It's hard to accurately forecast these days. Due to rapidly evolving SERPs and algorithm changes, click-through rates (CTR) have declined significantly — especially for top positions.  

Even if your organic positions aren't changing, multiple SERP features can damage your search visibility resulting in decreased CTRs.

In an industry as volatile as search engine optimization, how can you predict future performance and prioritize effective SEO strategies? Keep reading to find out.

Table of Contents:


Forecast Your Growth Potential by Improved CTR in 4 Steps

Creating a forward-looking cause-and-effect model lets you project your SEO growth potential for desktop & mobile.

Recommended Reading: My Rankings Haven't Dropped but My Organic CTR Tanked - Help!

To create this model, start by calculating your percentage of ranking improvements. Then, connect that percentage to your industry’s CTR benchmark to calculate your growth potential.

Note: CTRs by position vary significantly from industry to industry. If you need your industry’s benchmark, we have a list compiled in our CTR research study.  

The best part: you can calculate this growth in a few clicks with our FREE Excel SEO growth calculator template.

Calculate Your Organic Growth

The pre-built formulas and calculations in this Excell spreadsheet give you a custom analysis for your site.


How to Use Our SEO Growth Forecast Template

Our SEO forecast template allows you to calculate your CTR growth in just four steps:

  1. Enter your site’s monthly CTR and organic search impressions into the spreadsheet - If you don't know your site's organic click-through rate, here's the formula to calculate it from Search Console with a custom Google Sheet.
  2. Compare your site’s CTR to your industry’s benchmark - Industry benchmarks can be found in our CTR research study. A direct comparison to your industry’s benchmark allows for more accurate reporting.
  3. Calculate low-hanging fruit opportunities for potential improvements - Project an increase in CTR for rankings in positions 1-10, or estimate a percentage increase for keywords ranking from 11-20.
  4. Reveal the total potential monthly incremental traffic that organic search can drive - Voila! You’ve just calculated your SEO growth based on an increase in click-through rate.


Bonus: Forecast Growth in seoClarity for Centralized Analysis

seoClarity clients can bypass the downloadable SEO forecasting template and calculate their growth potential directly in the platform with our SEO Forecasting tool.

Since seoClarity clients can integrate their Search Console data — the only valid source of CTR — directly into the platform, you have access to a centralized analysis.

This lets you monitor CTR in various workflows. One key benefit of this is being able to make a business case with forecasting data that shows how content marketing and search engine optimization efforts result in a positive ROI.

Recommended Reading: How to Measure the ROI for SEO (5 Ways)

Conducting this analysis just requires some simple plug-and-play. Simply specify your goals (i.e. sales, leads, orders) and average conversion rate. Then, enter your scenario such as:

  • All Keywords Ranking X
  • All Keywords Change X%
  • All Keywords Change X positions

(Run various scenarios of a change to keyword rankings to forecast growth.) 

Just like that, we see the organic traffic potential and forecasted visibility wins based on our inputs.

(Uncover search volume, average rank, traffic potential, and more right within seoClarity.)

You can also use a forecasting model to prioritize your SEO tasks. We explain that process here: SEO Forecasting: How to Identify Your Organic Traffic Potential.

seoClarity clients can also see a trended view of their CTR. This shows the click-through rate by the average rank position.

As we explained in a previous workflow post on how to calculate your CTR in seoClarity, you can take this data and update the CTR index.

Doing so allows you to align the data with your industry’s benchmark for more comparative and accurate reporting.


With a projected increase in CTR, you can calculate your website's organic traffic potential!

To simplify the process, don’t forget to access our free growth calculator!

Want to centralize your analysis, monitor CTR in various workflows, and save time and money by prioritizing your SEO tasks more effectively?

Request a demo of our SEO Forecasting Tool today by hitting the big orange button at the top of this screen!

<<Editor's Note: This piece was originally published in September 2022 and has since been updated.>>