We all know how important setting goals is for your personal and business life. However, if you don’t spend the time creating SMART goals, there’s almost no point in setting goals at all.
SMART is an acronym for:
- Time sensitive
If you don’t create your goals within the SMART framework, they won’t have the positive impact on your business that you’re hoping they will. So, how do you create SMART SEO goals for your business?
When you sit down to create your goals, you need to make sure they’re very specific. You need to know exactly what you’re trying to achieve. Being specific will help you keep track of your progress, as well as make it easier to determine the steps you need to take to achieve it. Goals that are too vague will be difficult to work towards.
For example, instead of saying your business wants to improve in the rankings, a more specific goal would be this: To improve 10 rankings for a specific keyword. In saying that, you need to think more broadly in terms of what SEO brings to your business. Your goals shouldn’t just be related to the rankings, because what you really want are the results that those higher rankings can provide you, such as more conversions or an increased brand awareness. An increase in the rankings is the method you need to use to achieve your goals.
If you don’t create goals that are measurable, you won’t be able to tell whether or not you’ve actually achieved it. This ties in with being specific; the more specific your goals are, the easier they’ll be to measure.
For example, instead of saying you want to improve the organic traffic to your website, a measurable goal will include how much you want to improve: To improve organic traffic to the website by 100%. There are plenty of different measurable indicators you can use in your SMART SEO goals, including:
- Rankings for specific keywords
- Amount of published content
- Organic traffic for keywords
- Number of links built
- Organic impressions
If your goals aren’t achievable, you obviously aren’t going to achieve them. Setting achievable goals can be difficult; where do you draw the line between a very challenging goal and an unachievable goal? You’ll need to put a lot of thought and planning into your goals to make sure your business can achieve them.
When it comes to setting SEO goals, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when considering if they’re achievable:
- Do you have the resources to achieve this goal?
- Are your goals specific to your business, or are they too focused on what other companies with different resources are doing?
- Are you goals focused on what you can achieve as a business, or do they rely too much on things out of your control?
Setting realistic goals is similar to setting achievable goals. For a goal to be realistic, it also needs to be relevant to your business. For example, if you’re an international company but all of your SEO goals are related to national or state keywords, it’s not realistic for your business. The same goes for if you’re only a local business but you’re trying to target national or international keywords.
It’s important to note that while a goal might be achievable, it might not be realistic. It might require too many resources and take away from your other goals or tasks, or it could simply be not relevant to the way you want to position your business.
Without putting a timeline in your goal, you’ll never know when to stop working towards it. You need to specify when you want your goal to be achieved by. While determining how long it will take to see the benefits of SEO is difficult, your goals are irrelevant without a timeline. Who cares if you increased organic traffic by 50% over a 20 year period, when you might have been able to achieve that in a single year?
Use SMART SEO goals for your business
As you continue to plan for the future of your business, it’s time to take a step back and look at the way you’re setting your goals. Setting SEO goals that aren’t specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time sensitive won’t do your business any favours.