Planning your SEO strategy can actually present more difficulties than just simply doing the work. That’s why one of the biggest SEO obstacles that businesses face isn’t implementing an effective SEO strategy. Instead, they struggle with creating actionable goals for their marketing team to enact.
Today we’re going to lay some basic guidelines for SEO goal setting. We’ll discuss why these rules will help any business (big or small) start successfully applying an SEO strategy, and how they tangibly increase your online presence. Let’s dive in.
Go Big Or Go Home- The Wrong Attitude For SEO Goals
Business owners tend to be entrepreneurial go-getters who got where they are by aiming high and working hard. Naturally, they’ll bring that same attitude when they foray into SEO and digital marketing. Sadly, this will only lead to lofty expectations and disappointing results.
SEO is a digital warzone, where battles are waged daily over who gets to sit atop Google’s first page. Of course, if you’ve got your sights set high, then you want that spot on the first page. However, so do giant mega corporations like:
- Warner Bros.
Even if these companies aren’t following SEO best practices, they still have enough money, resources, and cultural capital to dominate Google’s rankings. Unless you have the kind of wealth at your disposal to go toe-to-toe with these giant conglomerates, the first page should be the furthest place from your mind.
Instead, play to your strengths and go local. Most consumers prefer to do business with someone they can build a relationship with, whether online or in-person. If you understand how to effectively engage with your target audience, then you’ll never have to worry about hitting the first page.
How To Determine Realistic SEO Goals For Any Business
What we’re going to share with you isn’t some insider secret or “get rich quick” gimmick. It’s just a process. A system designed for identifying SEO goals for businesses of all types and sizes. However, in order for it to be effective you have to put in the legwork and do your research.
#1 Perform An SEO Audit
Whether you have the expertise yourself, or need to hire an SEO firm to carry out the task, it’s vital that you perform an SEO audit before you start setting any goals. The audit will show you where your site’s weaknesses and strengths are, such as:
Without this crucial step, your efforts may be wasted on a site that simply won’t rank due to internal errors.
#2 Analyze The Competition
Taking a look at other websites allows you to not only observe your competitor’s strategy, but also to sharpen your knowledge of target keywords. Take notes on what kinds of keywords keep reappearing and shape your strategy around them.
For instance, if you’re a divorce lawyer in Austin, Texas you may see other lawyers aiming for keywords, such as:
- Texas Lawyer
- Texas Litigator
- Attorney at Law
These keywords are going to be hotly contested, and while they’re certainly valuable- you don’t want to try to rank for these. Instead, aim for the gaps and try to think like a prospective customer. You might try phrases like:
- Austin Divorce Attorney
- Texas Divorce Litigation
- Austin Attorney at Law
While you may not rank for the more generic terms that bring in tons of visitors, using specific keywords helps the consumers most likely to convert to actual sales or clients find your website.
#3 Factor In Your SEO Budget
Now that you know your target audience and have some keywords in mind, it’s time to lay the foundations for your SEO strategy. If you plan on doing your SEO alone, you’ll have to less time to meaningfully target keywords and write valuable content. However, if you choose to hire an SEO firm then you’ll need to determine what services you can reasonably accommodate into your budget. Every business is different, and it’s up to you which path to take.
#4 Create Optimized Content For Your Target Audience
Content isn’t the future of marketing anymore… it’s the present too. Online content marketing, especially using videos, is driving views, sales, and conversions more than any other method. Use the latest tools to optimize your content for engagement. The more that users share, link, and discuss your content- the higher your SEO ranking will climb.
If you have more specific questions about setting realistic SEO goals for your business, or want help developing an actionable SEO strategy, get in touch. We’d love to chat over the phone, online, or in person (coffee included, of course).