Reporting is an inseparable part of an SEO specialist’s work. If you work for a digital agency, your clients should know about your progress in their marketing performance. If you are responsible for SEO in a product company, your management will evaluate your work better with an SEO performance report. And even if you advise on SEO or optimize your project, you may need reports to understand the overall picture of the website’s SEO progress. Reporting in SEO is necessary for several reasons:
- To increase the transparency of the contractor’s work
- To systematize the positions taken by the website for the promoted keywords
- To analyze the organic traffic attracted during the SEO promotion
- To demonstrate the shortcomings of the website that make it difficult to reach the top
Gathering information for an SEO report can seem complicated and time-consuming. There are thousands, if not millions, of variables in SEO, and it can be pretty unclear where to start and what to focus on first.
Difficulties also arise because you or your clients may have different goals and needs. So, there can’t be a one-size-fits-all solution regarding SEO performance reporting. It’s important to consider the goals of a particular website to include as much valuable data in the report as possible. Remember: a good SEO performance report should be detailed but also simple.
This article will discuss 8 insights that help write a perfect SEO performance report for any client. But first, you and your client must define the goals of SEO promotion, along with the tools to increase higher engagement on social media with a social media scheduler, and we will start from this point.
Define business goals for the SEO campaign
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First, you need to figure out your primary goals. Talk to the business owner, SEO specialist, and marketing director and find out what kind of result they want.
Start by discussing the optimization goals they had already set before meeting with you. Then do a comprehensive SEO audit of the website – it will help determine how well the current performance meets its goals.
Now you can set realistic goals that are achievable given the website’s current state. And remember that SEO is not an exact science: with the same efforts, one website can give a good result in a month, and the other for six months will not show similar results.
SEO objectives may be as follows:
- Achieve a better search results ranking
- Increase user engagement
- Attract more traffic to the website
- Increase sales
Certainly, you will be required to meet as many goals as possible, but as an SEO professional, you should be able to focus on just a few of the most important ones. Otherwise, you may overestimate your capabilities and fail to deliver on the promises.
Of course, in SEO, everything is connected in one way or another. And if you manage to achieve one of the goals, then there is a high probability of obtaining the result and the rest. For example, high-quality content promotion motivates people to spend more time on the website. At the same time, increasing traffic does not guarantee they will start buying more from you. Also, remember, when changing something on the website, you must be very careful. You may change the website’s header to increase engagement, and the web page’s position will suffer.
But back to SEO performance reporting. In addition to defining your overall business goals to create the perfect report, you also need to understand what metrics the company targets to achieve those goals.
Set clear goals for KPI and OKR system
Depending on the type of business, different approaches are used to measure the effectiveness of the work done. These approaches include Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and Objectives and Key Results (OKR) systems. Let’s take a closer look at these systems.
KPIs help companies, projects, and individuals measure performance within a given timeframe. KPIs are measurable because it’s much easier to evaluate performance based on specific numbers. Also, key performance indicators can:
- Have a direct link to strategic goals
- Give an understanding of where to focus resources
Regarding OKR, this system allows you to define goals and key results when they are directly linked. Since the concept of OKR includes measuring the achievement of objectives and global goals, it is a bit broader than KPIs. Simply put, OKR is a simple approach that tracks specific metrics in the process of achieving a goal. On average, businesses have up to five most important goals, and each goal is broken down into five key outcomes.
OKR uses numbers to measure the effectiveness of a goal, so you can:
- Measure them
- Scale them
- Break them into stages
- Make them beyond the sky (because you shouldn’t limit yourself to simple goals)
OKRs are ideal for companies that focus on growth. Once you understand what business goals and metrics the client is focused on, you can begin to create an SEO performance report. the 8 insights below will help you to write a cool SEO performance report.
8 insights about writing an SEO performance report
The SEO performance report is the only tool for controlling the contractor. With its help, the client can assess the quality of work, examine the dynamics of growth, understand the conversion rate in sales, learn about the ongoing work, etc. Yes, all this can be found in a good SEO performance report. But 80% of reports are confusing, fragmented, and have little relation to the real state of affairs. This problem can be solved by an experienced paper writing service EssayTigers, but if you don’t want to reach out to a third-party help, below are 8 insights that will help you write cool SEO performance reports for your clients.
Quantity ≠ Quality
By entering into a contract for SEO, many customers want to close the issue with online advertising. Therefore, an SEO company must be a reliable partner and advisor on all matters relating to customer representation on the Internet. The SEO report should necessarily include the total amount of traffic by sources (search engines, contextual advertising (PPC), direct traffic, referral traffic, social networks), even if the SEO services provided by the companies does not include services that attract traffic from other sources than search engines.
