Although we can’t control Google’s algorithms, you still need to set smart SEO goals for your business. In the end, if you don’t have anything to guide you, it’s easy to get lost in all the content and links.
As you can presume, the focal point of your SEO efforts should be to get as many relevant unique visitors as possible. You want to rank numerous articles on top of search engine ranking pages and start getting that juicy organic traffic.
However, to get the most out of a digital marketing approach, you must look beyond simple traffic metrics. You need to focus on things such as bounce rate, time spent on page, and conversion rate optimization. These are crucial marketing objectives that will help you not only acquire leads but also increase sales.
Why are SEO goals important?
The main issue with SEO metrics is that they tend to be deceiving. In the end, they are nothing but numbers in your Google Analytics, Google Search Console or any SEO tool. They don’t actually tell you whether the company is able to achieve its broader business objectives.
In fact, SEO experts are often caught in “vanity metrics”. They will start building irrelevant links just to increase their quantity (focusing on DA – domain authority metric by MOZ, or DR – domain rating metric by Ahrefs). Or they might create easy-to-rank articles that have nothing to do with the company’s main business activity. Always remember that it doesn’t help that you managed to boost organic traffic if you can’t get qualified leads.
From time to time, you’ll get visitors who are curious about your articles and products but aren’t considered potential customers, and that’s ok. Still, your main SEO goal is to improve the quality of search traffic, which would eventually increase profitability.
Implementing proper customized SEO strategies is especially important for larger businesses. Massive companies don’t mind investing money in large link-building and content promotion campaigns. However, they also require high-quality results in return. Some tricks that would work for smaller brands won’t float with these giants.
If you wish to learn more about the differences between SEO for small and large companies, make sure to read this article.
7 Main SEO goals
Here are the top 7 SEO goals that every company should focus on:
SEO Goal 1 — Increase time spent on page
In the last few years, search engines have placed much more emphasis on traffic quality. They started using metrics such as time spent on page to measure how internet articles perform and to assign them rankings based on this data.
This makes a lot of sense. Unlike links, which can be bought, it’s extremely hard to manipulate visitors’ data. You would have to pay hundreds of people to open a web page from a different location and slowly scroll through the content.
Even then, you have to be careful how these visitors interact with the article, as Google could register any suspicious behavior. For example, the search engine can track what the audience is looking at. So not only should people read the post, but they should also stick with specific lines and paragraphs.
Here are a few ways to improve this metric:
- Create articles with unique and valuable information that can’t be found anywhere else on the web.
- Use lots of real-life and research data.
- Implement various graphic solutions to help visitors digest the content.
- Use paragraphs and other methods for breaking up content and sections.
- Add as much content as possible but only when that content is necessary to cover the topic in detail. Quality, long articles usually have better time spent on page compared to their shorter counterparts.
There’s still a lot of speculation regarding this concept. We know that Google can measure just about anything that happens on the page, but we don’t know how it’s using the data. Furthermore, we don’t know whether time spent on page is more important than similar metrics such as bounce rate.
Whatever the case might be, it’s your main SEO goal to keep people reading. If that means adding videos and graphics to your articles, then so be it! Not only should you create highly entertaining content, but people should also consider you an expert on the topic.
SEO Goal 2 — Increase pages per session
Pages per session metric works in conjunction with time spent on the page. It’s a stat that shows how much an average visitor browses through your site.
Honestly, it’s hard to tell which one of these two is more important. Generally speaking, if you’re writing good articles, it makes sense that a person will stay on a landing page for a while. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll continue browsing afterward.
If they do, this is a sign that your post was impressive and that they’re willing to learn more from your blog. To get the most from this strategy, it’s crucial to have fantastic internal linking. This would guide visitors from one post to another as you try to answer all their questions.
Here are a few ways to improve this metric:
- Create a logical interlinking structure that would help guide visitors.
- Present yourself as an authority on the topic.
- Be careful as to what you’re sharing. Users won’t be inclined to visit other pages if you give too much information in one piece.
- Make internal links noticeable (use phrasing such as “read this article”).
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should place irrelevant links in your articles. Always think about user intent and how visitors interact with website content. You should remember that placing too many links might reduce the time spent on page. For example, a person might bounce from the landing page as they’re looking to read more detailed info on another one.
There are certain cases where you might have a high number of pages per session but low time spent on pages. This might indicate that people trust you enough to browse articles on your website, but they don’t actually like them enough to stay around. This could be a bad sign for your business as it usually shows you need better content.
SEO Goal 3 — Decrease bounce rate
Bounce rate refers to situations where visitors leave a web page as soon as they land on it. They might stick on it for just a few seconds, but that’s about that. This is probably one of the most troublesome UX metrics. In the end, if visitors don’t even read your articles, it doesn’t matter what you do later on.
There is a correlation between high bounce rates, short time spent on page, and a low number of pages visited per session. They usually work in unison, and sites that are struggling with bounce rates usually struggle with the other two metrics as well.
Aside from the fact that a high bounce rate sends a negative signal to the Google algorithm, it is also disastrous for your conversion. Logically, people who don’t reach your product pages can’t even buy from you. Furthermore, you won’t be able to build brand awareness and increase your authority within the industry.
Here are a few tricks that can help you with bounce rate:
- Make sure that your titles and metadata are a good representation of your content.
- Avoid sensationalist titles and misleading SEO tactics.
- Improve your content quality.
- Add eye-catching graphic solutions above the fold (top part of your pages).
The most common reason why sites have a high bounce rate is that they’re unable to provide the answers that people are looking for. The issue is usually connected to poor title phrasing. Alternatively, you might have promised something in the meta description that you didn’t manage to fulfill in your article.
Keep in mind that a high bounce rate might also be caused by negative SEO attacks. For example, your competition might’ve been sharing your post on their social media by using a bad description. In that sense, your articles might suffer without you doing anything wrong.
