If you’re going to invest in SEO planning, you deserve to receive a good return on your investment. At Yard, it is the foundation of all we do. We forecast how much traffic, sales and revenue we will deliver over the next 12-24 months. These forecasts form the KPIs of our activity and we report on the performance against forecast on a monthly basis within Cubed.
Data makes up the majority of our forecasting but there’s also over 30 years of SEO knowledge behind them.
We start with getting to know you better...
- What have your organic traffic targets been for last 24 months and have you achieved them?
- Can you attribute an RPO to organic traffic?
- What are your core categories / areas of focus? (Please list them in order of priority)
- Do you have existing organic traffic forecasts? If so, can you share them?
- What are your current KPIs?
- What goals/events/micro or macro conversions do you track in analytics and which ones are important to you?
We always analyse the following information:
- Previous 12 months traffic
- Traffic change YoY
- MoM traffic percentage change (12-month trend)
- Conversion Rates
The view of the data we take is client dependant and often more data is required but will include the above metrics segmented by product, content categorisation or URL.
Two core approaches include focused research for high value pages and whole-of-market research. Both types of research have their own pros and cons and the methodology used will be directly tied to the client’s requirements and the budget available.
We favour the whole-of-market approach as it helps uncover content gaps and helps give a view of how a client truly stacks up against competitors when all keywords are being tracked – also giving the opportunity to analyse what content is working for competitors at scale.
The only way to know how a keyword will perform over time is to understand its history, the best way to do this is via Google Trends
5 years trend data is usually pulled for every keyword identified, this is then aggregated into product, category, subcategory and URL views so that it can be easily matched up with the keyword research.
It’s important to look for anomalies within these datasets. If there are large anomalies within the dataset then it’s important to try and gain a normalised view of what the 12-month period would have looked like.
Once the data is at a point where it makes sense the trend for the next 12 months can be forecasted and applied to keyword search volumes to gain a view of what the market will look like.
This can be extremely accurate over a 12-month period if the supporting strategy is implemented to achieve the KPIs. We start with the most recent months traffic figures and split into brand / non-brand.
Apply non-brand trends to non-brand traffic to gain a baseline for traffic over the 12 months.
We pull rankings for non-brand keywords and determine how much organic growth can be achieved for the budget. This can also be applied at scale.
The most crucial factor when forecasting is to stay realistic and understanding the potential within a set budget.
Reporting on traffic, sales and revenue is the foundation of reporting, taking monthly data from an analytics package and comparing against forecast and the previous year. As well as the usual metrics Yard have created custom metrics to better demonstrate performance, these are Normalised Traffic and Marketshare.
Visibility is a weighted scoring system, like visibility metrics offered by 3rd party SEO tools. This metric gives Yard and clients more insight into organic performance than traditional ranking reports as instead of producing a meaningless list of 1000s of keywords along with rankings.
These metrics also allow Yard to be much more transparent about how our services are impacting rankings within search engines, with every non-brand keyword being considered instead of focusing on one or two core keywords.
Normalised traffic uplift is a simple metric that looks at what traffic would look like with seasonal trends removed. The requirement for this metric was driven by the substantial changes to search demand (seasonality) from month to month which can heavily impact traffic numbers and mask performance gains or declines.