With the new year right around the corner, it’s a good time to think about what you and your business would like to achieve in 2022. Whilst it’s easy to get lost in the excitement for all the new content in the works and the strategies you’ll be using to create it, none of it really matters without defined SEO goals.
The basic goal of SEO is to boost your presence in relevant online search results, so that you can generate new leads and income – in other words encourage your online growth.
Like most things in life, the more detail and work put into improving your SEO, the more it comes around to reward you.
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Often when creating goals for business or even personal use, we like to generalise, but it won’t necessarily help us in this scenario. The sooner you tackle this, the sooner you’ll achieve results.
You may be wondering what SEO goals are and why you should have to use them, otherwise I guess you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
SEO goals are specific and measurable targets that you would like to achieve over a set period of time, each one relating to the point of SEO – reaching more people and turning them into customers.
They’re important because they bring focus and distinctness to your SEO strategy by narrowing down on a clear target.
How to set SEO goals
An important thing to remember when making these SEO goals is to be rid of all things vague. Let’s leave goals like “improve brand awareness” in the past and rather focus on the ones that also include what you’re going to do to make these goals happen, how are you going to reach them?
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A great example of how to make you SEO goals top notch, is an SEO Goal Pyramid created by Ahrefs. The top of the pyramid is allocated to your ‘Outcome goal.’ This is your overall SEO goal that should align with your company targets.
Your outcome goal should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based.
Underneath that is your ‘Performance goals’, smaller goals that help you get closer to achieving your outcome goal.
And finally, there is your ‘Process goals’ at the very bottom. These are even smaller goals that help you achieve the above, often daily tasks that are 100% within your control.
The point of the pyramid is to break your goals down into baby steps, helping that goal to become more achievable.
This is a great analogy for getting your head around setting your goals, knowing they don’t have to be ground-breaking, just defined and relatable to your own work.
One great thing about creating smaller goals at the beginning, is that it creates both momentum and motivation when you achieve them, and then you can go and tackle the bigger ones ahead.
Examples of SEO goals
SEO is a highly competitive form of marketing; every man and their dog are fighting for a spot of attention online and to get their business out there.
However, eliminating competition can be made easier when you answer the right questions. Questions like how will you achieve this? What makes you successful in this market?
Using this SEO goal strategy, your goals will be specific and measurable and therefore more successful.
A good example of an SEO goal is improving your backlink profile. Gaining high-quality backlinks to your website helps boost its domain strength and your overall ranking potential. When setting this goal, think about not only the number of links you want to gain, but from what websites you want to gain them from.
When it comes to backlinks, the quality of them matters far more than the quantity. To make this goal a success, it’s best to look for specific websites you want to gain these backlinks from. Then you can see what types of content they normally link to and whether this is relatable to your field.
Another thing to remember over the course of this goal is how you’ll build the relationship with the owner of the website that you want to gain these links from. You may want to consider extending the time you plan to achieve this; you’re not necessarily going to be best friends overnight – it’s important to reinforce the value it brings to the both of you.
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To put it bluntly, the end goal of SEO is to make more money. In order to make this happen, we need to be rid of the business term “make more money” into a SMART outcome goal such as “make £X in sales from website traffic in X months.”
I haven’t allocated an amount of money or time frame to show how this is different for each business, and that in order to conform with the acronym, what may be achievable for one may not be for the other.
Once you start looking at it from this particular angle, it’s likely that you’ll start to see differences in the success you make. Mainly down to the fact that, rather than aspiring to these huge successful corporations and quickly making outrageous and unattainable targets, you have taken a different approach that is more suitable to your company goals.
It’s not to say this has a deadline for January 1st, it’s more than okay if not better, to take the time to research your company – what is working for it and what isn’t. The more thorough the research, the more information you will have to create goals you know are attainable and will be beneficial for your business.
Just remember don’t run before you can walk, preparation is key to make 2022 your business’ best year yet!