SEO is an ever-changing field. What works today may not work tomorrow, which is why SEOs must constantly adapt their strategies to stay ahead of the curve.
SEO forecasting is a way to predict future trends in SEO so that you can adjust your strategies accordingly. By understanding what changes are on the horizon, you can make sure that your SEO efforts are always aligned with the latest trends.
It may sound like a daunting task, but believe me, you don’t need to be a data expert to use data for SEO forecasting. It becomes easier when you break it down into smaller steps: gathering data from various sources, analyzing it for patterns, and making predictions based on those patterns.
To make things even easier, I’ve compiled a list of effective ways to use data for SEO forecasting and some examples from SEO experts.
But before we dive into that, let’s take a quick look at why SEO forecasting is so important.
Why SEO Forecasting Is Important
As I mentioned before, SEO is an ever-changing field. Google makes over 500 algorithm updates every year, and even small changes can have a big impact on SEO.
SEO forecasting is important because it helps you anticipate these changes and adjust your SEO strategies accordingly. By understanding what’s on the horizon, you can make sure that your SEO efforts are always in line with the latest trends.
For businesses, SEO forecasting can help predict the impact of their SEO efforts in the future and give an estimate of future sales. It is a valuable tool for both new and experienced SEOs.
Not only that, but SEO forecasting can also help you identify opportunities that you may have otherwise missed. By understanding the direction that SEO is moving in, you can ensure you’re always ahead of the curve.
For instance, if you know that a certain SEO trend is on the rise, you can make sure to capitalize on it before your competitors do.
And last but not least, SEO forecasting can help you avoid potential pitfalls. It’s always better to be prepared for a change than to be caught off-guard by it.
By predicting what might happen in the future, you can ensure that your SEO strategies are always flexible and adaptable.
How Often Should You Make SEO Forecasts?
Now that we’ve covered the importance of SEO forecasting, you may be wondering how often you should be doing it.
The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. SEO forecasting should be done regularly, but the frequency will depend on your individual needs.
Some businesses may only need to make SEO forecasts every quarter, while others may need to do it on a monthly or even weekly basis. It all depends on the amount of data you have and how often SEO changes occur.
If you’re just starting with SEO forecasting, I would recommend doing it quarterly. This will give you a good overview of the current SEO landscape and help you identify any major changes on the horizon.
As you become more comfortable with the process, you can increase the frequency of your SEO forecasts. Just be sure not to overdo it. There’s no need to make an SEO forecast more often than you need to.
Tools like Ahrefs, Google Search Console, and SEMrush can help you gather data for your SEO forecasts. You can also leverage CORE AI to predict SEO rankings for your target keywords. The AI uses artificial neural networks to learn from past SEO data and make predictions about future SEO trends. It also considers over 200 SEO factors, including backlinks, social signals, and on-page SEO.
How to Use Data for SEO Forecasting?
I’ve outlined eight strategies for using data for SEO forecasting. But to make any of these strategies work, you need to take follwoing two things into account:
Goals That You Want to Achieve From the Forecast
The SEO goals you want to achieve from the forecast will determine the data you need to collect and the forecasting method you use. You need to pin down your goals before you can start collecting data.
As mentioned before, SEO forecasting can be used to answer questions such as:
1. Where to invest in SEO?
2. What keywords to focus on?
3. Do your brand keywords or non-brand keywords rank higher?
4. Which product categories should your SEO efforts be focused on?
5. What is the estimated return of your SEO investments?
Having a clear understanding of your goals will not only make it easier to collect the right data but also interpret the results of your SEO forecast.
Outline Which Metrics You’ll Use to Measure SEO Success
Setting clear SEO goals is important, but it’s not enough. You also need to identify which metrics you’ll use to measure SEO success. In simpler words, you need to establish a way to track whether or not your SEO forecast was accurate.
You should choose metrics that align with your SEO goals. For instance, if your goal is to increase traffic from organic search, you might want to track metrics such as organic traffic, organic keywords, and organic conversions. I would recommend choosing metrics that relate to business outcomes.
Once you’ve selected the metrics, you’ll use to measure SEO success, you need to establish a baseline. This will give you a reference point to compare your SEO forecast.
To establish a baseline, track the chosen SEO metrics over a period of time. I recommend tracking the metrics for at least three months to get an accurate picture.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of SEO forecasting, it’s time to dive into the details. Here are nine effective ways to use data for SEO forecasting:
1. Use Google Analytics With Ahrefs
This duo is helpful for businesses that prefer project-based SEO forecasting. Google Analytics or Google Search Console are the best data sources for an accurate estimate. Of course, you need to use them in combination with Ahrefs. This SEO forecasting technique is best used by businesses that are comfortable with code and SEO scripts.
One way to use this SEO forecasting technique is by exporting the ‘Organic traffic’ chart in CSV format from Google Analytics. Then, you can use an SEO forecasting script on Google Colab. Finally, you can plug in the data from Ahrefs to get traffic forecasts for your website or page.
This would give you an estimate of the traffic one year from now. It’s important to note that this SEO forecasting technique only works if you have sufficient data.
2. Study Data Trends
Studying trending data is another way to make SEO predictions. The best way to do this is by using Google Trends. You can use it to study the SEO demand for a certain keyword over time. This will give you an idea of whether the keyword’s SEO demand is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same.
Google Trends can also be used to compare the SEO demand for two different keywords. This is helpful if you decide which keywords to focus your SEO efforts on.
Again, this strategy is best used by businesses that do project-based SEO forecasting and are comfortable with code and SEO scripts.
3. Analyze All SEO Data
Different SEO tools offer different types of data. And each SEO tool has its own unique SEO metric. This can make it difficult to get a clear understanding of your SEO data.
