Start with business objectives. Is your SEO campaign’s purpose to create brand awareness?, are you looking to increase traffic?, are conversions funnel and sales the goal?. Once your team is on the same page with business objectives, then select the right SEO goals that will help you to achieve your business objectives.
Business and SEO goals
You can track one or more different metrics: rankings in the SERPs (search engine results page), site traffic, conversions or usability data. But the most important is to choose the metrics that will help you to achieve your business goals accordingly.
Was your website designed for brand awareness and to be an information resource?: then your SEO goal is likely to have the site’s content be bookmarked and read, so the right metrics would be time on site, page views and number of new versus returning visitors.
Do you operate an e-commerce site?: then your SEO goal will be to track sales and revenue from search query through payment (conversion funnel).
Once you understand which metrics are right for your SEO campaign, it’s time to set appropriate goals. Does the number of returning visitors imply that your site has become an information resource?, how many sales must organic traffic generate to be profitable?, how many leads must your SEO campaign drive to turn a positive ROI?.
When you start with your keyword research, your SEO goals must guide you in choosing keywords with the best performance indicators, for instance:
- A website that is designed to generate traffic and awareness may lean toward the more general keywords.
- A sales-driven site may lean toward specific, long tail keywords.
When you begin to develop new content, your goals will dictate the copy writing approach. Your web design, usability and any content that you plan to develop for your website should be compared to your goals.
If a particular feature, keyword or piece of content does not help you reach your SEO goals (and business goals), you should consider to change it.