There are two My Live Updates types of traffic from which your website can benefit: paid traffic, and organic traffic. For the first case, things are pretty obvious: you pay in order to rank higher on Google SERPs. Organic traffic, on the other hand, is natural, unpaid traffic which you can obtain by applying ethical (or unethical) SEO strategies. Rather than pay for traffic, most people prefer to do things the hard way. However, not all search engine optimization strategies are as efficient as one might think. This is where forecasting becomes important.
How to Predict Organic Traffic
There are various methods and tools which help web developers forecast organic traffic trends and volumes for their website. Since the traffic to your blog comes from conversion rate optimization, search engine result listing, referrals from sites and direct traffic flows from social media, you will require special tools to monitor your data. Google Wonder Wheel Scraper is an excellent tool which can help you dig through the most dynamic words and catchphrases that will make your site more visible on SERPs. Google Analytics is another great tool, which is sadly under-used. Google Analytics can help you track rankings for important keywords, and also monitor organic traffic and conversion rates.
Why You Should Predict Organic Traffic
In the SEO world, the importance of data analysis has been rehashed over and over again, but the truth is that no matter how extensive your analysis is, you will never be able to obtain data that is 100% accurate. Nevertheless, the synthesis of predictive data should be part of your SEM strategy for the following reasons:
There is no fool-proof strategy, and predictive data will help you understand where exactly it is that you are failing. After you realize what you’re doing wrong you can take steps to remedy the problem.
External and internal benchmarking is essential because it can help you better organize your future strategies. Internal benchmarking is used to analyze the internal performance of your company, whereas external benchmarking can help you compare your results with that of another business. By monitoring your performance you can also provide your client with a clear picture of the future.
Forecasting will help you attract more clients, and also save money. Trust is the most important thing in a business, and by efficiently forecasting the results of your campaign you will win the trust of your clients.
Now that we have settled why you should care about forecasting organic traffic, let’s take a look at the factors which should be taken into consideration.
1. Analyze Outliers and Make Decisions
Data spikes are a normal occurrence in any graphic, but the question is if you should act on that outlier or not? Sometimes decision making is very difficult, and when it comes to spikes in your data, there is no recipe of success. Will you ignore the spike and consider it a normal occurrence, or will you act on your instincts? I recommend that you monitor the situation a period, and only after you understand the dynamics of the websites should you act.
Seasonality is related to each month’s organic traffic, and it varies according to seasonal indices. In order to predict season indices, you need a solid volume of data. I recommend that you use historical data, and try to figure out how it is reflected in each month. Adwords Api excel plugin is an excellent SEO tool which can help you aggregate all the keywords that drive traffic to your blog.
3. Historical Data
Coherent historical data can go back more than one year, but even so it might prove to be irrelevant for the simple ac that there are so many shifts in keyword ranks and positioning. However, you should learn how to predict future data according to the historical one.
When you analyze your data make sure that you take into consideration the events. Giveaways, for example, can cause massive spikes, which in turn result in major forecast discrepancies. You should be aware that most events are one-offs that are not going to generate long term traffic.
Organic traffic forecasting is extremely complicated, and it would take an enormous amount of time to explain all the aspects which can influence traffic, not to mention which tools can help, and how they should be used. I usually recommend web developers and bloggers to conduct extensive research and learn from experience, because every website is different.
Anna Robeson is a SEO enthusiast and passionate writer who consults with a Digital Agency in NYC. Social media, internet marketing and search engine optimisation are her field of expertise.