Website Objectives are the cornerstone of effective SEO. There is no point in performing random SEO activities (or any other website changes) without knowing where you want to be in regards to your website. Below is a walkthrough of website objectives and acting on these objectives from an SEO perspective (from previous posts you have probably figured by now that I am a strong believer in objective setting).
What are Website Objectives?
Objectives are about defining what you want to achieve from something. In relation to a Website the objectives may be something like (Please note that for this example we have not yet defined that we’ll be undertaking SEO activities):
- Increase visits to the site to 40 unique visits a day from Sydney, Australia.
- Convert 10 of the 40 unique visits into actual sales.
- Remain within the project budget of $3000 per annum.
Objectives may be written as a sentence or as a list as above. It is essential that the objectives are SMART. Once the objectives are defined it becomes more evident where activities should be concentrated. For example, if the budget of $3000 weren’t specified it would potentially be more effective to engage Search Engine Marketing (SEM) activities rather than SEO activities. SEM is generally more costly (however more targeted and measurable) therefore objective number 3 as above steers us towards engaging SEO activities.
Now that we know what we need to achieve (per the three objectives above), we can concentrate on how to achieve these results.
Align SEO activities with the Objectives
We have deduced that SEO activities (and not SEM) are how we are going to meet the Website objectives. Objectives 1 and 2 above make us aware of three important aspects; quantity, quality and location. We know therefore that there is no point in purely concentrating on getting massive quantities of visits to the site; we need 25% of visitors to actually buy something and the visits to be from Sydney, Australia!
So, any changes to the site have to concentrate on getting quality visits from Sydney to the site from search engines (or other backlinks such as Social Media sites). Once the visitor is at the site, the site must be compelling enough for the visitor to buy. Our SEO activities therefore have two audiences; search engines and the visitors themselves (the distinction is important as it is possible to create a search friendly site that won’t compel visitors to buy and vice versa).
Now that we know what we want to achieve it is possible to design and implement SEO activities. Of course, throughout the planning and implementation the objectives will constitute the basis of decision making. SEO activities will differ greatly depending on many factors such as the design of the website, the target audience and the product sold but all of these activities must work towards meeting the objectives as defined.
We have covered the setting of Website objectives and how they filter down to other website related decisions. Without setting objectives, and using the objectives in decision making, it isn’t possible to have a targeted and cohesive action plan. Using the objective based approach to websites reduces costs in the long run and gets better results than unplanned approaches.
Unfortunately SEO is often sold as a ‘one size fits all’ set of activities but that approach doesn’t consider the individual objectives that the organization wants to achieve through its website. Get a serious SEO consultant who makes the effort to understand your organization and its objectives. These consultants add value to your business.