Some experts believe that search engine optimization (SEO) is similar to gambling.
Why? Essentially, you’re taking a chance by altering specific features of your page in the hopes of a traffic surge.
While this is largely correct, it does not reflect the entire picture. Most enterprise-level digital marketers are aware that specific patterns in analytics data allow them to predict visitor trends.
This indicates that you don’t need a crystal ball to see into the future. Instead, you might employ a technique known as SEO forecasting.
We’ll go over what this process is and how it can benefit your business in this article.
What is SEO Forecasting?
The technique of looking at analytics data from previous search traffic and evaluating if there are any patterns or trends that repeat over time is known as SEO forecasting.
In simple words, this is how you forecast future benefits while also identifying areas that may require further focus to achieve greater results.
It is used by both enterprise-level websites and small organizations to determine how to make future decisions that are consistent with the brand’s long-term objectives.
Digital marketers should incorporate some form of the process into their strategy since it makes it easier to determine which goals are genuinely reachable and how to best allocate resources to achieve them.
SEO forecasting is a significant task for any business since it transforms existing online traffic statistics into useful information with added context, clarity, and reasoning.
How SEO Forecasting Can Benefit Your Business
To learn about SEO forecasting is one thing, but it’s quite another to consider how it might benefit your company in the long run.
To understand this clearly, you must know that the process is driven by two major factors:
First-party data provides your business with information on what is performing effectively for your website in terms of optimization and growth. It’s usually derived from information gathered by Google Analytics or any other SEO reporting tools you use.
Third-party data considers what your competitors are up to and how they’re pursuing similar objectives. Consider it your company’s approach of seeing what others in your industry are doing to get comparable results to what you want.
You can see the advantages of SEO forecasting when you integrate the results from first-party and third-party data to build a holistic picture. Imagine knowing where you are now, what you may expect to see if organic traffic continues on its current course, and where your competitors are in comparison. This provides you with a clear focus as a brand on how to move forward or what techniques to employ to obtain faster outcomes.
How to Forecast SEO Using Data
It’s not as tough as you might think to use data to forecast SEO. In reality, with the correct information and tools, it is something that almost anyone can do. While the particular workflow for the procedure is heavily dependent on your speciality and needs, there are several steps you should always follow.
Here are the ones that require the most care:
1. Gather Data
Gathering past data for your website traffic is the first step in SEO forecasting.
This might be a Google Analytics report, data from specific tools, or anything else you have that offer you information about your previous traffic levels and who is visiting your site.
You’ll want to look back as long as possible with this data to determine if there are any distinct trends or seasonal phases that could affect your results throughout time.
Remember that you’re trying to acquire a high-level perspective of prior traffic at this point in the forecasting process.
2. Consider Outside Factors
Once you’ve gathered all of your previous traffic statistics, it’s time to analyse any external factors that may have influenced results over time.
You should keep a few things in mind:
- Various Google algorithm modifications had an impact on everyone’s traffic.
- Seasons when a website visitor is more inclined to seek out content on your page or look for the items and services your organization offers.
- Prior marketing strategies or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising that resulted in increased traffic.
- Pay special attention to significant purchasing dates, such as Black Friday or the holidays, for eCommerce brands.
You can also use SEO tools to obtain the third-party data we described earlier during this stage of the process.
While you won’t have as much information about your competitors as you have on your website, it can help you spot industry downtrends that aren’t due to your efforts.
3. Use a Forecasting Tool
After that, you’ll want to use a forecasting programme to combine all of the data you’ve acquired. There are plenty of apps and software tools that can help you do this, and we’ve listed a few of our favourites below.
You might want to try a few other approaches and compare the results to see what kind of information each one provides.
Sometimes you’ll acquire data that’s near enough together to give you a clear picture, while other times the two resources will be far away.
In that situation, you’ll need to draw your conclusions based on your knowledge of your industry and expertise.
4. Analyze the Data
Finally, the data must be analysed. Make a note of any emerging trends you detect and see if they appear to be likely to persist in the future.
This is also the time to identify areas where you have a specific weakness or where you need to make a change.
For instance, suppose you had a lot of visitors before a Google algorithm update and now need to modify your content to improve your ranking.
You must be willing to explore where you may make those changes or adjustments to reach your larger goals in this final step of the process.
It’s essential to keep track of your website’s previous data and compare it to future developments using SEO forecasting. It not only simplifies the design of digital marketing strategies and campaigns but also provides a clear picture of the numerous aspects that influence organic traffic.