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What is search forecasting and how can it help your business?

Search marketing is one of the most important parts of digital marketing, but have you ever heard of search forecasting?

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Digital marketing is a personalized blend of creative and scientific ideas paired with artistic collaborations that offer trackable steps. Before you get into tweaking the content of your page, though, you need to gain some insight on what’s working for you already and where improvements may be needed. This is where search forecasting can lend a helping hand! 

What is search forecasting? 

Search forecasting predicts what your organic traffic may look like. Every great SEO strategy begins with hard data, and it’s what should be molding your future moves so you don’t have to assume. Having a good handle on your data will allow you an outlook on what search traffic may look like for your business. You can use this to create a plan for any future campaigns. There are a few key details you should keep in the back of your mind when working on organic traffic conclusions. 

1. Keep your eye on the right metrics 

Keyword search is a critical component of every SEO strategy. You may get ahead of yourself and assume you know what key phrases will benefit your business most, but keep in mind that you’re better off pulling your data and actually having a look. Your research should include evidence or data about:

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  • Estimated Search Volume
  • Keyword Complexity 
  • Current Ranking Position for Your Biz (and the URL for that ranking for keyword relevance)
  • Intent of Your Search  
  • CTR (click-through rate) Estimates
  • Knowledge of the quality and type of content ranking in your desired position
  • Your ranking position and related queries 

2. Use tools! They’re your friend. 

Tools can be a valuable part of any business owner’s arsenal of data, so make sure you’re using them! GSC (Google Search Console) is a great starting place. GSC will hand you historical, business-specific data to give you a look into what internal benchmark to begin with. 

Google Keyword Planner is another resource worth noting. It does have questionable accuracy, however. A lot of the time, search volume data is inflated due to combined estimates with keywords that are phrased similarly, so take this data very lightly. 

3. Think about your competitors and look at trends data

You should use competitive analysis when making your traffic prediction overall. Make sure you scan who appears on the page you want to be on and plug their URLs into keyword tools to see what their ranks are, negative and positive. This is where knowing “keyword difficulty” can really come in handy. Always plan to do better than your competitors to help your business naturally perform better. 

Understanding the seasonal patterns of your business is also vital. Your business’s busiest time of the year does not automatically equate to high search volume. It’s essential to know what your search-to-sale lead time is looking like because this will have an on your search traffic predictions and the content strategy you create based on the predictions, as well. 

Search forecasting allows you to locate internal resources, budget for your campaigns, and create valuable internal benchmarks. Knowing this information ahead of the game is critical, especially if your work involves enterprise SEO!

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Macie LaCau is a passionate writer, herbal educator, and dog enthusiast. She spends most of her time overthinking and watering her tiny tomatoes.

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