Whether for yourself, a client, or any other business, an SEO data analytic report can be essential if you’re going to enjoy some level of success this year. Of course, the journey starts with a need to get the business higher up the rankings but it continues with passion and some level of knowledge.
Over time, you might introduce some new SEO techniques and change what the business is doing in terms of content.
However, changes are no good if you’re not going to assess whether they actually work. In fact, SEO, in general, is useless if you aren't willing to produce reports using the analytics provided.
Once again, this could be for your clients, bosses, or just yourself. Today, we’re going to discover four essential steps for getting these reports right.
SEO Data Analytic Report - First and foremost, we should explain the use of this report and what it means for your business. As we’ve already discovered, SEO reports are a great way to see whether changes have had an effect but they’re also ideal for assessing the overall SEO performance of a website. How close is the business to competitors? What ranking does the website have on certain keywords?
In addition to this, they’re a useful tool for deciding which areas need the most attention in the coming period.
As we know, everything always seems to be changing in the SEO world so these reports provide frequent updates to stay on top of the competition and build a website for sustainable success rather than ‘trending’ success (which is likely to end at any moment!).
Despite popular belief, these types of reports don’t need to be long, detailed documents. Instead, they just need to provide the most important details and this is what we’re going to focus on today with four easy-to-follow steps. Nowadays, time is critical in business, so a short and sweet report will always be preferred to something that takes hours to read.
Step #1: Preparation - Every year, we see companies make the same mistakes time and time again; they follow a presentation seen on the internet or they randomly display important metrics on a sheet of paper.
In truth, preparation is often the most important step because it stops you wasting time on metrics in which there’s no interest. For the purpose of this guide today, we’re going to stick with the idea of producing reports for your manager at work and for your own business.
This being said, the same rules will apply if you’re producing the reports for clients too.
Before anything else, you need to prepare and this means considering your business and the aims you have moving forward. Whenever you optimize your website, you must have certain targets in mind so what are these targets? Within an SEO report, the idea is to show the changes within the time since the last report so what are these changes?
Furthermore, you’ll also benefit from keeping an eye on certain metrics after deciding to boost your website with SEO. Rather than your boss asking for a report and then scrambling around for data, you can note all the most important metrics on day one before then checking in every so often (or utilize software to do it for you; more on this in a moment!).
This way, you can create easy-to-view graphs of how they’ve changed and this promotes the simplicity of the report.
According to a recent report, colored visuals are a winner and 65% of people are more likely to read them. When you need to engage your reader, and attract them to the information presented, visuals will be a tool of which you should take advantage and only historical data will allow this.
Finally, during the preparation phase, we recommend talking to the person who’s going to be reading the report.
With many, they make the mistake of assuming everybody knows the basics which means their reports are far too advanced and of no benefit to the reader. Once you know your audience, building the report becomes that little bit easier.
Step #2: Take Advantage of Technology - Nowadays, we see far too many people using technology in the wrong way and it ends up wasting their own time more than anyone else’s. Rather than using a program like Google Analytics and writing down metrics yourself every week to see how they’ve changed, take advantage of the many APIs (application programming interface).
If you’re using an analytics program such as Google Analytics, you’ll have access to a free API and this’ll allow you to extract the information to use in a report. When you start to combine multiple APIs, you get full access to large amounts of data and it can be useful to have these different perspectives when assessing the progress of the business.
If you’re on the fence about using APIs for such applications, you should know the biggest advantage is to create in-house applications that extract data at regular intervals. Whether this information goes into a document for review or perhaps to an internal network, this is entirely up to you. If you learn how such tools work, you’ll see a great benefit in no time because you’re suddenly allowed access to the most important data points.
Step #3: Combine Different Data - If we turn to the presentation itself, the report should look clean and it needs to include all of the basic pieces of information. For some, they make the mistake of only including one type of data (ranking, percentage growth, etc.) rather than offering it all. For us, the best SEO reports boast the whole range of data options because this allows the reader to see where progress has been made and what this means as a result.
Recently, we saw an SEO report with just monthly growth which is fantastic. However, it doesn’t mean anything if it isn't then applied in some way.
For example, what does this growth mean for the rankings? Since SEO is, quite literally, optimizing a website for search engines, what has the impact been on search engine rankings?
Therefore, you’ll need a blend of different statistics including monthly growth, yearly growth, rank updates, and overall keyword growth. With this last option, you can assess the volume, type, and caliber of the keywords you’re using. While the previous statistics show progress, this one shows how you’re using keywords to achieve the progress. If you’ve been working on SEO for some time, you can also produce a list of keywords you’ve ranked for and this shows your value.
In addition to this, a great way to show off what you’ve been doing is to assess the links you’ve received from top websites as a result of the improved content. In the report, you can suggest why this is good and how impactful these links have been. As you know, SEO is all about building a positive spiral of events where, once you start getting one or two things right, it soon starts to snowball and the progression comes naturally.
To finish, you need to consider the needs of the reader and what they’re looking for from your service. With this in mind, they might want to see social media growth, mobile traffic growth, number of indexed pages, number of optimized pages, conversion rate, traffic by location, and more.
Although we outlined this earlier, customizing the report for the reader is essential. Why include information on conversion rate if they don’t have anything to sell or any mailing list to promote? With businesses that are purely trying to promote information and awareness, bounce rate and an improvement in the time spent on the website are the most important factors. Once you know exactly what the business offers and how they operate, this will be easier (of course, it’s simple for business owners producing their own reports).
Step #4: Always Relate to Goals - Finally, everything you mention in your SEO report needs to have a meaning. If there’s a metric on the report that isn't contributing anything or doesn’t apply to the business in question, get rid of it because it’s not helping. With every single statistic you’ve included in the report, what does this mean for their goals? Are they getting closer? As we said earlier, not everybody is knowledgeable when it comes to SEO so they won’t know whether all the statistics you’re providing are average, good, very good, or superb.
Ultimately, we always suggest having goals listed on the report and then some brief information towards these goals. If you’re working for a client and they aren't seeing the benefit of hiring you, it won’t be long before you’re out the door and they give up on the whole idea. To show your value and really show why they’re paying you, any report you provide needs to link back to their goals because this shows how they’re progressing every time.
With anything a business does, they need to see a return on investment. The longer you work without showing progress, the more of a risk you become to the business. The minute you start showing a return, your service starts to pay for itself through the increased traffic to the website, increased conversation rate, and the increase in completed sales.
Summary - If you follow these four steps, you shouldn't have an issue keeping the reader happy (as long as you’re doing the work and actually making progress when it comes to SEO). As we’ve stated throughout, the most important factor will always be the recipient. Over the months, as you produce more and more reports, you’ll get an idea of what they look for and this allows you to adjust your focus.
Remember, the reader is busy and they don’t have much time so short and sweet reports are always preferred; also, you should always finish with actionable items. After linking back to your goals and showing the advancement, you then need to explain steps the business can take to keep improving. As before, this shows your value and it shows you can come up with ideas and solutions rather than just following their word and this is important. The more they trust you, the more control you’ll have over the process and you can keep helping the company to move forward!
About the Author
Michell Morgan is currently working as a Content and Digital Marketer at Lilo UK. Michell is a passionate writer, with more than 7 years of experience in digital marketing. She writes articles on latest online marketing and e-commerce trends. She loves learning about the social media marketing trends and how to improve conversion rates on e-commerce websites.