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SEO Strategy Has Changed, But Has Your Reporting Structure?

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SEO Strategy Has Changed, But Has Your Reporting Structure?

As SEOs, we all generate ranking reports for our keywords on a regular basis. Maybe weekly or monthly,  but we all do it at some point. With so many changes in the last few years (or months, even!)  do you really think ranking reports are the only metric to track SEO efforts? I don’t think so, because:

  1. Now SEOs have to use lots of keywords variation while doing link acquisition, because exact match anchor keywords can be dangerous.
  2. Google moved entirely to secure search and stopped providing keywords data in all Analytics tools
  3. Hummingbird update has changed the way it serves results. Now Google understands the user search queries and serves the results based on its understanding, instead of just keywords typed-in.

With these updates, how can a small ranking report of ONLY targeted keywords prove SEO efforts? It cannot. Efforts of SEOs are no longer limited to targeted keywords, so why should we limit our reporting?

As a SEO, you put effort into increasing accessibility, content marketing, quality link acquisition, and generating social signals just to get rankings in search engines. But these efforts also help websites get referral traffic (if quality content marketing or link acquisition is done) and increase in brand awareness (if social media strategies are successful). Also, when using diversity of keywords in on-page and off-page optimizations, you also help increase search engine rankings for other (non-targeted) keywords. Are you all reporting these metrics to your clients or bosses? If not, you are undervaluing yourself and your work.

So, how do you make sure you are reporting all of the benefits of your work? The reports I recommend for any SEO Campaign are as follows.

Activities Report

Pretty self explanatory, but often overlooked. This report should include all the activities you completed. For example, what content you marketed and where, what infographics you distributed and where, and any other action you took that resulted in benefits for the client. 

Monthly Activities ReportingMonthly Activities Reporting

Ranking Report

Ranking Report should not be limited to targeted keywords, but must be on wider scale.

  • For Example: If you are targeting “Sport Shoes”, and while optimization you also use different variations like “white sport shoes” and “red sport shoes”, then you should also include them in your ranking report.
Keywords Ranking ReportingTargeted + Variations of Keywords Ranking Reporting

Total Reach Report

This should include direct, referral, and search traffic. Why? Because your efforts may help increase brand awareness, so direct traffic and content and social media marketing referral traffic would increase as well.

Total Reach ReportingDirect + Referrals + Search Engines Traffic Reporting

Endorsements Report

This report should include increases in the total number of backlinks, domain and page authority, increase in social engagement, etc.

Endorsements ReportingAbove Graph Shows Number of Links Increased, and Below Graph Shows Number of Facebook Likes Increased

Conversions Tracking Report

For every business, conversion is the ultimate goal. So, this is one of the most important metrics to track and report. It can be based on the number of inquiries, average time on site, decrease in bounce rate, and so forth.

Conversions Tracking ReportingIncrease in number of Leads (contact request, quote request, etc.)

Google’s algorithm has changed tremendously in last few years, and as a result the efforts required to achieve search engine rankings requires more effort and different strategies. In the past, SEOs only needed to focus on getting a high number of back links. Today, SEOs focus on quality links, webpage accessibility, social signals, and quality content. Why, then, has our reporting remained mostly unchanged?

With the change in efforts, you must change your reporting structure as well. After all, you should take credit for all the results of your work.

Have you changed the way you reported to your customers or bosses? Did you notice any changes in churn rate, increased satisfaction, or another area? Please share your feedback and experiences in the comments below! 

Image Credit #1: Taken from, and edited.
Image Credit #2 to #6: Screenshot taken on 02/21/2014 of’s Reports.


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Altaf Gilani

Founder at

Altaf is an Entrepreneur and a Digital Marketing & Analytics Consultant carrying more than a decade of industry experience. Currently, ... [Read full bio]

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