One of the major talking points that came out of the recent Manchester SEO mini conferences related to the subject of forecasting for SEO purposes. As Head of SEO for a number of high profile search organisations within the UK, forecasting has become part and parcel of my day to day role, both in terms of providing a commercial rationale for undertaking a SEO campaign for the client, but also a way of providing a rational framework to the SEO project, one that has the end goals of the client at its heart and takes into account their fundamental reach and response requirements from SEO.
The main issue with forecasting has and will for the foreseeable future be search data, in particular an accurate number of potential searchers within a particular sector, and even more so on particular keywords. Yes ,there are various tools on the market such as the Google Keyword Tool/SK Tool, Webmaster Tools, Raven or even old school tools such as Elite SEO however the fundamental issue remains in terms of data integrity and robustness particularly when one compares this to a real time environment. Further to this, many of us are lucky to have clients which have 100% coverage on 100% off their keywords, 100% of the time, and without such data, it is very difficult to provide absolutely on the money forecasts. (more…)