SEO forecasting is used to give clients and decision makers an idea of the results they can expect, and budgets and resources are often allocated based on this information. 

Forecasting can help push decisions from clients, as Bill Hunt points out:

It is still important as many companies will not allocate development or copywriting resources unless they can see some sort upside in traffic and/or revenue just justify the allocation.

As the chart shows, most SEOs are using forecasting at least part of the time… 

However, forecasting can be time consuming for SEOs: 

The problem here is that only one in four SEOs believe that their forecasts are close to the eventual outcomes. 

However, forecasting is still regarded as being useful, as David Sottimano states: 

While I don’t necessarily put 100% faith in the numbers, I’d much rather have an idea than nothing at all. 

According to the survey, over 70% of in house and almost 60% of agency SEO’s say important decisions are being made based on forecasting. 

Almost 7 out of 10 SEO’s are (positively) managing client expectations based on forecasting.

These results suggest that forecasting, while potentially useful, has to be treated with care and the outcomes should be interpreted in the right way.