Synonyms: intention, objective, target
From a definition stand point, when we talk about goals, there are a few different definitions we should talk about. First, there are business goals – those are higher-level goals defined at the business level that shape marketing and strategy tactics. A few examples of business goals include: Improve lead qualification on the site, increase brand awareness, etc.
The other kind of goal we talk about are digital goals. A digital goal is something that we define as an action we want our users to take. Often times when we talk about users and their experience, we talk about their goals when they are exploring a site or engaging with your organization – aka what they need to accomplish. Goals in this context are both the goals that users need to accomplish as well as the goals we define in an experience that we want a use as a measurement for evaluating the user journey.
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Now, I don’t want you to confuse goals with conversions, where the term ‘conversion’ is used in reference to the actual act of completing a goal.
Why do we care about goals?
As mentioned above, we care about goals because they give us insight into what users want/need to achieve, and also serve as a measurement tool for how users are engaging and if the experience we have delivered is helping them accomplish their job-to-be-done. At a higher level, goals are used as an alignment tool for teams as they provide a way to focus teams and guide decisions. If we have a goal to improve lead qualification, when it comes to decisions around design, content, etc. we can always go back to the goals we defined to ensure the decisions we are making align with the defined goals.
What do we do with goals?
That’s a great question, thanks for asking. For high-level business goals, those should be circulated internally to all teams that are working on the website or with digital assets so that (as mentioned above), it is clear what everyone is working towards.
For more specific digital goals, we can turn those into goals in your chosen analytics system to track user engagement and flows. Goals can be setup in Google Analytics, Sitecore, Episerver, etc. and conversion rates on those goals can be used to inform you about how well the site is meeting user needs.
Stay thirsty, friends!