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SEO KPIs vs SEO Goals: What You Need to Know SEO KPIs vs SEO Goals: What You Need to Know

SEO KPIs vs SEO Goals: What You Need to Know

Before embarking on your SEO campaign, you need to identify your KPIs and goals. Since these terms are quite similar, it can be hard to know which is which.

In this blog post, we’ll clarify the difference between these two concepts, so that you can measure your SEO successes more accurately.

When to Use SEO KPIs

SEO goals and KPIs are essential to measuring the success of your SEO strategy. If you’re wondering why it matters which term you use, then this article is for you.

Here’s how we define these two concepts:

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO) Goals are the results that you want to achieve with your SEO strategy. These can be anything from getting more traffic from Google or other search engines to generating more leads for your business through organic search traffic.
  • Search Engine Optimisation Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure how successful your efforts have been toward achieving your SEO goals.

Examples of SEO KPIs

In general, SEO KPIs are a set of metrics that you can use to monitor the performance of your SEO efforts. They help you determine whether or not something is working and how well it’s working.

When optimising your website for search engines, your main goal is to rank as high as possible, ideally in the top three results. If you achieve this, people will find your site when they search for relevant keywords.

Some examples of popular SEO KPIs include:

  • Visits (how many total unique users visited my site)
  • Pages viewed (how many pages did each user visit on average)
  • Bounce rate (percentage of single-page sessions)
  • Time on site (how long do users spend on average per session?)
  • Conversions (what percent of visitors take action after visiting my website?)
  • Search queries used by searchers who land on my website

When to use SEO goals

Goals are the end result of your SEO strategy. They provide a clear measure of how successful your SEO strategy is and can help you measure the impact of your efforts.

There are a variety of different goals you can have for your site. Here are some examples:

  • Increase traffic: You might want more people to visit your site and spend more time there, or maybe you want to make sure they’re all converting into purchases. Either way, increasing traffic is important because it will give you an idea of how well your SEO strategy is working.
  • Improve rankings: The better your ranking in search results pages (SERPs), the more clicks and visits you’ll get from people who are looking for relevant content on other sites. This increases brand awareness and leads to increased traffic as well as conversions from people who see what you offer.
  • Improve brand awareness: Branding is important for many businesses because it helps them build trust with their customers over time through consistent messaging across multiple channels like social media marketing campaigns or email newsletters sent out regularly every month with tips about how their products/services could help solve their problems better than competitors.

You need to base your SEO strategy on data and facts, not opinion.

As you set up your SEO strategy, you need to base it on data and facts, not opinions. KPIs are a great way to track your progress and set targets for your strategy. On the other hand, goals focus more on the “why” behind what you’re doing — why does it matter?

So what kind of data should be included in your KPIs?

  • Organic traffic (e.g., visitors from Google)
  • Paid traffic (e.g., visitors from Bing)

Your KPIs will change depending on your industry.

The key to choosing the right metrics is knowing your business and its goals. If your goal is to build brand awareness, then vanity metrics like visits are likely more important than actionable metrics like conversions. If you’re trying to increase sales, however, it’s a better idea for you to focus on actionable metrics such as conversions or revenue.

Vanity Metrics: These are the numbers that everyone likes to see go up but don’t actually tell you anything about what’s going on behind them (e.g., page views).

Actionable Metrics: Actionable KPIs are exactly what they sound like. They show whether or not something worked (e.g., conversions).


As you can see, there are many different types of KPIs and goals. The key takeaway is that it’s important to identify both for your business.

Cornerstone Digital is a digital marketing agency in Sydney. We’d be glad to talk to you about SEO KPIs and goals. Call us on (02) 8211 0668 or email us at [email protected].

Darlyn Herradura

A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.

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