That’s why I recommend analyzing all SEO data from different SEO tools. This will give you a more holistic view of your SEO efforts. Gather all the available data from tools like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and SEMrush.
Then, you can use a data visualization tool like Excel or Tableau to spot SEO trends and make better SEO predictions. Use the findings to analyze individual pages on your website and SEO campaigns.
Compare the data side-by-side (impressions vs. clicks, Ahrefs keyword difficulty vs. impressions, etc.) to get a clear understanding of which SEO tactics are working and which ones aren’t.
Now, this process may seem daunting. But it’s worth the effort. After all, data analysis is an important part of SEO forecasting.
4. Calculate Clicks With Commercial Intent
For businesses which prefer monthly SEO forecasts, I recommend calculating clicks with commercial intent. Commercial intent includes identifying the probability of converting someone to search for specific keywords.
This SEO forecasting technique is helpful because it allows you to focus your SEO efforts on keywords that are more likely to result in conversions. You can also save time and resources by getting down to business right away.
One way to do this is by using the Google Search Console. Look at the average monthly clicks and impressions for commercial intent keywords. Then, you can use an SEO forecasting tool like SEO Monitor to get monthly SEO predictions.
You can also do it manually by measuring the aggregate number of clicks with commercial intent (organic clicks to your product or service landing pages) and dividing it by the number of days in a given month. This would give you the average number of clicks with commercial intent on a daily basis.
Not only will this SEO forecasting technique help you maintain keyword rankings, but it will also help you generate more inbound leads.
5. Track Existing Keywords And Their Rankings
The performance of existing SEO keywords is a good indicator of SEO success. After all, if your SEO keywords aren’t performing well, your website won’t rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs).
That’s why I recommend tracking existing SEO keywords and their rankings. This will give you an idea of which SEO keywords need to be improved and which ones are doing well.
Many businesses often lose sight of their SEO keywords after they’ve been ranked for a while. Sometimes they are so focused on creating new content and SEO keywords that they forget to track the SEO keywords they already have.
This is a mistake. Not only should you track SEO keyword rankings, but you should also track SEO keyword performance. You can use any SEO dashboard to do this. SEO Vendor’s CORE AI dashboard is a great option. It allows you to track SEO keyword rankings and SEO keyword performance over time.
This SEO forecasting technique is helpful because it allows you to adjust your SEO tactics as needed. If an SEO keyword is no longer performing well, then you can try a different SEO keyword. Or, you can adjust your SEO strategy altogether.
By tracking SEO keywords, you can ensure your website is consistently ranking high for the right SEO keywords.
6. Analyze Historical Data And Past SEO Trends to Identify Patterns
We’ve already discussed data visualization tools to spot SEO trends for project-based SEO forecasting. But, for businesses that prefer monthly SEO forecasts, analyzing historical data and past SEO trends is a better option.
Historical data can help determine patterns and cycles in the way traffic flows. This will give you a picture of how SEO traffic will possibly turn out in a given month.
The best way to do this is to analyze your web analytics data. It doesn’t matter which analytics tool you use. Google Analytics is a popular choice, but you can also use tools like Adobe Analytics or KISSmetrics.
The goal is to focus on building a pipeline that overlaps with the goals of your business. Develop a process to help you migrate from managing sales to improving engagements. The process should include creating a forecasting model, acting on opportunities, and taking necessary action based on available metrics. You should also focus on forecasting metrics like SEO traffic, SEO leads, SEO conversions, etc.
This SEO forecasting technique will give you a better understanding of how SEO traffic behaves. You can then use this information to make better SEO predictions for the future.
7. Use Keyword Difficulty And Search Volume to Make Predictions
If you’re a business just starting out with SEO, you may not have a lot of data to work with. In this case, using keyword difficulty and search volume to make predictions can be helpful.
This SEO forecasting technique uses data from SEO tools like Moz and Ahrefs. You can use the keyword difficulty score to determine which SEO keywords are easier to rank for. You can also use the search volume to determine how much traffic a particular SEO keyword gets.
It is important to note that since you’re just starting out, you won’t be able to rank for the most difficult SEO keywords. However, you can still leverage low-difficulty SEO keywords to drive traffic to your website.
In a nutshell, this SEO forecasting technique can be helpful if you’re new to SEO and your DA score isn’t high enough to beat existing ranking content.
8. Use a Mix of Ahrefs, Google Search Console, And Google Spreadsheet
We’ve already discussed the duo of SEO tools – Ahrefs and Google Search Console. But, if you want to take your SEO forecasting game up a notch, then you can use a mix of Ahrefs, Google Search Console, and Google Spreadsheet.
This SEO forecasting technique is a bit more technical. But it can be helpful if you want to get more accurate SEO predictions.
The idea is to use Ahrefs to create a list of target keywords and their monthly search volume and build a spreadsheet with key terms and queries. You can also look in your Google Search Console to check how much traffic you’re getting for the SEO content, which is already ranking on page 1 for the key terms.
It is often observed that Ahrefs and Google Search Console tend to under-report SEO traffic. I recommend cross-checking your data with Google Analytics to get a more accurate picture.
Moving forward, you can use different formulas in Google Spreadsheets to check the overall search volume for the past six months. You can also use the average monthly traffic from Google Analytics to get an idea of future SEO traffic.
This SEO forecasting technique may be a bit more technical. But it can be helpful if you want to get more accurate SEO predictions.
SEO forecasting is an important part of SEO. By using the techniques mentioned above, you can make more accurate SEO predictions which can help you improve your SEO strategy. Although there may not be a single perfect way to forecast SEO, these techniques can help you get closer to making accurate predictions. Try out these techniques and see how they work out for you. And, only change your strategy if you aren’t able to make close-to-accurate predictions.