New to SEO reporting? Confused by various formats, templates and tools? Monthly SEO report can be a pain when you don’t know what to show the client.
An SEO report should have 3 parts – what was asked, what was done and what’s next. Monthly reports should be as detailed as possible, because quarterly, semi-annual and annual reports will more than likely combine many aspects and not leave you enough room to explain the little things you did. Here’s a simple guide to what must be shown in your monthly SEO reports.
The starting point of any report should be what the client asked of you. There’s no need to go into detail, a simple overview of the project and its goals is sufficient.
A good SEO report not only reports the facts, but also educates the client. Let’s face it, if the client knew everything about SEO, he wouldn’t have hired an expert. It’s your job to explain what each metric is, how it impacts the project and what will it mean for the future of the project, not just write the numbers.
The next step should be to show what has been achieved out of the assigned goals and objectives. Show your client what has been done and what impact did it have on the success of the project. This section should be as detailed as possible. Updated any pages, descriptions or links. Increased the number of blog posts? Resolved 301 errors by redirecting them to the home page? Write them all down. Any changes done to the website should be mentioned as well.
A good way to show this is by showing the amount of work done and the time it took. We internally use basecamp and a tool that integrates with it and track basecamp time tracking is really helpful. A time tracking for businesses and freelancers, can be used to give your clients detailed insights regarding the work going on and estimated completion time. Some software can automatically generate reports of how much money has been spent, how fast your resources are finishing their projects and the number of hours put into each project.
Traffic is the number of visitors on a website and the pages they clicked on. One of the biggest reasons to monitor website traffic is to monitor the effectiveness of that site. Are people visiting the website? Are they engaged? Why? (Or why not?). Are they visiting other pages on the site?
Month by Month Growth: The website’s growth in terms of traffic, should be shown on the monthly SEO report – even if there’s just a gradual increase. This is important because people are impatient and want to see what’s happening and if there’s any good coming out of their investment. Month after month, it will show them the continuous growth over the year.
Traffic by Location: A mark of good SEO report is to show where the website’s traffic is coming from. If a US based website is getting 60% traffic from the US but 40% of its views from Asia, it means that your client needs to do some serious retargeting. Your monthly SEO report should include the top locations of traffic. This can be important for market segmentation down the road.
Mobile Traffic Growth: Traffic from mobile devices already accounts for about 60% to 70% and it is constantly increasing. Your clients need to see that your SEO efforts are bringing them viewers from smartphones and tablets.
No matter how many blog says Keywords disen’t matter but to me it does. It is used to measure the keywords you’re trying to rank for. Measuring rankings for keywords can tell you 2 basic things. First – are you targeting the right keywords? I.e. are your blog posts ranking for the keywords you’ve chosen? If not, choose keywords you are already ranking on and build them. Second – are the keywords growing over time? Technically, your website should increase in rank over time. If not, there’s a problem.
Some simple ways to understand successful keywords include:
Time spent on 1 page: Usually readers skim through the text and exit the website, if they do not find what they searched for. E.g. if a reader stays on a page for more than 2-3 minutes, it can be concluded that whichever keyword the visitor used, it matched the content on the page, thus they stayed to read the content. Hence, that is the keyword that particular site should focus on.
Number of pages viewed: The number of pages viewed by 1 visitor indicates that he found the content engaging enough to move onto other pages of the same site. Finding out the keyword that brought the visitor to your website will help to discover new keywords that ought to be worked on.
Social media virtually rules the image of a brand and hence it plays an important part in the successful inbound marketing mix. Social media gives clients more exposure. It is what viewers see, before they even see your website. Your monthly SEO report should also show how much of an impact your work has had on their social media channels. A detailed section showing how much their following on various platforms has increased, how many people are engaged, how many retweets, shares, comments, favorites, likes etc. You know the drill.
Pages with good social shares can be an indicator that putting SEO effrots on that page will probably result in better conversions.
Clients want to see what return they are getting on all the hard work you’ve put in. However, if your project is a new one or the website has low ranking or is simply set in a very competitive industry, it’s better to skip this part – since the client wouldn’t see any returns until later on, maybe a few months down the road. ROI can be better explained when you have a larger amount of data, e.g. 6 months or so.
So you’ve explained everything you did in the past month. Great. Now clients want to see what you have planned for the future. Planning to increase the number of blog posts? Upping the social media by announcing a competition? Working on the crawlers and bots for better ranking? Write it down. Explain it and avoid having to answer questions. This can also work to your advantage for next month’s report – you already have next month’s objective set down.
Tracking these numbers will help you realize what’s working, what’s not and what needs to be tweaked. Like we said, a good SEO report should educate your client. It should help them understand what you’re aiming for and how you’re achieving it. If they don’t understand what you’re doing, chances are, they won’t see the benefits of it either. Sit down with your client and discuss what the problem is and what can be optimized to fit their needs.
Moosa Hemani stands out for many reasons, but one is simply for his exceptional desire to contribute to the SEO community through his writing and participation in social media. You would be hard pressed to find a highly-visible SEO site that he has not contributed to in way. He is also a truly nice guy, which always impresses me. There’s no ego, but there is confidence. I’d be honoured to have the chance to work with Moosa.