SEO reporting can help you clearly share past performance and future search recommendations with your clients.

What should you include in your SEO reports? While clients have differing reporting preferences and you can offer more information by request, this is a brief guide shedding light on the primary items to address in an SEO report.

Project Overview

A nice way to start an SEO report is to highlight the objectives of the project. This ensures that the client is reminded of why they are investing in search engine optimization (SEO). Typical project objectives can be to “increase the number of keywords ranking”, “increase sales”, or “generate form fills” for keyword phrases relevant to the client’s company, brand, products, services, and related topics.

Show some optimization progress when possible. If the goal is ranking in the top 5 of Google’s rankings for “Keyword 1” and the website is in position 10, say so!

Keyword Progress

Simple really! If the project is new, then its likely that the first SEO report will be centered around the progress (if any) the website is making in the targeted search engines. What Search Engines to include? I tend to only include Google and Bing, as the other search engines won’t make an impact on the amount of traffic overall. In time if this isn’t the case, start to include Yahoo, Ask and any others you feel the need to.

Try and show the improvement over the months that you have been working on the SEO project. Always take an initial benchmark of the search ranking so you can compare it to where you started from.

Organic Traffic

It’s good to show how much of the traffic to the website is a result of the increase in search engine keyword rankings, or from backlink or referral work, if you are actively (or sourcing) blogs to help raise the client’s profile or authority in their niche.

Organic traffic information and other insight for SEO reporting can be found in Google Analytics, Google Search Console (and other analysis software), so it doesn’t take long to get the information you need. The client will more than likely appreciate having the information bundled up or attached in one place though.

Completion/Sales Goals

Depending on the campaign, you may be providing solely keyword improvement reporting. However, you may also need to report on specific completion goals. Such as form leads or product sales, depending on the situation.

It helps to agree and define clear goals at the start of an SEO campaign. If they aren’t sales, if possible try to maintain a sense of monetary value for ROI purposes. For example, a company may have a perceived value of $3.00 for every brochure request, based on other forms of advertising.

ROI Figures

How often to include this is pretty debatable. If you were targeting competitive sectors with a low ranking or a new website, then it’s pretty likely that the client wouldn’t see a return on their investment for the first few, maybe 12 months! Showing red figures on a monthly basis isn’t great.

ROI metrics tend to work better when there is a larger data set to sift through. Potentially you could share ROI metrics in quarterly, half year or annual reviews.

What Next?

Within your report, share what your client can expect as the search optimization campaign progresses. Sharing information with your client in terms of results, future strategy, and keyword goals will help build an honest, transparent relationship and successful campaign.

Digging into the SEO reporting items above should give you a fairly straightforward, yet fairly substantial amount of SEO campaign information to present to your clients.

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