Unlike Johnny Carson's Carnac character (pictured at left), there are serious and legitimate ways to predict how your traffic will respond to your site's content. A new service from Adobe's SearchCenter+ and features from the existing service from Visual Revenue are both trying to be more helpful in optimizing your content and ad buys for your site. Both services can boost your traffic by a 25% or more, which is a welcome note for just about everyone concerned with their site stats these days.
First, the Adobe news. Adobe SearchCenter+, one of the components of the Adobe Online Marketing Suite that it obtained from Omniture, has added keyword performance predictive analytics through a partnering agreement with OptiMine Software, Inc. The idea is to use predictive modeling on keywords so site operators can figure out which combinations will likely yield better results. Adobe customers can begin adding this new feature to their SearchCenter+ service contracts immediately. No costs were provided.
Second is a nifty service that is focused on the editorial content (rather than the keyword and ad side of things) by Visual Revenue. They have developed some analytics that look at what the traffic on your home page (or other prime site real estate) will be a few minutes into the future. They told me that for sites like ours that post oodles of content all day long, figuring out the placement of that content isn't really for the present but for the visitor that is coming in the near future. You need to place a tracking pixel on each of your pages and have their consulting team analyze at least two weeks' worth of traffic before they can begin optimizing your pages, and the minimum fee is $1000 per month, which is less than I thought it would be. Visual Revenue were the folks behind the technology later sold to Yahoo Analytics, and they will instrument a site that receives five million page views a month or more. They are ideal for editorial-rich sites where you don't have 24x7 production coverage and can use their tool to resequence your content so that every visit counts.