If we’re being honest, most of us would say that reporting is the most boring part of SEO.
It’s a task that takes up most of our time we could have spent in doing something more productive instead of pulling together the data we have accumulated for the past month. Adding to the frustration is the fact that many clients don’t even bother to read and analyse the reports.
Having years of experience as an SEO agency, we know too well that while SEO reporting is time-consuming and rather stressful, it’s also a must if you’re looking to have campaigns to work on at all—because believe it or not, reporting is an effective client retention tool.
Hence, in this article, we are discussing further why you too should be bothered to create an SEO report along with some tips on how you can write an effective one.
What is SEO Reporting?
In a nutshell, an SEO report provides an overview of how a website is performing in search engines for a specific period.
Agencies and marketers like us use this tool to share our findings with our clients, establish trust and assert accountability for the results. A typical report focuses on factors including but not limited to domain metrics, traffic, and rankings. But, more importantly, it also highlights everything we have done as an SEO agency to achieve these results.
When successfully executed, an SEO report should communicate how much we value our clients and in return, encourage them to hire us for longer.
What Makes a Good SEO Report?
In most cases, the report is the only way clients can keep track of the campaign’s progress. But, unless they sat next to you while you work, they probably have no way of knowing what all the tables, metrics and jargons in the report mean.
So an easy-to-digest report is a must to allow clients to see your work at a glance and justify what they’re paying you for. It should primarily include three things: progress, insights and recommendations—and to be more specific, the points that follow:
Growth: A summary of the year-over-year/month-over-month growth of the SEO campaign
SEO Health: Overview of the technical issues that may affect the SEO progress
Backlink Health: A record of the acquired high-quality backlinks directing to the website
Overall Keyword Progress: A look at the status of the keywords the website want to rank for
Traffic Progress: A quick summary of the organic traffic that also identifies which pages are driving traffic the most
Conversion: A clear picture that shows tangible ROI gained from SEO.
Good SEO Report Vs. Bad SEO Report
Even when you have all these factors covered, it doesn’t keep a report from becoming a bad one. So, how do you tell the difference?
A bad SEO report is either full of pointless data or lacking data that’s actually valuable to a client. A good one, on the other hand, has all the points mentioned above but in a summarised format so the data is easy to read and digest.
There’s no standard number of words to create a great report and regardless of the length, depth, and content of your report, it takes a while to create. So, the question now is: how do you write an effective SEO report?
Tips to Writing Great SEO Report
Report on what the client cares about
We’ve had our fair share of reports that clients aren’t interested with and we’ve learned our lessons to include only the details that clients actually care about—of course, with revenue being on top of the list. However, situations can still differ with one client from another and a way to determine that is to identify the business objective from the very beginning of the campaign.
Set specific goals
Once you settle the objective, you can then set a goal that should be specific and mutually agreed upon from the start. It’s this way you can objectively say whether you’ve missed, hit or exceeded your target at the end of the month.
Avoid using jargons
Your clients are professionals in their own industries and they may not be aware of the terms you use in the SEO field. Wherever possible, eliminate jargons and use layman’s term in your SEO reports to avoid confusing your clients.
Provide insights, not just numbers
While your report may be full of pie charts and line graphs, it may convey no meaning to clients when it doesn’t provide insights. The key to creating an effective report is to include information that will help your clients understand why these numbers matter.
Don’t forget about revenue
As mentioned earlier, revenue is one detail that clients care about most. So, make sure to emphasise that your SEO efforts played a crucial role in driving revenue as, after all, it directly influences rankings and traffic to your websites, connecting potential customers to your client.
Fill in the gaps
To conclude the list, keep in mind that not every detail can be explained in a report. So, expect your client to call after sending the report to ask questions. When this happens, make sure to answer their questions, again, in the simplest way possible.
Every SEO agency has different reporting methods. But, regardless of the method or objectives you are working on, a concise, straightforward and digestible report can go a long way in boosting client retention,
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