SEO goals: How to set SEO Goals and Objectives for Success

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important aspects of online marketing. As it can be a source of long-term organic traffic. Organic traffic is a free website traffic source that can help your business succeed even with a small marketing budget. However, setting, or even knowing what SEO goals to set can be difficult. By setting SMART, SEO goals and objectives for your company, you can ensure that you will be able to outrank your competition well into the future.

The objectives of SEO depend on what your business model looks like and what you believe to be the outcome goal or ultimate goal of your company. The ultimate goals that you aim should be specific to your brand, and constructed with the maximum input from team members. Whereas having multiple view points and perspectives will allow your team to conduct SEO marketing in the correct manner to reach the desired SEO benchmarks you have set.

To establish realistic goals and have SEO success as a company, you will first need to know why it is important to set SMART SEO goals.

Therefore, this article first sets out to define why SEO goals and objectives are important and then it discusses how to set and track them, and finally, how to achieve them for your business.

Without further ado, let’s get into why SEO goals are important.

Table of Contents

Why are SEO goals important?

SEO goals are important because they help you to focus your efforts on specific tasks, so that you can achieve the best results possible for your website or company in a desired timeframe. Without a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, it’s all too easy to waste time and effort on activities that don’t add up or bring you closer to your goal. 

And, quite frankly, SEO is such an essential component of all digital marketing strategies, a lack of attention towards your SEO goals can hurt your long-term marketing efforts. Therefore, having SMART SEO goals can help position your online business in a spot to succeed for the years to come.

Additionally, if you are starting a local SEO campaign as a small business, it will be important to set SEO goals that consist of your marketing goals and business goals. Whereas, setting your website performance goals will allow you to plan ahead and develop actionable steps that include all the right components. For example, are you going to require technical SEO, social media, paid ads, keyword research or just content for your SEO efforts?

By establishing the right SEO goals, you can determine a potential metric for each of them, and set your website up for longterm success from the beginning.

What are SEO SMART goals?

Setting SEO goals and objectives with the search engines optimization pyramid
Set SMART SEO goals by using the the SEO Goal Pyramid

The first step in understanding how to set SMART SEO goals.

As with any goal in life, the best formula is to ensure that it is SMART. A SMART goal represents a simple formula that helps increase the success of goals and objectives. It stands for:

S – Specific 

M – Measurable

A – Achievable 

R – Relevant 

T – Time Bound

Each component is essential if you want to complete and meet your SEO goals. Whereas, each part of the formula has a very specific part in the goal setting process. They are as follows:

1. Specific:

Goals need to be specific if you want them to be effective. Specific goals will answer questions like:

  • What needs to be accomplished?
  • Who’s responsible for it?
  • What steps need to be taken to achieve it?

Considering these questions and coming up with the answer to each will ensure your team members are all on the same page when it comes to the objective. 

Here’s an example of a specific SEO goal you can set:

Increase the monthly organic traffic to Clear Door SEO’s website by utilizing content marketing and the best search engine optimization techniques.

2. Measurable:

Quantifying goals, or making them measurable makes it possible to track the SEO goal’s progress. It will tell you when you have met the goal as well.

In the previous example, our SEO agency set a specific goal, but we didn’t define how much we want to increase our organic traffic by. Is it by one person? Or is it by 1,000 people? 

To make our SEO goal more meaningful, let’s set a benchmark to aim for:

Increase the monthly organic traffic to Clear Door SEO’s website by 1,000 people by utilizing content marketing and search engine optimization techniques.

3. Achievable:

Ensure that the goal is achievable. Be realistic with what you are aiming to accomplish with your SEO goal.

For, example, Clear Door SEO as a search engine optimization agency will have to evaluate if it can realistically increase its organic traffic by 1,000 people in a month. Does the agency currently have enough time to work on their own website? Or do they have too many SEO clients currently?  

Depending on the answers to these questions, the SEO company will be able to determine if they can achieve their goal or not.

4. Relevant:

This portion is about identifying if the SEO goal is needed for the business or not. And to question why are you setting the SEO goal in the first place?

For example, while Clear Door SEO raises these questions internally, they agree that the search engine optimization goal is essential for their business as it will increase the number of quality leads coming to their SEO company online and help their bottom line.

5. Time-bound:

Goals should have a clear starting and ending date. Whereas, having an ending date will allow for the team to effectively plan for what SEO actions need to take place and when to accomplish the goal on time. Additionally, time-bound goals will help the entire team be on the same page, and working at the appropriate speed in order to meet the website optimization goals. 

With our SEO agency example, Clear Door SEO’s now needs to incorporate a time to finish the SMART goal process. It may look like this:

Increase the monthly organic traffic to Clear Door SEO’s website by 1,000 people within six months. This goal will be achieved by utilizing content marketing and search engine optimization techniques starting in June 2022. Moreover, the team will produce 10 additional blogs each month and monitor the traffic to them to understand which aspects need to be further optimized.

