May 22, 2024

It is frustrating to invest time, money, and energy into SEO marketing but see little or no results.

It does happen. When it fails, it is important to know why.

I spend a great deal of time on this because companies that try SEO marketing are frustrated when they don’t get a return.

When this happens, people often forget the benefits it can provide.

What to track and measure

Google Analytics (GA), a web analytics tool, can reveal a lot of information about your company and its performance online.

There are many GA metrics that you can check out, but there are only seven measurements you should be tracking for your SEO efforts.

How many visitors find your website by typing in one of your keywords (rather than from an ad)?

Search engine visibility is the percentage of your website’s (or its page) organic search results.

Referral traffic is when people find your website through other sites and sources, like links in social media or backlinks.

Keyword ranking – the position of your keyword in search engine results.

Keyword performance is the keyword that drives the most organic traffic to your website.

Search results click-through rate (CTR). This is the number of people who click on your website from the organic search results.

You can find all of these metrics in GA. To track them, I suggest creating a spreadsheet to make it easier to see the changes.

How can you measure the impact of your SEO efforts?

Set realistic SEO goals

You will lose motivation and abandon your SEO plan if you set lofty goals that you cannot meet.

I don’t say you should not be ambitious.

When evaluating the value of SEO, your goals should always be attainable.

Look at your current business numbers and the performance of your website to find the balance.

When I set SEO goals for my clients, I consider their total search volume (if it’s a commerce-based business), conversion rate, and average order value.

If you have a specific objective in mind (e.g., The number of monthly sales that the company wants to achieve is either a known objective (e.g., More site traffic is needed to increase sales, but the amount of increase required is not known.

Short-term and long-term goals

After you have set your goal in numbers, it’s time to create a timeline.

Do you have a short-term or long-term goal in mind? This will help you determine when to expect results.

KPI is an acronym for Key Performance Indicator, while OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results.

Here’s what Kameron Jenkins, from botify.com, says about the differences between the two.

OKRs are focused on a goal that you want to achieve over a certain period, such as a quarter. While KPIs are used to measure the ongoing work and processes already in place .’

A short-term OKR might be to get X number of backlinks within Y months in order to achieve a result such as an increase in referral traffic.

An example of a longer-term KPI is the overall performance of a site in terms of SEO or an increase in leads.

The average industry wage

Google Analytics, as well as many SEO tools such SEMrush (e.g., SEMrush offers industry-standard SEO metrics.

Although these are important to know and look at, I do not recommend using them as the sole source for setting goals.

These metrics include all types of businesses in your industry. This consists of those who aren’t direct competitors.

Be aware of the averages in your industry, but do not let them dictate how you conduct business.

Examples of SEO goals

Let’s now look at seven examples of practical purposes you can set.

Increase organic traffic consistently

“Consistently” means for at least three months (six would be ideal).

Decide on the percentage increase you would like to see and how long it will take.

Divide that percentage into a monthly figure to make it more manageable.

Increase your keyword ranking

Set a time limit for improving the ranking of a certain percentage of your keywords.

Keep in mind that the keyword difficulty will play a role in reaching this goal.

It will take time and effort to improve the ranking for keywords that are hard to rank.

Reduce the bounce rate

The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on your website, stay for a while, but then leave without doing anything else (e.g., You can increase your bounce rate by encouraging visitors to visit another section of your website or buy something.

Identify pages that have high bounce rates. (Usually anything above 70%). Commit to improving these pages over several months.

Looking at the place the page or the content fits into the user journey.

Checking the responsiveness of a site and how it functions on different devices.

Conversion rate increases

Businesses in the commerce sector should improve not just their organic traffic but also their conversion rate.

You can either look at the overall conversion rate or specific product pages.

This goal may be affected by seasonality and the pages on which you would like to see a higher conversion rate.

Using tighter copy to discuss product benefits and address audience concerns.

Page Speed

Slow-loading web pages attract high bounce rates.

Although search engines do not penalize slow-loading websites, they favor them and will most likely rank higher.

Use GTMetrix or Lighthouse to check the speed of your website.

Follow their recommendations and traffic-light indicators to accelerate your site.

More backlinks

Be sure to get high-quality backlinks from reputable websites that are relevant to your business.

Remember that creating backlinks is time-consuming, particularly if you are a one-person company and doing your SEO.

Consider your time and resource availability when setting a realistic goal.

Do you have the time to write, research, and pitch guest articles, for example? Have you got the budget or the workforce to outsource the backlink-building process to speed up the process?

Pitching content ideas to relevant websites.

Cross-branding with similar businesses.

Publishing amazing content on your site that others want to link to.

Look for areas that already mention you and find ways to extend the relationship.

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