search marketing

Your REAL Online Goals

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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When I talk with people about their goals for their website this year, a lot of people tell me they want more visitors or they want to be on the first page of the search results for a certain phrase.

Seriously?

That’s your goal?

A top 10 search ranking or more website visitors is going to make your year?

Unless your ultimate goal is to be an online celebrity, better search rankings and more website visitors are just a means to an end.

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To clarify, there’s nothing wrong with having goals related to improving search rankings or increasing website traffic.  In fact, we at OurChurch.Com have goals for these things. But they should be secondary goals.

Your primary and most important online goals should be related to your organization’s overall goals.

To illustrate this, let’s look at a practical example. This example is going to use concepts from the 4 types of goals, so if you’re not familiar with them, go read that article now.

Let’s say you’re a part of a church, and one of your church’s objective goals this year is to have more people from your community gather with you for Sunday worship.

To accomplish that objective, you might set 2 project goals:

  1. Optimize your website for search
  2. Claim, verify, and optimize your Google My Business listing

To accomplish that objective, you might also set 2 process goals:

  1. Email one member of our congregation each week to ask them to post a review to our Google My Business listing
  2. Post the sermon notes and audio to the website each week.

You might also set some numerical goals like:

  • Get into the top 10 in Google for “church in [your city]” by the end of the year
  • Increase the number of reviews on our Google My Business listing by 25 this year
  • Increase the number of unique visitors to our website by 25% this year

These are all good goals, but none of them tells you whether these projects and processes are helping you meet your church’s objective goal to have more people from your community gather with you for Sunday worship.

The primary goal should be something like: 50 people who found us online visit a Sunday service this year 

If you have an issue with churches setting outcome/metrics goals, it doesn’t have to be a specific number, however, it’s still valuable to know how many new people have found your church online so you can see to what extent God is using and blessing those efforts.

To be able to track how many people find your church online and visit on a Sunday, you’ll have to create a system for asking visitors how they heard about your church (connection cards?) which is another project. And you’ll have to implement a tracking process (each week asking visitors to fill out a connection card, collect them, track the results in a spreadsheet).

The same principle applies to other types of organizations…

If your organization is a school, your primary online goal might be something like: 20 new students enrolled in our school after their parents found us online.

If your organization is a business, your primary online goal might be something like: generate $100,000 of revenue from new customers who heard about us through our website

This may seem like a lot of work, but if you’re not tracking the offline results of your online marketing, how do you know how effective that online marketing is?

I want to challenge you this year to do that: track the offline results of your online marketing. If you’re not sure how to do that, post a question or comment below.

This is something we help our SEO clients do. If at the end of this year you want to be able to look back and not just say you did search marketing but be able to say exactly the results you got from it, contact us to discuss your online marketing goals.

Post a comment and share…  Are you tracking the offline results of your online marketing? What are your REAL online goals for this year?

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About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

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