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Specifying Business Online Marketing Objectives

What can convince you that your site is successful? After you establish online marketing goals, you need to specify the criteria that satisfy them. That means establishing measurable objectives. Your budget and return on investment (ROI) expectations might constrain how much you can spend on marketing and, therefore, on how much traffic your site will receive.

Take this into consideration as you specify numerical targets for your objectives and the dates you expect to accomplish them. There's no point in setting unrealistic objectives that doom your site to failure before you start.

The following table suggests some possible measurements for different website goals, but you have to determine the actual quantities and time frames for achievement. Define other objectives as appropriate.

Site Goals and Objectives
Site Goal Possible Objectives to Measure
Managing customer service Number of phone calls and e-mails, amount of traffic to various pages, hours of site use, cost savings, time savings
Branding Onsite traffic, time onsite, activities performed, coupons downloaded, gross revenues
Generating qualified leads Number of phone calls and e-mails, conversion rate of visits to leads, conversion rate of leads to sales as compared to other lead sources, traffic to various pages, number of e-mail addresses acquired, cost of customer acquisition
Generating online sales Conversion rate of visitors to buyers, sales revenue, average dollar value of sale, number of repeat buyers, profit from online sales, cost of customer acquisition, promo code use, sales closed offline that are generated from the web, if possible (that is, enter phone orders into the system)
Generating ad revenue Ad revenue, click-through rate, page views per ad, traffic to various pages, visitor demographics
Measuring internal goals Conversion rates for various actions, site traffic, other measurements (depending on specific goals)
Improving business process Site revenues, costs, profit, time savings, costs savings, repeat visits, other measurements (depending on specific goals)

If you don’t have objectives, you won’t know when you’ve reached or exceeded them. Setting objectives ahead of time also ensures that you establish a method for measurement.

For instance, you can obtain site traffic numbers from your web statistics, but you can’t count leads that come in over the phone that way. Your receptionist must ask how a caller heard about you and tally the results. Or you can display a separate number, e-mail address, person, or extension for web visitors to use, just as you would establish a separate department number for a direct mail campaign.

Try to track data for a 13-month period so you can compare same-date results. Almost all businesses experience some cyclical variation tied to the calendar.

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