With a potential recession looming, businesses and agencies all over the world are starting to rethink their marketing budgets and how they can best allocate resources most efficiently.
In the coming times, it will be even more important to prove the value of SEO to clients and stakeholders. Marketing agencies will be tasked with implementing cost-reduction strategies and prove that SEO will still be valuable and that it can be tied to accurate results and forecasted ROI.
For marketing agencies to grow, they will need to provide a comprehensive SEO service that offers accurate forecasting and insights, at the same time convincing stakeholders and clients to invest in SEO.
What Is Forecasting In Marketing?
Forecasting in marketing is the process of predicting future trends, sales data, and market characteristics. It allows businesses to plan based on an empirical, data-focused approach instead of guesswork. Several different types of forecasting techniques allow businesses to obtain quantitative and qualitative data.
Businesses can use market research, behavioral analytics, and historical data to make predictions about things like:
- Customer behaviors throughout the user journey.
- The number of leads likely generated within a period.
- The rate at which leads move through the sales funnel.
- Effectiveness of different marketing campaigns and channels in acquiring new customers.
- Market potential of the product: how much potential revenue your product or service will likely generate within a specific market.
- Future sales numbers and revenue impact.
- Impact on critical product metrics around acquisition, retention, and engagement.
Why Is SEO Forecasting Important?
While forecasting is important for all types of marketing, it’s especially important when it comes to SEO. This is because search engine algorithms are highly dynamic and constantly changing, so any SEO strategy needs to be tailored to the specific algorithm changes.
For instance, when Google releases a new algorithm update, SEO practitioners need to be able to quickly adjust their strategies and forecasts accordingly. With accurate forecasting, they’ll know exactly what kind of impact the update will have and how to optimize content for maximum visibility.
Knowing when to expect slumps or spikes in traffic can inform a holistic digital marketing strategy and enable your team of marketers to build smarter SEO campaigns that are tailored to the current algorithm.
To stay competitive, marketing agencies should develop forecasting models and strategies that are tailored to their client’s needs. This could include analyzing the performance of previous campaigns, keyword optimization strategies, and competitor research. By considering all these factors, agencies can create accurate and reliable forecasts that can inform their campaigns.
How to Leverage SEO Forecasting to Provide Greater Value
As an SEO expert, it’s your responsibility to ensure that SEO is a priority in any digital marketing strategy. You can do this by providing accurate, reliable forecasts and insights to your clients and stakeholders.
For example, you can use SEO forecasting to better predict, select, and validate your marketing objectives, SEO goals, and business goals. This will provide valuable insights to marketing directors, commercial managers, or finance directors.
This should be done through a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes competitor research, keyword optimization strategies, and performance analysis. By leveraging SEO forecasting to its full potential, you can provide greater value to your clients and stakeholders.
Here are some of the ways you can use SEO forecasting to identify hidden or less obvious opportunities for growth through organic search:
- Analyzing past performance and trends.
- Identifying and tracking influencers.
- Predicting customer behavior and sales numbers.
- Analyzing competitor strategies and keyword optimization.
- Evaluating the success of campaigns.
- Analyzing the potential market share of your product or service.
Use SEO Forecasting At SEO Strategy Creation Level to Validate Achievable Goals
When creating an SEO strategy, it’s important to make sure that the goals are achievable. SEO forecasting can help you identify any potential risks or opportunities that could impact the success of a campaign, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
For instance, you can use SEO forecasting to track competitors and identify areas where you have a competitive advantage. This can help guide your strategy to capitalize on those strengths and create a high-performing SEO campaign.
Some of the questions that your potential clients and stakeholders will ask about SEO performance and ROI can be answered using SEO forecasting. These include:
- The percentage increase in non-brand organic traffic they can expect with an investment.
- How much additional revenue or leads can they expect from an increase in their organic search traffic?
- What their ROI will look like in 12 months time if they invest in improving their non-brand organic search traffic.
You can use AI SEO tools with predictive search capabilities to analyze large amounts of data and uncover trends in relevant search terms, key performance indicators, and potential opportunities. This can help you make better decisions when it comes to optimizing content for maximum visibility.
Validate Your SEO Objectives
Setting up objectives and goals is one of the first steps in any digital marketing strategy. They allow you to measure the impact of your campaigns and track progress accurately.
For instance, if your goal is to increase non-brand organic search traffic, you should use SEO forecasting to validate these objectives. This will give you an accurate picture of the results that can be achieved and ensure that your goals are achievable.
As a marketing agency, your potential goals at the strategy creation level may include:
- Maintaining and growing the non-brand organic search traffic the site is already receiving.
- Growing the organic, non-branded search traffic for new areas of opportunity.
Once you have set your goals, you can use SEO forecasting to validate whether they are achievable and to help you plan your digital marketing strategy most effectively.
