“What gets measured gets managed”
(attributed to quite a few people).
When you establish your business’s SEO goals, you should decide which metrics you are going to track as a measure of your SEO performance. Each business is individual, so there is no universal approach to this. Keep a few things in mind.
Which metrics are important ?
This varies greatly depending on the nature and specific situations of your business and your sales signals: are you looking for brand awareness? Sales? Downloads? Are you trying to engage your buyers earlier or later in their buying journey? It is essential to think well of the metrics which are really useful for your specific needs and be as accurate as possible in measuring them.
Furthermore, it is not just about what your visitors do on your website; how and when they do it is also relevant. It’s not enough to know how many visitors have downloaded your e-book, subscribed to your newsletter or given you their e-mail; where your visitors are based, which referral they came from, which path they take across your website, what time they are more likely to interact with your website are also valuable pieces of information for your business. Get this right from the start, or you will lose important intelligence.
How are you going to decide if you are meeting your SEO goals ?
Set clear, measurable KPI’s before you start your SEO activities and always aim for quality metrics rather than quantity. KPI’s are like a warning system which will tell you if your actions are being successful or if you need to change direction. Below are a few examples of measurable, meaningful KPI’s which -when met- will bring real value to your business.
A great KPI to measure your SEO performance is link building; if done well, link building is quality KPI: one good backlink may be more important than dozens of random ones.
Define what links matter to your business, how these links increase your Domain Authority and bring qualified visitors to your website. Then decide how many qualified backlinks you would like to get over one year.
SEO is also a great Lead Generation tool so another KPI can be if your SEO activity is bringing the right business leads. Segment your buyer personas based on your business (age, gender, location…), create targeted material for each of these segments; check if your SEO efforts are bringing the right audience to your website. Another clear, actionable KPI is the cost of lead acquisition; decide what landing pages in your website are meant to convert visitors into leads and define conversion paths. Optimise for those pages; check how many leads you get from visitors interacting with those pages over a qualified period; calculate the cost of all your SEO efforts and the value of the leads acquired over the same period.
It’s important to prepare your website so that you can properly track your metrics.
3. How to set up SEO goals in Google analytics.
Goal tracking on Google analytics is fairly easy to implement: visit Admin>Profiles>Goals from your Google Analytics dashboard and simply add the type of metric you want to analyse, like in the pictures below.
4. How are you going to share the results of your SEO activity with decision-makers inside your business?
Modern SEO should always be integrated with all other functions of your business or it will just remain a technical exercise: involve decision-makers from the start in deciding goals and KPI’s and decide clear, concise communication strategies to keep everyone informed of progress and success. Talk regularly and make sure other decision makers in your business understand the purpose of your SEO activity.
What are the SEO goals you have set for your business? How do you measure and share them with all the decision-makers?