January 21


What is estimated traffic when it comes to SEO

By Jason Khoo

January 21, 2021


Hi guys, and welcome to another edition of Zupo's SEO Talk and Tea. 

This is the first video of 2021, so big celebration to the crossing from 2020 to 2021. If you've been watching our channel, I know it's been a little slow during the 2020 holiday seasons, so December into January. We not only celebrated Christmas, New Year's, but also it's my birthday in that period. So, we've been on a little bit of a hiatus, but we're back today.

Today's conversation is, what is estimated traffic when it comes to SEO? This is a metric that isn't exactly an SEO metric when it comes to the day-to-day link-building, referring domains, but a lot of SEO tools have it, and I think a lot of people don't understand it. So today I want to take some time to explain what estimated traffic is.

Before we begin I want to introduce the team we have. Today we have an Imperial green tea, which we're enjoying today. I guess you could celebrate it too. And this is a green tea that I've purchased from a company called Mei Leaf. The green tea is something where, when the sun's beating down on me, it's a pretty hot day, I generally like to have a green tea, because you can brew it at such a lighter temperature. Actually green tea is usually brewed at 80 to 85 degrees celsius, so much lower than normal teas, that are usually like 99 to 100 degrees celsius. Well, let's go ahead and get brewing and get chatting.

So, estimated traffic. Estimated traffic's something that a lot of SEO tools, I know for a fact SEMrush and Ahrefs both use. I'm not sure if MOZ uses it. If you do know, leave a comment for me and let me know if MOZ does use estimated traffic. But estimated traffic can be found on, I know Ahrefs and SEMrush. And what it does is it tells the user how much traffic that software is estimating that you're going to get from that keyword. And how that's calculated is, the software's will use the keyword that you are ranking for and where the volume that the keyword gets each month, in terms of searches, but also your placement in it.

So the higher, up to one, two and three, the more estimated traffic you'll get, the lower you are, the lower estimated traffic you'll get. What is very important to understand is that estimated traffic is an estimate from these softwares, and here's where you have to be mindful how you use these estimated traffic metrics. On one hand, estimated traffic is a good way to give you a rough ballpark of the traffic that you can expect to get if you rank for a keyword or if you were to rank for that keyword. However, it is, at the end of the day, an estimate from the software.

And the software does not specialize in your industry. They don't specialize in every keyword or every search result. They're using a general estimate. And it's not to say that's a bad estimate, I still think it's pretty good. Ahrefs SEO, Rush, are elite high quality firms that know what they're doing when it comes to data. But I know that even they will admit that the data for estimated traffic should not be used as gospel, it should be used as a general direction and lead. The way to understand how much traffic you're getting from certain keywords is to use your own metrics in addition to theirs, so analytics and search console.

I have filmed another video talking about how to get general keyword analytics estimates from your own analytics and search console, you can see that in our other video. But understand that estimate traffic though it's a good number, I would be mindful how you use it. With my clients, we don't really use estimated traffic as a very nitty-gritty metric. Occasionally we will go over it, but we really rely on our own analytics and our own search console. But the estimate traffic can just give you a general understanding of, what I like to use it more as is a general guide. Even though number of keywords we're ranking for is lowering, the estimated traffic that we're getting is higher.

That may mean even though we're losing keyword rankings, we actually might be gaining some that even though, let's say we lost 10 keyword rankings but we gained one, but that one keyword had a very high volume searches and the other ones had very low search volume searches. So, estimated traffic is the one that I would encourage you, be very careful how you use it. Just not to ignore it, and it's also not to say that it's a terrible metric. I just use it sparingly and just more as a guide of how the site's performing rather than a nitty-gritty fine tune metric that we measure for our clients to see if they're doing well. Because at the end of the day, estimated traffic is an estimate based on these SEO softwares from a very high level overview, and they're managing hundreds of thousands of different sites, millions of data points.

They're just comparing you with the general lay of the land, but every industry is a little bit different. Another thing to also note is that make sure you're checking your estimated traffic. I know for a fact Ahrefs report your estimated monthly traffic, but SEMrush will report, when they're reporting estimated traffic, they report on a daily level. So if you're trying to do on a monthly report, you need to take that daily number and multiply it 30 or so on and so forth. So, the last thing I want to say is, when you're looking at estimated traffic, each software uses their own methodology. I would encourage you to review them before you use it so heavily so that you really understand how the estimate traffic is.

I have come onto clients or seen projects where they're using estimated traffic, but they have clearly no idea what's going on. So that means they're reporting to the internal company is inherently flawed because they don't understand the estimated traffic. So, again, it's not a metric I use heavily, but isn't one to ignore it either. I would just use it as a guide, like I've said. Other than that, if you have any questions about estimate traffic, please feel free to leave me a question or a comment on the YouTube videos, or you can shoot a Zupo email. Other than that, I'm going to go ahead and pour out my tea guys. If you guys enjoyed the video, please like and subscribe. And I hope to see you guys again soon.

Thanks everybody.

Jason Khoo

About the author

Jason is founder and CEO of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends catching up on reading and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.

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