Discover New Business Opportunities With SEO Forecasting
SEO forecasting can also be used to identify and track new business opportunities. It can provide insights into the potential impact of a keyword or phrase on organic search traffic and make it easier to monitor the performance of SEO efforts.
For example, if you are looking to expand into new markets or launch a new product line, you can use SEO forecasting to identify the most popular search terms and phrases related to that topic. This can help you to understand the opportunity and develop an effective strategy for optimizing your website’s content to rank highly in organic search results.
Identify Gaps In Your Competitor’s SEO Strategy
Your competitors’ SEO strategy can provide valuable insight into the opportunities in the marketplace. By understanding what your competitors are doing – and more importantly, where they are not focusing – you can identify gaps in their strategy and capitalize on them to gain a competitive edge.
SEO forecasting is an effective tool for analyzing competitor SEO performance. It can provide valuable insights into the performance of a website on specific keywords and phrases, as well as how it compares to its competitors. This data can be used to identify areas where the website’s SEO performance is lagging and implement strategies to close that gap.
Use Predicted SEO Forecasts To Help Stakeholders Make Business Decisions
Finally, SEO forecasting can be used to provide stakeholders with an understanding of the potential impact of their digital marketing campaigns and help them make informed decisions about their digital marketing strategy.
For instance, SEO forecasts can be used to provide an accurate picture of the potential uplift in non-brand organic search traffic, the potential increase in leads, and the projected revenue or leads they can expect from an increase in their organic search traffic. They can also be used to monitor the performance of campaigns and ensure that they are meeting their goals.
You can also segment forecasts for different objectives and stakeholders, which can help ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal. This can make it easier to identify barriers and provide stakeholders with the information they need to adjust their strategies accordingly.
Why Do Digital Agencies Need to Invest In Marketing Forecasting?
A marketing forecast is the foundation of any successful digital marketing strategy. It provides the data and insights needed to develop a strategic roadmap, create effective campaigns and make informed decisions about the future of your digital marketing efforts.
Benefits of Using Forecasting In Marketing
Investing in marketing forecasting can provide numerous benefits to your digital marketing efforts, including:
Insight Into Future Trends
Predicting future trends helps you stay ahead of the competition and capitalize on new opportunities as they arise. By understanding how customer behaviors and purchasing habits are likely to change, you can make informed decisions about the direction of your digital marketing campaigns.
Trends like seasonality, industry shifts, and customer preferences can be difficult to track in real time. Forecasting can help you identify these trends ahead of time and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Hyper-Targeted Marketing Activities
Predictive customer analytics can be used to understand customers’ behaviors and provide insights into how they interact with your products or services. This data can be used to create more targeted marketing activities that are tailored to the individual customer’s needs, interests and preferences.
AI SEO tools can also be used to optimize content for search engines. This involves identifying the most relevant keywords and phrases that will help your website rank higher in organic search results.
Increase Customer Retention
Predictive analytics can also be used to identify customers who are at risk of churning, as well as the most effective marketing campaigns to increase retention and boost loyalty. This enables you to target customers with a high likelihood of churning, offering them larger discounts or incentives as needed.
Identifying at-risk customers at early stages can also help you experiment with different strategies to increase retention and loyalty. For instance, you may offer a loyalty program for customers who make repeat purchases or provide exclusive offers to customers who are at risk of churning.
Better Resource Management
Forecasting can also help you better manage your resources by identifying areas where you could be more efficient or effective. For instance, if customer demand is expected to peak at certain times of the year, you can ensure your resources are allocated accordingly. This can help minimize costs and maximize profitability.
Customer support teams can also be better managed with forecasting. By predicting when customer inquiries are likely to peak, you can ensure your team is prepared with the right resources and personnel to handle inquiries.
As mentioned before, we’re operating amid uncertain markets and there are plenty of unknowns when it comes to budgeting. That’s why many digital agencies need to switch to cost-reduction strategies and focus on predicting costs more accurately. Accurate forecasting is a useful tool for anticipating customer demand, understanding customer behavior, and allocating resources efficiently.
Proactive Vs. Reactive Planning
Forecasting helps you move away from reactive planning and into a more proactive approach to digital marketing. This involves anticipating potential threats, opportunities, and events that could affect your business, and taking the necessary steps to prepare. This could include diversifying investments, creating contingency plans, or changing existing strategies.
Today’s market is not predictable, which means digital agencies can no longer rely on traditional forecasting strategies. AI-powered forecasting tools can help you stay one step ahead and make informed decisions about how to best allocate your resources. By leveraging predictive analytics and understanding customer behavior, you can ensure your digital marketing activities are more effective and targeted. This will enable you to maximize profits and reduce costs in the long run.
If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with us today. We can help you get started with forecasting and ensure your digital marketing activities are as efficient and effective as possible.