In order to coordinate our actions and plans and make sure we are moving in the right direction until our goals are reached, we frequently set sales targets and business goals in the business world. The same holds true for SEO, though. It is simpler to concentrate and plan our strategy on what and how we want to achieve it when we have a well-defined and appropriate SEO goal.

SEO Goals and Why They Matter?

The specific, measurable objectives which you target to achieve in a certain period are your SEO goals. Bear in mind that each of these SEO goals should produce results that align with your SEO’s purpose, which includes effective outreach to more target users via organic search, whereby you can convert them into your customers.

Without a clear goal, it is hard for you to focus and set your strategy right. In short, by setting your SEO goals, you can focus on what and how you want to achieve them. Hence, establishing a clear goal is necessary and it should include planning what and how you will make it happen.

SEO is an ongoing process, so you need to evaluate your goals while monitoring the SEO progress from time to time. Here are some practical tips to help you set a clear and achievable SEO goal.

SEO Smart Goal

Start the Goals with “SMART”!

Make sure the goals are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound, which can be abbreviated as “SMART” goals. The main purpose of your SMART goals in SEO is to optimize search by your target users so they land on your website, in which you can engage with them and ultimately turn them into your customers. 

  • Specific: Precisely, what are you trying to measure?
  • Measurable: Is there any method you can use to measure your site’s performance or how many percentages of your goals are achieved?
  • Actionable: What actions can be implemented to boost your site’s performance so that you can achieve your SEO goals?
  • Realistic: Can you realistically improve what you specifically aim to achieve with the actions that you are taking? Are these implemented actions relevant to your business or company’s objectives?
  • Time-bound: When (e.g. next quarter, next year, a specific date) do you estimate your efforts will affect your site’s performance and reach your targeted results?

Example of SEO Goals

In a nutshell, you must be able to track your site’s performance to improve it occasionally. To track it, you must be specific on every goal you set, and most importantly, write down and share your goals with others so that people will know what you are trying to achieve, as it will surely increase your chances of achieving them. 

SMART Goal 1: Increase 15% of the organic traffic to your website by December 2023.

SMART Goal 2: Maintain a base of 10,000 organic visitors per week.

seo goal tracking

The goals that can be tracked are organic traffic, SERP keyword ranking, bounce rate, CTR, and conversion rate, which will be further explained below.

1. Organic Traffic

Although ranking is an important SEO metric, other critical criteria exist in measuring your website’s organic performance. If your website ranks but didn’t get any traffic, it shows that you have an issue or your content doesn’t answer the users’ query.

To determine how much traffic your site receives from searches, you can use Google Analytics (GA) to find out the traffic insights of your website. As you can view the traffic to your website categorized by the channel through GA, it allows you to identify your website’s organic traffic. For instance, a total traffic decrease is not necessarily because of a problem with your site, as it could be due to an end of a paid campaign. Yet, your site’s organic traffic remains steady as usual.

2. SERP Keyword Rankings

Regarding your website’s ranking for preferred keywords, SERP feature data such as featured snippets should also be included. As much as possible, try avoiding futile metrics, such as rankings for competitive keywords, which are preferable but usually too broad and vague compared to longer keywords that offer a better conversion.

3. Bounce rate

When users search and visit a page but leave without browsing the website any further, it is known as a “bounce” session. However, the bounce rate is not necessarily caused by the quality of your website, as it depends on the users’ intention. For instance, if users were visiting your website to find out about your shop operations hour and location and intend to physically visit your shop to learn more about your products and services, these users might have left your website without browsing any further. Under such circumstances, scroll depth would be a more relevant metric to measure your website’s quality.

4. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR indicates the percentage of users that click on your web page from the list of search results prompted. CTR can offer insights on how well your web page (e.g. page title and meta description) is being optimised. Through Google Search Console (a free Google tool), you can discover more about your CTR. Another free tool to manage and implement tracking pixels to your website is Google Tag Manager. What’s more, Google Tag Manager allows you to do this without modifying the code, making it more convenient to trace precise triggers and activities on your website.

5. Conversion Rate

You will get the conversion rate when you divide a desired action or goal by the number of unique visits to your website. You can apply this conversion rate to any form of online marketing efforts, such as signing up for an email, e-newsletter, promotional campaign, or registration of a user account and purchase of products. By understanding your conversion rate, you can estimate your return on investment (ROI) deriving from your website’s traffic.

Challenges to Creating SEO Goals

Although the general discoverability can be enhanced with certain technical enhancements, speed and structural enhancements, as well as optimizations on components (e.g. pages with multiple incoming and outgoing links, headers, and footers) that will significantly affect the site, they could rather difficult to be attributed to specific actions. Hence, they are challenging to report on. What you can do is cling to reporting on those more trackable efforts.

Studies have shown that 87.41% of marketing costs can be reduced with SEO as compared to conventional advertising. However, you ought to be patient because at least 12 months are needed to see some results in SEO. In addition, about 500 tweaks or changes are made to Google’s algorithm annually. Thus, reviewing your SEO goals from time to time is extremely important.