Each website is entirely different, so make sure you take enough time to gain a true understanding of the business goals of a specific site

This will assist you in deciding what SEO areas you need to focus on, where you should be tracking conversions, along with the right way to set the right benchmarks. It will also assist you in creating talking points to negotiate SEO projects with bosses, clients, etc.

What are your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) going to be in order to measure returns on your SEO investment?

More basically, what barometer will you use to measure how successful your organic-search efforts are? You will want to document these, even when it is this basic:

For this website ———–, my main SEO KPI is——————.

Here is a couple of the main KPIs to help you get started:

  • Downloads
  • Sales
  • Phone calls
  • Email signups
  • Contact form submissions

If your company has local components, you should also be defining KPIs for your Google My Business Listings. These may include:

  • Clicks-to-website
  • Clicks-to-call
  • Clicks-for-driving-directions

You might have noticed that the things like “traffic” and “ranking” were not on the KPIs list, and this is intentional.

But you may be wondering but “ I came here to learn about SEO because I heard it can help me rank and get traffic and you are now telling me these goals are not important! Not at all! Yes, you heard correctly. SEO can assist your site when it comes to ranking higher when it comes to search results, which consequently drives an increase in traffic to your site, yet traffic and ranking are only “a means to an end”. There is no use or purpose in ranking if no visitors are clicking through the site, and there is also no use to increase your traffic when that traffic is not accomplishing the larger objectives of the business.

For instance, if you are running a Lead Generation website, would you have:

  • 1,000 monthly visitors and only 3 people complete the submission or contact form, Or…
  • 300 monthly visitors with 40 people that complete the contact forms?

If you are using SEO in order to generate traffic to the site with the goal of conversions, you will probably choose the latter. Before you embark on SEO, you need a clear vision about the goals of your business, then it becomes easier to use SEO to assist you in accomplishing these goals, opposed to the opposite way around.SEO accomplishes a lot more than only vanity metrics. When done right, it is here to assist real companies in achieving their goals for success.