Why do you need goal tracking for your online business? Every business’s primary goal is to make money. Making money is also a S.M.A.R.T goal. It’s Specific (make money), Measurable (how much I made), Achievable (businesses make money), Relevant (That is the purpose of a business), and Time-bound (per week, per month, per year). It’s also easy to track money. Just look at the bank account and see.

If you sell something online, you need to get customers to visit your payment page and put their details to make the transaction. This simple description hides a complex process that causes your customer to do it. It’s too complicated to attribute one task or even a few of them during that process that you did to drive the purchase.

There are two problems with it. The first problem is that you don’t know what actions have better effects unless you measure them. Some things you do significantly affect the result, so you can make the same amount of money for less effort and resources or make more money with the same efforts and resources. The second problem is that external conditions are changing all the time. For example, a recession can have a significant impact on customer decisions.

Set your goals

Setting business goals and tracking them will give you a tool to measure the effect of your actions on your bottom line of the business and focus on those actions. Goals will also help you detect changes in their earlier stages than when you see the effect of those changes on your bottom line. Downgrading the number of people that come to the top of your funnel will notice much later in the actual sales.

Most of the chances are you already track some metrics, visitors, paying customers, etc., those metrics are good candidates for your goals, but they are not the only ones. For example, generating better-qualified visitors might affect the bottom line rather than driving more visitors. Some of the metrics can become the goals, and some not. Try to refine them to be the most accurate for your business.

A simple exercise that might help you to refine the metrics to your goals is to keep asking yourself why this metric is essential until your answer is to make more money. Each business will get different goals that are specific to that business. Don’t set too many goals. You want to focus on a few of them. Remember that those goals are not carved in the rock. You assume those goals are the most important, and external conditions might change. At least every three months, rethink whether the goals still make sense for you.

Track the goals’ progress

After you set the goals, break them down into smaller steps like milestones, projects, and experiments, and then break those into simple few hours long tasks. Keep this hierarchy, every subgoal (milestone, project, and experimentation) belongs to some goal, and every task belongs to some subgoal. With that framework, you will remain focused and avoid trying every new shining thing in your domain. Make sure that your subgoals are also S.M.A.R.T

At least every month, consider the subgoals and whether they are still reasonable. Every week have a planning session and decide which subgoals’ tasks you want to work on during that week. At this planning, you will decide on the subgoal level on which to focus. Every day, plan the tasks you want to do on this day. The nurture of tasks is to underestimate their duration and prioritize the tasks so the last ones can be the best effort and the first ones will be the most.

During the weekly planning, update the progress of each of your goals and subgoals. It will trigger some insights, whether you are happy or not with the progress, and new thoughts on what to do. Looking at the progress in a graph, you will see the trends. Doing it every week will help to notice changes early.

Summary of the benefits of goal tracking

Set goals that are an excellent proxy for your business’s bottom line. Even though making money is the main goal with your online business, measuring just the money will leave you with too many blind spots. Planning your way to make money will increase the chances of succeeding.

Every quarter revisits your business goals and ensure that those are the best proxy for making money in your business. Every month go other the goals and break them down into subgoals. Those subgoals will lead you to achieve your goals.

Every day, pick your tasks and prioritize them so you will do the most important first. Choose the subgoals you want to work on weekly and select the corresponding tasks. Also, update the progress of all of your goals and subgoals. Doing this weekly will help you gather insights into your progress and new thoughts on what to do.

You can use that framework with pen and paper and get a great result. You can also use a goal-tracking app tailor-made for online businesses like goalskeeper.io