SEO outcomes vs. SEO outputs: Understanding the difference

The true purpose of SEO is not just to increase page views or optimize keywords, but to align with business goals and help achieve them through search. A myopic focus on metrics and details can cause SEOs to miss the bigger picture. By shifting the focus to outcomes rather than outputs and effectively communicating those outcomes to stakeholders, SEO professionals can drive better results. Outputs refer to tangible deliverables from SEO efforts, while outcomes are the effects of those outputs on business goals. It is important to focus on desired outcomes first and then determine the outputs needed to achieve them. Examples of SEO outputs include traffic metrics, rankings, backlinks, and technical SEO metrics. SEO outcomes, on the other hand, include organic conversions, customer retention, brand awareness, market share, and revenue growth. Measuring and reporting on what matters is essential, as stakeholders may not have the time or understanding to delve into all the data. It is important to report on what really matters to the organization and align SEO work with organizational objectives. By asking the right questions and understanding the goals of stakeholders and the organization as a whole, SEO professionals can align their strategies and achieve greater results. An outcome-driven approach to SEO prioritizes what matters to the organization and ensures that the work is focused and impactful. By mapping SEO efforts to desired outcomes and aligning them with organizational goals, SEO can fully demonstrate its potential in driving businesses towards their goals.

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