Monday, 18 October 2010

Learning to Appreciate SEO Goals & Conversion

I've never really taken much interest in SEO Goals and Conversion. Partly because I didn't know how  important they were in any SEO campaign. Going forward, that will change! Like wise men once said, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail...

First of, SEO Goals are metrics set to monitor a positive progression in an SEO Campaign. In other words, what would success mean to an SEO project? In the past, I just assumed this was Increased Traffic. However, I now know that's far from it. Yes, increased traffic is always the first step but I could easier buy a Web Traffic Generator software that would send tens of thousand visitors to my site, and Voila! A successful SEO Project! Right? Wrong!

There should always be an 'action plan' for visitors that land on your website. It could be any of the following:
  • Fill out a contact form or email - make an inquiry
  • Follow you on twitter or facebook fan page
  • Buy a product or service on your site
  • Sign up to newsletters
  • Increase brand awareness and searches
  • Or something as simple as spending over a certain time frame on a blog.
Any of these could be known as an SEO goal, but everyone should have their own targets. I specifically didn't put increase traffic to the website because the traffic has to do something on your website; This is where Conversions come in. Every time someone achieves one of the set goals that is known as a conversion or goal conversion. Depending on the type of goals you set, your conversion rates can either be extremely high or extremely low. But if you're having no conversions at all then there's something wrong somewhere.

It's always best to set goals at the initial start of project or even if it's a simple blog you're running. For instance, I set up page view as part of my goals. I wanted to know how many people actually came to my blog and read more than one article, I did that out of pure curiosity. I'm now thinking of other ways to monitor other conversions on my blog, things like people who follow me on twitter or my facebook fan page from my blog, amongst other things. But that's just me, and my goals...

Either way, you have to direct people who land on your website in the right direction. That means having visible a 'Call(s) to Action' on your website and it doesn't mean having colourful texts and flash videos that's supposed to draw attention (but actually drives visitors away from your sites)! A Call to Action could be something as simple as having a link to the contact us page on every webpage. Or a 'follow me on twitter' link after every blog post. It all depends on what your goals are.

Setting up goals and conversions for a business website is a totally different ball game! During the early days, it's okay to start with traffic monitoring, however, as your traffic starts to increase it's a good idea to start setting more specific goals to monitor progression and know what you visitors are actually doing on your website.

There are a number of ways to monitor goals and conversion and Google Analytics does that beautifully. That said, I'll save that for the another post. Bottomline, it's a good idea to set up goal conversions and if you don't know how to do it, stick around, I've just learn some really cool ways to track goals myself and I'm eager to blog about it!

In the mean time, what are your thoughts on setting Goals and Conversions for your blog or business? Is it worth it? Or are you happy to see comments and traffic on your blog? As usual, please drop your comments or send me an email to hear your thoughts on this.

Updated: Here's a link to Setting up goals using Google Analytics
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