What if I tell you there is a way you could predict future trends based on the previous ones? Confused? Well, it’s certainly not a crystal ball that does the trick but a practice called SEO forecasting.
In the modern digital age, being competitive involves making the most of your material. A search engine optimization (SEO) plan must be in place in order to do that. The cost of your investments, the conversion rates of your website, and eventually your revenues should all be calculated. Consider it a method for calculating revenue from organic traffic.
A fast Google search demonstrates that there isn’t a single accepted method to predict SEO. Because it’s challenging work and there are various ideas on how to obtain the most accurate results.
In this guide, we uncover what SEO forecasting is, the tools you need to practice is, and how your business can benefit from it if implemented correctly.
What Is SEO Forecasting?
SEO forecasting is the act of analysing analytics data from earlier search traffic to see if there are any recurring patterns or trends.
Simply put, it is how you plan for increases in the future while identifying areas that may require further focus to get greater outcomes. It is utilised to determine how to make decisions in the future that are consistent with the brand’s overarching objectives by both small enterprises and enterprise-level websites.
It makes it simpler to choose which objectives are actually reachable and how to allocate resources to them, digital marketers must incorporate some version of the process into their strategy.
What Are The Benefits Of SEO Forecasting?
Any business must prioritise SEO forecasting because it takes existing online traffic data and transforms it into usable information with more context, clarity, and logic. SEO forecasting is done for customers to assist them in understanding how much money they may anticipate from organic searches.
You can use it to determine under pressure if you ought to take on a customer as part of your sales process. SEO foresight enables precise discovery of:
- Agency financial success.
- Client turnover
- The requirement for a greater sales staff and marketing expenditure.
- Clientele who may stay potentially longer.
- Discover Content marketing trends.
In addition to these benefits, SEO forecasting can also help you retrieve first-party data and third-party data.
First-party data provides your business with knowledge of the precise optimization and growth strategies that are successful for your website. Typically, it originates from information gathered by Google Analytics or any extra SEO reporting tools you use, like SEMrush or Moz.
Third-party data considers what your rivals are doing and how they’re attaining related objectives. Consider it your company’s method of keeping tabs on what other businesses in your sector are doing to get the outcomes you want. The true value of SEO forecasting is shown when you integrate the findings from first-party and third-party data to form a holistic picture.
Now that you have understood how implementing SEO forecasting can benefit your business online, let us look at some of the forecasting models that you or your digital marketing agency should definitely consider deploying.
Which Are The Forecasting Models For SEO?
SEO forecasting can have multiple starting points and turn in different directions as you implement your SEO strategies. Here are some of the forecasting models that you should know.
The average click-through rate (CTR) and keyword search volume are the two factors that keyword forecasting algorithms utilise to estimate website traffic.
You need to be aware of the projected monthly search volume for the target term as well as the average CTR for each ranking position in order to employ this strategy.
For instance, the top search result has a greater CTR since users are more likely to click on it. From position one to position two to position three and so on, the CTR decreases dramatically. A tool like Organic CTR history from Advanced Web Ranking may be used to retrieve the average CTR by position.
Keyword forecasting is futile without the effort of your content writing agency to incorporate these keywords naturally into the content piece, titles and descriptions. Doing this not only signals Google that your content is great but also improves CTRs and reduced bounce rates.
Historic Performance & Seasonal Performance Forecasting
Insufficient historical traffic data exists to make a reliable projection. Make careful to account for any future changes to platforms, search engines, user habits, and the overall business landscape when forecasting success.
COVID-19 is a good illustration. Due to the necessity of internet buying during the early lockdowns, several eCommerce firms experienced massive increases in online sales when the pandemic initially struck in March 2020. However, it would be folly to extrapolate from that past performance and predict that March’s moving forward will be no different.
Always take into account outside variables, such as changes to the Google algorithm, consumer patterns, and the news cycle, while evaluating your historical data.
Based on your previous growth pattern, the statistical forecasting approach predicts your traffic based on historical data and mathematical formulae. It specifically makes use of exponential smoothing and linear regression.
The specific mathematical words don’t actually matter. Each function has the same objective, which is to make predictions about the future based on historical data.
As it is specific to your website, it is usually more accurate than keywords alone. It analyses information about your site’s performance over the last two to three years to estimate your organic traffic.
Now, it is time for you to implement SEO forecasting in the right way. Let us see the steps involved in doing this.
Steps To Keep In Mind While SEO Forecasting
You and your SEO agency can work together to implement the following steps:
Getting historical information on the traffic to your website is the first step in SEO forecasting.
