website_traffic_estimateNow that we’ve looked at an overview of the keyword search volume approach for estimating traffic and the views per page approach, as well as the pros and cons of the views per page approach, it’s time to turn in more detail to the pros and cons of the keyword search volume method.

This is a great method to use for getting a rough traffic estimate, but like everything, has both positive and negative implications.

Pros of the Keyword Search Volume Method for Estimating Traffic

First, let’s look at the benefits of this method.

In general, using the search volume approach provides more specific data on traffic assumptions than the views per page method. This is because this method takes data that is directly relevant to the niche, by looking at a total volume of search terms over time.

Not only that, but this method tends to encourage marketers to focus less on the raw quantity of pages/posts included on the site, and instead focus on creating the right pages based on hard data about the niche. This has a lot of benefits, not the least of which is that by treating site pages individually, in encourages the blogger to create higher quality content that is more likely to rank.

Finally, like the views per page approach, the keyword search volume method tends to provide a smooth estimate over time, because the method is still based on a running average of search terms. This makes it easy to extrapolate a new site’s performance well into the future.

Cons of the Keyword Search Volume Method for Estimating Traffic

The downside of this approach, however, is that it is more difficult and time consuming to come up with accurate numbers. Doing so requires a fair amount of time researching keywords, which is time that could otherwise be spent towards the development of the site.

Furthermore, this method also relies on the marketer making a lot of assumptions about the keywords. There is an inherent assumption about the level of competition for the niche, but also an assumption about the number of secondary and tertiary keywords for which a page might rank, since the marketer will assume that those search terms are of a comparable volume.

Errors in either of these assumptions could lead to a traffic estimate that is highly skewed and inaccurate, since this method relies more heavily on data extrapolation than the views per page method.

Which Method Should You Use?

So, at the end of the day, which method should you use to estimate potential site traffic?


I usually make an estimation using both of these methods, at fairly conservative assumptions. If the two assumptions are close it provides me with a good estimate, but if not at the very least I have an expected range for the site. If neither estimate gives me the level of traffic I’m looking for, it may be time to reconsider the niche.

I hope this helps you clarify how to estimate traffic for a new website. It’s important to note that both of these methods are based on estimates that take effect after the site is established.

Read more about traffic expectations over time for a new site.