There are things that SEO is good for and there are things it is not. A surefire way to flush a marketing budget down the drain is to start a campaign with no clear goals. With SEO in particular, it is even more important to have clear goals because there are so many ways to monetize and metrics available to report on, that things can look great if you look in one area but not so much in another.
First, let's talk about some common SEO goals. Knowing what SEO can do for you is a start but won’t give you the full picture. After we talk about these common SEO goals, we will discuss exactly how you can get to the bottom of understanding your customer's organic path and how to leverage these goals to make the most of your SEO.
Easily the most over-hyped and least thought out goal of SEO is to genericly “Increase Brand Awareness”. This goal is usually paired with topics that are too broad and soaked in competition. Narrowing this goal is a must, but can only be done by applying the goals you find lower down on this list.
This is the next and most obvious goal of SEO. It is also a metric that can be easily manipulated by gaining traffic from keywords that bring you no real monetary value. Setting a goal to increase the number of visitors to your website through organic search results is a good starting point but is rarely an effective goal in and of itself.
This goal is the next logical step after getting the traffic in the first place however, figuring out which keywords are actually revenue generating for your site is where things get tricky. Be careful not to focus too much on specific keywords instead of keyword clusters. Trying to rank for your golden keyword can narrow your view of SEO and make things extra challenging while there may be longer tail versions of these same keywords that you can rank for tomorrow if you are able to understand how your customers use Google to find your business.
If increasing traffic and improving rankings are the base goals of all SEO, boosting the conversions surrounding this traffic is a further step in the right direction. This usually goes past blogging and linking and deals more with the usability of your page.
Example of aligning content with conversions:
Let’s say you’re a realtor who creates pages for all the cities you sell homes in. These pages talk about the safety of that town, the quality of schools, and other generic questions a family may have before moving to an area. This may not be the best page to have a call to action about buying a house. Instead, you can extract more value by offering a 1 on 1 15-minute phone call where a prospective new resident can ask you all the questions they may have about a particular town. Because you tailored the type on conversion to the page’s content, you may be able to build more points of contact from people who find themselves on this page because you answered their most critical questions before you start selling them a house.
Make your content work for you! (This is what Google and other search engines want anyways). Instead of looking at blog writing as a chore, look at it as a way to save you and your business time. If you are asked the same questions over and over, tying up your phone lines, create a blog or page that presents the info in a way that is easy to understand. Not only will you save yourself time and money but you will increase your site’s traffic if you employ a few other SEO factors.
Now that we know a few ways SEO traditionally helps businesses grow online, let’s take a look at how you can figure out which one is best for you.
The best way to optimize your site for future new customers and clients is to talk to past customers and clients. If you have easy access to these individuals you should create a strategy to ask them a few questions about how they interacted with your business and your website. The answers often time provide direction on how to make the site more useful and therefore easier to rank.
What should you do if you cannot get this data from your clients?
Let’s say that for whatever reason, you cannot ask your clients these questions. There are a few strategies you can employ.
Heat mapping software provides you with an easy to digest view of what areas of your site are being used and what areas are being ignored. You need to be sure you are collecting enough data before making any decisions but these tools can provide valuable insights into how you can make sure yor customers see what you want them to see. Similar to Heat Mapping you can use tools like Google Optimize or Microsoftt Clarity for free.
There are a number of survey platforms that you can pay for and ask any number of people any number of questions. If you refine this process enough, you can create a similar audience to that of your actual customers and ask them for recorded feedback on your sites usability and usefulness.
Here are a few examples of what you could A/B test for each of the goals listed above:
SEO is a long term marketing strategy so your desired goals need to be aligned with this fact. SEO visitors are also typically some of the best traffic, as these users tend to spend longer on your site and interact at a much greater rate than traffic that came from ads. Every business is different and will require a variation of the goals we have listed in this blog. The key is to tie specific metrics to each goal so you can monitor your progress as the competition for your keywords evolves and as Google’s algorithm updates.
If you don’t know where to start, consider contacting the SEO experts at Mad Mango Marketing and we will be happy to build you a free SEO road map along with suggested goals and deliverables to achieve them.