How To Set SEO Objectives For Online Business
Just like in every other goal, you have to make sure that you set objectives for your Search Engine Optimization. Before you start pushing out contents, you must know what you are planning to achieve. You have to set your goals so that it can be measured. This will ensure that you are able to analyze your goals and achieve your digital marketing goals. In this article, I want to set SEO objectives for projects.
Benefits of setting SEO objectives:
#1 They encourage buy-in from key stakeholders
When you have SEO objectives, it will be possible for your key stakeholders to know what you are trying to achieve and give you all the necessary supports that you need in order to succeed. It will also make it easy for you to measure your goals, and prepare a clear direction in order for you to achieve your goals.
#2 They help to formulate your SEO strategy
Have your SEO objectives in place will also you to formulate your SEO strategy. With that strategy in place, You will be able to decide on the rate at which you will be releasing contents. This will help you to determine your budget and put all measures in place in order to achieve your digital marketing goals.
#3 This is key for motivation and lack of it is one of the main reasons when SEO fails
Having an SEO objectives can also be a sort of motivation for online businesses. Some few years ago, when I do not understand what SEO objectives are, I was writing articles but I was not taking my SEO goals serious. Two months ago, my Alexa ranking was about 1.6million plus. I now set a target that I will bring the number down in order to improve my ranking. As at today, here is the screenshot of my Alexa ranking:
As the number is going down, I am going encouraged that I am happy that I am achieving my goals of having a six- digits Alexa rank number before December.
#4 They ensure objectives are met
When you have set your objectives, you have something to work with. You can always go back to determine whether you are meeting your SEO objectives or not. This action will also allow you to refine your goals so that they can reflect reality. If you have overhyped yourself or you have set unrealistic objectives, you can always go back to the drawing body and refine it.
#5 “What gets measured, gets done”
The problem with most people is that they are not that serious with their SEO strategy. Because SEO takes times to yield the desired result, many organisations do not see it as something that they should invest their time on. What I want to establish here is that; you should have a way of measuring and determining whether you are achieving your goals or not, If you do not have a way of measuring your SEO goals, you have not even started at all.
While there are lots of criteria that can be measured for SEO, you don’t have to measure them all, only the ones most relevant to your business and your SEO strategy.
- Keywords: where a website ranks for a list of keywords on a search engine.
- Traffic: how many organic visits a website gets and this is measured in a web analytics tool like Google Analytics.
- Market share: by researching the keywords of a market and what the overall demand in search volume is, you can estimate the market share a website has by the percentage of traffic acquired against the total that exists.
- Brand/product awareness: brand and product keywords can be measured in terms of search volume and targets can be set to increase both over time.
- Lead generation: common examples of leads that can be measured on a website are PDF downloads, contact enquires or brochure downloads. This typically involves the “lead” supplying there email and/or phone number in exchange for information or something useful. Targets can be set to increase specific leads or leads in general.
- Reputation/backlinks: the number of backlinks a website has can be measured through tools like Open Site Explorer and Ahrefs. Targets can be set to increase these over time.
- E-Commerce: measuring the impact for SEO in sales using a tool like Google Analytics. If a website does not sell items directly, you can measure how leads are generated using Google Analytics Goals.
- Ads Revenue: some large publishers and blogs’ main source of income is through selling ads on there sites. The more page views they generate the more ads they can sell. Objectives can be set around page views of pages with the highest ad revenue.
As with setting any goal or objective, especially marketing ones, it helps if they follow the S.M.A.R.T. methodology. Such that your objectives are:
- Specific: not vague and clearly describe what it is you set out to achieve
- Measureable: there needs to be clear metrics that can be measured before and once a goal is met
- Achievable: they need to be realistic for your business by a certain time
- Relevant: these should relate to the overall business or personal goals
- Time-bound: setting a targeted date for the goal to be completed encourages action to be taken and the goal to be completed.
Remember, the most common SEO objectives involves the measurement of keywords, traffic and conversions/sales. If you are unsure, those are good starting places.
If you are very new to SEO, keyword rankings are probably the best place to start. That’s because initially, you’re unlikely to see much organic traffic or sales until you get on the first page of a search engine. By monitoring keywords, you can see progress towards rankings on the first page.
Remember, you don’t have to set SEO objectives for all of these, just the ones most relevant for the business and/or website you look after. If you work in a team or are new to the business, consider asking more senior members what the business goals are, and see how they can be integrated into SEO objectives.
If your business is transactional i.e. you sell a product or service, ultimately the most important metric to measure is the sale of that product/service. If that’s not available than you will want to measure a lead (e.g. web enquiry) that helps convert into a sale.
- Review whether it is more of a transactional or informational website
- Decide what the top three objectives for SEO are:
- Tip #1: if the website seems both transactional and informational, transactional objectives usually take priority.
- Tip #2: if it’s the first time you have set SEO objections, consider starting off with keyword-based ones.
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