How SEO Forecasting Works and Why It Matters
Any digital marketer knows how competitive search engine optimization is. However, reaching and maintaining those high-ranking positions is never about luck but rather the creation, implementation, and management of a high-quality digital strategy.
One of the aspects of that strategy that an SEO agency should bring to the table is SEO forecasting. Here is everything you need to know about predicting, how it works, and why it matters to you and your business.
What Is SEO Forecasting?
SEO forecasting is about predicting the future. But, of course, we are not talking about crystal balls and tea leaves – this is purely data-driven. For forecasting purposes, your previous and existing traffic analytics data will project what future results might be by identifying patterns and trends. That forecast adapts your strategy for maximum results and value with minimum effort and cost outlay.
Does SEO Forecasting Matter?
Sure. Results from search engine optimization activity based on forecasting are far more substantial than those that do not use it. That is because you can make better decisions when you have accurate data. Further, you can better predict your marketing expenses and work to tighter budgets where necessary. Therefore, any marketing manager knows how difficult it can be to calculate an accurate cost to benefit from digital marketing.
With forecasting, it becomes more manageable, and knowing exactly where you get a good return on your investment means that you can focus on the proven strategies to work for you and discard those that have continued to fail.
Put another way, if you are not using SEO forecasting and your competitors are, they are most likely spending less and performing better.
How Does SEO Forecasting Work?
Accurate SEO is a broad range of factors that all work harmoniously. Therefore, to effectively use SEO forecasting, you must look at each aspect individually.
Keyword forecasting is perhaps the easiest way to understand the budgeting benefits of this discipline. For example,take a hypothetical situation where you have run an SEO audit and found a keyword for which you currently rank tenth. Then, you can use forecasting to predict how much traffic you will continue to earn from that position. Still, crucially, you can also see the increase in traffic if you were number nine or higher.
1. How Much To Move up a Rank or Two?
Then, you can calculate the cost of moving up in position. Again, this may be more of a generalized or estimated figure – it could be something as relatively inexpensive as repurposing existing blog or article content and refreshing your landing pages, or it could be a whole new content strategy with dedicated link-building efforts and email and social campaigns.
2. Conversion Rate and Average Sale Value
Combining that value with your conversion rate (how many visitors become customers/subscribers, etc.) and average sales value, you can then work out whether it is worth the investment – if it costs you $2000 to move up one ranking. Still, if you will only gain five hundred more visitors per month, and only one of those will convert with an average sale of $1000, it is not worth it.
As a result, you can keep running an analysis for different keywords and phrases until you find a favored calculation area. Therefore, no more wasted investment and unpredictable results.
3. Content Marketing
That keyword work should then feed into your content strategy. So why spend money, time, and effort on a blog or article that will not bring you the necessary value? Instead, you can create content around the keywords that will impact your sales and customer reach – ultimately, the purpose of your SEO and content marketing.
Better dollar management and accurate targets mean that as a digital marketing professional, you can go to the budget holder with actual data and deliverables – making expectations for your work much more reasonable.
What Information Do You Need for Good Forecasting?
As you can see, it is not as simple as looking at how your keywords have performed in the last quarter and assuming they will continue to do so in the next. Here are some of the most important metrics you will need to have at hand when you conduct your forecasting exercise:
- Historical and ongoing organic traffic
- Average search volume (including seasonality where appropriate)
- Ranking information
- Click-through rates
- Conversion rates (specifically from organic traffic)
- Your average sale value
That is not an exhaustive list – realistically, you will need any metric to inform your current and future SEO activities. The more precise the information you use to calculate, the better: if you rely too much on estimated figures, you open yourself up to larger margins of error.
The tools you can use to get those metrics do not have to cost anything (although there are some paid-for platforms, of course). Instead, you can find most of what you need using Google’s suite of free tools: primarily Google Analytics and Search Console.
SEO Forecasting in Retrospect
When you have completed your SEO forecasting and made the relevant adjustments, it is essential to reflect on your work. Were your forecasts reasonably accurate? Did your strategy work out for you? How can you improve both of those areas in the next measurable period?
Make sure that the targets you are setting and the goals you are aiming for are attainable. You will soon have a streamlined and cost-conscious SEO strategy that responds appropriately and quickly to market changes.
Digital Authority Partners
Suppose SEO forecasting still seems too convoluted and involved. In that case, you can make the whole process significantly more accessible simply by talking to Digital Authority Partners. Our digital marketing services and SEO team has helped businesses like yours to take their online presence to the next level (and beyond) for many years.
We create a unique, customized digital strategy for each client we work with, ensuring that your goals are always the focus of everything we do. So get in touch today to learn more.