Creating SEO reports for clients can be a daunting task.
Every client or business has different goals. In many cases, your reports must be both elementary and robust – depending on who is receiving the report.
But SEO reports are vital. You need to let your clients, upper management, and other stakeholders know how your SEO campaigns are performing.
So how do you make a “perfect” SEO report?
Here are seven essentials you need to include to make SEO reports for your clients.
1. Traffic: Channels
If increasing organic traffic to your client’s website is their key goal, then put traffic at the beginning of your SEO report.
You’ll also want to use the Source/Medium section of the traffic report. It will give you more specifics about where the traffic is coming from, thus helping you conclude where you should spend your time and money.
While other metrics can be important, it really depends on the company you’re working with.
Here’s a screenshot of what the source/medium report would look like:
Get There: Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
If you want to keep your report shorter, this is the report to pull.
2. Conversion Rate & Goal Completion
All the traffic in the world is great, but it won’t get you too far if that traffic isn’t doing what you want it to do — in other words, convert.
Your clients will likely be most interested in this metric, so conversion rate belongs at the beginning of your SEO report.
Once you know the conversion rate, it will help you better explain the rest of the report as to, again, why it is what it is.
The best way to illustrate conversion rate to a client is through goal tracking.
The anonymous client above set up donation goals that they tracked each time someone landed on the “thank-you-for-your-donation” webpage. This alerted Google Analytics that someone donated, thus completing the goal.
Get There: Conversions > Goals > Overview
3. Page Level Traffic
You may know where your visitors are coming from at this point, but it’s important to know where they go.
If someone came from a Google organic search, that’s great – but if you know they landed on your most recent blog post, that’s even better.
This is the report that will help you find trends and see what people are actually clicking on that is bringing you traffic.
Again, it helps the client know whether they need to spend more time improving their product page or if perhaps they need to publish more videos and less content.
The conclusions are endless.
Get There: Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages
4. Page Speed Insights
Now it’s time to leave Google Analytics for another great Google tool: Page Speed Insights.
This free tool will not only show your clients the speed of their pages but also what needs to be done to fix them.
While this metric may not have been overly important in the past, SEO success today requires a great user experience.
One image or video can slow a site down drastically. In some cases, this tool may reveal critical technical issues that may be harming their SEO performance.
Get There: Visit Page Speed Insights Tool.
5. Time on Site & Bounce Rate
This one is really an “extra” because these metrics might not be absolutely, positively necessary for the average company.
Time on site and bounce rate help give you insight into whether the content you’re creating is “sticky.”
Pay attention to what sites you are monitoring for bounce rate and time on site, though. For example, if you see that users leave your landing page after 10 seconds, but that landing page has many outbound links, then you probably don’t need to worry about time on site and bounce rate for that page.
Focus on your core pages, like pages with rich content and/or videos. Is what you’re putting out there grabbing a viewer’s attention? If not, and it’s supposed to, use the other metrics in this list to make conclusions.
6. Rankings & Links
While most agencies and marketers still report on individual keyword rankings, it should be done so with some caveats.
Using ranking data as the de facto performance indicator is unwise.
Google shows different results based on a variety of factors, including history, personalization, and where the user is searching from.
While there is still some value in tracking keyword positions, it should be part of the overall performance reporting – not a be-all, end-all metric.
In terms of links, there are tons of tools that can help you monitor the links you’re gaining or losing,
These tools also can give you insight into the competition and where there may be SEO opportunities.
If a certain page on a competitor’s site is attracting a high number of links, maybe you could create something similar for your client.
7. Future Recommendations & Execution Plan
This probably isn’t something you would normally think of when you’re buried in data and reports, but including a section that shows you thought about what to do next is important. This is what will allow you to move forward.
The best thing you can do for your clients or upper management is to have a “recommendation” section at the end of every section of your report discussed above.
This is really the only part of the report that will turn your data into something actionable.
A Final Note
No matter what metrics you’re pulling, you should have the option to compare timeframes: month to month, quarter by quarter, year by year, campaign by campaign, etc. Always use the comparison feature to create great SEO reports!
Featured image & A Tip to Remember image: DepositPhotos
Other images and screenshots created by author.