As you try to choose the right SEO company to meet your needs, one piece of advice you’re likely to come across is the set your SEO goals before you select a company. Why take this step first? Not all SEO firms are created equally, so you may see promises of increasing organic traffic or strengthening conversions at the outset, but thanks to vague promises like that, you may not see any real returns when things are getting started. Understanding exactly what you want to do through optimisation, though, can help clear up any miscommunication and actually enhance your relationship with your SEO company. So, how do you even begin to set some goals? This quick guide can help.
Step 1: Identify What Needs to Happen
As with any marketing decision, you have to understand what needs to change after optimisation before you can begin. Think about your current online marketing plan. What do you wish it would do for you? Maybe you want more customers to click from search engine results to your site. Maybe you want customers to buy more products directly from your site.
Step 2: Think About Measurable Progress
Beyond simply understanding what you hope happens as a result of optimisation, you’ll need to ensure that whatever your goals are, they’re measurable. There are a number of key performance indicators (or KPIs) that you can tie to optimisation to help you understand how close you are to reaching your goals. If you’re unfamiliar with SEO as a whole, it’s worth it to do some research into the kinds of indicators you may want to consider. Without connecting your goals to those measurable metrics, you could have serious issues. For example, if you are interested in more leads, you might set a goal of increasing the percentage of customers that come from referring domains to your contact us page. The best metrics to consider in this situation are overall traffic, time spent on your pages, backlinks, and domain authority. You’ll want to skip those metrics that are things like making the top of the search results, though, because a single number will never tell the whole story about how well your optimisation is going overall.
Step 3: Connect Optimisation Goals to Business Goals
The final step in the process as you work to develop the right SEO goals is to connect it to the goals of your company. Without that, you’re focused on marketing for the sake of marketing. For example, perhaps you need to grow the numbers surrounding a certain service you’re offering. Optimise based on that goal alone, and you’ll begin to see movement in the right direction for your company.
After The Goals
Once you have clear goals in mind for your organization, you can begin searching for an SEO company that can meet those goals. When you reach out to various companies, let them know exactly what you’re looking for. Imagine, for example, you want to boost the sales of your flagship product. To do so, you’ve set a goal of increasing your sales numbers based on that single product. That’s information you can take directly to a company so they know what you’ll be looking for as they begin to work both on and off your site.
Keep in mind that good SEO companies may be able to help you enhance your goals. While you should certainly walk in with some specifics in mind, don’t get frustrated if they spot some issues with your specifics. After all, you’re connecting with experts in the field who understand what can be done with optimisation and how it is best accomplished, so be open to suggestions and goal revisions as you work. If, however, you begin to get specific promises from any SEO company (like increasing sales by 23% in a month), you may want to look for another team to handle your account. SEO works like any other marketing tactic in that while it can certainly be helpful, no company can guarantee results with any specificity. Instead, they can often promise to increase those KPIs, but they can’t promise by any specified amount.
Before you begin shopping for an SEO company to help you meet your optimisation goals, be sure to spend some time setting those goals!