In today’s connected world, businesses have more information about their customer base than ever before.  Sadly though, most are not using this advantage to gain valuable insight into their marketing efforts.  Everything from social media posts to major campaign revisions should be tracked and their efforts measured to determine whether or not you’re hitting your goals.  How else can you tell if what you’re doing is working? 


KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

KPIs are a way of gaining insight into how your efforts are lining up with your goals.  So whether or not you’re setting quarterly or annual goals, you’ll have data to help make the next decision.  The biggest advantage in setting a KPI is being able to visually see how your efforts affect the bottom line.  Recognizing strategies that aren’t working efficiently can save an enormous amount of time and money.   


So what KPIs should you measure?


Think in terms of SMART criteria.


KPIs allow you to track metrics that will help track your progress towards goals.  So, if your goal is to acquire 1,000 new followers on Twitter, likes or shares suddenly become goal-oriented performance indicators.  In this case, setting a KPI for an average of 100 new followers per month will help reach your main goal, while tracking weekly changes help see areas that may need adjustments or improvements. 

While it depends largely on the department, activity, or process being measured, KPIs should generally follow the SMART criteria.  


Number one rule – your goal should be specific.     

More Website Visitors

This isn’t specific at all.  It does set a goal for website visitors but doesn’t specify what kind of visitors – global or local.  There’s no clear indication of where the traffic should come from, so it’s hard to measure.  Try setting a specific goal that gives you clear boundaries of expectation.  If your business operates under a local community, try:

More Local Visitors

This gives a clear indication that traffic should come from a local source, and this could easily be small business search queries from people that need local services or products.  See, now we’re getting there!  

Interested in local SEO tips?  Read more here.



Specific can mean a lot of things, and just how specific you get can depend on the industry and niche your business operates under.  One thing that everyone wants is an increase in traffic.  How much of an increase in website traffic?  That would be an example of a measurable metric.  

More Local Visitors By 50 Percent

This gives an exact amount to target for the overall amount of monthly, local visitors.  In this case, it’s easier to measure your progress if there’s a clear definitive number to achieve.  That’s why choosing a metric that’s measurable is important.  The specific metrics that you choose depend on a number of factors related specifically to your business model.  Need more examples?  Read more here.



Once you have a measurable performance index, ask yourself, “Is this something we can achieve easily or is this going to depend on miraculous circumstances?”  Assess the risk, and do the research before determining what’s achievable and what is not.  Everyone has confidence, but common sense is cheaper.  Your goal should be realistic and attainable.  By keeping things reasonable, you’ll cut risky tactics that could hurt your long-term results.  



No matter what, it has to be relevant to your company’s growth and success.  If it doesn’t align with the company’s objective, scrap it.  Keep your focus on the company vision, and you’ll identify the most important improvements in no time! 



Goals should always have a deadline.  It allows everyone to stay on track with a time-sensitive deadline.  Not only that, but without a deadline, no one would be able to manage their workflow in order to deliver coordinated results.  Imagine if everyone just turned in work “whenever they felt like it”?  Tracking progress would prove difficult and managing the outcome becomes even more difficult when no one knows when the work is due.  

More Visitors by the End of the Year

In this example, the team knows they have until the end of the year to track the increase in their KPIs.  This will help planning the zoom meetings, hit pacing marks on analytics, track communication, and execute the project on a timeline.  In this situation, all 5 key components for setting KPIs and measuring results are present.

By following the SMART criteria, you’ll quickly identify key areas for improvement and guidelines that will help keep your strategy focused and relevant.  

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