30 April 2024

Unlocking the Power of SEO Forecasting: A 2024 Guide

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Unlocking the Power of SEO Forecasting: A 2024 Guide
Annabel GibsonWritten ByAnnabel Gibson

Annabel is the Marketing Coordinator at Propeller, taking on the production of social media communications, creating copy for articles and contacting external agencies for collaborations.

SEO forecasting is about predicting the future, but we aren’t talking about visiting your local psychic and relying on a crystal ball. In this article, Propeller explores everything that comprises SEO forecasting, from crucial metrics to the best tools for successful predictions.

Understanding SEO Forecasting: A Comprehensive Overview

SEO forecasting is used to define the prediction of future SEO rankings, search traffic and value from your SEO efforts. It can be used as an effective way to estimate your revenue from investment in SEO

SEO forecasting can be conducted in many ways. It’s a complex task that has led to several differing opinions on how to produce the most accurate results. 

While SEO forecasts will never be 100% accurate (no estimates can be!), they help businesses understand where to focus their efforts and get the most out of their marketing strategies.

The Significance of SEO Forecasting for Businesses

Giving you a competitive edge

Most businesses have a basic understanding that SEO is a good investment, but they don’t fully realise how clicks can translate into capital. SEO forecasting helps businesses bridge this gap in understanding. If you aren’t using SEO forecasting and your competitors are, they’re most likely spending less and performing better. 

Building stronger client relationships

Getting stakeholders to trust you isn’t always easy. However, SEO forecasting can demonstrate how trusting the process and investing in a long-term strategy will lead to increased revenue down the line. 

It supports your case for more resources

SEO forecasting sets expectations, enabling businesses to understand where the budget would be best allocated to achieve dynamic growth. If SEO forecasting proves how increasing investment in a specific area of the business will improve performance, it will support your argument for more resources.

Crucial Metrics and Formulas for Effective SEO Forecasting

Creating basic forecasts can be quite straightforward, you don’t have to be a data scientist to get started.

  1. Gather historical data
  2. Identify trends and patterns
  3. Use an SEO forecasting tool (more on this later)

Here’s a cheat sheet for some of the most common calculations:

Forecasting organic traffic = monthly keyword search volume x average click-through rate

Forecasting conversions = forecasted organic traffic x average conversion rate

Forecasting sales = forecasted organic leads x average lead-to-sale rate

Forecasting revenue = forecasted sales x average order value

Essential SEO Forecasting Tools for Success

Dive into the essential tools that aid in making informed SEO forecasts that can catapult your SEO strategy into success.


Leveraging Google Search Console for SEO Insights

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free goldmine for SEO experts. It provides invaluable data for understanding how your website performs in search results. Here’s how GSC fuels SEO forecasting:

Historical Performance: 

Analyse trends in clicks, impressions, and average ranking for target keywords. Identify historical seasonality patterns to predict future fluctuations.

Identify Ranking Opportunities: 

GSC highlights keywords with high impressions but low rankings, allowing you to prioritise optimisation efforts for potential traffic gains.

Monitor Core Web Vitals: 

GSC reports on Core Web Vitals (CWV), which are crucial for user experience and SEO. By tracking CWV improvements, you can forecast potential ranking boosts.

Unraveling Website Performance with Google Analytics

While GSC focuses on search engine visibility, Google Analytics (GA) unveils what happens after users land on your website. Here’s how GA fuels SEO forecasting:

Traffic Attribution: 

Analyse traffic sources and identify which keywords drive the most valuable conversions. Use this data to predict the impact of SEO improvements on conversions.

Content Performance: 

Track user engagement metrics like bounce rate and time on page for key landing pages. Forecast how SEO improvements like content optimisation can improve these metrics.

Goal Setting and Tracking: 

Set specific conversion goals (e.g., leads, sales) in GA and track their progress. By correlating SEO efforts with conversion rate changes, you can forecast future revenue based on projected SEO improvements.



Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO tool suite offering valuable forecasting features:

Traffic Estimator: 

Analyse potential traffic gains based on estimated ranking improvements for target keywords.

Rank Tracking: 

Monitor keyword rankings over time and forecast future ranking trajectory based on historical data and competitor analysis.

Content Gap Analysis: 

Identify topics your competitors rank for but you don’t. Use this data to forecast the potential impact of creating content targeting these gaps.


