Guide to SEO Reporting and Tracking for 2023
SEO reports are online documents with a list of work performed and analytics which is regularly provided by an SEO specialist or SEO agency to a client. The search engine optimization reporting should include all the most important metrics for the client: the number of visits, traffic sources, site position dynamics, explanatory comments and conclusions.
In this article, we’ll take a step-by-step look at how to properly create an SEO report for a client and what SEO reporting tools are.
What the Client Expects to See in a Branded SEO Reporting
A well-written SEO report allows the client to evaluate the effectiveness of project promotion, the growth of site positions for given keywords, the increase in traffic and the number of leads. If you want the process of report generation to give really effective and high-quality results and to be understandable and useful to the client, it is necessary to build on the priority goals set by the customer.
To determine the most important goals, you should take into account not only the opinion of the client, but also the results of the site audit. Perhaps, there are critical bugs or technical issues that need to be fixed first. It is also necessary to set the reporting period, for example, a month or 2 weeks.
After preliminary communication with the client and the selection of the necessary work results, certain metrics that should be focused on:
- traffic growth;
- improving the ranking and visibility of the site;
- increase in visitor engagement;
- increase in sales;
- decrease in the bounce rate;
- increase in leads, etc.
After choosing the overall strategic goals, it is necessary to determine the effectiveness of the work on the project. To do this, you can choose a system of key performance indicators (KPI), thanks to which you can quantify the effectiveness of the work on the project for the analyzed period of time. You can also build on financial indicators, such as lead cost, ROI, etc.
It is also important to correctly draw up a website promotion plan, including technical work, without which it will not be possible to achieve the set financial goals:
- increase in page loading speed;
- creating quality content;
- adding good images;
- improving the usability of the site;
- elaboration of the contact page – the feedback form, e-mail, phone numbers and address on the site should be placed so that the user can immediately find them;
- increase in external link mass;
- correct internal linking, etc.
What Should Be in a Good Report?
Now, we will analyze in more detail which components of the SEO report are key. This is really important and necessary information that our readers need to pay special attention to.
Traffic volume is one of the key metrics that clients pay attention to in a progress report. You can get this information from free search engine tools, such as Google Analytics. Indicative SEO traffic is also presented in Serpstat reports. This indicator reflects the organic traffic that the site receives per month from the PS. It is calculated based on the click-through rate (CTR) of the keyword position and correlates with real traffic.
To ensure the effectiveness of SEO promotion, a good report should contain traffic sources. This will allow you to determine which channels are the most effective, statistics are also available in analytics systems.
Checking Site Positions
To analyze site positions for the most important keywords, you first need to create a semantic core. You can find out the average positions in Google for the keywords that visitors used to search for your site in the Search Console.
Also, progress by positions is clearly visible in the Serpstat position monitoring report. Moreover, the tool will show the growth exactly for the target keywords that you have previously loaded into it. You can also add landing pages for key phrases and tags that allow you to break the keywords into groups.
Moreover, the module data is available in API format, which will help to integrate position data into internal reports.
External optimization is an integral part of the website promotion strategy. Therefore, when doing SEO tracking, be sure to include information about inbound links and their dynamics. Information about external and internal links is available in the Search Console.
You can show the dynamics of link mass growth, new, lost links and much more in a report based on Serpstat data. An API is also available in Link Analysis. This functionality will help to integrate the data of the tool into the SEO block of the project.
Dynamics of Behavioral Factors
For successful promotion, not only traffic is important, but also CTR, viewing depth, bounce rate and other behavioral factors. These metrics should also be analyzed when creating an SEO report. For example, a high bounce rate may indicate poor content quality, overpricing, or technical issues loading site pages.
Comparison with Competitors
In response to the question “how to track SEO correctly?”, you can also add the following – it is important to track not only the dynamics of your project, but also how search engines rank competitors’ sites.
Therefore, the SEO report should include a comparison with the main online competitors in a number of parameters: traffic, visibility, the number of external links and promoted keywords. Various online tools, such as the Serpstat summary report, are suitable for obtaining information about competitors.
