Adopting a SMART approach to SEO
SMART is an acronym which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.The road to SEO success takes time, effort and resources, and setting SMART goals is an effective way to ensure you are implementing genuinely effective and valuable strategies for your business at the right time.
Building an effective SEO strategy is impossible if your goals are too subjective. Announcing that you want your website to secure the highest ranking position for a particular keyword might sound specific, but it is vital to consider how achieving this goal will help your business to secure meaningful growth.
Many businesses rank well for important keywords but don’t gain any tangible benefits from doing so, which is why this type of goal often isn’t specific enough to offer any meaningful value in return for the work required to get there.
Instead, consider breaking a singular broad aim down into a collection of more specific goals. These might include securing X amount of new leads, or successfully converting X number of visitors.
If you aren’t measuring how well your strategies are performing, there isn’t much point in establishing goals in the first place. You don’t want to invest time and resources into something, only to have no idea whether you have even been exploring the right avenues for the last 3, 6, or 12 months.
Again, specificity here is crucial because although there are an array of metrics you could choose to measure, they won’t all be equally valuable. Look at how much new traffic your website experienced, which element(s) of your strategy attracted this traffic, and the demographics of your new visitors. This data can then be used to inform crucial future business decisions.
It’s one thing to aim high, but if you’re setting goals that simply aren’t attainable, you’re just going to find yourself feeling frustrated and demotivated.
When determining whether your goals are achievable, it is important to consider whether you have access to enough resources, whether you can compete with businesses currently ranking well for your target keywords, and if you can cope with a significant boost in traffic.0
Although you might think you know exactly which keywords will deliver outstanding results for your business, sometimes not everything goes quite to plan. You might, for example, see a huge surge of traffic but fail to see this same level of success in your conversions. This doesn’t mean you have failed, but it could indicate that this goal isn’t relevant for your business at this time.
Although there isn’t a universal timeframe in which SEO success is achieved or missed, setting a goal without also implementing a deadline is essentially a magnet for failure.
It can be tempting to give a strategy another 3, or 4 months to succeed, especially when a lot of work went into its development and implementation. Realistically though, in these situations, implementing a series of strategic refinements or cutting your losses and trying something new is likely to be a far better use of your time.
Setting SMART goals isn’t like waving a magic wand, but they will help you to refine your approach to SEO and put you on the path to achieving key objectives that will help your business to succeed.