Now it’s time to take those objectives to the next level and set some measurable (and realistic) goals.
While it’s OK to measure top of the funnel metrics like the number of keywords with first page rankings, traffic, or leads, ultimately the only thing that matters is driving a return on your investment in SEO. You’ll need to generate enough revenue to justify the financial costs and time you spend on it. A common benchmark is that you need to generate 3-5x your costs in revenue to justify your marketing investment. However, this benchmark doesn’t work for everyone. If you are selling products that have a low profit margin, you might need a 10x return on your spending. Other businesses with a very high price point can be very profitable if they only convert one lead a year. And if you are doing your SEO work in house, you’ll have very little costs other than staff time, but since our time isn’t really free, you’ll want to put a price on it when calculating your return on investment.
If you are just starting out, you’ll want to calculate the baseline of your current results and measure from there. Chances are you are already getting leads or sales from your website. You’ll want to measure the incremental impact of your SEO work.
If setting up analytics intimidates you or you aren’t sure how to begin to approach calculating your current results, you aren’t alone. Don’t let this get in the way of moving forward with SEO. Just start and see if you notice an uptick in activity, leads, or sales. Then, take incremental steps to improve your ability to track. The tutorials that follow will take you step by step through setting up your analytics.
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