Creating SMART SEO Goals and Objectives for Your Business

This article describes how to work smarter by setting SMART SEO goals, providing examples of what to measure and how.

A Simple Guide to Setting SMART SEO Goals for 2022 and Beyond

“Don’t work hard. Work smart.”

How often have you heard this? And do you know that this is a mantra that can be applied to your SEO goals and objectives? What are SEO goals?

The first step in working smart is to set SMART SEO goals. This article shows you how.

How does SMART work for your SEO objectives?

It’s easy to set goals. We do it all the time. And most of the time, we fail to achieve them. Because they’re not SMART goals. They’re not specific enough, or we have no way to measure our progress. Or they’re simply not achievable, or unrealistic. Or we don’t put a timeframe on them, so we don’t treat them with any urgency.

Damn! Have I given away what SMART stands for?

S = Specific

A goal should tell you exactly what you are hoping to achieve. “I want to lose some weight,” isn’t specific. Lose a pound and you have achieved your goal. Haven’t you? Of course not!

“I want to lose 30 pounds.” Now that’s a specific goal.

M = Measurable

You’ve got to be able to track and measure your progress. So, you must have the means to do so. A set of scales, for example. 

A = Achievable

Hey, the goals you set must be achievable. If it isn’t, you’ll soon become demotivated. So, you’ll need to assess your capability to achieve your goal. For example, if you’re bedbound and unable to exercise, will losing 30 pounds be attainable?

R = Realistic and Relevant

Whatever your goal, it must be realistic, and it must be relevant to you. Do you have a reason to lose 30 pounds? Do you want to run a marathon, perhaps?

T = Timebound

Finally, your goal must have a deadline. There must be adequate time to achieve your goal, but the deadline mustn’t be so far into the future that it undermines your motivation and urgency.

So now we have the five steps to create a smart goal. All you need do is put them together:

“I want to lose 30 pounds. I’ll measure my progress every week on my scales at home. I’m going to lose this weight so I can start training for a marathon. The marathon is in 12 months, so I want to lose the weight in six months.”

Setting the right goals for SEO

So, what does this look like when we’re setting SMART goals for SEO? Here are a few SEO SMART goals examples to help you develop smarter SEO strategies.

Let’s get specific

Known exactly what you wish to accomplish.

‘More organic traffic’, ‘more leads’, or ‘ranking on more search engine results pages’ are not specific. You must put a number on it, to set a clear expectation for your digital marketing and SEO campaign.

Ensure your progress is measurable

When you are goal setting, for search engine optimization (SEO), you must know how you will measure your progress.

You’ll need to determine which metrics to use, create milestones that keep you motivated and moving toward your marketing goals, and continually analyze and adjust if necessary.

Here are a few examples of metrics that you can use in SEO goal setting:

Visibility metrics, such as:

  • Impressions in search results

  • Organic ranking positions for keyword research

Traffic metrics, which include:

  • Traffic sources, such as social media

  • Organic search traffic

  • Referral traffic

  • Direct traffic

  • Click-through rate from a CTA on a blog post

Engagement metrics, like:

  • Pageviews

  • Time on-page

  • Session duration

  • Bounce rate

  • Pages per session

  • Page/scroll depth

Conversion and revenue metrics could include:

  • Sales

  • Leads

  • Email signups

  • Form completions

  • Registration

  • Subscription

  • Visits to a key page

  • Phone calls

Technical metrics include:

  • Page load speed

  • Pages indexed

  • Crawl errors

Make your SMART goals achievable

Do you have the resources available to achieve your SEO goals?

You’ll need to consider resources that include:

  • Time

  • Team

  • Expertise

  • Budget

  • Etc.

Doublecheck that your SEO goals are realistic and relevant

Are your expectations to improve your domain authority and page speed, and deliver high-quality content reasonably?

Whatever your SEO objectives, will achieving them make a significant difference to your company as a whole? The context of your SEO goals is key, which is why you should:

  • Base your SEO goals on historical data (measure the advance from where you were to where you are now)

  • Benchmark against your competitors

  • Never set the bar too low, and have some stretch goals

Make your SMART SEO goals timebound

Set the start and finish dates of your SMART SEO goals to give yourself a target date to achieve your objectives. For long-term objectives, this period should be divided by your milestone events on the way.

SEO SMART goals: examples for key metrics

When starting out with SEO goal setting, one of the challenges is to know how to measure your progress. Here are five common SEO goals, and examples of how to measure them:

  1. Site traffic

Increase your total traffic by 20% in 10 months. Measure this by the number of unique visits to your website pages.

  1. Brand awareness

Achieve first-page ranking for a specific keyword set within 12 months. Measured by reference to ranking on Google search results.

  1. User/customer engagement

Increase average session duration on blog pages by 33% by the end of the year. Measured by website analysis tools.

  1. Lead generation

Generate 100 high-quality leads in the next 12 months. Measured by click-through rates on blog post CTAs.

  1. Revenue generation

Increase online sales from organic traffic by $3 million over the next year. Measured by analysis of lead generation and internal sales records.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level, employing intelligent digital marketing to reach a broader and deeper target audience?

To learn how we help our clients to accelerate and excel in digital and email marketing, click here to book a live demo of BlabberJax in action.

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