Excel/Google Sheets

Spreadsheets are not to be underestimated. While not a dedicated SEO tool, Excel or Google Sheets can be leveraged for basic SEO forecasting:

Data Consolidation: 

Combine data from GSC, GA, and Ahrefs to create a holistic view of website performance. This consolidated data can be used for trend analysis and basic traffic forecasting.

Scenario Planning: 

Build models in Excel/Sheets to forecast potential traffic and conversion outcomes based on different SEO strategies and resource allocation.

Remember, SEO forecasting is an ongoing process. By using these tools in tandem with your SEO expertise, Propeller can develop data-driven forecasts that empower your clients to achieve their digital marketing goals.

Exploring Diverse Approaches to SEO Forecasting

SEO forecasting isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Propeller, your London digital agency, utilizes a multi-pronged approach to craft accurate and insightful forecasts for your clients. Here are some diverse methods we employ:


Drawing Insights from Historical Performance

Analysing your website’s historical SEO performance is a foundational technique for forecasting. Here’s how Propeller leverages historical data:

Traffic and Ranking Trends:

We analyse trends in organic traffic, keyword rankings, and search impressions using tools like Google Search Console (GSC). This data reveals historical seasonality patterns and informs future projections.

Identifying Growth Opportunities:

By analysing historical performance for specific keywords or landing pages, we pinpoint areas that have shown promise in the past. This allows us to prioritise optimisation efforts for keywords with the highest potential for future growth.

Analysing Competitors’ Strategies for Projections

Understanding how your competitors perform in search results is key to formulating accurate forecasts. Here’s how Propeller integrates competitor analysis:

Keyword Overlap Analysis: 

We identify keywords your competitors rank for but you don’t. By analysing their content and SEO strategies for these keywords, we can forecast the potential traffic gains from targeting these gaps.

Benchmarking Ranking Performance: 

We track your ranking trajectory alongside your competitors for target keywords. This analysis helps us forecast future ranking improvements based on the effectiveness of your SEO efforts compared to theirs.

Creating Customised Forecasting Models with Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets like Excel or Google Sheets can be powerful tools for crafting customised SEO forecasts. Here’s how Propeller leverages spreadsheets:

Data Consolidation: 

We combine data from various sources like GSC, GA, and Ahrefs into a single spreadsheet. This consolidated data provides a comprehensive view of website performance for informed forecasting.

Scenario Planning: 

We build custom models within spreadsheets that allow us to simulate different SEO strategies and resource allocation scenarios. This empowers us to forecast potential outcomes and recommend the most data-driven approach for your specific needs.

By combining historical analysis, competitor insights, and customised spreadsheet models, Propeller delivers SEO forecasts that are tailored to your unique goals and provide a clear roadmap for achieving sustainable organic growth.


When forecasting SEO performance, there will always be some margin of error. Its main purpose is to help you set reasonable expectations and goals that are supported by real data. However, it must be remembered that that data has limitations…

Search engine ranking algorithms:

Beyond core algorithm updates, new ranking factors may emerge that weren’t previously considered. For example, Google’s recent focus on user experience through Core Web Vitals highlights the importance of factors that weren’t as prominent in the past. Propeller stays ahead of the curve by researching and incorporating new ranking factors into our forecasting models as they become more prominent.

SEO forecasting doesn’t give exact details of how to improve

Forecasting models analyse historical data to identify trends and predict future performance. This data can reveal broad areas for improvement, such as targeting a specific keyword group or optimising website speed. However, it can’t pinpoint the exact on-page or off-page SEO tactics that will guarantee success.

SEO tools have limited data

SEO tools are undeniably valuable assets in the SEO forecaster’s arsenal. However, it’s crucial to understand that their effectiveness hinges on the data you provide them. If your website analytics platforms like GSC and GA are not set up correctly or have incomplete data, the forecasts generated by SEO tools will be unreliable. For instance, inaccurate data on conversion tracking in GA can lead to skewed forecasts on the potential impact of SEO on revenue. Propeller addresses this by working closely with clients to ensure their analytics platforms are configured properly and collect accurate data. We also employ data cleaning techniques to ensure the data fed into forecasting models is reliable.


In Summary…

SEO forecasting is an invaluable tool for businesses seeking a competitive edge. By peering into the future of your website’s organic performance, you can make informed decisions, set realistic goals, and ultimately drive sustainable growth.

Ready to unlock the power of SEO forecasting?  Contact Propeller today and let’s chart a course for your website’s organic success.


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