How to Set Up S.M.A.R.T. Goals for SEO

How to Set Up S.M.A.R.T. Goals for SEO

Posted on Tuesday, June 26th, 2018 at 12:38 am    

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In digital marketing, search engine optimization is your bread and butter.

It has to be. Poor SEO practices won’t do much to attract traffic to your website, but if you play it smart, SEO will help your business draw in plenty of new customers. And to do that, you need to set up S.M.A.R.T. goals that improve your SEO.

Today, we here at Cobalt Digital Marketing analyze how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals that measure the effectiveness of your SEO practices, and teach you how tying them into your company and marketing goals will be a major boon to your business.

Before We Begin

For those that may not be aware, the acronym S.M.A.R.T., in terms of digital marketing, stands for:

  • Specific – Short for “Specific Objectives” that you want your company to achieve, like more exposure, leads, visits, or sales.
  • Measurable – How you are going to measure your progress through:
    • SEO metrics such as the main converting keywords – both local and organic.
    • Link-building metrics that measure the quality and number of authority links in your content.
    • Real-world metrics that measure increases in organic traffic.
  • Achievable – Setting up goals that are achievable for your company but not unrealistic. You generally want to aim high but not too high (e.g. attracting 50 percent more customers over the next quarter).
  • Realistic – Taking into account all of the resources and abilities you have on hand to see if it is possible to reach your SEO goals. This differs from “Achievable” because “Realistic” is more in line with the short and long-term nature of SEO.
  • Timelined – Time is a huge factor when it comes to measuring SEO goals, even though SEO practices take time to implement or take effect. Since no objective could technically fail if it wasn’t given a deadline, we have to be realistic about what goals your company can achieve during a given period.

Also, a little pre-warning: it’s going to be challenging. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

If you are not entirely sure how to set SEO goals—or measure them— you aren’t alone. A lot of the confusion for many organizations started when Google took away the keyword-level data for SEO referrals. That, and SEO is hard to measure directly. With the sheer amount of contributing factors that SEO encompasses, measuring SEO success can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for.

[bctt tweet=”In 2017, 61% of marketers said improving SEO and growing their organic presence was their inbound marketing priority #WorkOnSEO” username=””]

“So where do I start?”

Since we are working to create S.M.A.R.T. SEO goals, it only makes sense to start focusing on SEO first and then how it can affect company and marketing goals. Right? Nope.

You actually want to start the other way around.

You’ll want to begin by clearly stating what your company goals are first. Why? Because, ultimately, this is what your company is trying to accomplish during a specific time frame (i.e. month, quarter, or year).

For the sake of this post, let’s say that your company wants to work on increasing your customer base by 15 percent over the next month.

“What’s next?”

Now that your company has established a goal—like getting more customers—you need to gather up your marketing department and start hashing out clear marketing goals that will help your company get to where it needs to be.

Here, your marketers can brainstorm just how to make the acquisition of more customers more than just a pipedream. There are several ways to do it:

  1. Improving your conversion funnel – Look for weak spots in your funnel. Are customers abandoning their carts? Do they find value in your content? Is your copy neat and clean on the product or service description pages? Improving your conversion funnel helps you pinpoint weak areas that you need to fix so that your business stops hemorrhaging potential customers and revenue.
  2. Setting up an email marketing campaign – Have you grown an email list? If so, it should be full of potential customers, or returning customers, that are interested in your product or service. Reach out to them. This method works especially well when targeting returning customers.
  3. Building up your social media marketing skills – Social media marketing is a unique form of marketing that gives your customers direct access to your company. Positive experiences in this form often lead to brand loyalty and can possibly be used to earn new customers.

These are just three ways that your marketing department can help your company achieve your company goals. Just make sure that the marketing goals are just as clear—if not clearer—than your company’s goals so that your marketing team knows what they should be focusing on.

[bctt tweet=”According to HubSpot’s 2018 State of Inbound survey, 63% of marketers say that generating traffic and leads is their company’s top challenge. #CobaltDigitalMarketing” username=””]

Now Set Up SEO Goals

The following SEO metrics can be used to measure SEO goals. You’ll want to measure things like:

  1. Rankings – You can measure this by local, national, or global rankings.
  2. Links and Link Metrics – You can measure the number of linking root domains or the total amount of links present within content.
  3. Referral Links – It goes without saying that if you link something in your content, more than likely someone will click on the link and go on to that site. That is called a referral link. If you have a referral link that comes to you, you will get referral traffic. You can watch these traffic numbers, who they came from, and if they came from your pages where you built links for SEO purposes.
  4. Organic Search Visits – Measure the raw traffic that is sent in through organic searches in Google (or your preferred search engine).
  5. Branded vs. Non-Branded Search – For example, measure traffic that reaches your homepage (branded) compared to traffic that is directed to a blog, resource, or other content marketing-style page (unbranded).
  6. Search Volume – If you are looking to increase the quantity of your branded search, you can measure that through tools like Google AdWords, Google Trends, or Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
  7. SERP – You can use the search engine results page to measure your ranking within a given search query, e.g. a keyword.

With these metrics, you can then build from the bottom up. Set the SEO goals that you want to measure so that they match up with your marketing goals and then your company’s goals.

If growing your customer base by 15 percent is your company goal by the end of the month, your marketing team is going to need to research effective keywords that can be placed within quality content—not spam—to attract organic searches from Google. This can then be measured by looking up the organic search visits results through Google Analytics.

 

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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Twitter is Changing It up for The User’s Benefit

Posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 at 5:27 am    

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Twitter recently announced that it will be making changes to certain features in an effort to improve user experience.

