What SEO Goals Will Help You Make Sure Your Efforts Are Working?
An online marketing campaign needs to continually be tweaked and modified because the industry is changing so quickly. Google is constantly changing the algorithm it uses to rank websites and new networks and tools are popping up every day, so it’s important that your company can keep up on the latest trends. Because a campaign might need to change so frequently, a company must have the right metrics in place in order to determine whether or not the campaign is working. Being able to see how your metrics changed from one campaign to another will ensure that your company continues to grow and evolve.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy trying to create goals for an SEO campaign. There are tons of different companies and experts who make SEO their full-time job because it can get so complicated: SEO results are constantly changing and fluctuating and it takes a long time to see SEO campaign results. Therefore, you have to really be strict with yourself and ask: What are my SEO goals? In other words, what metrics should I be looking at to make sure my campaign is successful?
Top 5 SEO Goals So You Know Your Campaign Is Working
Below are a few different metrics that you should be looking at in order to really know whether or not your SEO campaigns are working:
- Referral, Search, and Direct Traffic – You want to make sure you’re paying attention to where your traffic is coming from so that you can analyze where you’re successful. For example, you will know that all of your off-page optimization efforts are more successful than your on-page efforts if most of your visitors are coming from a social media site or a guest post. This will help you know exactly where you need to improve. You want to make sure you’re looking at all three numbers and percentages and then evaluate where those numbers are coming from (if you see a big jump in traffic but it’s from a non-relevant source, don’t get too excited).
- Visitor Demographics – Most people wouldn’t assume this should go on the list of important SEO metrics, but it is a great way to help you learn about what your specific visitors want. This will help you determine some of the weakest pages of your website as well as help you generate relevant leads.
- Geographic Qualifiers – You always want to make sure that you are optimizing, both on-site and off-site, for local searches. This is really only important if your product or service is limited to a certain local spot, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. If you fall into this category and you keep getting visitors from somewhere overseas, you’re not really successful in your SEO campaigns.
- Conversion By Search Term – On the topic of keywords, you’ll want to pay attention to how your visitors who are converting found you. If you had a large number of visitors find you through a certain keyword, work to improve your SERP ranking for that particular keyword. You’ll also want to look at which page this traffic landed on and then do your best to improve the user experience of that page.
So what are your SEO goals? Your goals should center around these metrics. Look at these current numbers and set a goal for something better. Once you reach that goal, make it higher! The sky’s the limit.
Goals and Metrics That Aren’t As Important As They Seem
Because there are so many different metrics and different numbers out there evaluating your site, it also helps to look at some of those metrics that don’t really matter.
First, there is your Klout score. Although Klout has improved its operation greatly not long ago, it still isn’t something that you should take too seriously. Now that they are analyzing 12 billion factors instead of 1 billion each day (as they did before), it could become more popular, but it’s still a number that shouldn’t take up your time and focus. There are still ways to cheat the system, so it just isn’t a good indication of success.
Second, don’t put all of your pride into your Google PageRank number. Cutts has admitted that this should not be the first priority for companies, so it’s important to listen. It’s no secret that a PR 6 is going to rank better than a PR2, but ultimately it’s the content that matters. Feel excited when your score goes up, but don’t make it one of your SEO goals.
Third, your ranking isn’t the most important thing. Seeing a number one ranking on a Google SERP doesn’t mean much if that page doesn’t get a lot of traffic or isn’t targeted to your audience. On that same note, results differ for different people based on social connections from Google+ as well as local results. You want to make sure your results are showing up on a relevant page for your company—it’s better to be number 5 on a quality page than number 1 on an unrelated SERP.
What SEO goals do you have to help make sure you’re measuring your success correctly? Are there any metrics that you find unimportant? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.