The 7 Must-Have SEO Reports to Meet Today’s Search Optimization Challenges :
Measuring paid ad channels is fairly simple: For every dollar you spend you get X number of visits and a pretty stable amount of conversions. But understanding the value of your search engine optimization efforts keeps getting more complex. With search algorithms favoring long-tail content, it’s trickier than ever.
SEO includes many activities, each with its own set of key performance indicators (KPIs). Tracking each KPI separately and then marrying them to see the big picture can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be – if you have the right reports.
Whether you are managing your search engine optimization in-house or working with an external SEO team, we recommend the following battle-tested reporting framework that has been developed by the SEO specialists at SEO PowerSuite. This framework of reports enables business owners and marketing executives to supervise the full range of SEO tasks.
Before we dive in, note that different types of reports map to different stages of your SEO campaign. Reporting should begin before the launch of an SEO campaign in order to determine the baseline, set the strategy, and determine goals. Reporting should continue with weekly reports, and you should get reports post-campaign when anything changes.
Generated before an SEO campaign begins, these reports will allow you to measure results later. They can be generated repeatedly.
Keyword Research Reports should contain information that helps to evaluate the SEO budget and the potential cost, including a list of keywords, how many additional visitors the site can get if it ranks in the top 10 for the keywords reported, how difficult it will be to rank in the top 10, and whether it’s cost-effective to promote highly competitive keywords.
Competition Analysis Reports will uncover the SEO strategy behind your competitors’ websites. They should tell you which keywords your competitors are promoting, whether it’s necessary to target keywords used by competitors but not by you, and from what sites your competitors are getting their links.
Website Audit Reports will cover myriad factors related to on-page optimization. It’s important to check these factors against industry standards in order to identify potential trouble points and elements that need to be improved. They should also include website and page statistics, such as PageRank, link popularity, and the number of indexed pages. A good Website Audit Report should provide information on different content-related issues:
- Page titles
- Meta tags
- Keyword density
- HTML formatting tags
- HTML validation errors
- Broken links
- A list of keywords and/or a keyword matrix
- Competitors’ backlink profiles
- A list of suggested improvements to the site
Ongoing Weekly Reports
These reports are used to track the SEO progress. You need them to make sure that the SEO team is heading in the right direction.
Keyword Rankings Reports: It’s vital to track keyword rankings regularly to diagnose problems at an early stage. A decline in rankings during several weeks may indicate a problem such as backlinks whose anchors were removed or have been devalued.
It’s also good to compare your current keyword rankings not only against the previous check, but also against the best results ever achieved. You may also align rankings and traffic for the keywords to see if you are getting what you expected.
Competitors’ Rankings Reports: Keep an eye on your competition. If an abnormal growth in their rankings is detected, it’s time to look into their backlink profiles and their on-page SEO again to see what they are up to. Then, steal…we mean, borrow…their strategy.
Link-Building Reports: Link-building is the most tedious of all SEO tasks, consuming time and money. To keep your expenditures to the minimum, closely follow your link providers’ activities, whether it’s an in-house link-building team or an outsourced company.
A link-building report should include:
- Link source URL
- Link destination URL
- Anchor text
- Linking page’s PageRank
- Number of external links on each linking page
- Number of backlinks on each linking page
You should also be able to compare these to older reports to see if backlinks are still in place and the backlink pages have not deteriorated.
- Current keyword rankings compared to the previous rank check
- Current competitors’ rankings compared to the previous rank check
- A list of links obtained during the reporting period
Don’t set it and forget it. You should implement continuous, automatic monitoring of your SEO to make sure that your website is performing well, and you are continuously getting traffic from important sources.
Automatic alerts: Many site owners use Google Analytics, but many are not aware that this tool can send you automatic alerts based on the parameters you predefine. For example, you can get an alert if the website stops getting traffic from Google or Bing. You can then take immediate action to diagnose the problem.
- Automatic warning messages or alerts
A Final Note
Every SEO report should tell a story, both to the search engine optimization expert and to business clients, whether internal or external. When building your killer SEO reporting arsenal, consider customizing it to make sure that it gives everyone who’ll read it a clear picture of SEO results. Analyze each element of each report to see whether it makes sense to include it. Don’t clutter reports with irrelevant factors, but make sure to include factors that reflect exactly the data you want.
You may also want to rearrange modules to tell a more coherent story. Finally, adding some explanatory text at the beginning and end can help readers who aren’t so comfortable with charts.
SEO campaigns vary, and therefore it’s vital to have flexible, customizable, responsive reports that will provide you with a competitive edge.