The real challenge of forecasting is that, while we can estimate how much additional traffic would be obtained by a set of keywords, we can only measure the entire non-brand organic traffic of the website, so for all the non-brand keywords.
With this data alone, you can't separate the forecast results from the total traffic performance, and you can't track your work toward your goal.
Our Forecast solution uses a reference system that enables the measuring of your forecasted traffic. It calculates the total non-brand organic traffic with and without the additional forecasted traffic, to help you isolate the traffic achieved as a result of reaching your SEO goal. And once you set a goal as your Campaign Objective, you can measure and track it across the timeframe.
Our Forecast model is built on one principle and one necessary hypothesis that enable these measurements.
Our principle: SEO can only influence non-brand organic traffic.
Our hypothesis: if no SEO is done, the current ranks will stay more or less the same for the forecast period.
How it works
1. Processing the non-brand organic traffic
This portion of your organic traffic is segmented and measured in the Organic Traffic module through our (not provided) solution.
2. Estimating how the non-brand organic traffic would look throughout the forecast period if no SEO efforts are made.
We do this by extrapolating the current total non-brand organic traffic registered over the last 30 days with the seasonality of the keywords that generated it. We call this Inertial traffic, and it is the baseline for calculating the traffic resulting from SEO efforts.
3. Estimating how the non-brand organic traffic would look throughout the forecast period if SEO efforts are made.
On top of the inertial traffic, we add the output of the forecast: the additional traffic estimated to be achieved if the desired SEO goal (target ranks) is reached until the end of the selected timeframe. We call this Improved traffic and we measure your future performance against it to tell you whether you're on track.
The inertial traffic and improved traffic allow you to set a forecast scenario as a Campaign Objective, and constantly measure the actual non-brand organic traffic against the estimated one.
If no SEO efforts were made, we estimate that this website would achieve a total of 242K non-brand organic sessions throughout the forecast timeframe – this is the inertial traffic.
Next, we assume that SEO work will be done on the keywords included in the forecast, and, based on your SEO goal and our Forecast algorithm, we estimate that they will bring 20.5K additional sessions by the end of the timeframe.
Then we add the inertial sessions and the additional sessions, and we get the total improved traffic of 263K sessions.
In order to tell whether your campaign performance will eventually match the improved traffic you set out to achieve, you'd need to track it regularly.
Once you set a scenario as an objective, you can track it in the Monthly Forecast section, which compares the website's actual sessions to its improved sessions, plotted on the keywords' search seasonality.
An objective status is updated daily for a quick preview on how your campaign is performing at all times. It is also visible on your Agency Dashboard: