Key Elements that Make Your SEO Reports Stand Out
by Dan Radak
If you work in an industry such as SEO, then you’re probably familiar with the importance of client and management reporting. If you imagine your SEO and digital marketing as a great, well-oiled machine, then client and management reporting represent your most important cog that keeps that machine going. Quality reporting ensures that everything runs smoothly and that your clientele is always up to date with your activities.
These data-driven documents offer different values for those who produce and receive them. For those who create them, reports are there to assist them with recognizing, analyzing, and understanding all past and current marketing and SEO-related activities, so they can effectively set or adjust their strategies for the future. If you’re on the recipient’s end, then reports are there to help you understand where is a certain SEO agency or freelancer spending your money, and what exactly are you getting for it in return.
Even though SEO reporting is really important for your client management, retention, and overall satisfaction – it’s not really an easy task for most to manage. Dozens of different factors come into play here. Reporting is a complicated process that requires a lot of time and dedication. If you want your reports to truly mean something and influence your client retention and loyalty for the better – you cannot afford to feed your recipients with meaningless documents. Your reports need to be meticulously designed and filled with insights that have the power to immediately demonstrate your worth to your clientele.
That’s why, in following segments of this post, I’m going to write about what makes a certain SEO report great. I’m going to cover all the elements that you need to enlist in your reports, if you really want to impress your clients:
1. Project Overview
This is a logical first step. It doesn’t really matter if you’re working with a new or a returning client, it’s always a great idea to highlight the objectives of your cooperation and completed tasks in your reports. This ensures that the clients are always reminded why they are investing in SEO in the first place.
Usual project objectives are oriented at increasing sales or generating more leads and conversions, so having that in mind – it’s a smart idea to make sure that your reporting recipients immediately acknowledge your achievements in those particular departments. That is, if you have managed to reach any of the set targets.
2. Reached Goals, Meet KPIs
If you work with somebody, then it’s pretty safe to assume that your client will be interested in receiving some form of evidence of what you claim has been done for their brand and company so far. Your goal here is to make your achievement easily understandable and transparent.
That’s why it’s always best to clearly organize and conceptualize your SEO-related KPIs in three groups:
- Basic analytics data: This is where you cover all the basic metrics, such as traffic, conversions or leads. The key element of traffic reporting should be oriented at sessions, using week-by-week, month-by-month, or year-by-year comparisons, depending on your client requirements. Most people track their sessions through the Google Analytics’ campaigns section, but that sort of thing requires that you do a lot of manual work. Luckily, there is a tool out there like Reportz that can help you automate this segment of your reporting and allow you to follow all your most important KPIs via custom date settings. When it comes to tracking and displaying conversions for your reporting purposes, it’s best to focus on those relevant to what your client considers to be a conversions. If, for example, a lead or enquiry is set as a conversion, then the key metrics you should follow are conversion rates and conversion volumes. If it’s a purchase in question, then you should focus on the total revenue and average order value numbers.
- Keyword progress: If you want to understand whether your current SEO strategy is working or not, it’s imperative to closely follow how your client’s site is performing in search engine results, compared to its direct and indirect competitors. That’s why it’s always important to track your keywords.You need to keep an eye on such things as GSC top impressions, and all the position changes of your specific keywords in SERP on monthly basis. Your clients would definitely want to see that. You can do that through various tools like SEMRush and Rank Ranger, but again – you can do all that through the above-mentioned automated reporting utility, by integrating all your favorite tools SEO tools to a single KPI marketing dashboard.
- Overall search statistics: This part of your reporting should be focused on demonstrating your client how improved on-page optimisation and link acquisitions is helping him rank better in search. Here you should focus on metrics such as domain authority, referring domains, lost referring domains, etc. Basically, you need to display all the key data that could help your client automatically recognize how certain actions have helped you improve his search visibility. You can easily track all these statistics through a tool like Ahrefs.
Once you finish filling your reports with all the necessary data, it’s imperative that you take a couple of minutes to actually add some commentary to what you have displayed here. If you want to save yourself from wasting additional time explaining your clients what specific elements of your reports actually mean – you should do your best to add some words next to every segment of your report.
Why has a specific landing page experienced such growth? What has influenced the overall site traffic to go up? How are the recent changes affecting engagement? – these are just some of the questions you’re expected to answer in your reports.
Context is the king here. If you don’t provide clear commentary next to all the insights and metrics you’ve displayed in your report, the chances are your clients won’t be able to immediately acknowledge your worth, which will definitely have a negative effect on your overall business relationship.
Believe it or not, but design plays a very big role in reporting. Apart from making sure that your reports are filled with relevant and precise insights, you need to spend additional time on making them visually appealing to your recipients.
It’s of great importance to do your best to create user friendly documents that aren’t really just overflowing with numbers. That’s why it’s not really advisable do just stuff your metrics in Excel sheets and send them over to your clients. You need to do better than that. Focus on the details. Add a logo to your client’s report, work on its background, use the client’s brand colors, etc.
All these little details can really influence how your clientele feels about your reporting.
As you can see, SEO client reporting is a complex process that requires a lot of time and dedication. There are loads of different elements you need to take care of, in order to create documents that actually justify your work and provide clients with everything they need in order to acknowledge your worth. Be sure to follow my blueprint when reporting your SEO activities to your clientele, and I’ll promise you’ll see a change on how your clients feel about your work.
January 14, 2018
December 19, 2017