Accurately Predicting Potential Website Traffic

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Wouldn’t it be useful if your SEM company could accurately predict how much organic search traffic they could get your organization?

I was trying to figure this out today and there are many variables/metrics that could come into play.

The difficult part is which metrics to consider when trying to arrive at the potential traffic, here are a few that we thought are useful:

Keyword Search Volume is an obvious one because it creates the base number for the potential traffic. We use Keyword Discovery because it provides monthly search volume numbers from a variety of sources including Overture, EBay and various meta engines.

Search Engine Market Share. Traffic Potential should be derived per search engine (for accuracy purposes) because a given keyword is going to provide you with more traffic on Google than it will AltaVista. The market share numbers can be gathered from Nielsen/Net Ratings or Hitwise, but I suggest getting it from your own Analytics (because it’s focused for your own company)

Rank and Click through rate. What organic search rank do we want to achieve for a given keyword and what is the click through rate for a given ranking? Click through rate can be gathered through research such as Enquiro’s eye tracking study.

Competitors. How difficult is it for a website to become visible for a keyword is important to understand. Difficulty to achieve higher ranking increases as the number of competitors grow.

Incoming Links. This factor also determines how competitive other websites are in terms of visibility on the search engines. Incoming links is a relatively strong factor that search engines use in order to assign ranking order.

Page Rank. Is this as important anymore? It’s still a value that can be use to compare websites globally, so I think it’s definitely worth while to include when try to determine difficulty in achieving organic rankings.

Keyword Density. If the top competitors have high keyword densities does this mean your site will have to have the same amount? You don’t want to go as far as spamming your pages with keywords but the number of occurrences for keywords are important.

I am interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts on what metrics they think should be included when trying to predict how much traffic a given keyword can expect to provide.



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Manoj has been working in the search engine marketing industry since 2002. He started out as a software developer but now provides in-depth web site analysis using web analytics.


Manoj is also the author of Web Analytics World. Web Analytics is an essential component in developing a successful
online campaign. Help convert visitors into customers by understanding

Accurately Predicting Potential Website Traffic
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About Manoj Jasra
Manoj Jasra is an online marketing veteran of almost 10 years who specializes in analytics, social/search strategy and mobile marketing. Manoj is currently a Sr. Strategist at one of Canada's largest Telecommunications Companies, Shaw Communications Inc., where he leads Social Media, SEO, PPC and Web Analytics strategies. Manoj first started in the search marketing industry with Enquiro Search Solutions, where he spearheaded web analytics, SEO Training and the development of cutting edge search marketing solutions for clients.

Manoj is a Professional Speaker having participated at events such as Emetrics, Web Analytics Xchange, WebTrends' Engage, Internet Marketing Conference, Social Media Innovation Summit and Search Engine Strategies. He authors Web Analytics World (a top 100 Online Marketing Blog) and consults through his firm Jasra Inc. WebProNews Writer
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