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P1WS Internet Marketing Blog

Setting Goals & Understanding SEO KPIs

graph-line-trend-analytics-magnifying-glass-ss-1920We get it; digital marketing can be confusing and all of the jargon can be overwhelming. That's why we're here to help! All of the different available tracking tools provide a dizzying amount of data but after reading this article, you should be well equipped to cut through the nonsense and understand how to establish goals and measure SEO KPIs.

Step 1: Determine an Objective

Your overall business objective (not specific to SEO) should be your starting point. Think high-level; your objective should be whatever directly affects your bottom line. The specifics of your objective will depend on your business' type and vertical, but chances are you already have one or more objectives established as part of your core business model!

Example Objectives:

  • Increase overall revenue
  • Acquire new leads
  • Increase sale volume

Step 2: Set a Goal

Not to be confused with "Goals" in Google Analytics, think of the goal you set as a more specific manifestation of your objective. This should be something you can strive for based on some timeline and measure your progress against. Similar to objectives, it is likely your business already has a few goals in place, but make it specific to a certain channel.

Example Goals:

  • Increase overall revenue by $5,000 in 2019 through the SEO channel
  • Acquire 100 new leads by q4 through the seo channel
  • Increase sale volume in the SEO channel by 10% by 2020

Step 3: Determine Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs) will be the way you measure your progress towards your channel-specific goals. Each KPI must be tied to one measurable metric so they can serve as an indicator of performance. It may be helpful to think of KPIs as primary and secondary:

Primary KPIs are usually represented by a conversion of a new user or visitor into a lead (by acquiring their email, receiving a phone call from them, or some other point of contact) or a sale (making a purchase). A purchase conversion is always best, but in the case of RAQ businesses, the closest we can get to this through the SEO channel is lead acquisition.

Secondary KPIs almost always correlates and often precedes our primary KPI, but it is important to understand the difference. Our primary KPI is what most directly affects your goal (conversions) while secondary KPI is incidental. 

Example Primary KPIs: 

  • organic ecommerce revenue
  • organic Website form fills (contact us, request a quote, phone calls etc)
  • organic ecommerce sales

Example Secondary KPIs:

  • organic New users
  • organic Traffic sessions
  • organic conversion rate

Step 4: Implement Ways to Measure Your KPIs

Once you've laid out clear goals based on overall business objective and determined your key performance indicators, you are well on your way to establishing ROI! The last step is implementing ways to accurately measure your KPIs. When it comes to digital marketing channels like SEO, setting up Google Analytics is the gold standard.

Step 5: Use KPIs to Calculate ROI

Coordinating with your sales team will give you an idea of the average value of an SEO lead by multiplying the average amount of revenue per conversion multiplied by the close rate. 


For example, let's say that on average for every 10 SEO leads your sales team receives, they end up closing 1 sale for a lead close rate of 10%. The average value of a closed sale originating from an SEO lead is about $1,000.

lead-calculation-exampleNow that we know our average lead value is $100, we can look to our KPIs to calculate just how much our SEO campaign generated over a given period and compare it to the amount spent on that channel!

Following the above example, if your generated 350 organic leads in 2018, we can confidently assert the SEO channel generated $35,000 in sales. If your overall spend on SEO for the year was $24,000, that means your SEO is looking good with a 46% ROI! 

roi-calculation-1This simple equation can empower you to understand exactly how much value you are receiving for your marketing dollars spent.

Need Help Setting Up Your SEO Campaign? 

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