The Truth About SEO KPIs

At your office, real results are as rare as a diamond-stuffed, platinum-horned unicorn with a winning lottery ticket stuck in his hoof getting struck by lightning.

When you have real results, you get more budget, you get more promotions and you get invited to the meetings you want to be in.


There’s a problem. KPIs do not always correlate with what’s best for the business.

This is true even with a job like SEO — where your success or failure is so closely tied to the company’s success or failure.

For example: you probably have a keyword in your keyword set — that your job performance will be evaluated for! — that is fifty or even eighty percent of the monthly volume of all of your keywords combined.

This happens all the time, even when you’re tracking thousands of keywords. (If you’re familiar with the Pareto principle, then this won’t come as a surprise.)

Plus, though that keyword is relevant to your company, it may not be a converting keyword. A number one ranking for that keyword might slaughter your KPIs but barely bring in revenue for the business.

So, what are you, our dear hero of SEO, to do?

The solution is ye olde ‘bait ‘n switch’.

Ramit Sethi, the founder and best-selling author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich, has a saying. In sales, he says, you need to sell people what they want then give them what they need.

Let me explain. As I write this, summer is fast approaching. Let’s say you want to rock six pack abs at the beach like a technicolor peacock tail.

You start googling for the best ab exercises and find a course you want to buy. You can have the biggest, shiniest abs in the world, but if they’re covered by a layer of fat it won’t matter. What you really need is a diet plan.

So the product maker creates a course that has daily ab exercises for you to do first thing in the morning along with the eating guide you really need. The end result is you get the abs you want, the product creator stays in business, you might some hot chicks at the beach and everybody has a great summer.

How do you do this as an SEO?

Start your year off by focusing time and resources on those highest volume keywords. Once you have your rankings and KPIs, then get to work on the money making keywords.

These are often long-tail keywords with lower monthly search volume, but they make the money!