We’ve partnered with Charlie Norledge, Head of SEO Performance at Impression, to learn why forecasting SEO performance is a great approach to winning your stakeholders’ buy-in, especially in an uncertain economic climate.
And how to implement it.
As 2022 rolls on and the ever-present words of “recession,” “inflation,” and “crisis” rear their ugly heads, it’s more important than ever that you show the value of your SEO work.
It can become a difficult conversation when trying to answer the question of “What is SEO bringing?” – especially since SEO isn’t solely focused on driving revenue.
To tackle this question, you can use SEO forecasting, which allows you to estimate the extra traffic your SEO strategy will bring to the site.
In this article, we’ll share how we’ve been approaching forecasting SEO performance using SEOmonitor to provide:
- Realistic SEO success targets based on forecasted data.
- Calculated targets to hit to achieve your forecast goals.
- Tips on how to manage expectations with senior stakeholders.
How To Forecast Your SEO Performance & Win Stakeholders
Forecasting your future SEO performance is as effective as 4 clear steps and can take less than 15 minutes, once your keyword groups are set.
Using SEOmonitor’s keyword forecasting, SEO professionals like you can set up detailed forecasts that use your keyword research and SEOMonitor’s tool to come up with helpful forecasts – just like our team at Impression does it.
Set up your stakeholder-winning presentation with these steps:
- Perform Keyword Research: Carry out keyword research that identifies your target keywords for the campaign.
- Add To SEOmonitor: Add your keywords into SEOmonitor and split them into groups. This gives you flexibility in reporting on additional sessions for certain sections of your site.
- Generate A Forecast: The forecasting tool automatically calculates the total number of additional sessions you’ll be able to drive using your keyword set, based on how ambitious your target is.
- Create Your Presentation Document: Once you see how many additional sessions you’re looking to drive, add it to a client-facing document that compares traffic Year-Over-Year. From here, we can forecast extra leads or revenue based on conversation rates.
The final part is a Google Sheet with all the data that you can share with your clients:
SEOmonitor also takes into account other key variables that will influence achieving those ranks, like CTR values, search volumes, seasonality, Year-over-Year search trends, and device split.
Now that I’ve covered Impression’s approach to forecasting, I’ll go through why it’s so important to ensure these are in place over the next 12 months.
Why This Approach Works So Well
SEO forecasting is incredibly powerful when reporting to client stakeholders – both existing and potential.
If you implement this now, you can expect these three key benefits in the coming months:
- Improved Stakeholder Communication: You’ll gain the ability to demonstrate the continued investment and value of your SEO work by being able to provide clear, visualized data to senior stakeholders.
- Realistic Goal Setting: You’ll be able to align your client’s expectations with what’s achievable through the ability to set realistic goals based on keyword research.
- Flexible Forecast Scenarios: You’ll have a higher chance of getting buy-in for high-resource SEO tasks such as launching a content hub by forecasting certain keyword groups.
Keep Existing Clients Optimistic
Many businesses will be asking questions about their investment in SEO, especially due to the current cost-of-living crisis and the tough period ahead.
With SEO forecasts in place, your clients and shareholders will be able to see your SEO goals and how many leads/conversions you could drive throughout the next 12 months.
This will help ease your clients’ concerns and clarify what they can expect from their investments.
Review period coming up? Now, you can be ready with an SEO forecast to answer any potential questions.
You can look at how you’ve performed against forecasting every month and have this as a KPI. Just like a PPC campaign would have a target ROAS, you can have a target organic traffic growth.
Attract Potential Clients With A Clear Road To SEO Success
Set yourself or your agency apart from competitors by having a detailed SEO forecast in place for any new business pitch.
Coming to the table with a solid idea of how much traffic your team could bring in makes your service offering more credible and sets clear expectations.
SEOmonitor Highlights Seasonality Changes
Another benefit of the forecasting tool is it takes into account search seasonality.
When showing forecasts to new clients, it’s crucial to discuss how seasonality and cost-of-living changes might also come into play – and SEOmonitor’s forecasting tool takes this into account.
- If your potential client sells garden furniture, you can avoid accidentally promising a 20%+ traffic increase in December.
- Instead, you’ll be able to pitch a different, proactive solution to carry the client through the off-seasons – we bet your competition won’t have that angle in place.
By forecasting and providing transparency in your pitch, you’ll be able to show expertise in your approach to predicting performance – and have an easier time closing a sale.
Avoid Leadership Frustration With Realistic Goal Setting
When you set SEO goals, are you actually setting up a path to missed KPIs and frustrated shareholders?
Let’s look at how each goal-setting strategy works.
The Old Way: Setting goals by picking an average of how much you think you could grow traffic (normally 10-20%). This almost always sets you up for failure.
The New Way: Give yourself truly attainable goals based on data trends with SEO forecasting.
Now, you can be much more realistic in how you set those targets.
- How hard it is to reach the targeted ranks in the selected timeframe based on the SEO difficulty of the keywords from your selected groups, personalized for the targeted website.
- How easy goals can be hit when timeframes are adjusted before they’re signed off on in a contract.
How? By using the Goal Chance feature within SEOmonitor. You’ll be able to see how ambitious you may be PLUS whether or not it’s realistic for you to set additional traffic goals.
This not only helps your client buy-in but sets you up for success by giving your team manageable targets to work toward.
Forecast Entire Topics, Silos & Strategies With Keyword Grouping
Do your clients have different levels of budgeting or investments? Use the keyword forecasting model to get different forecasts based on their needs.
You can create separate forecasts for the same website but use more keyword groups that have more investment money going towards them.
If a client has a smaller budget, you can keep the keyword grouping down to their core keywords and not include things like a longtail content strategy.
If your client increases their budget, you could include those informational keywords and show them how much additional traffic their budget would drive.
Need To Convince A Shareholder To Allow Long-Tail Keyword Strategies?
By showing traffic levels based on different investment levels, you could show how longtail keywords are beneficial in the long run.
Demonstrating the value our SEO work can bring makes it a much easier task to start seeing increased levels of investment.
Forecast Adjustments Based On Real-Time Changes
It’s easy to know if you’re on track with the actual traffic versus your projected traffic growth with SEOmonitor’s technology.
In our case, we recommend that you keep your SEO forecasts within a 12-month period and reflect on them each month to see if you’re on track.
This period of time gives you enough accuracy to pitch to your shareholders while allowing for new changes to be automatically generated with the tool’s help.
Referring back to the forecast in the monthly reports can show senior stakeholders an easily digestible way to see if you’re on track by working toward these agreed-upon goals.
Moreover, the tool’s forecasting and rank-tracking integrations help you, your team, and your client check the status of your predictions and your work.
Use SEO Forecasting To Clarify Your True SEO Value
Forecasting has become a core part of our SEO campaigns and is especially important with search volumes starting to decrease as people’s finances become tighter.
Join us and Impression on the journey of bringing more transparency and data-driven decision-making to the SEO industry.
Discover a forecasting solution that takes into account all the key variables influencing your keywords and ranks, so you can trust the connection with the business outcomes.
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to your SEO proposals
The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor's own.