Understanding the Difference Between Goals and Metrics

"Begin with the end in mind" is one of Stephen R. Covey's 7 habits of highly effective people (from the book of that title). To achieve a desired result, we must work backwards from our goals to define metrics.

Metrics will help to gauge progress towards a goal, but should not be confused with the actual goal.

Imagine you want to lose 15 pounds. How would you approach this goal? Would you go about your daily routine as usual? Or would you track metrics such as calories consumed and workouts completed?

Defining Goals and Metrics

To better understand the difference between goals and metrics, let’s begin by defining these terms.

  • Goal: desired end result
    • Examples: number of leads per month, dollars in sales per month, number of job applicants per job post
  • Metric: measurement
    • Examples: website visits, email subscribers, contact form inquiries

How to Achieve Your Website’s Goals Using Metrics

Have you set any goals for your website lately? In our post What Are Your Website’s Goals?, we discussed strategies to help identify and achieve your website’s goals.

Let’s say you have a goal for your website to make more money for your business. How would you achieve this goal? The best way is to take your end goal (make money) and identify the metrics that will assist you in getting there. One metric which could result in your website making more money would be increasing traffic (a certain number of visits per month). An increase in traffic will generate more leads, causing more sales.

But that's not the only way you could increase money with your website. You could also have your website handle some of the work of your Marketing or HR departments, decreasing your business expenses.

Regardless of the path you choose, you'll want to set metrics that will move you towards your goal.

By beginning with the end goal in mind before jumping straight to metrics, you’ll take a more deliberate, systematic approach, rather than relying on hope.

Have a Goal of Improving Your Website?

Are you looking to improve your website but don’t know where to start? We’ll help you to begin with the end in mind and set metrics to achieve your desired goal. Contact us today to get started.

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