As an SEO it is essential to report on the metrics that will show the progression of the project that you are working on.
These reports need to provide the client and yourself with actionable information, whilst also being able to outline your KPIs clearly. All reports should ideally include metrics from both on-site and off-site activity, providing the client with a clear understanding of what improvement has been made.
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To ensure that you are reporting on the correct areas during the initial stages, you should arrange to have a meeting with your client.
Before any SEO project can start you need to have a (kick-off) meeting with your client to understand everything about the project. This meeting should include, but not be limited to, knowing the objectives, system limitations, potential target keywords and reports required.
When it comes to discussing the reporting, there are a few areas that you should get the client’s feedback on before creating your report.
The three points above are not the only areas you should be talking about when it comes to reporting, but you get the idea. In today’s market, the majority of clients tend to have a good idea of what they would like to see in their weekly/monthly/quarterly reports, but some are still unsure.
Below are some suggested metrics that you can report on for any website, whether it be ecommerce or informational, that you could discuss with the client.
Keyword visibility is still a good indicator of how any SEO project is coming along, and is still a report that EVERY client wants to see.
Driving non-brand traffic to the website should be one of your main KPIs for any SEO project; therefore reporting on this is essential.
Landing Pages Report – creating a second landing page report that includes brand terms will provide a better indication of how many pages are indexed within the SERPs. You can then compare this number to the number found within GWT and your CMS to see how much of your website has been indexed.
Top Referrers – the top referrers report is a great indication of which websites drive you traffic over a period of time. It also provides you with a source of links to analyse and potentially improve the anchor text that used to link.
Link Building Report – not many people seem to disclose their link building reports to the client, but for me it is an essential report that you should be providing. It is quite simple really; record EVERY link you create, with the date, URL where it is hosted, the anchor text and destination URL. If this is done every month you can show the client exactly what you have created, where you have created it and how many links have been created over a period of time. This is the minimum that the client should receive on a monthly basis, although a more thorough report can be time consuming.
The above SEO metrics are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what can be reported for any SEO project. This post only discusses metrics that can be used on every website; I haven’t even considered the complex reporting for eCommerce websites, which is an entirely different post altogether.
Do you agree or disagree with any of the metrics that I have mentioned above? What other metrics do you use across all your websites? I will be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter @danielbianchini.