Internet marketing has notions of synthetic and business metrics. The synthetic metrics provide quantitative metrics that speak indirectly about performance (traffic volume, CTR, depth of view, bounce rate, etc.). The business metrics directly report planned or actual revenue and sometimes profit (LTV, AOV, ROI, etc.). Both of these indicators should be in the SEO performance report. Contractors talk mostly about synthetic numbers (less bounce rate, more traffic, longer time on website), but they are all invalid unless supported by business metrics. At least the most general business metrics should be.
SEO performance report should show the dynamics of website promotion
If the contractor sends each SEO performance report in a new file or even in the text of the email, the client is deprived of the opportunity to compare multiple periods with each other. Of course, the client can copy the data, upload it to excel, set a couple of formulas and see the growth picture. But why the hell should the client do that? The client should compare periods against each other with no effort. That way he or she can see what was and what is with SEO promotion.
SEO performance report should have takeaways
The client has every right not to be knowledgeable about website promotion. He or she needs a commentary, roughly speaking, a translator from the language of Internet marketing to the language of business. What do these graphs, numbers, and metrics give me? You should explain the usefulness of indicators with detailed comments in the SEO performance report. Each good SEO performance report is accompanied by takeaways summarizing all the data and explaining the SEO results in plain language.
SEO performance report should show all the advantages and disadvantages of promotion
SEO analytics is amazing; you will always find evidence of what you want. No matter what idiotic theory you put forward, you will find proof. This feature is often used to their detriment: SEO companies take data in isolation from the big picture and interpret it in their favor. So, for example, you can show the top 30 keywords in the report, but be silent that these words drive a little traffic. The picture is nice in isolation from the traffic figure, but the project is stagnant.
You should write individual SEO performance reports for different projects
Depth of views, bounce rate, click map, website position, CTR – all the client can see in the standard SEO performance report. Of course, these are important indicators, but they are by no means exhaustive. Depending on the goals of your SEO campaign, the client should observe completely different metrics. Suppose the strategic goal is to increase repeat sales. In this case, monitoring the report on new and returning users and the average time to return to the website will be very interesting for the client.
The SEO report should be a quality tool to analyze the website’s effectiveness as an advertising channel and fully represent the SEO company’s results. The SEO performance report should not require additional explanations from the SEO expert, it should be an independent product.
SEO performance reports should include business metrics
Anything you can’t measure, you can’t improve! This is an axiom. Therefore, an SEO performance report without a sales funnel is useless for businesses. Maybe the client does not know the average bill and does not have IP telephony and CRM, but at the very least, you must count calls and the number of requests. The client should know and monitor the return on investment.
SEO performance reports should include goals and sum up
Remember the dialogue between Alice and the Cheshire Cat:
- Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
- The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
- Alice: I don’t much care where.
- The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
- Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
- The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.
Moving without a goal, we’re bound to get somewhere, but not necessarily to the right place. Therefore the website owner needs to demand from the contractor a list of planned works and a forecast of results:
- What do we want to achieve?
- What are we doing to achieve it?
- Why is it not working?
And preferably, all this with arguments in numbers and graphs should be in the SEO performance report. In the report, this can look like a “Tasks” tab with a description of the planned work and intermediate results.
SEO performance reports should provide recommendations
There are no perfect websites. There is always room for improvement. A good contractor has one or two tips to improve 100% conversion on the website and a hundred ideas to test. The number of recommendations should always be ahead of the client’s capabilities, drawing the prospect of improvement. If the contractor is satisfied with everything in the current version of the website, then the client will doubt the company’s professionalism.
SEO refers to services whose effectiveness is difficult to assess without spending a few months and a decent budget. The first conclusions about the quality of the contractor’s work can be made by getting an SEO performance report for the first month of work.
When a project-specific SEO performance report is complete, all that remains is to send it to the client, colleagues, and management. Whatagraph allows you to send reports on demand and a predetermined schedule. There are two ways to send SEO performance reports in the report Whatagraph: manual and automatic.
But if you want to save time, you can create several templates for different types of reports. Afterward, you can simply fill in the templates with the needed data and send them immediately. In addition, you can set up a schedule and automatically send actual SEO performance reports to your customers.
Eliza Medley is an experienced writer and psychologist. She is actively interested in management, new technologies, and writing motivational articles. She also loves catching up on modern trends. Her work inspires people to learn new things and reach new heights.