Setting your online goals

  

You should always set your online goals before you start building/developing your online presence. From a business perspective you need to understand why your business is going online and what you hope to achieve from doing so.

Setting good online goals requires a focus on business outcomes rather than technology.  It is important not to get caught up in defining success based on online statistics.  For example, many businesses will focus on details like site traffic volume, Google rankings and Facebook fans.  These measures are important, but are not your end goal. They are simply the means by which you achieve goals such as greater lead generation, sales, customer engagement or brand awareness.

Thanks to the availability of some quite sophisticated tools, there is no shortage of data that you can collect about your online business.  The challenge is to focus on the metrics that are relevant to your success and ignore those that aren’t.  If one of your online goals is to increase brand loyalty, then site metrics that show the percentage of visitors returning to your site could be important. However, if your goal is to increase online sales, then these metrics might be less relevant. 

Good online goals are set by understanding your business objectives first.  Then you must understand how (if at all) your online strategy can contribute to your business objectives - whilst co-existing with your other channels to market.