forecasting seo traffic & revenue

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  • Jon Quinton, Agency Director jon@builtvisible.com @jonquinton1

    Forecasting SEO Traffic & Revenue @SearchLDN

  • So how do you forecast when goal posts move all the time?

  • The need for forecasting is a sign that your proposed work is being taken seriously

  • By following a logical approach with the right data, it gets far easier.

  • Heres what well cover in the next 10 minutes:

    What data should you use for your baseline forecast?

    How to forecast what you believe is achievable

    Some caveats!

    Agenda:

  • Getting Started

  • Data you should consider using the aim being to reduce guesswork as much as possible:

    Current organic traffic (and hopefully historic traffic data too)

    Search volume

    Seasonal changes in search volume

    Ranking data

    Conversion rates from organic search

    AOV

    CTRs

    Useful data points:

  • Reviewing seasonality:

    Adwords keyword planner seasonal trends vs. GA organic search data.

    Filtered to UK demand / traffic.

  • Ranking Data: When gathering ranking data, try to collect the

    following points:

    Ranking position in relevant markets

    Ranking URL (for use later)

    Top 10 results (for use in gathering

    competitive data)

    SERP features

    We recommend either AWR Cloud or STAT

    Analytics

    https://www.awrcloud.com/https://getstat.com/https://getstat.com/

  • CTR studies:

    AWR CTR study showing click through rates for organic search results with and without the top three ads.

    Read: https://www.advancedwebranking.com/ctrstudy/

    https://www.advancedwebranking.com/ctrstudy/https://www.advancedwebranking.com/ctrstudy/

  • Building a Credible Forecast

  • 1. Review previous years trend:

    0

    0.2

    0.4

    0.6

    0.8

    1

    1.2

    1.4

    0

    200,000

    400,000

    600,000

    800,000

    1,000,000

    1,200,000

    1,400,000

    1,600,000

    1,800,000

    2,000,000

    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

    2015

    Seasonal Trend

    Comparing month by month organic traffic against the seasonal trend from keyword planner what *should* have happened?

    What if as a first step we were to aimed to stay on trend?

  • 1. Review previous years trend:

    In this particular case, our trend patterns were backed up by a drop in visibility reported in Search Metrics.

  • 2. Consider key events:

    To start estimating when increases are likely to take effect, consider the following events:

    Implementation of quick win items

    Development resource and implementation of larger items

    Release of content marketing / link building activity

    Expected release from penalties (if appropriate)

    Migration / consolidation of further domains

  • 3. Estimating a nominal growth:

    0

    200,000

    400,000

    600,000

    800,000

    1,000,000

    1,200,000

    1,400,000

    1,600,000

    1,800,000

    2,000,000

    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

    In this case, weve varied between a 2% - 5% MOM growth, arriving at the YOY figure we believe we can achieve.

    Note the forecasted flat line for the initial three months. A delay based on predicted lead time for implementation.

  • 4. Laying on seasonality:

    0

    200,000

    400,000

    600,000

    800,000

    1,000,000

    1,200,000

    1,400,000

    1,600,000

    1,800,000

    2,000,000

    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

    We add the seasonal trend on top to see how forecasted should look throughout the year including seasonality.

  • 5. Present a range of results:

    To help set expectations, a range of forecasted results is an incredibly sensible approach

    0

    500,000

    1,000,000

    1,500,000

    2,000,000

    2,500,000

    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

    Pessimistic

    Optimistic

  • Calculating revenue:

    To calculate revenue potential:

    Take conversions rates, making sure you evaluate organic conversion rates rather than an

    overall value

    Taking Ecommerce data / AOVs, review whether a large volume of revenue / sales come

    from s select group of categories

    Understand that many other factors will influence revenue and sales. Therefore, use your

    forecast as an indicator or basic model

    When returning to your forecast later in the year, update the model to better reflect reality

    and genuine AOVs and CRs

  • A Few Caveats

  • Important caveats to highlight:

    When presenting or delivering a forecast, the following caveats should always be mentioned:

    Its vital you clearly define where the clients responsibilities are in achieving forecast

    Explain that the forecast is based on current circumstances, both with the client and in

    search

    Clearly explain your assumptions namely that youre taking the CTR data and search

    volume as truths, and assuming these will remain as they are

    Set a forecast review each quarter to ensure youre tracking progress and setting goals

    accordingly

    Explain that your forecast is based on the current roadmap. For example, unexpected

    changes in PPC strategy will have an impact on organic

  • Key Takeaways

  • Key takeaways:

    1. Base your forecast on data you know to be as close to the truth as possible

    2. Be realistic, never over forecast, and caveat as needed

    3. Take even greater care when presenting a revenue forecast, opt to present as an

    indicator where possible

  • Thank you!

    Jon Quinton, Agency Director jon@builtvisible.com @jonquinton1

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