More Organic Traffic, Less Work?

How to Accurately Predict Results from an SEO Campaign

August 12th , 2021

Ryan Stewart

Google’s organic algorithm is complex and unpredictable, making it difficult to accurately forecast SEO traffic.

However, it’s not impossible. Using data we can build estimates that are surprisingly accurate.

The Blueprint team hacked together a tool that accurately predicts the results of an SEO campaign using 4 growth models.

It combines the power of Google Sheets + Google Data Studio to help you understand your website’s SEO potential from a campaign.

traffic projection report page 2

This tool has become a pivotal part of our agency’s sales process, helping us demonstrate the impact of our services before signing a contract.

In this post, I’m going to walk you through our SEO forecasting system to use for yourself and give you free access to use the Traffic Projection Tool on your own campaigns.

Grab a copy of the tool for yourself, FREE!


GIVE ME ACCESS!

Who is this for?

  • SEO agencies. I like to use this as a pitch tool for our agency SEO proposals. It’s a great way to show how your services will impact their traffic and top line.
  • Marketing teams. Looking at the viability of investing in SEO internally for your company.
  • SEO nerds (like us). Just for fun 😆

How can we use the traffic estimates?

Specifically, our agency is uses The Traffic Projection Tool for 3 things:

1. As a better “offer” to convert more website visitors into leads

Every SEO agency is pushing a ‘strategy session’ or ‘free proposal’ as their main call to action. That offer is only good for traffic that’s already decided they want to hire your agency. The traffic projection tool offers 10x value by showing them the business impact of SEO.

2. As a lead generation offer to cold audiences on Facebook Ads

Our agency is currently running ads to the Traffic Projection tool offer and capturing booked sales appointments for less than $100…to COLD TRAFFIC. We show you how we’re doing that inside our private Facebook Group.

3. To close more proposals by “anchoring” our price against an expected result (aka ROI)

The tool gives you a fast, accurate and professional way to show a prospect how much more traffic and sales they can expect as a result of working with you. This allows you to “anchor” your costs against future revenues.

How we calculate organic traffic growth

We supercharged a Google Sheets file to be a data aggregator and analysis tool.

google sheets for seo

The Google Sheets file pulls in SEO data from 2 sources:

  • Google Analytics – using SuperMetrics, the tool imports your last 12 months of organic traffic data. We can use this data to understand past performance and build “top down” forecasts.
  • SEMrush – uses 3 of your SEO competitors keyword rankings to understand the “gaps” with your website. We can use this data to understand market cap and build “bottom up” forecasts.Note – we built the tool to pull from SEMrush API (if you have it) or using manual CSV exports.

After the tool runs a series of formulas, it syncs with a Google Data Studio template to visualize the data.

Blueprint __ Traffic Projection TOol

To project the organic traffic, we borrowed a few forecasting models from the finance world:

  • Top down forecasting – takes a broad trend (like top line revenue growth) and builds a forward forecast based on that trend.
  • Bottom-up forecasting (aka ‘sum of the parts’) – takes a look at the trend of each individual component, and then sum them up to forecast how the whole entity will move.

David goes into detail on the specifics of the forecasting models and how the Google Sheets file calculates them in the video below.

Breaking down the organic growth projections

We built 4 models based on different scenarios…

1. Business As Usual … aka “doing nothing”

This growth rate represents your website’s current organic growth pace [yearly], with no changes to your SEO strategy. It’s calculated by pulling your past organic traffic performance (Google Analytics) and projecting it forward over the next 12 months.

This growth rate can be used to understand how your website will perform over the next year by doing nothing (in regards to SEO) and whether or not you need to invest in SEO.

traffic projection report page 3

 

2. Improve Existing Keywords … aka doing “traditional SEO” to increase current positions

This figure is built on the assumption that doing “traditional SEO” will improve your existing keyword rankings by X% over the next year. Traditional SEO means tactics like on-page enhancements, link-building + technical fixes (NO content creation).

We built in the ability to input a growth assumption (x%), which should be based off your past experience performing SEO (i.e. your average growth rate from past campaigns).

This growth rate can be used to understand how an SEO campaign might impact organic traffic over the next year.

traffic projection report page 4

 

3. New Keyword Growth…aka potential addressable market (competitor analysis)

This growth rate is built using keywords currently owned by your competitors (where you have no visibility). These keywords could potentially be captured by creating additional content for your website around these keyword gaps. The tool pulls in SEMrush rankings data for up to 3 competitor sites, and forecasts the traffic increase from matching their current position within the next 12 months.

This growth rate can be used to understand the potential for your website’s growth.

traffic projection report page 5

 

4. Existing + New Keyword Growth…aka your organic traffic potential

This figure represents the full picture if you embark on an aggressive SEO campaign. That means you do “traditional SEO” to improve existing keyword rankings AND go after new keywords (aka create new pages / content on your site). This is your website’s wholistic organic traffic potential.

This growth rate can be used to understand the FULL potential for your website’s growth.

traffic projection report page 1

 

Traffic summary dashboard

A simple summary of all the growth projections, presented in 1 slide. The page automatically pulls through each growth rate from the individual page.

traffic projection report page 2

Next steps

This data alone is valuable – the ability to project the results from an SEO campaign is an insanely valuable pitch tool.

However, I like to push it one step further by using this data to project the return on investment (ROI) from an SEO campaign.

That post + process + template can be found here.

Grab a copy of the tool for yourself, FREE!


GIVE ME ACCESS!

Ryan Stewart

I build, grow and sell digital agencies. Most recently, WEBRIS, a 7 figure SEO agency.

August 12th , 2021

11 Comments

COMMENTS (11)

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  • Stephen Johnsays

    This…..is….amazing!!!!

  • Brandonsays

    Can this analysis be done with Ahrefs instead of SEMRush

    • Hey Brandon – the tool is built for SEMrush, but you can modify the Google Sheets file manually to inputs Ahrefs keywords instead.

  • Cara Hsays

    Really great insight, thank you!

  • Purwantosays

    Hi Ryan. Do you teach maps ranking in the training?

  • Maxsays

    Where is the link to the template?

    • there’s a yellow button in the post, you can grab it from there

  • Mihirsays

    Hey Ryan,

    Great tool. I was so looking similar tool which can forecast SEO traffic. I would like to understand how I can use this to add this in my SEO proposal. But how do you use this tool if you don’t have access to GA(as it is for proposal). Can we somehow use the analytics data from semrush (I know that is not accurate)?

    Thanks!
    Mihir