More threads by HoosierBuff

Dec 12, 2013
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Hi All,

I'm having trouble with setting goals for clients, and wanted to see how others handle the situation. I sympathize with a client who wants to have something concrete to point to, but, I find it hard to guarantee a result (like, "ranking will improve to #2 for toyota dealer near me", and likewise traffic data or GMB data is equally hard to forecast). Do I just suck at SEO because I can't guarantee a tangible goal, or am I lazy for not digging deep enough to figure out where we are going to go?
Start by asking what your clients goals are and work backwards from there. Once you know their goals you can focus your seo efforts on helping them reach them.

We typically start by helping our clients establish what a good ROI should be by establishing their client life-time value and closing ratio on internet leads. Once you know those numbers you can establish an ROI/leads goal for each month or quarter.
Which goals are defined will vary greatly by industry. Some common goals that I set up in Google Analytics:
  • mobile clicks on phone numbers (on the website)
  • clicks on email addresses (on the website)
  • form completions
  • "intent to register/purchase" where the actual activity would take place on a separate domain and ecommerce is not set up

these are common ones and then every client situation would require unique goals. I never talk about traffic unless it is organic traffic from Google and I have filtered for certain geo locations. I focus on conversions rather than traffic.
OOh.. this is some good feedback. The SEJ article that @pony linked is good, and seems on point, but, really this is local SEO and I don't think I can get real estimated search volumes in a reliable way- then you add in the difficulty that proximity ranking makes it that much harder to track potential volume. You might be able to see volume for Chiropractor Colorado Springs (though the sample sizes are small), but, you won't be able to get volume for "Chiroractor" in the 80910 area code.

If this is not local SEO, I can see this is being much much easier. . .and it starts to become prohibitively time consuming to do so. Add in all the leakage in local SEO, that so much of what we do is going to show up in GMB. . . yeesh.

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