Notes on Marketing and Web Development

How to Estimate Organic SEO Website Traffic Potential

This article explains how marketers can estimate organic SEO website traffic potential.


Marketers can estimate website traffic resulting from improved organic Search rankings by multiplying CTR by Search Volume:

Search Volume * CTR = Traffic

But you're committed to lifelong learning and want to know how it all REALLY works so read on...

My marketing clients always ask me this question:

“If we get on the first page of Google for [whatever keyword] how much website traffic will we get?”

It’s a valid question.

I actually really like this question because it shows me the client is thinking about results and isn’t just interested in arbitrarily “doing SEO.”

That being said, there’s a relatively simple way to estimate how much traffic a website will get by “doing SEO” and ranking on the first page of Google.

To estimate the impact of SEO on website traffic, there are 3 things to consider:

1 - Keyword Search Volume

As the term implies, keyword search volume refers to the number of searches for a particular keyword in a given timeframe.

You can get a reasonably accurate estimate of search volume for a given keyword by using Google’s keyword Planner Tool or a tool like SpyFu.

2 - Website Ranking Position

Did you know each organic ranking position on Google has an average CTR?

For example: ranking in position 1 on Google for a finance related keyword will yield a 34.29% average CTR.

Position 2 in the finance industry has an average CTR of 16.25%.

Position 3: 10.28%

You get the idea. And yes, CTR decreases with ranking position.

Fun 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!

How do you get the CTR data for each position in a given industry?

I’ll be making this data available shortly in my tools section but for now just email me and I’ll hook you up.

3 - Search Intent

It’s worth mentioning that Branded keywords (eg: a search for your company name) tend to have a significantly higher CTR than non-branded keywords.


So once you know the Search volume for the keyword, AND the approximate CTR for each position in the SERP for a given industry, you can use those metrics to calculate traffic potential.... (simple right!! 😆)

To express that as a formula: Estimated Traffic = Search Volume * CTR

Real-World Example:

A website ranking in Google Search's position 1 for a finance related keyword would capture 34.29% of the clicks on average...

Stated another way - the average CTR for a position 1 ranking across the finance industry is 34.25%...

Get it?

Now lets get so real...

A website....ranking in the first position on Google Search....for the keyword: “mortgage company”..... (which gets roughly 4,400 searches per month) .... will receive 1,496 new organic clicks from Google per month....


The keyword "mortgage company" gets 4,400 average monthly searches in the US (the volume).

The average CTR for a position 1 ranking in the finance industry is 34.25% (the CTR).

4,400 (volume) * 34.25% (CTR) = 1,496 (clicks).


I’m the process of building a tool to make estimating SEO traffic potential supersimple so follow me on Twitter and I’ll announce that tool once it's complete.