Let’s not sugarcoat it:
SEO reporting is a pain in the ass.
There’s mountains of data to sift through, report layouts to fiddle around with, and cleverly-worded solutions to come up with for each problem presented in the report.
Multiply that by however many SEO clients you have, and we’re talking about hours of work.
However, there’s no denying that creating and sending regular SEO reports is one of the most important jobs of an SEO specialist.
It gives your clients a better idea of what you’re actually doing for them, and what’s happening on their site as a result.
Basically, it justifies that they should keep paying you to do their SEO.
So let’s talk about the process of creating a compelling SEO report that’ll impress any client.
What is an SEO report?
An SEO report gives your clients an easily-digestible overview of their site’s current SEO performance and how you intend to make it better.
If you’ve been working on their site’s SEO for a while, the report documents the strategies you’ve implemented over the previous period and their results.
The report should clearly show your client how their site is performing, and justify your current strategy.
The best way to present your results is with data and metrics to help clients make sense of the bigger picture.
Also, consider that not every client will understand how technical SEO works. Therefore, you need to present the report in a way that they’ll easily comprehend—which can be a tall order for SEO specialists.
It’s also important to remember that every client will require a different SEO strategy, have different objectives, and present different challenges. So, make sure the information you put in the report is customized to the client.
(We’ll come to the free report template shortly, which you can customize with ease.)
But while every client is unique, if they’re looking to improve their online presence with SEO, then their ultimate goals are the same:
Get more organic traffic to their site, and get more conversions from that traffic.
So, everything you present in your report should relate back to these two main goals.
What to include in an SEO report
Your SEO report should include the data points we’ll discuss below.
These are all commonplace in the industry and will give your client a full picture of how their site is performing, and how you plan to keep improving it.
Having a thorough understanding of each of these factors will help you create better reports for your clients.
An on-page audit will tell you what changes need to be made on the site itself. It’s a good place to start because fixes are relatively simple, and clients will be able to see the changes right away.
Some clients may have no idea about how on-page issues could be holding them back, so the audit can help you shed light on your client’s poor online presence.
It’s also a good way to start off your report with a bang, with a list of issues you’ve identified and an action plan to resolve them.
Some of the main factors you want to focus on in your on-page audit include:
- Broken links. Search engines don’t like pages with broken links. They see it as a sign that your pages aren’t on par with what they expect from a high-quality site.
There are many different reasons why a link can break, such as a linked site no longer being available or a URL structure being changed.
Your job is to identify and clean up any broken links on your client’s site.
- Metadata structure. This refers to your title tags and meta descriptions, which give users a description of what your page is about.
These are the first point of contact for users when they see your site in the SERPs. You need to update and optimize your metadata to align with your target keywords.
- Duplicate content. Google and other search engines don’t reward sites with duplicate content. These are pages with similar to exact content but different URLs, even if they come from the same domain.
Your report should identify any duplicate pages on your client’s site so that they can decide which pages to keep and which ones to get rid of.
- Redirects. Redirects function like forwarding addresses. They tell search engines where to send users when they click on a page that no longer exists.
There are many ways you can go about redirecting pages, with a 301 redirect being considered SEO best practice. You need to ensure the correct redirects are set up for dead pages, and fix any non-301 redirects.
Getting backlinks is a crucial part of the job for all SEOs. It’s the practice of acquiring links from other sites back to your content.
That said, not all backlinks are good for your clients. While higher quality links will help to push their rankings up in organic search and increase traffic to their site, spammy and unnatural links can cause keyword rankings to plummet.
Therefore, your SEO report should include a brief backlink analysis of any new links your client has acquired, to indicate the good links from the bad.
To help you understand what makes a good backlink, below are some quality factors worth considering for your report:
- Domain Authority (DA). Developed by Moz, a respected leader in the world of SEO, Domain Authority ranks websites based on the strength of their domain.
Sites closer to the perfect score of 100 have higher chances of ranking in SERPs. The idea is to get as many backlinks from high-DA sites as possible.
- Flow Metrics. Not to be outdone by Moz, Majestic also has an evaluation metric of their own called Flow Metrics: Trust Flow and Citation Flow.
Citation Flow predicts how influential a page is based on the number of sites that link to it. Trust Flow, on the other hand, takes into consideration the reputation of the sites linking to yours.
- Spam Score. Spam Score gives an idea of how spammy a site is on a scale of 0 to 17, with lower scores being better.
You’ll want to avoid getting backlinks from sites with a high Spam Score (7 and above).
- Nofollow/Dofollow. Nofollow links aren’t followed by Google, and don’t pass any link juice. Dofollow links are the opposite—and these are the ones you want for your clients.
The most tangible result of your SEO campaign is how many keywords you can get your client’s site to rank for in Google search.
It’s only with higher keyword rankings that you can achieve the ultimate goal of generating more organic traffic from SERPs.
So, if you can rank your client site for tens or hundreds or even thousands of keywords, then your SEO campaign could be considered a success!
To help communicate to clients how their sites are performing in terms of SEO, you need to include a keyword ranking report as part of your SEO report.
The keyword ranking report should include things like:
- Keywords that have gone up
- Keywords that have gone down
- New keyword rankings
- Competitor keyword comparison
Then comes arguably the most popular metric of all, and what many clients will look at first: site traffic.
This tells clients how many visitors are coming to their site from organic search at any given time, which pages on their site are getting the most traction, and subsequently, what kind of content users are searching for.
Some factors to look into when reporting on traffic:
- Unique visitors. There’s a difference between unique visitors and pageviews. Pageviews count each visit to your site, so if one person visits your page three times in one day, it would be counted as three views.
Unique visits is a more accurate count, treating each person as one view regardless of how many times they visited your page (unless they use a different IP address each time).
- Bounce rate. This is the percentage of people who leave your site after engaging with only one page. You want users to at least click on a couple of pages on their way out, because this shows they’re engaged.
Pages with a high bounce rate indicate they might be turning people off with poor design, navigation or other factors.
- Referral sources. Even though your focus is on organic traffic, you may also want to provide your client with the number of visits they get through referral sources in order to more clearly compare the two.
- Top pages. Providing a compilation of pages that get the most visits should also be included in the report. This helps you show that your content strategy is working.
At the very end of your SEO report, you’ll want to include some recommendations moving forward.
This is your opportunity to speak directly to your client, identify what needs to be improved, and present your action plan.
As you go about your job, you’ll find methods that work better than others. It’s important to be honest with your client and show them what’s working and what’s not. When something isn’t working, use all the available data to present a new strategy.
Transparency is key to a successful business partnership.
SEO can be fickle and any slight change to the algorithm can mean revamping an entire campaign overnight. As much as you may be tempted to focus on the great results in your SEO report, it’s just as important to highlight the not-so-great results and suggest ways you can turn the boat around towards more appealing results.
If you use your knowledge of SEO, critical thinking and can back your recommendations with data, most clients will appreciate your honesty and will be happy for you to run with your plans (even if the numbers are down).
FROM : https://blog.monitorbacklinks.com/seo/seo-report/