As an SEO professional, you know how to adapt your services to your clients’ needs. You keep track of the latest SEO trends and understand what tactics you should use to help a client achieve the desired goal. Above all, you have the right tools to monitor and streamline most of your SEO activities and SEO report.
However, just because you are killing it in SEO doesn’t mean you will make your clients satisfied. You also need to communicate with them regularly and honestly. And, this is where client reporting shines, helping you build trust with your clients.
Now, exporting a bunch of data from your SEO tools to PDF files or copying them to Excel spreadsheets is not enough to keep a client happy. Their inboxes are packed with a bunch of relevant emails. Creating a complex SEO report will only frustrate them and discourage them from opening your emails. Inconsistencies in agency-client communications may harm your collaboration on multiple levels.
Precisely because of that, you need to create easy-to-understand and aesthetically appealing SEO reports your clients will open and read. Here are a few simple steps to follow.
Aligning Reports with Clients’ Goals
To demonstrate the effectiveness of your SEO services, you first need to talk to a client and ask them what their goals and expectations are. Now, those clients that are familiar with the basics of SEO will be able to state their objectives clearly. However, if a client has very little SEO knowledge and experience, you will first need to educate them so they can decide on what their SEO goals are. Also, if you notice that a client is setting unrealistic expectations, be honest with them and help them set achievable goals.
Once you establish goals, you need to agree upon the metrics you will use. They tell your clients whether your SEO services are helping them achieve their goals.
That is why you need to talk to your clients and set the right targets. For example, do they want to generate more leads, boost online sales, increase organic traffic, or maximize brand awareness? Each of these tactics requires a specific set of KPIs to measure a client’s progress.
Tailor SEO Reports to your Clients’ Needs
Creating reporting templates can save you lots of time, but sending a uniform report to all clients may not be as effective as you think. Remember that your clients have different SEO knowledge levels, as well as different experiences with SEO companies. The one-size-fits-all approach won’t resonate with them. Just like each website requires different SEO strategies and goals, client reports you create should also be tailored to their specific needs.
Know who you are writing reports for
If you are sending a report to an SMB owner, chances are they will have little or no SEO knowledge. In this case, you will need to adapt your reports to their needs and provide clear explanations. Above all, you should keep your reports straightforward. Use simple language, shorten sentences, and avoid complex industry jargon. Bombarding a client with a bunch of complex metrics and datasheets will only confuse them.
On the other hand, if you are sending a report to a company’s digital marketing team, they will expect you to skip simple explanations and provide more granular insights into the KPIs critical to their campaign success.
Visualize SEO data
Apart from your writing style, you also need to pay attention to the design of your reports. One of the most effective ways to present your data and make it easy to follow and understand is to use visual elements, such as graphics or charts. You should also leave lots of white space to make it easier for a client to read a report on both smaller and larger screens. Above all, balance your textual and visual data. Make sure that colors, fonts, or data visualizations support the information you are presenting.
Automate Reporting Processes
Creating consistent and valuable reports for each client is a complex process that will eat up lots of your time. To track clients’ performance, you will need to use various SEO tools. The choice of tools also varies, depending on clients’ specific goals and needs. Then, you will need to go through piles of data to find the most important ones and export them to an Excel spreadsheet. Finally, you will need to design a document or use a slide share presentation to create a report worth reading.
Luckily, you can use automated reporting tools and create a custom marketing dashboard for each client. SEO reporting software integrates with the most popular SEO tools. You can combine the widgets from those tools and, in this way, track-only those metrics that are relevant to each client. You can also create SEO dashboards and share access with a client. Unlike Excel spreadsheets, your dashboards will be updated automatically when changes occur. Finally, you can export SEO data to PDF and schedule reports to auto-send. This way, you will increase client reporting consistency and boost clients’ satisfaction.
What to Include in your Reports?
Even though the choice of metrics will depend on your clients’ goals, here is a brief list of common elements of an informative SEO report:
Traffic helps your clients understand what their common visitors are and where they come from. SEO professionals should focus on organic traffic, as it is directly linked with clients’ organic search rankings.
Traffic is the lifeblood of every digital business. Understanding who a client’s visitors are, where they are coming from is an essential component of every marketing and growth strategy.
Conversion rates and goal completion
Observing traffic as an isolated metric doesn’t make sense. Your goal is to understand whether a client’s traffic converts. As your conversion rates are tightly related to other metrics, such as website speed, bounce rate, and so forth, they will help you explain the rest of the report easier.
Conversions come in numerous shapes, including contact form completions, lead magnet downloads, live chat triggers, email newsletter subscriptions, and so forth. Logically, there are different conversion-related metrics you can choose to track, including URL destination, visit duration, and pages per visit.
Keyword rankings are the most popular metric among your clients. Irrespective of their niche, they probably have a list of keywords they want to rank for Google. And, your job is to help them perform keyword research, rank for the right phrases and, above all, measure how they work on their rankings. For example, if you notice that a client’s rankings are stagnating or dropping, that usually means that your SEO tactics are not working for them and that you should change something. You can monitor keyword rankings via SEMrush and Ahrefs that are easily integrated with your automated SEO reporting tools.
Your clients will want to know how well they perform in Google’s SERPs. Search visibility will help you understand how to optimize clients’ rankings and link building strategies. This is where Google’s Search Console shines. It lets you observe a client’s website performance, from their CTR to crawl data, in Google’s search index. As this is one of the most important tools in any SEO toolbox, it integrates with most digital marketing reporting tools.
Future Practices and Recommendations
One of the most significant parts of the client reporting process is analyzing the metrics mentioned above. Based on the SEO data you present, you should explain what works for your clients’ SEO efforts, as well as inform them about your future course of action.
Client reporting is the nerve center of your client relationship management. It validates the effectiveness of your SEO services, improves your communications with clients, and builds trust with them. This is why your reports need to be simple, visually appealing and, above all, client-centered. I hope these tips help!