January is a time when many of us try and at least think about some goals for the year ahead: eating better, exercising more, drinking less but what goals have you set for your website?
Unlike your dream of running the London marathon, which may slip away after a couple of frosty morning jogs around the block, realistic website goals are well within your reach.
Set Realistic Goals
It’s easy to look at the success of some online businesses and think that having a great website design will lead to untold riches.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Like training for the London marathon or even your local park run, it requires a lot of preparation and hard work. Setting realistic goals for your website is more likely to end in success which you can continue to build upon.
A realistic goal is one grounded in tangible, solid data.
Use Google Search Console to see the current state of your website. The Performance report page is really useful for seeing the amount of traffic you’re receiving and which search terms result in people clicking through to your website. By looking at impressions, you can also see which search terms trigger your website to appear in the search results – even if they don’t click on your link.
Take a look at the Average Position report. If you filter the results and show those results that are greater than 10 and then sort by the Position column, you can see what search terms you are ranking for that are top of the second page of Google. It might be that your goal to to try and boost leads by getting more of those keywords onto the first page of Google.
Another useful report page is the Search Console Insights. This gives you some handy and very digestible information about the activity on your site over the last 28-day period. Not enough data to base your whole plan on, but useful for monitoring your website’s SEO progress throughout the year.
- Log into Google Search Console and check what you’re ranking for
- Explore all the options on the Performance report page
- Learn how to use the filters to refine your results
- Need some help? Give me a call on 07986 113 391
Identify Your Goals
Having viewed the data and thought about your broader business goals for the year, you now need to identify the changes you’d like to see and create clear, achievable steps that lead you to achieving your goals.
Your broad goal categories might include:
- grow organic traffic
- generate more leads
- increase revenue from your e-commerce site
Make sure you tie your goals to a data source. If your goal is to grow organic traffic by 10%, then ensure that you use the same data source for all your measurements.
Aligning your goals to data also eliminates some of the fuzzier goals like “post more on social” or “blog more”.
Whilst both are admirable, their value isn’t objectively quantifiable. I would definitely include both in my plan to achieve my goals but they are not the goals themselves.
- Nail down your goals for the year ahead
- Make them detailed and tied to SMART objectives
Where Are You Now?
A key feature of any goal is knowing what success looks like. As such, it’s important to know where you’re starting off from.
Identify your baseline data for your chosen goals and make sure you record them. If you’re lucky enough to know a spreadsheet guru, then all the better. Otherwise, a simple month-by-month spreadsheet where you can write in your data is fine.
- Set your baseline data points
- Create a simple spreadsheet so you can track your progress
Planning is Essential
By now you’ve defined your goals, which are tied to your broader business objectives.
- You’ve looked at the data and you know they’re realistic
- You’ve also taken the baseline figures so you know what success will look like
- Now you have to break down the necessary steps to achieve your goals
- You might want break down your goals into more manageable monthly targets
- Next I would look at setting weekly objectives. What needs to be done each weekly to meet that monthly target
- You might then consider breaking down the weekly objectives into daily tasks
- And, of course, assign responsibility to someone for these tasks. Don’t let them fall though the cracks in your office
- Create monthly targets to help achieve your goal
- Create weekly objectives and break them down to daily tasks
- Ensure that someone is accountable for completing the tasks
It’s essential that you monitor your progress.
Make sure that you’re set up to receive the monthly emails from Google Search Console.
This email contains a host of useful information:
- monthly clicks
- monthly impressions
- pages with first impressions
- top growing pages
- top performing pages
- top growing queries
- top performing queries
- and more
There are also a number of other SEO websites that offer free reporting and will send you regular emails.
You can sign up for a free account at all of the following:
All offer elements of their products for free and can be set up to report on a wide range of website and SEO related issues. I’ll be looking into these free SEO tools in a later series of articles.
At the very least, continue to maintain a simple spreadsheet where you have already identified your goals and taken your baseline data. Plot your progress over the months.
If, after a couple of months, you’re not making any progress on your goals, don’t be afraid to tweak your approach:
- Make sure you’re receiving monthly Google Search Console emails
- Sign up for some other FREE website and SEO monitoring reports
- Review and tweak your plan
- Need some help? Give me a call on 07986 113 391
Research, planning and monitoring your progress are all essential to the successful achievement of website and SEO goals.
There are a wide range of free tool available, so make good use of them.
And, of course, if you need any help with your website or SEO, then please give me call. With over 20 years of experience in building and optimising websites, I’m in a great position to help you achieve your goals for the year!