An example of how to set SEO goals and objectives that are time bound

Be SMART with your SEO Goals!

Understanding what SEO SMART goals and objectives entail will help you be more productive when setting them. Simply, SMART refers to the overall process that you will take to make the SEO objective as attainable as possible no matter how large or small it is! 

So why are SEO goals so important for your business and its ability to succeed on search engines? Let’s jump into that now.

What are the three SEO Goals?

The three SEO goals to focus on in every campaign are: visibility, traffic and return on investment. Every search engine optimization goal will be grounded in one of these three categories as they are the best and easiest indicators to track success.

When boiled down to the basics, SEO campaigns should work to increase visibility (impressions), traffic (users on your website), and return on investment (money being made from the campaign. Additionally, these are typically the three things that decision makers in companies care about the most. In other words they are the three key performance indicators (KPIs) of any SEO campaign.

When working with an SEO agency, or while doing in house SEO, make sure that all your on-site, off-site and technical SEO strategies contribute to one of these three SEO goals or the SEO KPI that builds up to accomplishing the search engine optimization goal. Of course, your minor objectives and goals can be much different.

Let us look at some SEO benchmarks to target for your SEO campaign 2022.

SEO goals to target in 2022:

A few search engine optimization goals to target for your online business in 2022, include:

  • SEO Goal #1: Optimize websites internal linking structure
  • SEO Goal #2: Increase website conversions
  • SEO Goal #3: Increase visitor time on page
  • SEO Goal #4: Decrease the websites bounce rate
  • SEO Goal #5: Maximize and optimize page speed
  • SEO Goal #6: Strengthen the website’s domain authority
  • SEO Goal #7: Improve backlink strategy
  • SEO Goal #8: Increase organic traffic to the website

Just make sure you remember to make all of these goals into SMART ones!

These are just a few examples of achievable SEO goals. The important thing is to set search ranking goals that are realistic and achievable, so you can collectively work together as a team to achieve them and see results. The best way to do this is to ensure that you have a solid SEO strategy in place and to conduct an initial SEO audit.

With an SEO audit, you can evaluate where your website currently stands, and allow you to plan for your website’s objectives of SEO. As shown above, SEO objectives can be a variety of targeted goals and outcomes, however, if you don’t have data regarding the current performance of your website, it will be hard to measure progress and evaluate success. Thus in the next section we are going to look at how to measure your SEO objectives, and progress using SEO audit tools as well as Google webmaster tools as well.

What Are The Objectives Of SEO?

There are many different objectives of SEO that can be targeted during a digital marketing campaign. It is important to determine which search engine optimization objectives you want to target before you start your optimization efforts. This will allow you to plan ahead effectively and set your business up for success. Four of the most common objectives of SEO are:

1. Increasing website traffic: 

This is an important SEO objective as organic search traffic is what SEO is all about. If a webmaster is unable to harness the power of search engines and drive traffic to their website, the website will have a difficult time converting on any of their other objectives.

To increase website traffic, make sure you are creating keyword-targeted content, you can properly optimize your website. Moreover, in order to ensure that these keywords help increase website traffic, it is important to first produce high-quality content.

2. Branding: 

Having a strong brand, and having your target audience recognize your brand is another important SEO objective. Whereas, when online companies are able to continuously rank well for keywords in their niche, they are able to build trust and authority with their brand. Ultimately, companies use their SEO efforts to bolster the brand recognition and authority of their brand.

3. Reputation Management: 

A common objective of search engine optimization is to manage a company’s reputation online. Whereas, with various off-page SEO efforts, a website can extend its reach to other large authoritative websites that consumers trust. By releasing PR and other updates on websites (such as: Economist, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Harvard Business Review, or other niche specific publications) they can build a strong reputation as being a brand that people can trust and rely on.

4. Lead Generation: 

Finally, the most important objective of SEO is to generate leads. None of the other SEO objectives matter if the company is not able to convert website visitors into leads, and eventually paying customers. The return on investment, and the money made from SEO campaigns, are typically the number one objective for companies investing in search engine optimization.

How can you measure your SEO progress and results?

When it comes to SEO, it can be difficult to measure your progress and results. After all, search engine optimization is all about improving your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), and there are a variety of factors that impact your ranking. Moreover, with constant search engine updates, and constant fluctuation in competition and performance, it can be almost impossible to know where to start when it comes to tracking progress.

However, by using the right SEO tools and techniques, you can measure your website’s SEO performance and progress results fairly accurately.

