The ROI Forecasting report calculates the potential changes in traffic, conversions, and conversion values from hypothetical changes in your site's organic keyword ranking.

For example, the report might estimate you're currently getting $1M in monthly revenue from organic traffic. What would happen to your monthly revenue if all keyword rankings moved up just by 1 single position? What about 3 positions? What if they all moved to position 1?

The report helps you quickly predict and visualize these types of scenarios to see the potential value brought by organic SEO efforts.

Potential use cases are convincing management or prospective clients how relatively small investments in SEO can have massive benefits in terms of ROI.

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Getting Started

To get started, navigate to ROI Forecasting under Ranking in the left navigation.

How does this report work?

This report doesn't require any external data source such as Google Analytics or AdWords. It's instead made by estimating your current and potential future performance based on the keywords you're currently tracking in the campaign. So how are these numbers calculated?

Make assumptions

To begin, we start with a few default assumptions that are completely user-configurable. We recommend taking a moment to edit these so that they make sense for your site.

Click on the Edit Assumptions button to get started:

Inside the Assumptions modal, you can enter your Estimated Conversion Rate, Conversion Value and choose / create Click-Through Rate curves.

  • Estimated conversion rate: Take a look at your site's analytics. What is the approximate conversion rate you're getting with organic traffic? Enter it into this area.

  • Conversion value: When a site visitor converts on your site, what is the average value you'd assign to this interaction? (e.g. If it's an ecommerce site, what's the average cart value? If you're collecting leads via a form, what's the average value from a converted lead?

  • Click-through-rate curve: There are many models available for estimating what the average click-through-rate is for organic results at each ranking position. Choose one of the preset models that you feel represents your industry, or configure your own based on your own analytics.

Note: Standard, Branded 1, Branded 2, Low Clicks are click-through rate curves that we defined based on our research and experience. You can customize your own curve under Custom.

Estimating your current performance

Now that we've got the assumptions out of the way, we can start to estimate your current performance.

  • First, all currently tracking keywords in the campaign are loaded up into the table.

  • The number of times someone searches for this keyword each month is displayed as Monthly Search Volume in the table.

  • Each keyword's current ranking position for your site is displayed next to this.

  • Based on the estimated organic click-through-rate at each position, we'll estimate the amount of traffic each keyword is getting each month by using the current ranking position for this keyword and its search volume. (For example, let's assume a keyword is ranking at position 3 with a search volume of 10,000. We'll look up the click-through-rate in the assumptions chart for position 3 and see that it's 10%. We'll then multiply the monthly search volume of 10,000 by 10%, which will give us an estimated 1,000 traffic per month.

  • The traffic is multiplied by the estimated conversion rate in the assumptions area to get the estimated number of conversions. (For example, if the estimated conversion rate for the site is 3%, the traffic of 1,000 is multiplied by this number to get 3 conversions.)

  • The number of conversions is then multiplied by the conversion value in the assumptions area to get the conversion value. (For example, if there are 3 conversions for this keyword at a conversion value of $200 each, the conversion value for this keyword is $600 for the month)

All of this data in the table will be summed and rolled up to the top-level metrics at the top of the page. The current estimated performance will be shown on the left side of all metrics.

Forecasting hypothetical scenarios

Now that we have a baseline of your current performance, we can begin to make forecasts if something changes.

Look for the Scenario dropdown at the top of the page. Here you can choose a hypothetical scenario to play out. The more ambitious the selected scenario is, the more drastic changes you will be able to see for the forecast.

Once a scenario is selected, click the Calculate Forecast button.

The same calculations will be made based on this new situation. In the table, you can compare a single keyword's forecasted performance next to the current performance.

Likewise, the increase in performance can be viewed from a high-level overview at the top of the page.

Additional Options

In addition to the above assumptions, you can update other factors that the forecast is based on.

Dates

By default, ROI Forecasting uses ranking data from the most recent available data. You can also choose a different date with the Reference Date picker too:

Search Engine

Results of the forecasted report can be vastly different for the different search engines you've chosen to run calculations for. All search engines added for this campaign are available to be viewed on this report.

Tag

Tags are one of the most powerful ways to segment your keywords. In this report you can filter by one or more tags to see only the set of keywords you're interested in.

If multiple tags are selected, you can choose how keywords are chosen for inclusion on the report.

If Include any is selected, keywords that include any of the selected tags will be included.

If Include all is selected, only keywords that include all of the selected tags will be included.

You can even build more complex queries by adding another Tag filter. Just click +more

An additional Tag filter will now be available (joined with boolean AND logic).

For example, to view keywords that tagged as non-brand and either high or medium search volume, you could use the following filter:

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