Every business owner at particular point of time needs to set his goals. Business without goal is like ship with hole ! So I know you should not want your business to shrink and that’s why you come to this page. In general, business goals are classified into two categories based on the outcome of the results. Long Term Goals and Short Term Goals.
I am not going to tell any definition of long term or short term goals instead will see what are the major parameters that you should take care in setting the goals. Basically, this article helps on how to set your online business goals ? The growth and success of every online business can be easily measured by two factors: Traffic & Conversion. These are the two major factors at least the only parameters that you should focus in setting your online business goals.
Goals To Increase Site Traffic.
Traffic is the driving source for your online business. Either its a product based site or purely a content based blog, it needs traffic/visitors to alive. So the ultimate goal for your online business should be gaining traffic. Now how to set traffic goals ?
- Analyzing the traffic sources. Go through the history and find out what are all the major sources of traffic that your site is currently receiving. This helps to understand your existing state.
- Now there are two steps,
- Set goals to increase the traffic volume from existing sources.
- Set goals to find new traffic sources and to do the experimentation’s in future. For example, you may not have referring traffic from other sites, you could try to get a referring link from other related sites to increase your traffic volume.
- Your goals should be in terms of number of visitors and number of converting visitors. Converting visitors are the one who makes you revenue by buying a product or making an adv click etc.
So practically speaking your traffic goals should cover the following.
Search Engine Traffic.
The game of SEO & the level of competition plays the major role in gaining search engine traffic. You have to set two figures in your goals,
- to increase the number of search engine visitors
- to focus on the right keywords. Anyway, your ultimate aim will be increasing the visitors but focusing on the right keywords may drive targeted / quality visitors to your site.
Go and digg your traffic analytics and see what are all the converting keywords. Try to find similar/related keywords and focus towards them. SE traffic needs good amount of experimentation because you could not see the results immediately. Wait for the results and see how far you have achieved the goals. Generally, search engines are stupid !
If you are gaining paid traffic then you have to focus on two things
- Increasing the CTR (clickthroughrate)
- Decreasing the CPC (Costperclick).
If you are an Adwords user then you could easily analyze your historical data that may help to make good decisions here. Refine your keyword list to have converting keywords, that’s well enough to achieve your goals.
The interesting part of gaining traffic next to SE is the referring traffic. Fix a goal like, “i will get linked from 100 external pages in 2 month” and work towards. I would suggest, article marketing and gaining one-way links from related sites are the best way to gain targeted referring traffic. It takes time to pickup but works better for the long term.
Social Media Traffic.
Its believed like the future trend in Internet Marketing is Social Media and there are numerous sources that drives traffic to your site. But social media traffic is little bit tricky because when not utilized in the right way, it won’t perform well. You have to work closely with your social media tools and that needs to spend enough time also.
Your goals should be towards using the social media tools in the right way. Right way in the sense, you have to build your social network with targeted or related or like-minded or needful people or customers. In short, “enlarging your network rightly”. You have to keep an eye on conversion because when there is not benefit from social media traffic, either its good to avoid that from your site or utilize it in the needful way.
The most critical kind of traffic source is the direct traffic. Simply saying, the regular visitors of your site. Your email/Rss subscribers or members of your site. Goals should focus on increasing the members count & building your network. This network comes with your online business through out the life cycle. Ask every visitor to join your site and at the same time don’t force them to join. Increasing the direct traffic should be your foremost goal because this traffic steadily comes to your site at any time (and say, search engine traffic may go up or down and its not in your control).
Finally, you have to define goals for each kind of traffic sources so that you could set complete goals for making a successful online business. In part II will discuss about Conversion Goals.