To properly organize yourself and your work and to make your clients happy, you should definitely have your own backlink reporting system. Of course, the reporting method can vary from client to client based on two major facts:
- your client: well, really there are clients who just don’t need abundant data (it will only scare them away) – all they need to see is that you are doing your work as agreed;
- the task itself: I used to deal with a client who only needed minor “crappy” blog comment links and that’s it – so why to waste time on too detailed reporting?
The most important things are (first) to arrange the reporting method with your client and (secondly) not to offer to much information (this will both take much of your and your client’s time).
There are really essential link report elements that should always be there:
- the direct link to the linking page;
- the date when the link was added;
- the anchor text;
- any link essential flags (nofollow attribute or image link, for example) – I usually name this column “notes”.
There are more or less optional but still important elements:
- linking page SEO evaluation: Google PR; backlinks, etc.
- linking domain SEO evaluation: domain age, domain backlinks, etc
- link type, e.g. in-content, sidebar, sitewide, comment, etc.
Using some creative approach: some link builders create their own scoring system reflecting the link value.
Gab of SEO ROI blog recently shared his link building report that uses “Base Value” metrics to measure the link effectiveness. What I especially like about the report is that Gab was also using “co-citation” metric that involved constant competitors’ evaluation.
It’s not all about numbers!
Really I’ve been successfully using some tricks that seemed to make my clients quite happy:
- let your client watch your working process real time: I use Google Spreadsheets, publish the document online and give my client the direct link. He can thus access the report any time and see what have been done and when.
- make sure your report is easy to read and clearly organized – take the full advantage of Excel sorting tools: I break reports into sheets either based on the link type (article links, directory links, blogroll, etc) or on the link niche (for multi-niche link building: for sports for example, you can have “soccer links”, “swimming”… well, you got the idea). A good report is simple, clutter-free and contains only essential information.