TL;DR: Full recording above for those that missed our SEO Office hours live event. We revealed our research on how Semrush and Ahrefs don’t always accurately predict search volume. In some cases, they are both inaccurate, and in other cases, one is better than the other. Our research indicates that industry and type of keyword play a large role in their ability to accurately forecast search volume.
Organic search forecasting is not easy, and they’re all sorts of assumptions, nuances, and factors beyond our control that can make predictions nothing more than a fancy guess. If you’ve put in your time at an agency or are an in-house search stakeholder who’s been a part of SEO forecasting, it’s likely that at least one of these questions (or a combination of them) has been thrown your way:
- How many visitors can I expect to see on my website?
- When can I expect to see X number of organic visitors?
- What kind of traffic will I get from investing X amount of money?
- What kind of opportunities are there for organic growth in our industry?
- How much traffic are my competitors getting?
To find these answers, you’ve likely relied on some popular keyword research tools as an indicator of how much potential traffic various keyboards could generate.
But, Semrush and Ahrefs are not perfect their data comes from a mix a places and due to bots, missing data, click manipulation, and other factors, they can provide a distorted view of the actual search volume.
Patrick Stox, Technical SEO at Ahrefs explains, “No matter the data source, there are always some issues with it which is why you’re seeing more custom models. We take all the data and try to make sense of it.”
The Accuracy of SEMrush and Ahrefs
So, how effective are tools like Semrush and Ahrefs at predicting search volume?
To answer this, we’ve recently conducted research on the topic and compared data from 10 brands in different industries to see how Semrush and Ahrefs estimates stack up against Google Search Console’s reported impressions.
There were a few key trends and findings in terms of inaccuracies we will share in a live event on February 9th at 11:30 AM with VP of SEO Strategy, Karl Kleinschmidt, and CEO Andrew Shotland.
Additionally, we’ll be discussing the following:
- How to identify if your industry or clients are impacted
- Best practices for better search volume projections
- How you can check your own keywords against these tools