Practicology is now Pattern

By Vicky Golding | Consultant

Forecasting your SEO performance is not easy, but it is possible. Practicology consultant Vicky Golding explains the basic methodologies and CTR model that will help give you a competitive edge.

SEO is not an exact science. With so many unmeasured and qualitative variables there is an inherent subjectiveness to it. It’s, therefore, not surprising that even the most experienced marketers fall back into the bad habit of speculating the uplift in organic performance.

So How Can SEO Performance be Measured? 

1. Find Your Keywords and The Potential Volume of Monthly Web Visits

To secure incremental gains in revenue from organic search, you have to understand user intent across the customer journey. Conducting keyword analysis will help you to identify (relevant and, ideally, highly searched for) phrases that your customers will use when they try to find your products. 

2. What Are Your Current Ranking Positions?

Next, it’s important to know how your selected keywords are ranking across the organic search engine result pages. Here you can login to your analytics platform and download this data into a Google spreadsheet or excel document.

3. Estimate Your Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Securing high ranking positions is only half of the job. As SEO is equally concerned with attracting users to a website, we need to consider the CTR for each ranking position. In other words, we can forecast traffic increase from improved ranking positions, based upon average monthly search volumes and projected click through rates improvements. 

Step 1 

With your current segment of data, use the following CTR model to calculate how you’re currently performing from your brand and generic search engine result page (SERP) listings.

Brand and Generic ranking tables v2.jpg

Step 2 

Add three extra columns to forecast realistic ranking improvements across the first results page. These will be more accurate as you come to focus on specific optimisation activities. For example, if you know you’re going to be enhancing how your site appears in the SERPs you may have scheduled to add a series of rich snippets (e.g. customer reviews/ratings) to your top performing landing pages.

If you can see that your competitors haven’t yet added such mark-ups then you can safely predict that it will accelerate your ranking positions. 

In this scenario you might be comfortably positioned in 4th place but with informative and highly relevant snippets you can boost your organic rankings by 2-3 places. This, inevitably, is going to increase your traffic volumes.

To illustrate this step we have extracted a series of generic rankings positions for a car repair business. In column E we have added predicted ranking positions and using the VLOOKUP formulae (in column F) we can calculate the additional click-throughs (in column G) from these improved positions. Then you can calculate the number of additional clicks (in column H) by calculating estimated increased clicks x monthly search volumes. 

From this small pool of keywords, we can see that an uplift in 2 ranking positions (from 5 to 3) has the potential to boost monthly visits by 264.

Keyword CTR model ranking table

Step 3

You can use the CTR model to estimate ROI of improved rankings. Simply include your conversion rate and revenue data for each segment to forecast changes.

An extra piece of advice 

Nothing is guaranteed in SEO. Without knowing precisely what your competitors are embarking on or how the algorithms are going to evaluate your website against a whole magnitude of (short, medium and long-tail) search queries, it’s safe to say that we can only predict possible uplift.    

It’s, therefore, a good idea to try to predict a couple of scenarios:

  • Aggressive forecast – Everything goes to plan! You get all the resources you need and all the suggested changes are implemented for optimal success.
  • Conservative forecast – There are some ups and downs. Not everything goes as smoothly as expected but all major updates were implemented.

Give yourself a competitive edge by downloading your current web stats and realistically forecast your SEO growth in 3 simple steps. With our CTR model you can identify where your growth opportunities lie and how they can deliver improved KPIs. If you'd like to find out more please contact us today.



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