SEO Goals Setting
Choosing the best SEO goals setting for your business site is the critical first step in your digital marketing campaign. As with any long-term endeavour, knowing your marketing end goals and working directly toward them, saves time, money, and stress. The three key steps in setting and achieving SEO goals are measuring targets, establishing SEO benchmarks and developing an action plan.
SEO goals bring focus and clarity to your strategy by providing a clear target and so are much important. If you don’t have SEO goals, you are shooting in the dark. That is never a good idea because you are unlikely to achieve something unless you aim for it. If you are a digital marketing executive or a business owner, mapping out your short term as well as long term SEO goals and strategies is your first step towards digital success.
Here’s a three-step framework for setting SEO goals and developing a plan to achieve them firstly measuring targets:
- Where do we need to be?
- Secondly Establishing SEO benchmarks: Where are we now? and
- Thirdly developing an action plan: How are we going to get there?
Your SEO plan should be based on your benchmarks, search demand, Competition, resources or budget available and seasonality for your category. The biggest factors that are going to weigh into goal-setting are your available resources, budget, and timeline. You cannot be expected to quickly make significant SEO contributions to your overall marketing goal with zero budget or internal support to bring changes to life.
A new year adjusts itself to the dynamic market and adopts new changes, which in turn demands new goals and strategies to be adopted too. It is time to consider your SEO goals whether those are for you personally, as an SEO professional, or goals you have for projects. The key is to learn more and more from others and keep progressing in the SEO community as a whole.
It’s important to choose the right goals before implementing any SEO strategy and get continual buy-in from your team. Combine various strategies and categorize the SEO strategy which aligns with your specific business objective. If possible, pick some “easy” objectives and start stacking up quick wins with your team. This buys you time for longer-term strategies that SEO is suited for.
Some strategic and tactical goals from the SEO community is firstly pursuing the long tail and staying ahead of new technology and its impact on SEO. One of my major goals is to immerse in the study of new technologies that will shape the future (including our digital marketing future).
To optimize your internal linking structure is also SEO goal. Internal link building is also as important as external backlinking as it maps multiple web pages together and gives users a lot more information about what they are searching for.
Another SEO goal is to increase conversions which is the actions a customer takes that move them along the funnel towards a purchase decision, are an important metric to evaluate the impact your SEO efforts have on leads and understand whether your SEO Goals are successful.
Marketers often make the mistake of setting arbitrary SEO goals like “get more traffic. “The main issue with this type of goal is that it completely disregards the what and the how. What are you going to do to make it happen? How are you going to get there?
Your outcome goal should directly align your SEO efforts with company goals. Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of saying “get more traffic.” While getting more traffic may help the company achieve its goals, it’s far too broad. Your outcome goal needs to be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.
It’s exciting to think about the strategies you will use, the steps it will take to get there, and the fun new content you will create—none of that really matters if you are not building toward well-defined SEO goals. A set of specific and actionable SEO goals gives you all the guidance you will ever need to build a strong SEO strategy.
Nailing down your goals for the new year also helps you be more intentional with every decision you make. Each tactic you use or piece of content you create can be measured against one or more of your SEO goals to evaluate their success. Placing these goalposts gives you and your team something to strive for.
The strategies you put in place to achieve your goal of decreasing your bounce rate revolve around matching search intent with your content, headline, and meta description. Those three elements of your page are what searchers will see when your results appear in the SERP.
If you want to develop realistic goals, the best place to start is:
1) where you’ve been; and
2) where you are.
Examine past analytics and draw predictive conclusions based on existing data. For example, suppose last year’s analytics show that organic traffic to your site increased by 20% without a concentrated SEO effort. In that case, you could reasonably expect your investment in SEO to double that percentage and set a goal to increase organic traffic by 40% YOY.
Is there anything more irritating than a site that loads slowly?
Think back to a time when you went to a website to find out information or look at a product and the page didn’t load or was only halfway loaded before you lost interest. After a point, you probably left the page because the inconvenience of waiting wasn’t worth the potential quality of the content on the page.
You can provide the best content, data, or products and services in your industry, but if it’s hidden behind slow pages, visitors won’t wait around to see it.
So SEOs other goal should be to maximize speed. When you create well defined SEO goals for yourself and your team, it ensures that you are always moving in the same direction. These goals are your lodestar on a path to better results and can help you prioritize the types of content and strategies that help your company grow. Don’t do yourself the disservice of setting goals that do not matter. Think about how each action you take moves your company towards a better, more successful future.