In a great whiteboard presentation, Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz talks about SEO metrics. Many website owners, and agencies for that matter, are focused almost completely on metrics that are very ‘old school’, consequently missing the overall picture that includes marketing KPIs and business goals.

I particularly agree with Rand’s inference that, in this new SEO orbit, some of what he calls traditional ‘Leading Indicators’ (i.e. number of incoming links) could easily be replaced with other indicators, like, say, the number of new blog posts.

Focus needs to be more strategic, more holistic.
Why do you want your rankings higher? Why do you want more links? Why do you want more web pages? Common answers often include ‘we want more traffic’ or ‘we want more exposure to our latest campaign’. There’s this assumption that this will automatically translate into achieving business goals.

But that’s not the case. Moving the focus up the food chain to the business KPIs themselves is more important, and this is where the online strategies ought to be set. Understanding the broader picture will allow you to work out what marketing KPIs are important and what leading indicators are the right ones to be monitoring to achieve your business goals.

And as Rand says, by focusing on bigger things, we can be smarter and accomplish a lot more.