Estimating Organic SEO Website Traffic
When starting a new SEO campaign for my clients, many of them will ask the following question: “how many new website visitors will we get once we're on the first page of Google?” Here's the exact method I use to determine how much website traffic can be generated by doing SEO and helping my clients improve their search engine ranking.
New website traffic = Search Volume * Estimated Click-Thru-Rate
Let's break it down - When estimating the impact of improved SEO ranking on website traffic, there are 2 things to consider:
1. Keyword Search Volume
Search volume refers to the number of searches for a particular keyword in a given timeframe.
This is one of the first metrics I look at when doing keyword research for clients because it tells me how much demand there is for the keywords my client's want to rank for.
There are a few great tools for researching keyword search volume; one of which is Google’s keyword Planner which enables Google Ads managers to search for keywords and see how they might perform.
Below are volume forecasts directly from Google for the term "refinance mortgage":
Once we determine the search volume for a keyword, the next step is to get a read on estimated Click-Thru-Rate (CTR).
2. Website Ranking Position
Click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a search engine result page.
And the Click-thru-rate for each organic ranking position on Google can be estimated using historical benchmark data!
For example: a website Google's page 1 - and in the first position - for a finance related keyword like "refinance my mortgage" will yield a 34.29% CTR on average. Ranking in position 2 would yield a 16.25% CTR. Position 3: 10.28%...and so on...
Fun lil fact: According to a recent study on organic CTR, 71.33% of people who search for something on Google click on a 1st page organic search result. And over half of all searchers click on one of the top 3 results!
Putting it all together
To sum it all up, once we know the search volume for the keyword we want to rank for, and the approximate Click-thru-rate for each position on Google, we can calculate traffic potential.
Let's use a Real-World Example:
A client of mine who owns a mortgage company wants their website to rank at the top of the page (position 1) of Google's first page when someone searches for the term "refinance my mortgage".
Since we know (based on historical data) that a website ranking in Google Search's position 1 for a finance related keyword would capture 34.29% of the clicks (the Click-thru-rate) and our Keyword Planner Tool told us that there are 27,100 searches per month for that term, we can run a simple formula to estimate potential website traffic:
Search volume * estimated click-thru-rate = new website traffic
27,100 searches per month (volume) * 34.25% the average click-thru-rate for the top position = 9,282 new visitors to my client's website per month!