Staying competitive in today’s digital world means maximizing your content. And doing that means having a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in place.
SEO forecasting is a vital part of any SEO plan. Read on to learn more about what SEO forecasting is, why it matters and how it works!
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What is SEO forecasting?
SEO forecasting is the process of using your analytics data from previous search traffic to identify patterns that help predict future results. This information helps your business decide which strategies to use or improve for the best outcomes and value.
Why does SEO forecasting matter?
Now that you know the answer to the question, “what is SEO forecasting”, let’s dive into why SEO forecasting matters.
This strategy is important because it helps you make more informed marketing decisions that drive web traffic, leads, and conversions for your company.
Every marketing initiative you undertake has a goal and a return on investment (ROI). Establishing an accurate ROI for SEO can be challenging since many factors influence those results.
Predicting outcomes based on existing data helps you understand your potential ROI in SEO strategies. It also helps you form your content marketing plans, like which topics might be most useful for achieving a specific marketing goal like brand awareness.
Benefits of SEO forecasting
There are many benefits of SEO forecasting beyond more informed decision-making. For example, it helps you:
- Determine if your goals are reasonable and achievable
- Allocate your marketing budget wisely
- Understand your data, what it’s telling you, and how to use it to your advantage
How SEO forecasting works
Are you wondering how SEO forecasting works? We’ve got you covered?
There are many ways to approach SEO forecasting. Which one you use depends on your goals.
1. Forecasting the performance of your keywords
One of the most common ways to use SEO forecasting is to predict keyword performance. You can use this to tell how your current keyword rankings will continue to deliver results and how keywords you want to rank for might behave.
To do this, you’ll need to gather the relevant information. Let’s say you’re ranking at number three for a specific term. When you look at the monthly search data for that keyword, you can see how much more traffic you can expect if you move up to number two.
Next, you’ll look at the number of visitors required per conversion. Now you can make a better decision if investing more into that keyword is worth the potential return.
You can do the same analysis with the terms you want to rank for by looking at their traffic patterns. Doing so could lead you to immediate opportunities.
2. Setting a standard
SEO forecasting can also help you understand where you are relative to your competitors and potential.
Using your data and predictions as benchmarks helps you set specific and measurable targets. With this guideline in place, you can instantly see where investments fell short or outperformed.
These benchmarks are also useful for managing the expectations of your team and stakeholders as they evolve and improve over time.
3. Predicting traffic growth for your competition
The same methods you use to map out your expected keyword performance are equally helpful in measuring your competition.
When you analyze what keywords they rank for, you can better evaluate what investment level you need to overtake them for key terms. You can also understand how to better position your company to do it. You might even get some insight into their upcoming content strategies if you dig deep enough!
4. Forecasting your ROI
Using SEO forecasting to predict ROI is probably the most popular approach because business owners need to know how their marketing strategy pays off. Plus, it’s useful for determining exactly when you might see those results.
To do this, you need to understand your attribution model and each cost tied to your SEO efforts.
Generally speaking, a single piece of marketing content isn’t usually enough to convert. Your customers often need multiple touchpoints throughout the buyer’s journey. The more touchpoints you have data on, the more accurate your predictions will be.
You’ll want to consider the cost of developing a new resource. Combine that with your keyword forecasting to determine how much traffic you can generate and when you’ll recoup those costs based on your conversion rates. When you add in the ongoing performance you expect, you can better forecast ROI for your SEO efforts.
5. Predicting opportunity cost
You can only spend a dollar once. So, if you invest in Strategy A, there’s an opportunity cost for Plan B. In other words, you may be giving up some potential for B by putting more money into A.
Ideally, your predictions take the opportunity cost into account using the same approaches for analysis. You’re making the most informed decision possible when you have all the data.
Now you’re ready to start making your first SEO forecasts using any of the methods above! If you’d rather have an expert do it for you, WebFX can help.
These are real SEO results driven for a WebFX client.
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