How to Set SEO Goals for Your Company
Setting goals is an extremely common and useful tactic in any business, so why would SEO be any different? To understand how your site is performing when it comes to SEO and in order to continue to achieve the success for your company, you need to make sure everybody is on the same page. Goals are a great way to do that because they allow you to measure value, give your company and colleagues something to aspire to, keep the focus on the task at hand and keep everybody moving in one, unified direction.
But SEO isn’t like selling cupcakes in a bakery. You can’t just make 1,000 cupcakes and expect them all to be sold in the next 24, continually looking down and counting how many are left. Progress in SEO is not often linear. So what do you do? Fortunately, with a little bit of effort it’s a manageable task.
Different Ways to Help Set Goals for Your SEO Company
Here are some things to take into account as you set SEO goals for your company:
1. Temper expectations.
Don’t get too carried away if your site is new. It takes time to build up a quality SEO profile and become established in the industry. So don’t set your sights too high. Goals are best utilized when they are achievable, and you don’t want the discouragement of failing to meet expectations. Start small and build from there when setting SEO goals.
2. What do you want to achieve?
This is million-dollar question you need to answer. And, unfortunately, there is no simple answer. It all depends on your plan and your business. If you’re trying to establish a profile and reputation in the industry, simply getting your company’s name out there would be beneficial and setting goals for time spent on the site wouldn’t really matter. In that case, it’d be more about visits and pageviews. If you’re trying to sell ads and make money off your website, then pageviews and even video plays – especially with ad pre-rolls on videos – would be your objective, since that’s the best way to make a profit. Then, of course, there are companies that are using their site to sell products and they would track their success based on the items sold, comparing sales to years past, etc.
Every company’s goals will be different and determining exactly what you want to accomplish is the first thing you need to figure out. It would be a waste of time to find goals for another company and just attribute them to your site or products.
3. Don’t ignore your budget.
This might be obvious, but your budget and resources will play a huge role in what your goals are. You can’t reasonably be expected to shoot for the stars if you have few resources at your disposal. If you have a high budget and are looking to increase your company’s profile, you can use those funds to run some contests on social media or even hire some consultants to help meet your goals. If you don’t have much to work with, your goals will have to be more reasonable and you may have to settle for something less than stellar. Again, it’s discouraging and disheartening on your company to fail to meet expectations, so setting high goals that are unattainable thanks to budget concerns could do more harm than good.
4. Pay attention to what your competitors are doing.
It’s important to stay ahead of the eight ball, especially in the SEO field, but if your competitors are doing something that seems to be working really well and achieving similar goals you want, why not just follow suit? For example, if a similar company has seen a jump in Twitter followers over the last few months, study what they’ve been doing on social media and see what has worked for them and what has not. It’s almost like drafting in NASCAR. You can hang behind and cut off the wind resistance (aka, let them work out the kinks) and then hop on in the race and pass them once you get some momentum built up.
5. How will you track your progress?
Again, your progress in working toward your goals may not be linear, but you will still need to see how you’re doing in regards to each goal, especially those with long-term timelines. That’s where KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) come in. These are essentially benchmarks that measure your goals and track/monitor your progress. You need to make sure your KPIs are easily tracked so you can see how you’re doing every step of the way. KPIs are especially useful for meetings and reports, explaining your progress to people at your company who may not be as well-versed in the SEO industry.
6. Be patient.
Realize that these goals won’t happen overnight. Not to burst your bubble, but you won’t accomplish these goals in the span of one day or one week. It might not even be in one month. Things just don’t work like that when it comes to websites or social media presences. SEO is an ever-changing business and you have to keep up – or set – the trends. Play the long game and have patience. If you have the right plan in place, things will pay off eventually.
In setting goals for your own company, what are some of the tactics that you have found to work well? What about things that haven’t worked? Let us know your experiences in the comments section below.