Because there is so much that’s outside of your control when it comes to SEO, most marketers try to generalize their goals. The problem is that they are unlikely to achieve any results until they have a clear understanding of what a “win” is. The same holds true if they set vague and arbitrary goals. Below, this SEO agency in Chicago, Illinois is going to explain how to set the right goals for you SEO efforts.

Defining SEO Goals

SEO goals are defined and measurable objectives that contribute to the overall purpose of your SEO strategy — which is to reach out to more prospective consumers through organic search and convert them into customers.

SEO goals are essential because they provide a clear target for your campaign, bringing clarity and focus to it. Without the right SEO goals and an expert SEO agency in Chicago, Illinois on your side, your efforts will be less effective.

Setting Realistic SEO Goals

Marketers often fall into the trap of setting vague and arbitrary SEO goals, such as “attract more visitors.”

The fundamental problem with this type of goal is that it ignores the “what” and the “how” — what will you do to achieve that goal, and how will you do that?

Here are three solutions to the problem:

1. Set an Ultimate Goal

The ultimate goal should be to closely align your SEO efforts with the broader goals of your Chicago company. Again, it’s best to stay away from vague and arbitrary SEO goals like “drive more traffic to the site.”

While increasing site traffic may help the company achieve its goals, it is simply too broad. Your ultimate goal should be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

So, rather than “get more traffic,” a better ultimate goal would be to “rank in the top three results for a high-value search term in three months.” When you partner with the right SEO agency in Chicago, this could be a very realistic goal to set.

2. Set Performance Goals

Performance goals are smaller goals that all contribute to the ultimate goal.

You can set one or more performance goals. Just be careful not to fall into the same trap of establishing vague goals such as “get more backlinks” — it is not ‘SMART’, and there is no means of determining when or whether you have achieved the goal.

Sticking with our hypothetical ultimate goal of “ranking in the top three results for a high-value search term in three months,” a ‘SMART’ performance goal could be to “earn 25 quality backlinks to the page within three months.”

3. Set Process Goals

Process goals are even smaller goals that are completely under your control. It is where you answer the question, “What can I do to reach our performance goals?”

Continuing with our example, you have a three-month goal of ranking in the top three results for a high-value search keyword. And you’ve set a performance goal of earning 25 high-quality backlinks to the page. Now, what do you need to do to earn 25 quality backlinks to the page within three months?

Assume you decide to run a ‘skyscraper’ campaign. If your outreach emails have a 10% conversion rate on average, you can work backward to set a process goal that will put you in a great position to meet your performance goal.

Let’s run the numbers:

25 backlinks / 10% average conversion rate = 250 emails

250 emails / 3 months = ~83 emails/month

So, over the next three months, your process goal is to send 80-85 “skyscraper” outreach emails per month.

Looking to Partner with the Premier SEO Agency in Chicago, Illinois?

Setting SEO goals may seem challenging, but all you need to get started is a solid framework. If you are having a hard time staying on track, and if you’re looking to partner with the top-rated SEO agency in Chicago, Illinois, the team at Digital Destination can help. Contact us today to request a free quote.