Why tracking goals is the most important metric for your business

What’s wrong with tracking rankings and traffic?

Many an SEO or Paid Ads supplier use traffic or rankings as their primary reporting method to clients. This approach, however, is flawed, as these metrics merely support the primary objective for a business, which, in most cases is to get more leads and sales.

Further to this, traffic and rankings are only important, if the keywords that are bringing in this traffic have the correct intent. What I mean by this is, by looking at the example below, an acupuncturist in Sydney at first glance might want their website to rank for acupuncture, as it has the highest search volume:

In reality, a better choice is to target acupuncture Sydney, for two reasons:

  1. The search intent of this keyword is in the transactional phase of the buyer’s journey. Ie. People searching using the phrase “Acupuncture Sydney” are far more likely to be searching for your Acupuncture clinic, compared with those searching for “Acupuncture”, as “Acupuncture is a more informational keyword whose intent is more for people trying to learn about Acupuncture.

  1. Ranking for “Acupuncture” will also be extremely difficult (and in most cases fruitless) as Google knows the intent. Keywords such as these are called “head” keywords, which are very general in nature and are extremely competitive.

Why are goals a better choice?

What’s more important for your business, rather than focusing on rankings and traffic, is to focus on goals. What do I mean by goals? Goals can be broadly grouped into three main categories:

  1. e-commerce transactions – for a buyer to buy your product
  2. Lead generation– contact form enquiries/Phone calls etc
  3. Signup– receive emails/newsletter etc
These metrics are far closer to driving revenue to your business than rankings or traffic. In e-commerce businesses, they actually are directly generating revenue.

What’s the best way to create goals for my website?

Google Analytics (GA). Google Analytics includes an area called “Conversions” which allows you to create goals, based on predefined or custom metrics and pages.

How do I create a goal for my website?

I’ve previously written a more detailed guide on creating goals. The guide assumes you already have GA setup and your website is already collecting data. This could be via installing tracking code manually, or using a plugin to that for you in platforms such as WordPress.

TL;DR

Tracking rankings and traffic are good, but tracking goal conversions that bring real revenue to your business are better! traffic and rankings are often subjective, and may or may not contribute to business revenue.

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