In case you missed it, no online marketing strategy can guarantee that it will drive traffic and sales. However, you can be smart about it and predict your search engine optimization (SEO) performance over a specific period.
This article delves deeper into the idea of SEO forecasting, including how it works and its benefits. It also offers the best tips to do it well, enabling you to make informed decisions that move you closer to your digital marketing goals.
What Is SEO Forecasting?
Marina Turea of Digital Authority Partners describes SEO forecasting as looking into the future of your search results performance using data. What kinds of information are we talking about here? Here are a few:
- Traffic: The number of visitors to your website. It can be unique, which means first-time visitors, or it can be total.
- Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of searchers who click on your website after seeing it in search results.
- Position: Your site’s rank on search engine results pages (SERPs) for a keyword.
- Clicks: The number of clicks on your website’s links from SERPs.
- Revenue: The total amount of money earned from conversions.
How Does It Work?
To accurately forecast the future of SEO, one must first understand how search engines work. Search engines are constantly crawling the web, indexing new content, and updating their algorithms to provide the best possible results for users.
As a result, SEO is an ever-evolving field that requires practitioners to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.
SEO forecasting relies on various data sources, including search engine data, web analytics, and keyword research. By analyzing this information, digital marketers can identify trends and patterns useful in determining future changes in the landscape.
As with any forecasting model, there is always some uncertainty involved. For example, a change in Google’s algorithm could dramatically impact your website’s position in SERPs. However, by monitoring the right data points and keeping up with the latest industry news, you can minimize the risk of being caught off-guard.
What Are the Benefits of Doing It?
SEO forecasting matters for many reasons:
1. It Helps Allocate Resources Efficiently
SEO is not cheap. It can cost clients around $2,000 a month. And while chief marketing officers (CMOs) and business leaders plan to spend more in 2022, it is still less than what they allocated before the pandemic. They are holding back on their advertising budget.
SEO forecasting makes it easier to determine how to make the most of limited funds while maximizing the chances of succeeding in a campaign.
2. SEO Forecasting Reduces Uncertainties
SEO is one of the most dynamic online marketing strategies. Algorithms, for example, can change around 500 times a year. Some are significant; they become core updates, impacting how search engines rank pages.
You can cushion the impact of these changes on your traffic, rankings, and, most of all, conversions. Predicting your SEO performance in a few months gives you the time to adjust your tactics and avoid or at least minimize disruptions.
3. It Builds Better Strategies
Seeing how your SEO efforts will pan out in the future allows you to plan and execute better strategies. You can fine-tune your campaigns, for example, to focus on the keywords with the highest chance of ranking or those that will generate the most traffic.
You can also work on strengthening your website’s authority by improving your link profile or creating more informative and engaging content. These are just some of the many areas you can focus on to make your SEO strategy more robust.
4 SEO Forecasting Tips To Help You Get Started
Predicting your future in SEO isn’t mandatory to succeed in generating organic traffic or conquering the SERPs. But its benefits are hard to ignore, making it an excellent addition to your online marketing plan.
The question is, how do you make the most of it?
1. Be Diligent in Gathering Data
Data is the bread and butter of forecasting. The more data you have, the more accurate your predictions will be.
Make it a point to track as many SEO metrics as possible, including but not limited to:
- Revenue or sales
- Return on investment (ROI)
- Engagement (time on site, pages per session)
You can get some of the data from web analytics tools. Others you may need to compute yourself or outsource to a reliable SEO company.
The key here is consistency. Remember, forecasting is about recognizing patterns and trends over a particular period. You cannot achieve that if your data is all over the place.
2. Pay Attention to External Factors
Several external factors can affect your SEO performance. Take, for example, changes in consumer behavior (e.g., increased use of voice search) and even global events (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic).
Make it a habit to monitor industry news and updates so you can factor them into your forecasting model. Doing so will give you a more realistic idea of what to expect in the coming months and allow you to adjust your strategies accordingly.
3. Create a Solid Roadmap
Your roadmap serves as the foundation of your forecasting model. It should include all the SEO activities you plan to execute and their corresponding timeline.
It should also consider your budget, other resources, and business goals. A roadmap ensures that the strategies you’re working on are aligned with what you want to achieve and that you have the means to see them through.
4. Experiment and Test
Do not be afraid to experiment with different forecasting models. The important thing is finding one that works for your business and allows you to make sound decisions.
You can also try different scenarios to see how they affect your traffic and rankings. Creating scenarios comes in handy, especially when external factors are at play, and you need to determine the best course of action.
Forecasting is one of the many tools you can use to improve your SEO performance. While it won’t guarantee success, it gives you a fighting chance by preparing you for what’s to come and helping you make better-informed decisions.
Start using forecasting in your SEO strategy today. And if you need help, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced SEO agency. They can assist you every step of the way, from data gathering to creating an actionable roadmap.