At the start of the New Year it’s easy to be overwhelmed and scattered when it comes to setting business goals. You want to grow and improve on key areas from the year before – but where to start? We’re going to share our advice on how to set an overall plan for the year ahead when it comes to kicking digital business goals!
Go back to basics with a digital strategy
Let’s take a step back and consider where you’re at with your digital strategy. It’s important to review your processes and objectives to gain clarity on what’s working and what could be working better.
As a start, you need to define your most important goals in order of priority. Your goals might be driving traffic to your website or converting visitors into sales. For other types of businesses, they might be to grow a social media following or educate a key target audience. Whatever the goal of your digital strategy is, make sure that it’s crystal clear – otherwise your actions won’t be effective at making it happen.
Once you’ve defined a goal, it’s time to measure your results so far. Looking back on the year or quarter, dig into the key analytics and take note of the results, e.g. sales revenue, marketing spend vs return, visitor time on site, best performing lead channels, new vs returning customers, bounce rate for key pages, mobile vs desktop traffic etc. Make sure to keep a record of the data to refer to throughout the year and compare your progress regularly. Using tools like Google Analytics or a custom reporting dashboard are essential for this step.
Now you’ve got a clearer picture, start to think about what you’d like to aim for in the coming year. Do you want to see a significant increase in a measurable result through a PPC campaign with Google Adwords, Bing, or Facebook Ads? Write down the percentage increase you’re aiming for. This is what will drive your strategic actions for the year to come.
Get speedy, stay secure
As humans, we want instant gratification – and browsing the web is no different. If your website speed isn’t keeping up with competitor sites then this is something you should look to address during the New Year.
A slow load time for your website will affect not just your user experience, but your Google rankings. So, it’s essential that you discuss your web architecture and page load speed with an SEO specialist as soon as possible.
Another key ranking signal to Google is the use of an SSL certificate. Not just for e-commerce websites, Google now strongly favours sites using HTTPS to secure web traffic. In fact, from January 2017 the Chrome browser will start flagging unencrypted sites as “Not Secure”. Not something that you want your customers to see!
Commit to learning and collaboration
At Redline Digital, we’re lucky that we get to see the success of clients who consistently commit to furthering their digital and marketing presence by moving outside of their comfort zone. We’ve noticed that the most successful transformations and significant growth happens when teams collaborate, brainstorm ideas, develop their skills and reach out to experts for set projects and support. Often it takes the help of a digital marketing team to provide value and direction in this area.
In your planning sessions for each month this year, set aside time for regular team training in a new skill. We recommend a weekly session to establish a routine and keep it a priority within each week.
You should also reach out to your networks, partners and clients to see how you can involve the experts you already know in helping to grow your business. Sites like meetup.com can be a great place to find groups that share similar business (or personal) interests.
Now that you know three key approaches to meeting your digital strategy goals this year you’ll need to work on something even harder: maintaining consistency and keeping your goal monitoring and planning a regular activity. We know you can do it!
And if you need a hand, just reach out.