The Key to the success of any SEO project is picinkg the right goals. If you are focusing on a wrong goal, the ROI on the SEO project will be lower. Here are some non optimal goals:

1. Rankings This is a very popular goal for many Projects. Many people contacting the SEO proffessionals set their goal as to rank number one for a particular search term. The problem with this goalis that new businesses generally don't get top rankings. If they succeed at their goal of ranking number one for their term, they may increase their Web site sales by 10 percent. But if they could have taken the same SEO energy to increase relevant traffic to the site by 20 percent, it may inrease sales by 20 percent. 70 percent of the relevant traffic to a site generally coming from long tail terms. The SEO strategy to drive relevant long tail traffic isn't the same as it is to drive a single term to the number one position. We will prefer a 20 percent increase in business than a 10 percent increase.
2. Traffic For a lot of companies, the goal for doing SEO is to increase the traffic. This is closer to the roght goal, but if the traffic is not relevent, you may only get a 10 percent increase in sales. But if you get 20 percent more traffic with strong bying intent, you may be able to get a 20 percent increase in sales.
3. Number of New Links Per Month You can set your goal to get a specific number of new links per month. The problem is that those number of links may have marginal results on your business but it will not help to grow your business. But if you get a backlink from an authoritative and relevant site, that one link may worth 10,000 times more than another link. The other danger to this metric is that it can push you mentally down the path of buying links. That is a dangerous game to play, and one you should avoid.

If you select a wrong goal, it will make you focus your energy in the wrong directions. The current recession, which was clearly driven by sales-at-any-cost goals, resulting in a lot of financial institutions taking on bad debt (because it increased sales), which looked great until they couldn't collect on the debt, is a good example for selecting a wrong goal. If you are doing SEO, tie your SEO goals as tightly as you can to the broader goals of your business. If your goal is to increase sales, leads, or impressions, tie your SEO goals to those metrics.