The client needs to understand what commercial result his investment in SEO brings him, so the report should include information on the selected financial indicators. At a minimum, it is worth analyzing the number of completed orders and the amount of the average bill. This data can be obtained from both e-commerce analytics systems and CMS reports.
Description of Completed and Planned Work
Include in the report a description of the optimization work carried out during the reporting period. Explain the terms used, and indicate the purpose of each type of work. Similarly, indicate what tasks are planned to be solved in the future, and why this is necessary for successful progress.
Top Common SEO Reporting Mistakes to Avoid
Of course, mistakes make us better. But after all, it is much more convenient to learn from the mistakes of others, avoiding your own and immediately doing everything right. Read on and you’ll understand.
The abundance of terms and technical information will not emphasize your professionalism, but will cause misunderstanding or irritation if the client does not have the necessary knowledge. Considering the level of the client, some people are well versed in Internet marketing, while others have no idea what semantics, meta tags or snippets are.
No Details of Visits
Information about the current number of visitors without analyzing the dynamics, taking into account traffic channels and the bounce rate is of no significant value. You need to see how the picture changes over time, which channels attract visitors and how satisfied they are with the quality of the site.
Lack of Graphs, Charts and Tables
A good report cannot consist only of text, the information in it must be presented in a convenient way. All submitted graphs and tables must be signed and commented.
No Position Dynamics
It is preferable to track the position of the site by keywords from the moment the promotion begins. The client needs to provide a table with the highest priority keywords and their positions in various search engines. If the semantic core contains hundreds of thousands of words, it makes no sense to send all their positions to the client every month, you can present generalized statistics.
Over or Under Volume
It is important to observe the optimal volume, which will be sufficient to fully inform the client. Depending on the type of project, this can be either a few pages or 20-25, but reports on one or hundreds of pages are overkill.
There Is No List of Completed Works and a Plan for the Future Period
The client invests money in SEO and must understand what he gets in return, so it is necessary to clearly and in detail clarify what work was done. In the same way, the client should be informed about further plans to promote the project.
How to Design a Report So That It Is Understandable to the Client?
Consider a number of mandatory rules for a good report, thanks to which it will be useful, understandable and informative to the client:
- Add text analytics, graphs, charts, explain special terms and explain why you need to perform specific tasks.
- Conduct a comparative analysis of metrics, clearly showing the improvements that have occurred due to the work with the site.
- Consider the situation on the site as a whole, not focusing only on individual points, for example, the positions of promoted keywords.
- Analyze competitors, displaying the effectiveness of project promotion against the background of competitive sites.
- Include KPIs in the report that illustrates the success of website promotion from a commercial point of view.
- Add a conclusion about the current state of the project and recommendations that need to be implemented to improve the situation.
- Don’t use the same template for every client, make changes over time and depending on the particular business.
How to Generate SEO Reports for a Website Using Serpstat?
Free tools do not allow you to get all the necessary information for SEO reports. To create the most complete SEO report quickly and efficiently, use the Serpstat functionality. The SEO platform allows you to generate white-label SEO reports, disable the Serpstat logo or replace it with your own.
At the same time, a flexible configuration of the information that will be present in the report is available. To configure, go to Custom reports and add the blocks that should be present in the report. Serpstat allows you to include the following information in your reports:
- estimated SEO traffic; site visibility in search engines;
- the number of keywords that are ranked by search engines in the top 100;
- list of keywords in contextual advertising;
- detailed information about external links;
- dynamics of visibility, traffic and keywords for the entire period of operation of the site;
- the most popular project pages that receive the maximum traffic from search engines;
- key distribution diagram by positions and many other widgets and graphs that can significantly improve the quality and visibility of reports.
The ability to write a good SEO report is important in the work of any website promotion specialist, regardless of whether he works in an agency, an in-house team, or a freelancer. Only a real professional (of course, using high-quality and proven online services) can quickly issue a report containing all the data on the effectiveness of project optimization: organic traffic, keyword positions, dynamics of external links and site visibility.
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