestones.

We looked at a bad SMART Goal above, here are a few good examples from recent projects we worked on:

  • Increase total number of online donors by 15 percent in six months 1,652 in 18 months
  • Double our user session duration from 1:07 (average of combined domains) to 2:14 in three months
  • Increase new and returning web visitors to site by 45 percent in five months- Target by end of May- 26,000 per month

Typically, marketers might have goals for Visits, Contacts, and Customers for the year, quarter, or month and the numbers are closely related to each other. We’ve found that focusing on one of these specific segments gives the clearest vision of success.

  • Visits – You should focus on visits if you are just getting started with your website, or if you already have good conversion rates for visits to leads and leads to customer, but need additional traffic to add some fuel to the fire
  • Contacts – You’ll want to focus on Contacts if you are satisfied with the amount of traffic to your content, but you are not getting enough leads for sales. This is the segment that most HubSpot users focus on
  • Customers – Focus on this If you are getting a healthy amount of traffic to your content, visitors are converting on forms, but the leads just aren’t ready to close into customers

Goals are an essential part of a marketer’s success. Marketing goals are like personal goals you set for yourself: Meeting them makes you feel on top of the world. Effective. Inspired. However, missing your goal by a few customers, contacts or visits can incite just the opposite.