Setting realistic SEO goals

Setting realistic goals for organic traffic and assessing them with measurements that matter will help you strengthen your SEO strategy. In this video, you’ll learn:

  • how to define success
  • how to select measurements that matter
  • what tools can help.

List your business goals. Do you want to increase revenue? Expand your customer base? Now list the things you want visitors to do on your site that contribute to these goals. For instance, more visitors who order fresh fruits and vegetables contribute to your revenue goal.

View Transcript

Hey there!

Does search engine optimisation seem intimidating to you? One way to tackle SEO is to set clear goals, then measure your progress each step of the way.

In this video we’ll talk about why it’s important to set SEO goals. We’ll look at how you should define success, how to decide what to measure, and what tools can help.

When you set SEO goals, you can measure, track and report on the results. You’ll know which efforts are succeeding—and which aren’t. And then you can adjust things to make it work better. Let’s start by identifying your SEO goals. What are you trying to achieve online? How do you define success?

Imagine you own a small farm. You probably want to sell fruits and vegetables to as many new customers as possible. And you’d like to build relationships with existing customers through good content—and hope they eventually return to buy more fruits and vegetables.

You’ve just identified three business goals:

Conversions: Turning website visitors into paying customers. Engagement: Persuading people to interact with the content on your site. Acquisition: Getting new customers.

Setting SEO goals gives you something to measure to help you better understand how your site is—or isn’t—performing. So how do you find out if you’re hitting the mark? Some measurements matter more than others.

For example, it’s exciting to be number one in search engine rankings, but it’s not a guarantee of success.

Here’s why: Let’s say your farm website is the first result when someone searches “vegetable gardens.” You’re getting a lot of visitors to your site—but not an increase in sales.

Maybe that’s because people searching for “vegetable gardens” want to plant a garden, not buy your fruits and veg. The lesson? Don’t waste effort on keywords that aren’t relevant to what you do.

So, if being number one isn’t your goal, what is? Let’s come up with a few other ways you might measure success. Remember those goals you set above? Look at those.

You can measure conversions by tracking the number of visitors who come to your website and buy fruits and vegetables; or tracking a smaller action that can lead to a sale, like signing up for your email newsletter.

You can measure acquisition and reach by tracking the number of times your business appears in search results—your “impressions”—and how often people click through to visit your site.

And, you can measure engagement by tracking what content your visitors read and interact with, such as leaving comments, or how many visitors become your fans on social media networks.

So how do you track all these things? Analytics tools and webmaster tools provided by search engines can give you this information—often for free. Most major search engines like Bing, Google or Yandex offer tools like these. They’re basically a collection of reports and services that help you track and monitor your website’s visibility in search.

Tools like these tell you which keywords bring up your website in the search results, which web pages they link to, and how many visitors click the links to visit your site. This is valuable information if your goal is to attract customers searching for certain terms.

Analytics tools can also be used to better understand visitor behavior. They can answer questions like:

How many organic visitors become customers? Which web pages or content on your site turn visitors into paying customers? Which content isn’t performing well?

Armed with this information you can adjust your SEO strategy to do better (or evaluate the performance of an SEO agency, if you’ve hired one to help you). To sum up:

To understand how your site is performing in organic search results and how it benefits your business, set SEO goals.

To measure the success—or see where you need improvement—track your performance in various areas. Once your goals are clear and you have tracking tools in place, you’re well on your way to success with SEO.


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