Whenever business owners or managers make decisions, they always place primary importance on one thing: return on investment (ROI). For these people, any purchase, partnership, or hiring decisions to be made should help propel a business to higher profitability. They’d also want to be able to quantify or measure the ROI that can be reaped from these business decisions.
This is what makes search engine optimization (SEO) reporting important, as it communicates the value of an SEO strategy to any company. Through the SEO report, you can keep your team in the loop with the status of the SEO campaigns you’re implementing to support their efforts. It also showcases the most significant milestones you’ve achieved at any point in the project timeline.
This is a standard expectation in SEO reporting since they’re designed to identify any loopholes and opportunities to help a website perform well in organic search. As such, data in your SEO report should cover metrics, site traffic, rankings, and more. You’ll also want to make sure that your SEO reports are really useful, not just a hodgepodge of quantitative and qualitative data in an effort to communicate what you’ve been doing throughout the project period.
Here’s what to aim for in your SEO report:
- Comprehensiveness. Your report should include all the findings uncovered during the audit you’ve done on your website, including on-page and off-page aspects of SEO.
- Clarity. For your SEO reports to be effective, they should be easy to understand on the manager’s end, and present information and insights in layman’s terms.
- Visual. Putting too many numbers in your SEO reports can make them be overwhelming for the average reader, so try including graphs and charts to make your reports more visual and easier to digest.
- Accuracy. Obviously, there’s no use creating reports that are riddled with inaccuracies, errors, and inconsistencies as these won’t help you determine whether they’re on track with their SEO goals, or which campaigns to discard and which ones to keep.
What Your SEO Report Should Include
As SEO marketers, you’ll probably agree that the SEO department is far from being one-dimensional. With multiple areas to cover, you might find yourself having a hard time putting together an SEO report that shows the overall picture of the efficiency and functionality of your website.
To avoid this dilemma, focus your SEO reporting on these key aspects.
1. Website traffic broken down by page
One of the first things that managers want to know is how much traffic is coming to their website. As such, it would be good to show the amount of sessions or visits made by internet users using week-on-week, month-on-month, quarter-on-quarter, or year-on-year comparisons, depending on their requirements. Naturally, you’ll want the numbers to keep increasing regardless of the period intervals you’re tracking.
It’s also recommended that you report on web traffic based on page views. This part of SEO reporting can tell you a number of things—from the size of the audience you’re reaching and how active of a user they are to which pages they’re interested in.
2. Keyword performance by page
The right selection of keywords can help boost a company’s website ranking, so be sure to include which target keywords are delivering results versus those that are not.
Aside from showing the specific ranking of your client’s website using certain keywords, your report can also include data about the rankings of competing businesses or websites. This way, you can try to rank for keywords that are making your competitors land on search engine results pages (SERPs).
You can further customize the keyword performance section of your SEO report based on page optimization data. The idea is to pick a particular page on the website that you’re monitoring along with a target keyword, so you’ll know if that page is optimized for that keyword.
While it’s a good sign when a website is able to generate traffic or engage users, the most conclusive proof that can tell you if the website is performing well is conversions. If the website has low conversion rates, it’s possible that you’re targeting the wrong kind of audience or the content on the site is neither relevant nor useful to its visitors.
Your conversion data should go beyond conversion rates, which is a measure of the percentage of visitors who take your desired action—whether it’s in the form of an inquiry, purchase, content download, app installs, or form signups, to mention a few. Instead, it should show where your numbers are coming from.
Are your conversions coming from mobile devices or from desktops and laptops? Once you see some patterns on which sources or channels are giving you more conversions, you can then start uncovering and resolving common issues that users from other platforms may be having.
Google and other search engines rank websites based on various factors, including engagement—which pertains to how visitors are interacting with a particular website.
To help you measure and analyze audience engagement, you’ll need to include several metrics in your SEO report.
First on the list is the website’s bounce rate, which refers to the percentage of visitors who are leaving the site or navigating to another page without first interacting with its content. That said, your goal is to keep the site’s bounce rate low by finding out what type of content or information can attract users to the site.
Your SEO report should also indicate the average session duration and average pages per session, which will give your clients an idea if visitors are spending enough time or viewing different pages on your website, respectively.
The goal is for these numbers to balance each other out. If either of these metrics is too high, it could mean that visitors are having difficulty reaching their target destination on the site.
5. Landing pages
It’s not enough to report on website traffic without identifying which landing pages are driving people to your site. This is important since it’s the top performing pages that have the potential to add to a company’s commercial value.
Once you’ve identified the most visited landing pages, you can then track which keywords or query phrases people often use in their search and are helping those pages rank on Google, Bing, and more. Ultimately, this allows you to use the right set of keywords in your content resources.
6. Search visibility
With roughly 6 billion webpages on the web today, businesses need SEO now more than ever to attain search visibility. This pertains to how prominently a piece of content is displayed in organic search results.
A search visibility score of zero means you have no pages ranking on the top 50 spots in the SERPs, while a perfect score of 100% means you’re getting the top positions for all the keywords you’re targeting. Search visibility also provides an overview of how well a website is performing in organic search.
