With predictive SEO, content creators can win top search results and swell website traffic. PR pros can predict popular topics and devise media pitches that are more likely to grab journalists’ interest and win media placements.

Predictive SEO isn’t as technical or esoteric as the name implies. Predictive SEO simply entails predicting what keyword terms will be more popular in coming months with the help of SEO tools. Communications professionals can then create blog posts, social media content, ad campaigns and other content in advance. With that head start, they’ll win the content production race and capture traffic from popular keywords.

The popularity of some search terms increases with clock-like regularity during some seasons. For instance, searches for Halloween costume ideas increase in October. Searches involving Christmas presents increase in December. Web searches on taxes and related financial issues rise every year as the tax filing deadline approaches. Other keyword trends may be counter-intuitive and are less predictable. Forecasting trending search terms may require a degree a judgment and an understanding of current events.

Savvy PR pros can use predictive SEO to create successful media pitches. The strategy is similar to news jacking, except PR creates the content and pitch before the news occurs. For instance, search traffic and media interest related to Apple and iPhones increase every year just before and after release of a new iPhone. PR pitches related to the topic gain an advantage.

Essential Research Tools for Predictive SEO

Tools such as Google Trends and Google Ads Keyword Planner provide valuable information on keyword trends and keyword popularity.

Google Tends shows that searches with the term “marathon” peak during December and January every year, says digital marketer Shreyans Jain. That’s an excellent time for marketers promoting sports drinks, shoes and other athletic apparel to launch campaigns.

A media monitoring and measurement tool can find keyword phrases that spike in popularity. Enter keyword phrases that you think will soon increase in popularity into a media monitoring and measurement tool.

Marketing and technology expert Ben Beck suggests investigating these topics to predict keyword popularity:

  • New legislation and regulations expected in your industry in the coming months or years.
  • Competitors or complementors that release products on a regular basis.
  • Cultural events that will be held in the coming year.
  • Upcoming sporting events that will interest your audience.
  • Trade conferences planned in your industry, topics they’ll cover and their keynote speakers.

“To start, it’s best to create an expansive list, brainstorming and listing out all the holidays, events, and occasions you can think of,” Beck advises.

Organize with an Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar helps organize content production and promotion activities. Also record metrics related to internet traffic that topics generate.

Other key steps include linking your brand’s keywords to trending keywords and creating first-rate content.

“If you utilize these techniques to plan ahead, and then create some great content beforehand that includes the keywords you expect to be trending, you’ll be ready to receive the extra traffic when it comes along. It requires you to do a lot of planning, though. And revise those plans regularly,” Beck says.

Bottom Line: Predictive SEO allows PR and marketing professionals to forecast what search terms will increase in popularity. With those insights, communications professionals can prepare content and publicity campaigns before their competitors and win the top spots in search results.

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