Businesses of all sizes invest money and human resources into search engine optimization (SEO) to improve their search visibility and claim greater organic search volume. But how do companies know that their SEO efforts produce organic growth?
One way to measure this is to commission an SEO report, which measures a website’s health with respect to search engine visibility and organic traffic. Here’s an overview of SEO reporting, with tips on how to create SEO reports and use them to their full potential.
What is an SEO report?
A search engine optimization (SEO) report is a document or analysis that provides insights and data on how a website performs on search engines. SEO reports typically include key metrics like traffic from organic search, average position on a search engine results page (SERP), and organic traffic conversions.
Business owners often employ SEO experts to conduct an in-depth SEO analysis to refine their websites and gain more traffic from organic search results. The results of an SEO report can suggest actions from correcting technical SEO errors to improving keyword rankings.
Why should you use an SEO report?
- Assessing performance
- Making data-driven insights
- Analyzing competitors
- Improving decision-making
- Demonstrating ROI
- Tracking progress
An SEO report can provide value to businesses of all sizes. A detailed report, which functions as an SEO site audit, can reveal how much organic traffic your pages receive and help flag SEO issues that may be holding back your website’s performance.
Here are six specific benefits of commissioning and using an SEO report:
SEO reports help to evaluate the effectiveness of your business’s SEO strategies. They provide a comprehensive overview of your website’s performance in search engine results, highlighting areas of success and identifying areas that need improvement.
Making data-driven insights
SEO reports offer key metrics, such as keyword rankings, organic traffic trends, backlink profiles, and more. Analyzing this data helps provide actionable insights into what is and isn’t working within your current SEO strategy.
SEO reports often include a competitor analysis, which helps identify competitive strengths and weaknesses. This information can uncover opportunities for improvement as you seek higher rankings from search engines.
SEO reports enable informed decision-making based on all the data they provide. Whether it’s altering keyword targeting, refining content strategies, or improving technical aspects of the site, these reports guide actions to maximize SEO effectiveness.
For businesses investing in SEO—from content writing to link building—reports help measure return on investment (ROI). They let you know whether your SEO efforts have impacted organic traffic, organic conversions, and revenue, which is crucial for justifying ongoing SEO campaigns.
Regular SEO reporting allows you to track progress over time. For instance, you could run SEO reports on a monthly basis. With each monthly SEO report, you can track your organic traffic progress.
If you see progress from the previous month, you can double down on existing efforts. But if monthly reporting reveals negative trends, it’s time to adjust your tactics for improved SEO results.
What should an SEO report contain?
A worthwhile SEO report will include at least seven SEO metrics that reveal a website’s performance in organic search results. A standard SEO report template might include:
- Google SEO rankings. Because Google plays such an integral role in internet search, you should tailor your site to the metrics that influence the Google algorithm, such as relevant keywords and a speedy mobile site. A good SEO report will use tools like Google Search Console to track your website’s performance against Google’s ranking factors.
- Backlink profile. An SEO report should cover link-building metrics, including referring domains, referring pages, acquired links, and high-quality links. Building links from trusted sources gives a website high domain authority in search engines’ eyes.
- Website analytics. The best SEO reports measure factors like site speed, average position in search results, and top landing pages to understand user experience and the site’s overall performance in search rankings.
- Local SEO performance. Does your business target local audiences? A local SEO report will include local keyword rankings and performance in local search results. All these can enhance your visibility in local search results.
- On-page optimization. An on-page SEO report will evaluate elements like title tags, meta descriptions, and content quality—all of which can boost search engine visibility.
- Referral traffic and engagement. Your SEO report can offer insights from Google Analytics about referral traffic, user behavior, and engagement metrics to understand user interaction and page navigation patterns.
- Keyword performance. An SEO report offers data about keyword performance, helping you understand what keywords help you show up in user’s search results. An SEO expert can take this information and create a strategy to win even more search results.
How to create an SEO report
- Gather data using SEO tools
- Define your key metrics and KPIs
- Compile your data and arrange it succinctly
- Analyze and interpret your data
- Provide recommendations and actionable insights
- Create a report summary and an action plan
Whether you’re creating an SEO report for your own business or doing so on behalf of clients, you can use a mixture of paid and free SEO tools to create a comprehensive site analysis. Here is a six-step process for creating the perfect SEO report:
1. Gather data using SEO tools
Utilize tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Semrush, Ahrefs, or other SEO analytics platforms to collect relevant data. (For thoroughness, use at least two tools, if not more.) Gather information on key SEO areas like keyword rankings, organic traffic, backlink profiles, and site speed.
2. Define your key metrics and KPIs
Identify the most critical KPIs that align with the website’s SEO goals. Prioritize metrics that directly impact the website’s performance in search engines.
For instance, a newspaper site may care more about its domain rating, a metric of trustworthiness that will help it appear in a Google News feed. Meanwhile, an ecommerce store might care more about its keyword rankings, which help it turn up on more search engine results pages (SERPs).
3. Compile your data and arrange it succinctly
Create a template or use reporting tools that allow you to present the gathered data clearly and comprehensively. Arrange the data in a way that supports easy interpretation and analysis. Tables, charts, and graphs can make the information more digestible and visually appealing.
4. Analyze and interpret your data
Once you’ve organized the data, analyze it to derive actionable insights. Look for trends, patterns, or areas of improvement.
For instance, identify high-performing keywords, pages with high traffic, or backlinks that contribute positively to the site’s authority.
5. Provide recommendations and actionable insights
Based on your analysis, offer recommendations for improvement. These could include suggestions for optimizing specific pages, targeting new keywords and product categories, enhancing backlink quality, or addressing technical SEO issues.
Prioritize actions that will have the most significant impact on improving SEO performance.
6. Create a report summary and an action plan
The final step is creating reports that summarize key findings, business insights, and recommended actions. Include an action plan outlining the next steps, responsible parties, and timelines.
A well-structured summary ensures that stakeholders can easily grasp the report’s essence and understand the next steps for SEO enhancement. If you create a report for another company, be aware that most clients aren’t SEO experts and likely will benefit from a brief summary devoid of technical jargon.
SEO report FAQ
What are the best tools for creating SEO reports?
For comprehensive SEO reports, tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, or Moz offer robust analytics and reporting capabilities, providing in-depth insights into keyword rankings, backlink profiles, and site performance metrics. For a free SEO report, Google Analytics paired with Google Search Console offers valuable data. In just a few clicks, you can get a helpful overview of your site’s SEO performance.
How long does it take to create an SEO report?
The time required to create an SEO report can vary significantly based on the depth of analysis, data sources used, and report complexity. Completion times range anywhere from a few hours for a simple report to several days for a comprehensive report.
What makes a good SEO report?
A good SEO report effectively communicates key metrics, actionable insights, and recommendations for improvement in a clear and understandable manner, tailored to the audience’s needs.