As such, it takes into account the number of search terms that your client’s website ranks for, the places or location where the website is ranking, how much search volume is attributed to certain keywords, and the estimated traffic that those keywords are expected to drive.
By monitoring a site’s search visibility score, you can then determine whether there’s an increase or drop in the website’s visibility over time.
Ranking is an essential part of SEO reporting since search engines use this process to determine where a particular piece of content should go on the SERPs.
Closely tied to search visibility, search rank tells you where a website appears in the list of search results for a given keyword or search phrase. The more relevant a webpage is to a search or query, the higher it ranks on the SERPs.
Aside from showing your clients’ position on organic search, you’ll also want to use SEO reports to help them understand why there might be a change in their rankings, whether it’s from good to bad or vice-versa. Perhaps the website dropped from the top 1 to the top 3 spot because there weren’t any new backlinks created for a long period, for instance.
8. Link Metrics
When you incorporate link metrics in your SEO reports, you get to show your team the positive impact of building links to help improve their search rankings and visibility.
- Domain Authority (DA)—This measures the trustworthiness, strength, or popularity of the site from where you got your backlink. A DA that ranges between 20 and 40 is considered average; if it’s between 40 and 60 it is considered good; and a DA that’s over 60 is considered excellent.
- Referring domains—This pertains to how many different website domains have links pointing to your domain. For obvious reasons, the more domains you have referring to you, the more authority gets passed on to your website for that particular keyword. This does not take into account the quality of each link.
9. Comparisons and Trends
Metrics per se cannot show the level or quality of growth that a website has acquired, but having a baseline with which to compare current metrics can. This way, you can help your clients identify SEO trends and relate how these managed to deliver the most impact in improving the overall performance of their website.
For example, you can highlight the fact that after optimizing your client’s website for mobile, there was an improvement in the site’s ranking on Google, whose updated algorithms treat mobile page speed as a factor in ranking websites.
You can put in as much data as you want in your SEO reports, but with little to no useful advice for your clients, you’re not really helping them achieve their goals. The best way to do SEO reporting is to provide key data or metrics, interpret what they mean, and propose the next course of action especially regarding areas where improvements can and should be made.
SEO Reporting Tools
As you gather, track, and interpret crucial data points, you should be able to get help from the right software or tools. We think the ones in this list are the best in creating insightful SEO reports in a way that’s fast and easy for you.
What it is: Recognized as the best SEO tool in the USA and across Europe in 2017, SEMrush is hailed as a complete SEO toolkit for digital marketers.
What it offers: SEMrush is designed to help you assess a website based on metrics related to traffic and keywords. Its Search Console Integration feature is helpful in auditing the backlink profile of the website and even removing potentially dangerous backlinks on its own or through Google Disavow.
This premium tool requires the purchase of individual licenses for every user.
What it is: This is Neil Patel’s proprietary tool for analyzing websites.
What it offers: Apart from analyzing websites, this tool helps with SEO optimization by performing an audit on various aspects of SEO—from on-page elements to site speed and backlink checker. SEO Analyzer lets you create your SEO reports for free.
Google Data Studio (GDS)
What it is: This tool from Google is designed to help you turn various data sets into interactive visual reports.
What it offers: GDS lets you access and integrate your data from third-party platforms, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Google Cloud SQL into your SEO reports at no cost. It also integrates with other Google properties, such as Search Console, which is Google’s free service that allows you to monitor a website’s online presence on different search engines.
What it is: The Moz Pro tool is ideal for reporting on keyword performance, site audit, and SEO optimization.
What it offers: Moz Pro has a Keyword Explorer function that shows what keywords drive traffic to a site as well as track if a website is ranking locally or internationally. It also has a Site Crawl tool that pinpoints SEO issues, as well as on-page optimization features that help a piece of content land on the top of SERPs.
Standard Moz Pro accounts cost $99 per month, while premium ones will set you back $999 per month.
What it is: Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO analysis tool that is used extensively in digital marketing.
What it offers: The Ahrefs SEO tool has the ability to create reports for SEO audit, rankings, traffic, domain rating, and a whole lot more. But what sets Ahrefs apart is its large index of live backlinks known as the Backlink Checker. Among the things that this tool does is to check on the number of times a website received backlinks and filter this metric according to the anchor text used, referring domains, and backlinks URL.
Ahrefs offers a 7-day trial for $7, with plan pricing starting at $99 up to $999.
Getting the Most Out of SEO Reporting
SEO reporting is an essential step in helping you find out what to optimize in a website and how to go about it. This is where the value of having a clear and comprehensive SEO report lies, as it paves way for a holistic assessment and necessary refinement of your SEO strategy.
SEO Company specializes in SEO reporting for website analysis and optimization. Our detailed and straightforward style of reporting guarantees that you get a concrete view of your website performance as well as subsequent growth brought about by our SEO strategies.
Contact SEO Company today for all your SEO reporting needs!