Using a Site Analytics tool? Got a Rank Tracker or some free time to manually check some rankings? Here’s a way you can find and predict how much traffic you might be missing out on.
Aside from the fact that I just ended that sentence with a preposition which drives me nuts, let walk through the process, shall we? Super. Open up your analytics tool and your favorite spreadsheet app and let’s go.
Collect the keywords
Go into your analytics tool and find the report that tells you what keywords are driving organic traffic to your website.
Set your date report range for 30 days and make sure you can see how many visits each keyword/keyphrase drove to your site within that time frame. Get as many keywords as you can. I’m talking like 400-500 keywords if your report allows and if you have that much data.
Paste that data into a spreadsheet. One column for the keyphrase and one column for the number of visits. Good!
Get the rankings
Arguments about the veracity of rank-checking these days aside, paste that list of keywords into your favorite rank checking tool and fire it up. Or, you can always check them one-by-one if your list is manageable.
Plug in your findings into a third column on your spreadsheet. (I’m just checking Google here)
Forget about the #1 ranked items
Now, sort the spreadsheet and delete all the rows that have keywords that are currently ranking #1 for you. We’re only going to concern ourselves with anything not currently ranking #1 from here on out.
Now for some imperfect math
Let’s take a look at the chart here…
If we accept these numbers, you can start to calculate how much traffic you might be losing by ranking something other than #1. For example…
“red widgets” brought in 100 visits and you’re currently ranking #4. Based on our chart above, there’s a difference of 44.83% between #1 and #4. Let’s do the math: You could have had roughly 45 extra visits had you been #1. See where this is going?
You can use these numbers to help justify projects/man-hours geared toward trying to rank for all these other keywords. You can use them to give a ROUGH projection of potential traffic/lead increases. I can’t emphasize the term “rough” enough here. The math is not perfect all the time in all cases. You’re going to have two moving targets here:
- The percentage of click-thru rates are not going to work out exactly for every market or set of search terms
- The rankings you see might not be the rankings that everyone sees.
But overall, you can see how this can give you a rough estimate on traffic of which you could be taking advantage. You can also turn this into a monthly or quarterly exercise. I find it best to track the traffic I’ve gained by moving up the rankings on that initial list. I use the same spreadsheet we set up above and add columns by date that track the ranking improvements/setbacks. I then add a column after 30 days to see if the traffic to that keyword has improved.