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How do I determine SEO Goals & Benchmarks?

seo goal conversion

1:42 pm on Oct 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have recently been hired as the in-house SEO for a start-up with a small network of sites. I am in the process of putting together a proposal, along with some market research. My question is how do I go about laying forth the goals of the project. As of now my basic outline includes:

1) Increasing PR
2) Increasing Goal Conversions
3) Optimize Traffic (Increase the number of unique visits, pageviews. Decrease the overall bounce rate, and increase traffic to those specific areas which lead to further content drilldown)
4) Keyword Ranking (Raise the position of each site on the SERPs for both head and tail keywords)

What am I missing? Also, is it possible to give specific benchmarks? Some of the sites have analytics data, but as of now I have yet to be given access.

12:42 am on Oct 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Forget about PR. It is an SEO dinosaur.
Concentrate on the optimizable web page components.
I won't provide you with a list of optimizable web page components just know that you content and the way it links to one another is in fact the most powerful SEO you can perfrom.
Forget about creating crap then figuring out a link building schemes. Craft content, make it worthy of some links but concentrate on internal linking structure to satisfy off-page ranking factors; maybe even consider building something exterior to satisfy off-site ranking factors. This way your on-site factors are your off-site factors.
6:17 am on Oct 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ultimately a commercial site's best metric is net profits. Reducing CPA is also a consideration.

If the site is non-transactional then increasing lead flow may be a prime objective. Improving lead quality is another.

Once you've defined your objectives and key results then the steps to accomplish them will become more clear.

9:01 am on Oct 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Best is to align SEO goals with the business objectives. So if the objective is increasing product sales, then increasing product sales occuring through the website by a certain % in a certain timeframe is a relevant goal.

Building back from there you could have the above points as needed for achieving the objective (with the exception of PR). For keyword ranking I would suggest it to more specifically focus on ranking for relevant keywords after defining what is relevant based on the target market/visitor.