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How to harness the power of SEO monthly reports
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy. It’s the process of optimizing your website so it ranks higher on search engines and attracts more qualified traffic. As a result, it’s the best long-term strategy to get your business found on Google.
Even if you’re not familiar with the ins and outs of SEO, you’ve probably heard about it. But do you know how to create and use SEO reports? Read on to find out.
Why Is SEO Important?
By investing in SEO, your business website can enjoy:
- Free organic traffic
- Increased brand awareness
- More qualified leads
- A higher web conversion rate
In general, organic visitors are more valuable to your business. For example, organic leads convert 14.6% of the time, while non-organic leads only convert 1.7% of the time. Furthermore, 81% of shoppers look up a store online before visiting it in person, so ranking well online will bring in more visitors.
Due to these significant impacts, 70% of marketers believe that SEO is more effective than pay-per-click ads. That’s why it’s important to get your SEO right, and SEO reports can help you do just that. By monitoring, analyzing, and optimizing your current SEO strategy, you can skyrocket your success and enhance the ROI of your efforts.
What is an SEO report?
An SEO report is simply a report that reviews the effectiveness of your SEO strategy. It explains vital metrics and patterns that influence your website’s current SERP rankings. It calculates the current ROI of your SEO efforts by analyzing your organic leads. Finally, it offers recommendations on how to optimize the campaign moving forward.
Most SEO agencies provide a monthly report to their clients to keep them informed. They use it to explain the nitty-gritty SEO metrics in a way that clients will find meaningful.
However, not all SEO reports are made the same. That’s why we're here to teach you how to create an effective SEO report.
What makes for a good SEO report?
A good SEO report addresses the following questions:
- What progress has the SEO campaign made so far?
- What does this data mean about our visitors, leads, and overall customer base?
- What parts of the strategy are working? What parts are not?
- What is the current ROI of this SEO campaign?
- How does this data guide our strategy moving forward?
- How will the strategy be optimized to reach these goals?
A well-done SEO report will address these questions thoroughly. It will also provide insightful commentary on the data and reassure clients that their money is being well spent.
What does an SEO report cover?
While there is no specific formula for an SEO report, there are some general topics that should always be included:
Organic traffic: Since the goal of SEO is to boost organic traffic, tracking the increase in organic visitors is very important.
Keyword rankings: Likewise, boosting keyword rankings is the main way to increase organic traffic. Displaying the progress of specific keyword rankings is a critical discussion point.
Leads and sales: At the end of the day, most clients only care about SEO as far as it impacts their bottom line. They want to know that it’s generating leads and sales for their business.
Why are SEO reports important?
SEO reports matter because they explain the return on investment from an SEO campaign. SEO often requires a sizable investment, so if the return is not made clear, clients may question if it’s worth continuing.
Furthermore, SEO reports help marketing professionals review, analyze, and optimize their SEO strategy. By doing so on a regularly, the campaign will have more success. SEO tactics require constant monitoring since search engine algorithms are always evolving.
Notable SEO metrics to track
Before you can construct an SEO report, you need to mull through the data and analyze it properly. By doing so, you’ll develop meaningful insights on how to optimize your SEO strategy.
Here are the key metrics we recommend taking a look at:
Organic traffic is the number of visitors that found your website organically by searching on a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. They searched for a keyword and clicked on your website because it looked like a good match.
The first goal of an effective SEO strategy is to drive traffic. Maintaining a healthy level of organic traffic means the website is more likely to acquire new leads and increase brand awareness.
Organic click-through-rate (CTR) tells you how many people clicked on your website, compared to how many people saw the website in the search results and scrolled on.
Obviously, when you spend so much effort increasing your SERP rankings, you want people to actually click on your search result when they see it. To improve your luck at attracting their attention, optimize the following items of your web page:
- Title tag
- Meta description
Google Search Console's Search Analytics is the best tool for reviewing organic CTR data. By improving your CTR, you can actually boost your organic rankings even higher.
Bounce rate measures how many people have a single-page session on your website. This means they clicked on your site and then clicked away without exploring it at all. If you see a high bounce rate, it can indicate a few different things, depending on which web page you’re looking at.
