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Forecasting SEO Traffic Growth

Question on how to improve accuracy of SEO traffic growth.

3:46 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I am involved in starting a new website, which will contain lovely unique content and be structured to be easily navigable by both users and bots.

Let me prefix my question by saying that obviously forecasting is essentially guessing, and that it depends on a bunch of variables.

What I am interested to know is if anyone who has experience with the pattern of growth sites experience, especially in the very early days?

I am assuming basically exponential growth over time, but just not sure how shallow or steep to make it.

As things stand I am assuming through natural search alone achieveing 1000 visitors a month in 3 months. Does that sound rediculous?

Thanks for your thoughs, I know it's a vauge question!

4:49 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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how long is a piece of string?

Exponential growth won't happen, there is a finite market for your product or service and eventually even the most successful site will reach a point of market saturation. You need to consider what market share you believe you will be able to get, look at the share your competitors have, how long did it take them to build that market share? What are you offering to entice their customers to work with you instead.

Where are your 1000 visitors a month going to come from? how are they going to find you? If you are launching an agressive marketing campaign, with a good unique selling point, 1000 visitors in 3 months is not impossible.

Every site grows differently, some get no traffic for months, even years then explode, some do really well from the go, and then never grow, some grow slowly over time and last for years, some go boom and bust. It all depends on your market, your strategy and how appealealing your target market find your site (and this has nothing to do with how appealing you think your site is, if it did every site ever built would be a success)

Essentially, your questions can only be answered by thorough market research and investigation into the needs, wants, and behaviour patterns of your target market. There is no substitute for hard work and research.

4:53 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You don't say how you will be promoting the site either. If you just publish the site and sit on it, you're unlikely to see any growth. if you're on prime time TV every 5 minutes then you're going to see rapid growth ;)
8:16 pm on Dec 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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HugoPW Yoshimi gave a very good answer and Receptional Andy brought up a valid point as well on what marketing can do to increase numbers.

When I first enterend the net 8 -9 years ago I thought each and every nitch had a kazilion searches. This is not the case. I really get a laugh at some of the numbers I hear certian sites say they get when I know without any doubt that number is a lie as I have a very good idea of the search volume in that vertical.

Yoshimi is right you will reach a point it may be 1000 it may be 10,000 a day, or it may be 1000 a month. For sure certian areas of the net get millions more searches than others more specialized areas get far less there is no way we can tell you.

I suggest some serious research on a wide number of search terms, single, plural, and long tail to try to determine as close as you can get to the search volume for that vertical on a monthly basis then take a percentage of them say 25-50% of the volume to set a good goal.