Search engine optimization is vital for reaching your target audience, driving your search engine rankings, and bringing more high-quality leads to your business. But as it’s important for your SEO efforts to focus on implementing the right strategies and tactics, your plan isn’t very effective if you don’t put an emphasis on SEO reporting. But with so many metrics to digest, understanding what this data means might be confusing.
In this post, we’ll answer some important questions regarding SEO reporting, including what information should be included in these reports, how they should tell a story, what benefits they provide, and how to draw conclusions from different SEO metrics.
What Information Should Be Included in an SEO report?
Although you already understand that an SEO report should include key metrics that display how your website is performing, are you aware of the specific data these reports should include? Take a look at what information should be highlighted:
SEO is a process that can take months to years to see bear fruit. That being said, you want to see a progressional increase (or decrease) on your KPIs. Here are some key metrics to keep your eye on:
- Page views
- SERP (Search Engine Results Page) Rankings
- Time users are on your site (session duration)
- Page load speed—particularly on mobile
- Leads generated by the site (conversion rate or events)
The goal of most SEO strategies is to focus on increasing everything on the list above. And by understanding how this data has improved compared to last month, last quarter, and last year, you can start to see the real value of SEO.
Increase or Decrease in Rankings
The performance of your keywords should be a very evident metric on your SEO reports. Knowing which keywords to target is both a science and an art. Keywords with high search volume may be too competitive or too vague, however highly-specific, long tail keywords might not send the level of traffic you need to sustain your business online. Keyword research should find a balance, identifying the keywords that are likeliest to drive relevant traffic to your site, then these keywords should be used throughout the content on your site, including in URLs, meta descriptions, title tags, and more. An SEO report should detail which keywords are being tracked, which pages rank for those keywords, and how the keyword groups are performing overall.
Does the Report Tell a Story?
The best SEO reports are ones that tell a story. The client should see where their site started and how it’s improved over time. It also shouldn’t take a data scientist to read a report. A high-quality report is one that shows:
- The progression of SERP rankings
- Website engagement
- Performance compared to last period
- How many leads generated
- Reasons for successes (or failures)
- Recommendations moving forward
What Are the Benefits of SEO?
Search engine optimization reporting is very valuable because everything is tracked. From page views and site speed to keyword rankings and conversion rates, all of this data can be provided at any time to clearly explain the performance of your site from many different angles. Take a look at how SEO efforts can help your company’s business overall:
- Increases your search rankings for highly-searched keywords
- Can result in more relevant leads
- Makes your company highly reputable
- Leads to a better user experience
- Helps to establish brand awareness
- Can pinpoint where to focus your efforts
- Tells Google you’re a go-to source in the industry
- And much more!
Given the many benefits of SEO, these strategies should never be overlooked in a digital marketing strategy. And although PPC campaigns can also be beneficial to gain visibility on highly-competitive keywords, SEO is a longer-term, organic way to grow your search rankings and grow your business.
What Conclusions Come from SEO Metrics?
SEO data can be confusing and hard to digest for many businesses. It’s best to work with a company that is transparent and helps you clearly understand what’s happening and why. Any SEO company worth working with should have no issue sharing data, thoughts on process or methodologies, or telling you that something they tried didn’t work. You want an honest partner, not someone who obscures facts to make SEO seem like a magic trick. They should display the SEO metrics in a clear, concise way, and they should explain how this data matches up with your objectives. After trying to digest these SEO reports, you should be able to draw the following conclusions:
- Where the health of your site stands
- Where you rank for your most important keywords
- How long users are staying on your site
- How many leads the site is generating
- What’s happening with your user traffic
- Where site traffic is coming from
- How much SEO work was completed since the last report
- What the plans are for the future
Many companies across various industries have different demands when it comes to their SEO goals, so these conclusions might differ from client to client. However, the list above is a general guideline of what you should understand after digesting an SEO report. But overall, an SEO team should work with your specific needs to give you a personalized report that works for you and your objectives. They should understand your goals and give you specific metrics that help you crush those goals.
Whether it’s the data you want to see or metrics that show there’s room for improvement, SEO reporting can give you insights on what’s happening with SEO efforts and your website performance altogether. By understanding the data, you can have confidence moving forward with your SEO strategy, which can lead to the overall success of your business for many years to come.