If you manage SEO for clients, you know how important it is to provide accurate and insightful reports. You did the work, now you have to show it.
Your customers rely on you to provide them with the relevant information they need to make informed decisions about their marketing efforts in the future. The SEO report is their (and your) roadmap.
Doing it right every time is about creating a system that you can consistently emulate for every client.
So what’s in creating the perfect SEO reports? These are the seven essential elements.
1. Traffic: Sources
Is increasing organic traffic to their website your client’s primary goal? Start your SEO reports with traffic.
If you use Google Analytics, you will also want to use the Source/Medium section of the traffic report for this part of the report. It will provide you with more information about where your visitors are coming from, helping your customer determine where to spend their time and money.
Make sure that mobile sources are also included in this part of the report since mobile phones 63% of organic visits from search engines in 2021.
This part of the report will look like the image below. To get there quickly, go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Chains.
2. Conversion rate and progress towards goals
Massive streams of site traffic are great, but if you don’t know what your visitors want or how they want to be engaged with your content, then even all the traffic in the world won’t get you very far.
In other words, if you can’t convert your visitors into customers, no amount of traffic will help you.
Conversion rate is probably one of the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) for your customers, so place it near the beginning of your report for easy access.
Once you’ve discovered the conversion rate, you’ll be better equipped to explain what comes next in the report and describe why they’re seeing certain information and data points.
To demonstrate the conversion rate to a client, select some goals that you want to track as “conversions”.
In this example, a nonprofit client used landings on their “Thanks for the donation!” page to track donations made.
Google Analytics will count each landing as a donation, helping to achieve goals on the Goal Completion portion.
To access goal achievement, navigate to Conversions > Goals > Overview.
3. Top Performing Pages
You probably know where your visitors are coming from, but it’s essential to know where they are going on your site.
If someone comes to your site organically through Google, great; however, if you know they clicked on your most recent blog post, that’s much more valuable.
You always want to include top performing pages so your client knows what works and what doesn’t. There are usually lessons they can take from pages that perform well and apply them to pages that might need help attracting (and keeping!) traffic.
One way to pull data from Google Analytics to illustrate this is through the Landing Pages section.
To get there, first go to Behaviourthen Content of the siteand Landing pages. You’ll see which URLs are hot and which aren’t quite.
4. Page Speed Overview
Take a little break from Google Analytics for this part and head over to a tool called Page speed information from Google. This is a completely free tool that will show your clients how fast their pages are loading and what performance issues they could fix to improve their results.
Sometimes it’s something as small as a video with too large a file size. This quick and easy solution can get your pages online quickly.
Page speed hasn’t always been a priority, but as user expectations grow ever higher with their online experiences, getting your pages to load quickly is paramount to keeping visitors on your site.
Google even tells us that the probability that someone website bounces increase by 32% if the charging time changes from a one-second charge to a three-second charge.
5. Bounce rate and dwell time
Knowing that visitors came to your site, clicked on certain pages, and in some cases, converted is extremely helpful.
But to complete the full picture, your client needs to know how long people stay on their site and how many of them click past the first landing page.
Dwell time is the time a person spends on a website page when they come from an organic search. Are they exploring other pages from there or looking for a quick answer?
However, a high bounce rate isn’t always a bad thing.
If their landing page was filled with internal links to other pages on your site and they bounced around quickly, that likely means they moved on to crawling those outbound links.
In this section, focus on the bounce rate for the main pages of the site with rich content like videos. They should stick around for a while to consume the content.
6. Rankings and backlinks
Backlinks can be powerful tools for websites that are struggling to improve their SEO rankings.
You can find many tools to track the links you have, which is useful as it can identify potential SEO opportunities.
If you have helped your client get backlinks as part of your SEO strategy, this section of the report is where you will show their impact.
As for rankings, you should include the site’s ranking for the keywords you’ve determined to be most valuable to the client.
Just keep in mind that rankings are no longer the ultimate SEO solution – we now know that countless factors, such as history, user location and personalization, can all have an impact. on the rankings.
7. Recommendations and next steps
Recommendations may not be the first thing that comes to mind under a mountain of data, but recommendations and next steps are ultimately what the client is looking for at the end of this report.
Your next steps and recommendations will take all the data you have extracted and apply it to the strategy moving forward so that there is a plan of action to improve the gaps and maximize success.
A final note
The best way to show your progress in your SEO reports is to compare results from previous reporting periods.
Choose the frequency that works for you and your client – quarter after quarter, year after year, etc. – and use it consistently to show growth.
Put all of these aspects together and you’ll get the perfect SEO report every time.
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