The company listened to user feedback, particularly about Explore, Search, Notifications, and Moments. Changes can be expected to roll out within the next few weeks to months. We here at Cobalt Digital Marketing have reviewed the changes and we think it may be a refreshing change to an aging social media platform.

Let’s Discuss the Changes

According to Keith Coleman, Twitter’s VP of product, Twitter has been working on how its users “discover all the information around news, events, and stories…”.

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because Twitter has experimented with all of this before but just not in as broad a way.

[bctt tweet=”According to @hootsuite there are 330 million monthly active #Twitter users in the world. #CobaltDigitalMarketing” via=”no”]

Explore

The Explore tab is currently organized according to content enjoyed by the user. With the new updates, this feature will now organize by topics instead of by content type. This change comes in an effort to customize the way users read news.

twitter

Source: www.thesun.co.uk

Search

Beginning sooner than you think, this feature will bring related news, events, and stories to the top of your search results. Gone are the days of digging deeper and deeper into the search results to find something relevant to you. Now, with a quick search, you’ll be able to find out more quickly and efficiently.

Notifications

Something else Twitter is cooking up with this change is on its “Happening Now” feature. Twitter will be adding a personalized breaking news section to the top of your timeline.

Twitter will also be improving this feature by adding to the breaking news notifications alerts based on your Twitter activity, keeping you in the know about the latest news.

[bctt tweet=”According to @hootsuite 58% of Twitter said that they used the app on their mobile devices last month #Prepare4it #CobaltDigitalMarketing” via=”no”]

Moments

Lastly, navigation through Twitter’s Moments feature will be made easier. Where at first you had to swipe horizontally through Moments, the update will now switch it to a vertical swipe.

To keep in the spirit of the other changes, Moments will now reflect a recap timeline that shows you relevant tweets you may have missed. To add to that, this feature will show the latest tweets along with top commentary so that you can stay in the know on what other people are talking about. Live video will also be there too.

Follow Cobalt Digital Marketing on Facebook and Twitter for the latest developments in everything digital marketing.

 

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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What We’re Seeing From the SMX Advanced Conference

Posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2018 at 5:30 am    

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One of the biggest digital marketing conferences – SMX Advanced – took place this week. Held in Seattle this year, SMX Advanced is a heavy duty, fast-paced, engaging event that focuses on advanced SEO, SEM, PPC, and marketing topics.

While your Cobalt Digital Marketing team isn’t there in body, we are definitely there in spirit – and keeping an ever watchful gaze on the latest news coming out of the event.

Check out some of the most intriguing and pertinent #SMXInsights below:

Cobalt Digital Marketing: Looking at the Road Ahead

There’s still plenty of valuable information coming out of the 2018 SMX Advanced event and we’ll make sure to sort through all of that to bring you the latest news that will help you take your digital marketing plan to the next level.

Make sure to come back and visit us for the latest news on all things digital marketing.

 

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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PageRank Was Recently Updated. Here’s How It May Affect SEO

Posted on Friday, June 1st, 2018 at 3:10 pm    

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Recently, Google updated a patent related to an important algorithm, and it is revolutionizing how smaller websites will be detected and ranked on Google’s search engine results page (SERP).

What this update ultimately means is important to your website, and therefore, your bottom line. Cobalt Digital Marketing is always on the hunt for changes to Google’s algorithm and their effect on SEO so that we can maximize that knowledge on your website to improve leads and convert those into sales.

Here’s what we know about the PageRank patent update.

PageRank

In short, PageRank is a link analysis algorithm that is used by Google Search to rank websites based on certain criteria. PageRank provides the basis for all of Google’s web searching tools.

You should keep in mind that just because a web page has a high page rank, it does not necessarily mean that it will have high search rankings.

[bctt tweet=”PageRank was named after one of the founders of Google, Larry Page #FunFacts #CobaltDigitalMarketing ” username=””]

How It Works

According to Google, PageRank works by “counting the number of quality links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.”

Usually, Google creates a link map looking for the shortest path back to your website from another seed spam-free website. Before the update, website owners wanted their content to have links to the most authoritative, trusted domains that had the shortest path back to their website.

Because of this, popular websites would populate and dominate the front page of the SERP for the longest time because of the number of quality links they would have, but now, industry experts claim that the update to its patent will change that.

The Update

The idea is that the most recent update will put an end to the old days of big websites monopolizing all of that sweet, sweet first page real estate by loading up their content with semi-relevant links into their web pages. The goal is that smaller websites that have much more relevant information coupled with links to credible niche websites will start taking up top spots.

It doesn’t matter how intricate or large a website’s link graphs are. What will matter now is content that has quality links to authoritative, spam-free sites.

This is big news for smaller websites, further proving that Google is moving forward with their commitment to quality through content backed by expert sources.

On the other hand, industry experts believe that the change to the patent could make breaking out on the SERP for startup companies more difficult depending on the niche. But luckily, PageRank isn’t the only factor in determining search rankings. In fact, there are 200 other different factors that Google uses to rank your site, whether its brand new or aged.

While the update occurred a little over a month ago, quite often some time must pass in order to see the full effects of these changes.

As always, you can count on Cobalt Digital Marketing to bring you the latest information on SEO practices, Google algorithm changes, and how these will affect your website.

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it sixteen times, SEO always changes, and if you want to succeed in this business, you’ve got to keep up to date with them. Enlist the aid of a digital marketing firm that can get you results. Enlist the aid of Cobalt Digital Marketing.

 

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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