Google Analytic Tools

One of the best ways to measure your SEO progress is to use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These tools provide webmasters with a wealth of data about how people are finding and interacting with your website. You can use this data to track the following data:

  • Website’s organic search traffic, 
  • The indexing, crawling and ranking of webpages
  • Keywords that are driving website traffic
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate and time spent on page

SEO Tools

In addition to using Google’s services, you can also use other third party tools to measure website’s SEO progress and results. For example, there are a number of rank tracking tools that can help you track your website’s SERP position for specific keywords. There are also tools that can help you track the number and quality of backlinks pointing to your website.

By using these tools, you can get a fairly accurate picture of your SEO progress and results. However, it’s important to remember that SEO is a long-term game, so don’t expect overnight success. Instead, focus on gradually improving your website’s ranking over time, and you’ll eventually see the results you’re looking for.

A few of these third party SEO tools that we use are:

What are some common SEO mistakes to avoid while setting goals?

One of the most common SEO mistakes is not setting goals or setting website optimization goals that are unrealistic or unachievable.

Businesses go about their SEO tasks with no future goal to strive for. Additionally, this can result in effort being spent doing a lot of different things, which all go in different directions.

What we mean by this is that without a common end goal, or measurable SEO outcome, your team is trying to hit a target with a blindfold on. Without knowing exactly what to aim for, your team can spend significant time on things that may not pay off.

Another common mistake while planning and goal setting for SEO is when companies don’t set SMART objectives and goals for their website. As discussed above it is essential to create goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound. When goals are formulated with ‘SMART’ in mind, they will be more effective and results driven. 

Moreover, SMART goals will ensure that your whole SEO team is on the same page and working to one overarching outcome.

If you avoid these common mistakes, you will be well on your way to being able to set realistic SEO goals and objectives. Goals and outcomes that are realistic, specific and time bound will allow you and your team to have the most success when working to meet your process goals.

If you are looking for more insight on setting SEO goals for your online business, check out Ahrefs SEO goals resource!

FAQs: Goals and Objectives of SEO

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to the goals and objectives of SEO.

What are SEO goals and objectives?

The main objectives or goals of SEO are to improve the ranking of a website on search engines and attract more visitors from the search engines. The secondary objective from these two SEO objectives is to increase the return on investment from the campaign.

There are multiple ways in which SEO can help achieve these objectives. Some of the most common methods include improving site content, adding optimized keywords and meta data, creating well-designed websites, and optimizing website design elements like titles, headers, and images. 

When you’re designing your SEO strategy, you need to first decide what you want your website to achieve. There are five commonly used objectives of SEO:

  • Drive Traffic To Your Website
  • Increase Rankings In Search Results Pages
  • Generate Leads And Downloads From Your Website
  • Increase Revenue From Your Website
  • Improve User Engagement With Your Website

What is SEO KPI?

Marketing teams use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) KPIs to evaluate the performance of their website for organic search rankings. Measuring SEO metrics and tracking changes month over month is critical for teams to effectively understand their search marketing performance. This data may be used to see which pages are performing well, which keywords are converting best, and where on the internet you may want to improve your SEO.

To track a website’s KPIs, a webmaster can use SEO tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other third party SEO auditing tools.

How do you define and track your SEO goals?

To be successful with SEO, you need to have clear objectives and goals. There are a number of factors that go into determining your SEO goals, including the type of website you’re working on, the target audience you’re trying to reach, and the keywords you’re targeting. 

There are a number of different SEO objectives that you may want to pursue, including:

  • Ranking higher in the organic search results page (SERP)
  • Getting more people to click through from your website to the landing page
  • Increasing clicks and visits from unique visitors
  • Improving overall site performance metrics like load time, error rates, and bounce rates

To track your progress and ensure that you’re hitting your goals, you’ll need to use a variety of different tools. These include: 

  • A Content Analysis Tool to measure the quality of your content against industry best practices
  • A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tool to analyze your website’s keyword density, titles, meta descriptions, backlinks, anchor text links and other factors 

To track these components, consider using Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMrush, Ubersuggest, MarketMuse, SEO Surfer or Ahrefs. Finally, it is important to remember that SEO is an ongoing process that requires constant adjustment in order to stay ahead of the competition. By following these guidelines for setting and tracking your SEO goals, you’ll be able to stay on track and achieve your desired outcomes.

Key takeaways: SMART SEO goals and objectives

Now that you understand the basics of an SEO marketing strategy, it’s time to set some goals for your company or website. You want to make sure that your objectives are realistic and achievable. That way you don’t get discouraged and give up before you even start. 

It’s also important to set a timeline for each goal, so you can track your progress and results. And lastly, be sure to use measurable metrics to track your success. By following these tips, you’ll be able to set smart SEO goals that will help your business grow online.

If you need help getting started, or if you’re not sure how to measure your progress, contact us and we can assist you. We can help you set achievable goals and track your progress, so you can see the results of your efforts. And by working with a professional SEO agency like us, you can be sure your website is optimized for the best possible results.

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