Have Realistic Goals for Your SEO Program

Written by Nick Stamoulis

It’s true that search engine optimization is an important component of digital marketing. When done correctly, it helps attract people to your website via organic results in the search engines. SEO enables your site to get noticed in search results. It can even result in your website holding the top spots for various search queries, which will increase the likelihood people will click on your website, which will result in more traffic.

However, this success doesn’t happen overnight. The results you achieve from SEO have to be earned through consistent effort, and it takes time – sometimes even a year or more – to really gain momentum in the search engines. That is why it is so important to have realistic goals while working your SEO program.

Goal Setting Needs to Be SMART

Goal setting enthusiasts understand that goals need to be well formulated in order to be achieved. To do this, the SMART acronym is used. It stands for:

  • Specific – Simply saying that you want to achieve good SEO results isn’t enough. Goals should be aggressive while also being achievable. For example, saying you want to improve organic results by 50% over a 12 month time period is aggressive, but it is also doable.
  • Measurable – In the above example, the goal is also measurable. You can easily use metrics to measure the 50%. By pulling reports monthly and analyze organic traffic numbers, you can assess if your goals are on track.
  • Achievable – It’s true that goals have to be specific in order to have maximum impact. It can also be a little bit of a stretch. However, the goal also needs to be realistic. Increasing organic traffic by 50% is something that will stretch your capabilities, but it is also doable.
  • Realistic – The important thing to remember is that you need to believe that the outcome is realistic! This will fall into place naturally once you accept that it is also achievable.

Setting Expectations Too High Can Do More Harm Than Good

When it comes to SEO, it is a good idea to have goals. After all, you need some idea of where you want to be with it in the future in order to create an effective roadmap. However, it is important to note that there is a fine line between having goals and having unrealistic expectations. A good SEO program needs to be nurtured and executed over time. It takes a lot of consistent effort in order to see the results you know you should see.

There are a lot of things that could go wrong, though. We have seen clients push for results after only a month of executing the program, even though we told them it could take a year or more to see results. Others have tried to to overly control the situation and suggest making changes to our proven program that we know either won’t work or will truly do more harm than good. It is so important for clients to keep their expectations realistic and to also trust that the digital marketing company knows what they’re doing.

When it comes to SEO, it is so important to have realistic expectations when setting goals!

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