This might be a Google Analytics report, information from certain tools, or anything else you have that provides details on your previous traffic volumes and the people visiting your website.
With this data, you should look back as long as possible to detect any distinct trends or seasonal changes that could have an impact on findings over time. Remember that your goal at this step of the forecasting process is to obtain a high-level overview of previous traffic.
Identify Exceptions & Outliers
Is there a time of year when website traffic is particularly high? Data points that are significantly higher or lower than the rest of the data set are known as outliers. For instance, during the COVID outbreak, several internet companies experienced traffic increases.
Your data may contain outliers if:
- Your traffic increased as a result of a one-time campaign you executed.
- Your website saw a surge of bot visitors.
- Your website underwent a makeover or renovation.
- Outlier data should be removed since it is an isolated incident and does not accurately reflect your performance as a whole. Additionally, it will distort your forecasts and render it unreliable.
You may substitute it with a number that it would be if there weren’t a random spike using predicting.
Use The Right Forecasting Tools
Now, there are quite a few options for tools to choose from while implementing SEO forecasting. Here is a list that you can consider using:
Prophet by Facebook
The Facebook Core Data Science Team created Prophet, an open-source framework that enables you to predict for univariate time series datasets. Using the Python or R API, Prophet analyses seasonality on an annual, weekly, and daily basis (as well as the impact of holidays). To utilise the Prophet tool, you’ll need both Python and Pandas DataFrames since data must be imported into them. Instead of Python, the programme may also be used using R API.
Google Data Studio
With the aid of the online data visualisation tool Google Data Studio, you can create forecasts and useful, interesting reports from unstructured data. To gather data, Data Studio links to a variety of data sources, including Semrush, Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Google Search Console. You may produce interactive dashboards with visualisations that you can share and personalise with that data. You’ll want a variety of Google marketing and SEO data-collecting tools in addition to previous Excel skills.
Enterprise SEO platform seoClarity offers a range of optimization and content marketing services. Additionally, it provides a proprietary forecasting tool with a unique user interface and a traffic potential template that is configurable and prioritises ROI-focused reporting. To generate a precise prospective traffic picture and to identify areas for development, seoClarity use predictive traffic modelling, which collects essential traffic, click-through rate, conversion rate, and other data formats. This forecasting solution is AI-powered and doesn’t require knowledge of data administration. To begin, you will want your keyword map and tagged keywords.
One of the top SEO software packages for business intelligence specialists, data scientists, and marketers alike is Ahrefs. With its tracking features, you may forecast future performance using indicators like as historical site traffic and keyword rankings, among others. The graph below is an example of a traffic prediction graph that can be produced using Ahrefs data and Google Colab scripts. The method combines a few plug-and-play scripts with organic traffic statistics in a downloadable CSV file to produce a graph that spans beyond the period you are now viewing.
For most jobs, you’ll need to have some coding skills in order to design bespoke snippets. But pre-written scripts are accessible in the public domain.
Although it is often more expensive, it is a very useful application that considers a variety of variables to offer you the best image of your results.
Additionally, it provides automatic reporting, so you may have these projections delivered right to your mailbox at certain intervals. This is unquestionably the greatest choice on the list if you’re searching for a forecasted SEO solution that has already been completed.
Once you have selected the right tool, carry on with the rest of the steps to implement SEO forecasting in the right way.
Forecast For Ranking Positions
You will now project how much organic traffic you will receive if you begin ranking for your desired keywords. To calculate this, multiply the CTR for each location by the volume for each term.
The growth tendency might be slowed down by adding more spots when your keyword movement is included. To make the projection a little bit more accurate, you might wish to provide information about your present position in the top twenty for one of your keywords.
Depending on the SERP, this will show you the projected visitor volumes for each keyword. To determine the total projected traffic for each slot, put those numbers together.
Analyse The Data
Make careful to examine any new patterns you discover and decide whether they seem likely to stick around in the future.
This is also the time when it’s crucial to recognise any areas where you’re particularly weak or need to change. For instance, it’s possible that you got a lot of visitors before Google updated its algorithm and that you need to alter your content to rank higher.
You must be willing to look for areas where you may make modifications or alterations in this last stage of the procedure if you want to achieve your larger objectives.
It’s crucial to monitor the historical data on your website and contrast it with anticipated developments using SEO forecasting. Not only does it simplify the process of creating digital marketing strategies and campaigns, but it also enables you to see clearly how the many aspects of organic traffic interact.
All the best!