For example, if your home page has a high bounce rate, it may be a sign that people aren’t satisfied with it and thus click back to the SERPs to look for another result. On the other hand, a high bounce rate on a “Contact Us” page is expected, since users will leave once they’ve found the contact information they were seeking.
To optimize your bounce rate, carefully consider your web page’s design. Make sure information is displayed well aesthetically and is easy to understand. Your goal should be to offer a positive browsing experience for your website visitors.
Pages per session
If a visitor didn’t “bounce,” that means they stuck around and clicked on at least one more page. The “pages per session” metric says exactly how many pages people clicked on. It provides insight into how engaged your visitors are.
- Do they want to explore your products and services?
- Are they interested in your case studies?
- Did they enjoy multiple articles on your blog?
You can examine which pages they explored with Google Analytics Behavior Flow report.
You want to engage your visitors and keep them on your website since this means they’re more likely to purchase from your business in the future. It also means your web design elements are aesthetically appealing and your content is valuable.
Domain authority and page authority
Domain authority and page authority assess your website’s credibility relative to other websites. These metrics were developed by Moz, an SEO-focused company. Authority is ranked on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the best. Wikipedia, for instance, has a domain authority of 100.
Domain authority judges your website as a whole, while page authority ranks single pages on their own. To boost your authority, you should:
- Consistently acquire high-value backlinks
- Remove toxic backlinks
- Be patient
Quality backlinks from other well-respected websites tell Google that you’re credible. That’s because they are evidence that other people online find your website’s content to be credible, creative, and valuable. In addition, the longer your website is on the web, the more authority it builds over time.
Page speed directly impacts your website’s SERP rankings. You can test your website’s page speeds with Google's PageSpeed Insights. By tracking your score, you can make sure that new design elements don’t drag down your page speed.
Google wants pages to load fast for visitors’ sake so that they don’t get frustrated waiting around. Most visitors will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
After spending time boosting your ranking and optimizing your search result, the last thing you want is to let that hard-earned organic traffic go to waste.
Your website’s backlink profile displays how successful your link building strategies have been. It takes into consideration:
- How many backlinks you have
- The quality of these backlinks
- Which referring domains are new, and which ones were lost
- Which anchor text is seen most often
- How much traffic is coming from these backlinks
Referring domains are the external websites that link to your website, therefore providing you a backlink. Receiving backlinks is a goal of SEO, so if this number is steadily increasing, the campaign is working. However, backlink quality is more important than quantity.
That’s because low-quality backlinks can actually harm you. Google punishes websites that have a suspicious amount of low-quality backlinks. In turn, you want to reduce your number of spammy backlinks by disavowing them.
Your organic positions display the actual position of your web pages on the SERPs at a given time. In other words, they show how your chosen search engine keywords rank online. These positions will naturally fluctuate, but the goal is that they generally increase over time.
Monitoring your organic positions is a critical part of determining your ongoing keyword optimization tactics.
How to analyze SEO monthly reports
To create an SEO report, you need to gather data and visualize it in a meaningful way. Using a monthly SEO report template can be helpful.
Fortunately, there are tons of tools at your disposal. Some require a monthly fee, whereas others are totally free.
These tools can be used to gather data across specific timelines, visualize patterns, and create beautiful dashboards to help communicate the data.
SEO reporting tools
There are some basic SEO reporting tools that every marketing professional should have in their arsenal. These include Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Both of these tools gather critical website data.
Next, there are SEO-specific tools, such as SEMrush and Ahrefs, that specifically track SEO-related information. They give insight on backlinks, keyword rankings, keyword research data, and much more.
In addition to these tools, check out the following:
- HubSpot’s Website Grader
- Check My Links
- Moz’s Pro Tools
- UpCity’s SEO Report Card
- Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider
Use SEO reports like a pro
Now you understand what information should be included in your next SEO report. By using the suggested reporting tools, you can construct a comprehensive, high-quality report with ease. Use your SEO monthly report template to update clients and optimize your SEO campaigns regularly.
If you need help with your business website’s SEO campaign, reach out to the professionals at B12. Our SEO services are set up by AI and refined by SEO experts. You’ll receive monthly SEO reports from us so you can understand exactly how your metrics are progressing.
For more digital marketing information, check out the B12's Resource Center.
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