When you start your SEO journey, whether on your own or with an SEO company, a critical first step is to set goals that speak to what you want to achieve. As with any trip, if you don’t know where you want to go, you won’t know when you arrived (or if you’ve lost your way).
But, how do you set SEO goals that will help you choose the right tactics, which metrics to measure, and help you determine the return on your SEO investment?
How to Get Started With SEO Goals
Understanding that you need to set goals and knowing where to start are two different things. Because my personal tendency is to become very detail-oriented about what I want to achieve, I have to remind myself to start with the forest, not with the trees. In other words, when you’re setting goals for your SEO activities, zoom out and start with high-level thinking.
Great SEO Goals Start With Business Objectives
Before you get down into the weeds choosing of SEO goals, start with your company’s big-picture objectives. Your marketing plan is probably already built around supporting overall business objectives, and your SEO plans should be too.
Questions to Ask That Can Inform Your SEO Goals:
- What are the company-wide objectives for the coming year?
- What key performance metric (KPM) do you own?
- What marketing objectives support that KPM?
- What SEO goal maps directly to your marketing objectives?
For example, let’s say that your company’s annual objective is to capture a bigger portion of your industry’s market share. In support of that company objective, maybe your KPM is the number of qualified leads. Your marketing plan likely includes several initiatives designed to bring prospects into your marketing funnel and nurture them into qualified leads.
How Can SEO Support Your Marketing Objectives?
In this scenario, you’re likely looking for an SEO strategy that directly impacts lead generation and conversion. So your SEO goal should be tied to conversion metrics.
Set Realistic SEO Goals
SEO doesn’t lend itself to instant gratification. Smart, sustainable SEO strategies take time to implement and start producing results. Think marathon instead of a sprint. That doesn’t mean that you won’t see incremental improvements early in your campaign, but real progress happens over time. Setting realistic expectations will help your team, and your stakeholders stay patient while achieving cumulative gains toward your goal.
NumbersFirst approaches our SEO partnerships with a long-term approach based on your business goals and focused on helping your company grow. Get in touch with one of our SEO consultants and learn how SEO can maximize your conversion rate optimization efforts.