An SEO report demonstrates the effect that optimization work has on client business. Why should a customer care about what you’re doing with their website? The report tells them exactly why. Let’s take a look at some components of SEO reports and why they matter.
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SEO Report Project Overview
The project overview highlights the project objectives. It can also provide a brief summary of results. This helps remind clients why they’re dedicating resources to SEO in the first place. It might be to increase sales, get people to subscribe or increase ranking for long tail keywords.
Whatever the case may be, make sure you clearly outline the project goals.
If you’ve rolled out any improvements – for example, optimized page titles or descriptions – generate an itemized list of what you’ve done. Did you submit a sitemap? Incorporate it into the report. Settled canonical issues or implemented redirects? Add these to your list too.
Basically, all work completed on the client site should be logged in some fashion.
Have you gained backlinks to the site? Make sure you reference these. Links from high domain authority sources are especially valuable.
Tip: Not every customer will want all the details, so it’s okay to summarize. Some clients, depending on their technical background, will ask for explanations. Be ready to offer more info on demand. Task and project management platforms can help you keep track.
For newer projects, the first few reports will typically revolve around progress made in targeted search engines. We tend to focus on Google and Bing. Currently, other search engines typically don’t have a measurable effect on overall traffic. Still, depending on the client, you might want to check out the Yahoo! and Ask data on occasion to be thorough.
Tip: Show progress! Demonstrate any change over the last few months or compared to the same time period last year. Make sure you have an initial ranking benchmark for comparison.
Impact On Traffic
Show how traffic has increased due to your efforts, such as better search engine ranking, link bait, or improved positioning of the customer’s brand in their niche.
Tip: This information is accessible on Google Analytics or other statistical software. Your client will value having the information compiled for them in one place.
Make sure you define clear objectives toward the beginning of the project.
Sometimes you might be able to directly attribute sales to your SEO. Google Analytics Goal Tracking can help you determine the impact SEO has on revenue. For example, if a blog post generates clicks to confirmed online store sales.
In other cases, it’s important to attach a monetary value to other outcomes. This can be utilized later in the ROI analysis. For instance, an organization may have a dollar estimation per page impression, in view of different types of advertising.
Return On Investment (ROI) Figures
How often to include ROI analysis is debatable. For instance, for competitive sectors with a low ranking or new website, it’s likely that the customer wouldn’t see a positive ROI for the first 12 months or so. If these numbers come up, it should be explained that this is a necessary stage for future business success.
Tip: The ROI stats tends to work better when there is a bigger data set to filter through. You could potentially incorporate this in a quarterly, half year or yearly SEO report.
Round out your SEO report with future plans and recommendations. It could just be to continue what you’re doing or you might add new elements. In every case, make sure you can back up your reasoning.
Try to engage the client in the decision making. This gives them process ownership which tends to produce better results.
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