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Are You Doing it Right? Creating Effective SEO Reports

Paul Hudson September 28, 2016

SEO Reporting How-to

Doing Seo Reports Like a Boss

You know full well that you’re hitting the targets you need to for SEO success, but does your boss?

It’s a nightmare situation that many experienced SEOs have been through before. The technical and long-term nature of SEO can make it difficult to report.

We all have to show our working at the end of the month. You are expected to provide details of your SEO effectiveness regardless of whether you are working with a client or senior management.

Expressing the benefit of your various technical actions to management that pronounces SEO “see-yo” isn’t easy! While you can expect a basic level of understanding from your bosses, it’s very commonly the case that the finer details critical to your day-to-day success can be hard to convey.

There are fundamental details to ongoing SEO that you can keep consistent while showing the effects. The key to creating effective SEO reports is to maintain consistency and focus on actionable items and emerging themes.

Focus on the KPIs your clients and management wants

While you might be very proud of your efforts in a particular area for a period, sometimes those you report to are not interested. SEO reporting is an art of knowing who your audience is and what they want to hear.

Discussing details of success with keyword rankings might have you and your SEO colleagues in a good mood. but might meet a silent reception with others. The key is the effect of your efforts. Mention how many conversions this success will bring and before you know it you’ll have a happy client or manager who will leave you to your work!

Communication before your reporting is key to ensuring that you’re both getting what you want from a meeting. This will help in putting together dashboards and documents for your reporting and will ensure that recognition of your SEO efforts is maintained.

Focus on metrics that your SEO can affect

Obvious to some, this still is a critical part of keeping your reports productive. With SEO slowly becoming more relevant with other channels of marketing it can be an easy mistake to include metrics and details that you do not control with your SEO efforts.

PPC is a great example of this. While very similar to SEO in the eyes of many it is a mistake to list details of PPC work in most reporting presentations.

Make sure that you keep your reporting on your direct activities and the good and bad news thereof. It’s, of course, a big part of justifying SEO presence that you give clear and concise information that is yours and yours alone.

With that covered let us run over some critical reporting types that SEOs need to show.

Weekly SEO Reports

To maintain comprehensive reporting, you’ll need to make sure you cover these main topics.

1. Keyword Ranking

It’s critical that you maintain full visibility on your keyword rankings. This is important on a weekly level to review trends for issues. It’s often the case that there can be a sudden decline in the success of a keyword, and this can have some issues that should be addressed right away such as backlinks or search engine penalties.

2. Competitor Analysis

SEO thrives on competitor analysis. Not only is it a vital part of ensuring daily success, but it’s also a helpful metric to report on to your management or clients. You’ll want to make sure you are keeping a close eye on any backlinks and on-page SEO work by those who are sharing your turf on the internet.

It’s also a well-known warm fuzzy of competitor analysis that you can appropriate any techniques used by your competition for your SEO efforts.

3. Link Building

It might be a tedious task when it comes to SEO. However, link building is such an integral part of SEO that it needs clear reporting.

The expenditure of time and money is an important metric to a client or a manager, and you need to ensure to cover it when you create your presentations and summary documents.

You’ll need to be certain to include all details of your link building: anchor text, link source, and destination URLs, Page Rank details and summaries of external links and back links.

Keep this information up to date and make useful comparisons to previous weeks to ensure that you are drawing meaningful correlations.

Draw attention to actionable items

Don’t make the mistake of drowning in detail. SEO reports on a weekly and monthly basis have a range of interesting metrics. However, not all of them are that useful.

Focus on the most suitable information and lessons learned. As SEO suffers from many myths and misconceptions, it’s important more than ever to be as transparent and open as possible in your reporting.

It’s important also to be clear on the time frames of your actions. It may be that you or your team will be working more on the side of on-page SEO than link building.

This could affect your following reports and draw questions if you have not drawn proper attention previously to the priorities of your work and what needs to be completed first to continue your SEO success.

Highlight other uses of your SEO

It’s a commonly missed opportunity to bring to the attention of clients or managers how SEO works. Moreover, other departments can use the reporting as well. Sound SEO reports can be of tremendous value as they make analytics and competitor analysis available. Outbound sales, retention teams, and product managers for e-commerce sites can all benefit from them.

Draw attention to collaborative opportunities, and increase the success of your company and client as a result. Win-win.

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