Set SEO Goals Smarter, Not Harder
SEO goals must be aligned to the Online Goals (in line with business Goals). You cannot have everything (that’s the hand rule of life). List your priorities! The more specific you are the more focused and successful all your campaigns will be (and I am not talking just about SEO). When preparing to launch a search engine optimization campaign, there is one task that many people fail to complete: the setting of proper SEO goals. Having clearly defined goals from the start provides a map to search engine optimization success. These goals should be decided on by everyone involved in the SEO process.
SEO aims to achieve the goal of getting more visitors to a website by helping it get higher rankings in the search engines. This simply means that SEO’s goal is to make a website appear in the first page, if not the first page of a search done through the search engine.
The likelihood, that consumers recognize the existence and availability of a company’s product or services. Creating brand awareness is one of the key steps in promoting a product. Brand awareness is an important way of promoting commodity-related products. This is because for these products, there are very few factors that differentiate one product from its competitors. Therefore, the product that maintains the highest brand awareness compared to its competitors will usually get the most sales.
Products or Services Awareness
To increase the awareness of your new products or services, it’s vital that you promote them through various platforms. Promote your new products or services at trade events in your local community. Additionally, include a manual or white paper about the new offers in the package of your existing products or services. It will help customers learn about them .
SEO Goals need to be Specific
The easiest way to set specific and clear goals is to start listing them according to the answers you get by asking the five “W questions”:
o Is a conversion for your site? -its business goals-
o Do you want to achieve with the SEO process in order to help your site to accomplish its objectives?
o Is the SEO situation of the site? Present rankings and optimization?
o Is your target market and how does it behave?
o Is the decision maker?
o Are the stakeholders?
o Will be involved and you can count to support you in the SEO Process -developers, writers, link builders, community managers, etc.-?
o Will be the SEO process activities implemented: In-house, an external agency or freelancers?
o Does your business have online presence besides the site -social networks, communities, affiliates, etc.-?
o Are the site technical, content or promotion constraints and requirements?
o Are the most important products or services for your business? (most popular, highest profit margin, etc.)
o Do you want to start a SEO process? -identify expectations in order to manage them-.
o Is your site designed, organized and optimized as it is at the moment? -understand the reasons of the site status-
When you have the answers to these questions you can do a prioritized list of the site requirements, restrictions and an overview of its online business, resources and organization. With this information you can do an audit to verify the answers and develop the first draft of the SEO goals.
A lot of companies focus on increasing their traffic. This is closer to the right goal, but many companies can also run into problems here. Well if the traffic is not relevant, it might not be so good. May be you end up with only a 10 percent increase in sales. Whereas if you bring 20 percent more traffic that has strong buying intent, you might be able to increase sales by 20 percent. The main purpose of SEO is to increase the traffic generated by a website. Websites are built to be seen by internet surfers and search engines can help it achieve this goal.
You need to make sure that you will be able to measure the success (or failure) of your SEO efforts and have a system to track each step of the process:
• How will you measure the achievement of each of the SEO process goals? How often and for how long?
• Which activities and presence you will need to track? -behavior of site in search engines, users in the site, etc.-
• What will be the key performance indicators? -incoming links, rankings, non-branded organic visits, conversions, etc.-
• What tools are you going to use to track the progress towards the goals achievement? -Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, SEscout, Open Site Explorer, etc.-
• How can you organize and automate data gathering and reporting? -This can represent a huge difference if it’s a big process or you are managing many SEO processes at the same time-.
Review the first draft of SEO goals and answer these questions for each one of them.Make sure you will have access to the data and that you can gather all the necessary information from the start of the process. If you see this is not the case then you will need to rethink that goal and how to approach that need in a way that is measurable.
The problem with poorly selected goals is that it focuses your energy in the wrong directions. Sadly, we have a grim example unfolding in front of us of how a poorly selected set of goals can come back haunt you. I’m referring to the current recession, which was clearly driven by sales-at-any-cost goals, resulting in a lot of financial institutions taking on bad debt (because it increased sales), which looked great until they couldn’t collect on the debt.
This idea of picking the right goals applies almost anywhere you look in life. In the world of SEO, you need to tie your SEO goals as tightly as you can to the broader goals of your business. If your goal is to increase sales, leads, or impressions (for advertising-based sites), tie your SEO goals to those metrics. You’ll be glad that you did.