How to Predict Traffic from Google

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Google gives you plenty of really good tools at the moment to predict the traffic to your website from Google rankings.

In this post I will show you how you can make a guestimation of the %age of traffic that a particular rank will give you, this is something that I have been trying to figure out for a long time now, and with Google’s wealth of tools available we can use these to get quite fair estimations (Well I think so anyway.). So what do you need to do this:

  1. Google Adwords Keyword Tool
  2. Your Analytics Package
  3. Daily Rankings Reports
  4. Google Insights for Search

Firstly some caveats,

  1. This is an estimation tool remember this and make no promises based on the results,
  2. Results can depend on many other factors other than just this such as how appealing your result looks to the searcher,
  3. Results do not take into consideration the number of sponsored listings on the page or local search results and the maps with them, real time search box and Shopping results.

Collecting the Data

The sheet I have collated all of the data in is located at, you can use this to test it out with your keywords / data. Within the sheet the only places you need to enter the data in are the grey cells.

Firstly we need to pick a keyword to make the test on for this one I used a moderately competitive keyword that hovers around the bottom few positions on page 1 on Google. You need to make sure you have traffic for that keyword and daily ranks for that keyword.

Adwords Keyword Tool

Firstly over to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool at the link above and grab the total global searches for the keyword you are using, remember the month used as this month. If it shows October in the Local column then the global will be October too.


With this value we need to place it into the total traffic box in the top left of the Excel sheet. This will be the basis of a lot of calculations.

Your Analytics Package

As Googles Keyword Tool will only give you the numbers for the last calendar month we will need to do the same with everything else. So in your analytics package you need to get your daily traffic for that keyword in the month chosen in the above task for Google. Export this as a csv or take note of the traffic per day for the keywords.

We then need to put these values in the column named Traffic.

Google Insights for Search

Now we enter the insights for search and see how the trend for the keyword has been for the month you are comparing. In the date range we will select a custom date and make sure it matched the month you used for the Analytics traffic and Keyword Tool Data.


When you have selected your date range you need to click search to see the trend.


Now, Google search insights does not give you an export function so we have to write down all of the values that you see when you hover over the days and transfer them to the Excel sheet into the G Insights Interest column. Bit of a long way of doing things but these values are a much needed part of the whole calculation.

Rankings for Google

Now all that you need are your chosen keywords daily rankings for the month in Google. Input each one of these into the G Rank Column for that particular day.

Creating the Estimations

At the moment you enter all of the data you will be able too see in the %age hits column the percentage of total traffic that keyword has gained at that position on that day. This video will show you how to make a pivot table that will get you the averages for each position over that month.

When you are done you should have your pivot table with the average %age traffic foor the month per position, shown below.


This is just one example, to gain a more comprehensive %age we would be best doing this for multiple keyphrases that appear on the front page in varying positions to make a better average.

This all seems a bit long winded but I think it is a viable solution to helping you estimate traffic and keep your bosses / clients happy. Let me know your results would love to see what %ages you get for your testing. I think this is worthy of debate and I’d love to know how you have tried to do this in the past.

Looking forward to your feedback.

This article was written by Shane Jones

Shane Jones
Shane Jones is an In House SEO working in for a leading Online Travel Agent in Manchester, England.
Shane Jones
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  • Shane

    Would really REALLY love to know what sort of percentages you have for your keywords that you have tested.

    This could be the only way to estimate the percentage of traffic you will get at a certain percentage in Organic ranks.

  • Michael Thomson

    Nice article Shane. Used a very similar technique myself.

    Once thing, you may wish to consider changing “Match Type” to “Exact” in GAKT – I always find “Broad” artificially inflates the numbers.

  • Onerab

    Very interesting article. Have you tried to verify the estimated traffic with the actual traffic and if so, how close are they?

  • Alex

    Nice article. Well put together.

    Have been doing this for some time – with some additional steps (naturally).

    PS. Yes you *can* download Google Insights -> top right hand corner “Download as CSV”.

    peace. alex

  • Shane

    @Michael – Good point will give that a try

    @Onerab – it was correct within around +/- 2% on some of the live data that I used to test it with.

    @Alex – I think i must have been having a blind day when I missed the link on that. Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Claire Jarrett

    Wow, a real use for a Pivot Table πŸ™‚ I will have a go, thanks for this.

  • Sascha

    Perfect timing. Was just sitting over an excel sheet (well actually it’s numbers) myself. Great input. Thx a lot.

  • Arrow SEO

    Wow. This is great. Thanks Shane.

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  • mikemarketing1

    This is a very interesting post and a problem that all SEO people have struggled with.

    I've personally used several tools to try to get an understanding of this. One that I find tto have a lot of value is market samurai. It's slick, fast and intuitive.

    I was looking closely at the numbers from your screenshot example and the numbers didn't add up for me. I could very possible be missing something. Here is an example of what I mean.

    Day 1 had about 5% of the traffic for that month, which results in about 125K searches. At position 7, you stated that you received 250 hits, which calculated to around 20%. A couple things with this:

    1. 20% of 125K is 25K
    2. 20% of all traffic for position #7 seems way too high. Everything i've read and experienced has shown postion #7 to be around 2-3%.

    Could the percentage be two decimal points off or am I missing something incredibly obvious?



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