#SEONOW2015: What does SEO reporting look like in 2015? | White.net

#SEONOW2015: What does SEO reporting look like in 2015?

By Daniel Bianchini / March 19, 2015

At the start of the year I was asked to participate in Linkdex’s annual SEO Now ebook, alongside a number of industry experts from around the world. The theme for the eBook was around Reporting in 2015, and my section is below.

SEO Now 2015 eBook Authors

WHAT DOES SEO REPORTING LOOK LIKE IN 2015?

In 2015, brands will move further towards an online marketing target, with each channel playing their part in that goal.

With SEO changing dramatically over the last few years, our reports have to reflect that. These changes have resulted in a move away from ranking positions and the number of links that we have built, to a more content-focussed approach.

This has led to agency and in-house teams providing training to key stakeholders within businesses, who prefer to see clear deliverables and results which links and rankings provide.

Although there will be a move to a more integrated marketing report, there has always been a constant in each report: how your activity compares to the KPIs that you have been set.

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Which on-site metrics should really matter to brands? Why?

The on-site metrics that matter most to your brand are generally individual and should be reverse engineered based on the targets you have been set.

The metrics that you need to use will differ depending on the campaign that you are running. A campaign that is aimed at generating brand awareness (content marketing) is going to have different metrics to a campaign aimed at the conversion end of the funnel.

With that said, there will always be some metrics that need to be used across any campaign, with the majority leading back to content performance and device.

Looking at it from an SEO point of view, landing page performance is crucial. What content is generating the most visits from search engines? What is the conversion rate of those pages, or how many of those pages play a part in the conversion funnel?

If these pages are not playing a part, why not? Are they pages that have the biggest exit percentages, do they have limited time on-page, is the bounce rate too high? By reporting on these figures you will be able to determine how effective these pages are, and whether a campaign needs to be based on improving these pages.

If there is an off-page element to your campaign, then you need to track brand mentions, whilst cross-referencing any citations/links to your referral traffic. This will provide you with a good understanding of whether the placements that you have generated are working and worth further investment.

As mentioned above, we are moving to a more mobile-focussed environment, which needs to be reflected in your report. Therefore understanding what each device category is contributing to your campaign, can often provide great insight and determine how further campaigns are crafted.

Which off-site metrics should really matter to brands? Why?

Reporting on the number of links that you have generated is gone! You should no longer be building quantity of links but instead generating quality links, and this should be reflected in your report.

If through your campaign, you have generated coverage within high-quality publications, then you should report it. This also needs to be supported by referral figures that the link/coverage has generated to support the cost of activity.

Alongside referral traffic from your campagin, you should monitor brand mentions. This is important as it could lead to an increase in direct or social traffic.

Reporting on the number of links that you have generated is gone! You should no longer be building quantity of links but instead generating quality links, and this should be reflected in your report.

How to tell the right story?

Each report that you create needs to be focussed on the KPIs that you have been given. Whether it is an individual campaign that will contribute or on-going work, how does it effect your target?

The story that you tell will be determined by the campaign you are running. Choosing the right metrics will allow you to bring the campaign alive, by showing the successes and failures of campaign.

An important factor when telling your story is being honest. If your campaign has not worked, then do not cover it up with meaningless metrics. Explain what happened, the learnings that you have taken away from it and how they will be implemented into the next campaign.

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When creating your report, make it visual, easy to understand and straight to the point. Creating complicated reports to tell the story will not only confuse those that are reading it, but will likely bring further questions.

Finally, more than anything else, make sure that it always relates back to the KPIs.

If you are interested in reading the full eBook, you can download it from the Linkdex wesbite. I’d be interested in your thoughts on how reporting has changed, and what represents a good SEO report in the comments below or over on twiter @danielbianchini.

Daniel Bianchini

DIRECTOR OF SERVICES

Daniel Bianchini is the Director of Services at White.net. Having been in digital marketing since leaving University, Daniel has worked both agency side and in-house, working with many leading UK brands.

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