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5 Essentials of Preparing Effective SEO Reports

Greg Lucas October 6, 2017

SEO reporting is extremely important from client point of view. SEO reports are exactly where you have an opportunity to showcase to the client the SEO results you have obtained under the constraints of resources.

There are several critical aspects to doing SEO reports. Here we drill a little deeper and tell you about the 5 essentials of preparing effective SEO reports.

Key Sub-Sections to Include in Reports

Traffic channels

What are the key goals of the client? If increasing the amount of organic traffic for the website is one, then you should absolutely list traffic at the start of the SEO report. It is also important to present charts and metrics on source/medium of traffic. This will provide more specific information about the source of the traffic, giving you tangible pointers as to where your dollars and time need to be directed. This is how you get there in Google Analytics: Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels. This is the ideal report to pull if you want to keep your report crisp, clear, and concise.

Conversion rate and Goal completion

Traffic is great news but even better news is how much of that translates to conversions. Most clients are very interested in conversion rate so it needs to be mentioned at the start of your report. Once the conversion rates are listed in the initial part of the report, a significant part of the succeeding content will go towards explaining why that conversion rate is meeting expectations or not. A goal tracking report is one of the best ways to demonstrate conversion rates to a client.

How to get to the goal tracking report in Google Analytics: Conversions -> Goals -> Overview

Page level traffic

This report will demonstrate where exactly the visitors are landing when they come to your web-site. This is the actual report that can help you see the content that people are clicking on which is bringing in the traffic. A lot of valuable conclusions can be drawn from this report. For instance, suppose a page has links to a lot of pdf reports which are not being clicked upon, it could be a trigger for the client to reorganize that part. Perhaps the videos that are getting loads of clicks could be given more prominence.

How to get to the page level traffic report in Google Analytics? Follow this path: Behavior -> Site content -> Landing pages

Provide output from the Page Speed Insights tool

The output from Page Speed Insights would not only demonstrate the speed of their pages to the clients but would also mention what would be needed to fix the problems. It is critical to handle UX in conjunction with the critical aspects of SEO. Sometimes, something as trivial few lines of JavaScript or a video is enough to slow a page down significantly. In many cases, this tool may reveal underlying technical issues that impact SEO performance.

Include Details On Time on Site and Bounce rate

Is your site content “sticky”? That’s what you attempt to answer in this section. The pages that are at the core of your client’s site deserve your focus for analyses on time on site and bounce rate. The pages where you expect your visitors to spend a considerable amount of time on are the key. Your content should make visitors stick on and spend time on the site. Landing pages with a number of outbound links and pass through pages for content should not be any cause of worry with regards to time on site and bounce rate.

Use Rankings Data Intelligently

Individual rankings for keywords are still relevant. However, they should be reported in a manner so that the rankings are interpreted in the larger context. Using rankings data as the default performance indicator is not a wise thing to do, given the fact that keyword rankings vary based on location of search, history and personalization. The rankings data should be part of the reporting of overall performance and not be quoted as the sole performance metric.

Use Website Audit Reports

Website audit reports cover a variety of factors related to on page optimization. These reports help you in understanding where these factors are with reference to industry standards. The information in these reports will help identify points of potential trouble and elements that can be improved. Audit reports should provide information on

Meta tags

Page titles

Keyword density

HTML validation status

HTML tags and formatting

Broken links.

SEO reports are critical because they give more information to your clients and senior management about how well your campaigns are doing. It is important to strike a balance between summary level information and detailed data in such reports.