Most agencies find it challenging to construct an SEO report that can satisfy clients. Going back to the fundamentals, progress reports are needed so that you can convey results to clients as clearly as possible. After all, your clients have partnered with your agency for the complete SEO services you provide, and part of the experience is giving them SEO reports that prove they’re getting their money’s worth.
However, if you’re in the SEO business for a while now, you must have a number of clients with different experiences and backgrounds in SEO or digital marketing. As such, it may be challenging for you to design reports or SEO report templates that will suit and satisfy all of them.
Whether it’s reporting an increase in SEO leads, a spike in rankings or sales, or reporting activities that need to be improved, you need to provide reports that prove the value of SEO to your clients in a way that they can easily understand.
Here, we want to help you streamline your client reporting process and share with you a few tips on how you can effectively create client SEO reports that are personalized, clear, and comprehensive.
Why is an SEO Progress Report Important?
For an agency owner, SEO reports are important because it gets you and your clients on the same page. It clears away confusion and keeps everyone in-the-know of what has been accomplished. If you’re planning to start an SEO business, then it’s important to include setting up your SEO reporting process in your list of priorities.
Another reason it’s essential is because it solidifies your connection with your client by showing accountability and transparency. On this note, everyone can see what has been accomplished and what needs to be improved on. It gives clients access to data they can review which will then provide insights and ideas for future plans.
So, what makes a good SEO report? It’s not about going over-the-top with presentations. The goal of creating SEO reports for clients is to show them the progress of your SEO efforts and pinpoint areas for improvement. If you’re able to clearly present data to your clients and if they understand it easily, then you know that you did a great job.
The First Report You’ll Send: SEO Audit
To make it easier for you to view the necessary data to include in your report, it’s advisable to first conduct an SEO audit on your client’s website. There are plenty of ways on how to do an SEO audit. However an SEO audit tool will save you plenty of time ingenerating a full SEO audit report for you to analyze. Some allot days or even weeks to conduct a full website audit, but it doesn’t have to take that long nor does it make sense to. Not when you’re handling multiple clients and need to present a report every month for each one of them.
Choose the right SEO audit tool that will provide you reports on the different aspects of SEO, namely: Technical SEO, Local SEO, SEO Content and an SEO link audit as well.
Note that an SEO audit will provide you the diagnosis and recommendations for the website. It’s not by any means the full report. It’s there to give you the data that you have to analyze and include in your SEO report.
What Should Be Included in an SEO Progress Report?
Whether your report is created in a document, a presentation, or a spreadsheet it’s important to present all the necessary information in an organized format. Below are the basics of what you should include in your SEO report. It’s at your discretion to add or change the content according to what you think your client will need.
Table of Contents
Establish the content of the report at the beginning. Organize the chapter and sections so that your clients have a clear view of the report and they can go directly to a specific section if they need to.
Provide a summary of the whole report right in the beginning. It sets the expectation and also, consider the fact that some of your clients (particularly most business owners or executives) might not have enough time to browse through the full report.
This is one of the main driving factors of SEO. Clients will need to see this to see what pages are driving traffic and which are not. Just remember to show the timeline so that they know what the statistics looked in the past compared to the present.
As for SEO tools to view this metric, you can use Google Search Console to view organic traffic from Google. For other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing, they have their own dedicated tools that will show you the data you need.
As one of the most crucial factors in an SEO campaign, you have to relay this data as clearly as you can to your clients. Present the keywords that your client is targeting, and then present the progress or their current ranking position. A keyword rank tracker will be a tremendous help in your SEO keyword ranking report. It will automatically show you the keyword position, search volume, monthly ranking trend and more.
An SEO software that can provide you with a keyword tracker that can target locations and lets you add as many keywords as you need will save you time, effort and money in the long run.
Links, Ranking Trends and Competition Analysis
As an SEO agency, you have to have a dedicated SEO software or dashboard that will track backlinks and other metrics. There is no other way to collect information like backlinks and ranking other than from a software or tool. Since you’ll be handling multiple clients and will be doing reports regularly for them, it will be more efficient for you to work with an SEO software that can provide all these data when you need them.
Overall Traffic, Conversion and Sales
At the end of the day, the client will expect to see the results of all the campaign efforts and it will all boil down to these three factors.
- How much overall traffic did the website have?
- How many converted?
- How much sales were generated?
Show your clients tangible results like how many SEO leads were found and how many were converted. Positive results will be linked to the efforts of your SEO agency, and that would push them to continue doing business with you and invest more in SEO.
The Next Plan of Action
At the end of the report, after you’ve presented all the data and facts, a section about your next plan of action should be included. Whether the report bore positive results or it showed existing issues you have to solve in the future, including what you plan to do next will show that you have analyzed the data well. This also tells your client that you have already prepared for the next step to continue moving forward.
How Should You Write an SEO Progress Report?
You don’t have to be a writer to create a report that people can quickly understand. The simpler the report the better. It does not require technical jargon, a deep vocabulary, or even flamboyant design. So, how should you write a progress report?
Think about who your client is
Imagine it as a Q&A. What does your client want to ask you? What would they like to know? You have to narrate all your efforts and explain it to them clearly. Think of it as storytelling. If your clients are not yet too savvy with SEO then you can include a small section with details on the necessary SEO metrics you’re tracking, just to remind them. Keeping the table of contents above in mind, you should ask these questions for each section:
- What challenges or roadblocks did you encounter?
- What was your solution?
- What were your goals?
- What was the time of completion?
Accuracy is a determining factor of a well-written SEO report. It demonstrates your brand’s expertise and knowledge of the field. Always double check all the information that you will include in the report, this includes checking for typographical and grammatical errors. Always re-read your report before sending it to the client.
Simplicity is Key
Avoid jargon as much as possible. You are the SEO expert and it’s your job to relay information in a way that even people who don’t have an understanding of SEO can comprehend.
How long does it take to create an SEO report? This can take you hours of collecting data, exporting and saving data, analyzing them, transferring them from one file to another, doing edits, and more. This will be a monthly routine for you so you should ask yourself if your SEO reporting process is as efficient and effective as you can make it to be. However, since we live in the digital age, tools are available to make our work easier, same with SEO reporting. There are SEO software available where you can pull out data and automatically create reports yourself, anytime, and anywhere.
Wrap It All Up
Client reporting is an essential factor in making sure that your client is satisfied.
Understanding what your clients need and delivering them is key to a longstanding relationship. Having said this, the process will take much of your time, and more if you’re handling multiple accounts.
Make sure you have the right SEO tools or marketing tools that will collect all the necessary data accurately (ex. Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Ahrefs etc.). An SEO reports tool will help you a lot in this department so invest in a software that’s able to track the performance of all the campaigns you’re handling.
Of course, we’d recommend you try using our SEO dashboard as this platform will let you create white label SEO reports on the fly and can provide you with the necessary data you need — from the full SEO audit of your client’s website, backlinks up to competitor analysis.
However you choose to create and present your reports, the goal is to give your clients an easier way of understanding the development of their campaign. Your ability to deliver a transparent and direct report is essential in building a long-lasting client relationship.