SEO Goal 4 — Enhance your backlink profile
Links can provide numerous active and passive benefits to your site. Many experts still consider them the most important factor for your SEO success (although we’re not sure we agree with this). Whatever the case may be, you can’t neglect their importance.
The reason why Google puts so much emphasis on links is simple. They are a vote of confidence you receive from other sites and an indication that you’re producing quality content. There are also situations where you can get lots of links by creating controversial content. However, this isn’t an ideal long-term strategy.
When it comes to links, it’s much more important to get a few quality backlinks from relevant sites than a bunch of low-tier backlinks links from irrelevant domains. Relevance is another important consideration. Basically, if your direct competitors are willing to link to you, this shows that you’re a force within your industry.
Here’s how to get more links:
- First off, create posts that are actually worth sharing.
- Perform extensive outreach after creating these articles.
- Connect with news outlets and bloggers from your industry.
- Write guest posts for reputable sites.
- Try HARO, broken link building, and a few other strategies.
Also read: Successful link building strategies
In theory, links are something that should come naturally as you increase your reputation within a particular industry. In practice, you’ll probably have to pursue various opportunities in order to score them. The fantastic thing about links is that they’re scalable and easier to acquire as you grow your business.
Aside from direct SEO benefits, they can also provide passive referral traffic. As people start quoting your articles and mentioning your brand, you’ll start getting visitors from various sources beyond search results. Anyway, make sure to do everything by the book and avoid link schemes. Although organic link building is an arduous process, the benefits that you get are enormous.
Keep in mind that the quality links might also be an indication that you’ve managed to accomplish other SEO objectives.
SEO Goal 5 — Group content into clusters
We’ve already talked about the necessity of improving page and website metrics. Your task is not only to drive traffic to your site but also to keep people on it for as long as possible. One of the best ways to do so is by grouping your content.
Before writing a single article, SEO experts perform keyword research and create a list of potential topics. All these pages are categorized based on their volume and difficulty. In reality, you won’t be able to rank all these articles on top of search engine results pages. Instead, it’s much better to focus on a handful of powerful posts to drive the majority of your traffic.
Creating topic clusters is an SEO strategy that we at Miromind have been using for more than a decade, and it has become more widespread in the last few years. It allows you to boost your pages internally by interlinking them with each other. You would create the main pillar page and link to it from various places on the site. This would help you receive lots of indirect traffic and exposure.
Here are a few tricks that will help you master this approach:
- Check the web for the presence of similar pillar pages.
- Do extensive keyword research and create a topical map.
- Create an enormous, unique piece that will serve as the focal point of the cluster.
- Create numerous pages that would further explain concepts mentioned within the pillar page.
- Interlink these articles with each other.
- Start promoting the pillar page, and try to get as many initial high-quality links as possible.
If you do a good job, people will slowly start discovering and linking to the piece by themselves. You should have a proactive stance and try to get as much traction as possible, even after the initial outreach. Nevertheless, these first phases are of the utmost importance and will set the path to success or failure.
Most importantly, you should rush the creation of clusters. This is a meticulous process where each page matters. For example, you won’t achieve much if you have an incredible pillar page and all other satellite pages are trash.
SEO Goal 6 — Increase conversion rates
SEO professionals often neglect conversion rates. In their minds, they justify this by the fact it’s not their job to bring in sales. Instead, they usually focus on technical stuff, such as increasing web traffic. Whatever the case might be, your company won’t survive for too long if you’re unable to turn these visitors into paying customers.
It’s your job to literally drag the audience from the landing page to your product pages. You can do this with internal linking, subscribing visitors to newsletters, or engaging them via online chat. If you’re savvy enough, you can leave breadcrumbs they can follow from highly converting pages to other sections of the site.
There are lots of small tricks you can use to increase conversion on-site. Things such as CTA are a good example of that, but there’s much more to it than it meets the eye.
Here is how to increase conversions on your website:
- Introduce various improvements to your product pages.
- Add various time-sensitive offers that would prompt them into action.
- Add interactive elements that would help them engage with your team. This would increase the site’s authority and trustworthiness.
- Share testimonials from other companies and individuals.
Your ability to increase conversion usually comes down to two things: prompting the target audience into action and increasing your trustworthiness. Of course, it will be much easier to convert the site’s visitors if you manage to build high brand awareness. But before you do, you should use every trick at your disposal to leave a positive impression.
Also read: Conversion rate optimization best practices
SEO Goal 7 — Connect to social media
It’s shocking how many SEO professionals neglect a company’s social media accounts. Yes, they might create widgets for Facebook and Instagram pages, but that’s about that. Like with conversion, they often think this is beyond their pay grade.
The funny thing is that social media can have an enormous impact on your SEO efforts. Always remember that your main task is to share the company message, and bring in visitors from all sources. In that sense, social media can have a direct impact by helping build links and the site’s authority. It’s also a great source of referral traffic, which, as we at Miromind have confirmed through experiments, helps with organic rankings.
Here are a few best practices:
- Maintain a direct line of communication with the company’s marketing team. Coordinate efforts and create joint campaigns.
- Add social media widgets on the site.
- Promote social media events on the website.
- Stimulate sharing.
Sometimes, social media accounts can carry your SEO campaigns. If you have lots of friends on Facebook, you can enjoy a trickling effect on your site. This is especially valuable in fields where it’s hard to receive relevant links from competitors and industry news outlets.
Aside from that, your social profile allows you to engage with website visitors in a more personal manner. This would remove any barriers and preconceptions the target audience might have regarding your brand. Among others, it would humanize your company and website.
If you ever need help with optimization, make sure to contact Miromind. We provide high-quality B2B SEO services to large businesses and small companies.