It's hard to accurately forecast these days. With rapidly evolving SERPs, click-through rates have declined significantly — especially for top positions.
Your organic positions aren't changing but multiple SERP features damage your search visibility and CTR has declined.
With all of this, how can you forecast?
Forecast Your Growth Potential by an Improved CTR
In an industry as volatile as SEO, how can you predict future performance? Create a forward looking cause-and-effect model.
This lets you project your SEO growth potential for desktop & mobile.
Recommended Reading: My Rankings Haven't Dropped but My Organic CTR Tanked - Help!
You can do this by calculating a percentage of ranking improvements, and connect that 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.
Pre-built formulas and calculations give you a custom analysis for your site.
How to Use the SEO Growth Forecast Calculator
The growth calculator works with four steps:
1. Enter your site’s monthly CTR and organic impressions
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: Forecasting Growth with seoClarity
seoClarity clients can bypass the downloadable 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 SEO results in a positive ROI.
Recommended Reading: 6 Steps to Build an SEO Business Case With SEO Forecasting Data
This analysis just requires some simple plug and play. Just specify your goals (i.e. sales, leads, orders) and average conversion rate, then enter your scenario. This can be like one of the following:
- 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 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 forecasting 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.
That way you can align the data with your industry’s benchmark for more comparative and accurate reporting.
With a projected increase in CTR, you can calculate a growth in organic traffic potential!
So, don’t forget to access the free growth calculator!