Because creating and executing an effective SEO strategy is a long game that takes time to see results, SEOs scrutinize incremental gains and losses to look for clues to what’s working and what’s not. As a result, SEO reporting is a crucial element to your SEO success, as looking at the wrong thing the wrong way can easily lead you astray.

What is an SEO Report? 

An SEO report provides insight into your website’s performance from an organic traffic standpoint. Beyond the traffic coming in, your report should ultimately show how your SEO efforts are actually impacting your business and overall goals. If you’re just reporting on numbers without tying it back to the bottom line, what’s really the point? 

Beyond the more “external” tools and data you use (we use Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics, the keyword ranking tool SEMRush, and Google Search Console), your reporting should also pull from your internal tools that report on your leads, revenue, customer acquisition costs, and more. Considering both the marketing and sales numbers lets you see a fuller picture of where you’re efficient and where you need to focus your efforts.

How to Create an SEO Report

Creating a good SEO report is straightforward enough but requires the correct data and narrative to get a clear picture of your results. You may decide to build out tailor-made decks, customized dashboards, or use the native reporting of SEMRush or SEOClarity. The way you present your data depends on your preferences, but the goal should be about organizing your data and knowing what to include. 

Regardless of how you present it, we recommend keeping the following things in mind so that you can create as streamlined a report as possible. 

1) Identify Key Metrics

Reaching a goal is easiest when you’re following your progress along the way. If your goal is to reach number one on the SERP, you should track rankings across the board. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, track sessions and impressions. The primary SEO reporting metrics we at Silverback report on usually include:

  • Organic traffic
  • Conversions
  • Rankings
  • Blog traffic
  • Bounce rate
  • CTR
  • Impressions
  • Any other activity that happens on your website that ultimately impacts your business, goals, and revenue

However, your key indicators are not just about the numbers you collect. Before you dig into your SEO metrics, it’s also essential to identify what’s most important to your business and how to find that data, such as lead generation. For example, if you have a B2B website that focuses on lead generation and the customer journey, your SEO report will include metrics that tell the story of how all your efforts come together to result in more leads that ultimately convert. 

2) Establish a Repeatable Process of Pulling Data

Metrics can sometimes be pulled in a variety of ways, so making sure you’re pulling them the same way each time keeps the data consistent and clean. Having a reliable and repeatable way to pull your data and organize it is fundamental to accurate reporting. You’ll want to have access to your historical data and report on the same exact data every time so that growth year-over-year and month-over-month tells an accurate story. 

Once you’ve established your reporting process, document what you’re doing to create an SOP (standard operating procedure) for other team members so that they know the reporting process as well. Whether someone takes the project over or you just need a detailed overview of how to report your data and when, your document serves as an SEO master guide for your business. 

3) Analyze the Data 

Numbers and data only mean something if you understand what they are and what happened. Did a key metric go up or down? Why? Before a meeting with your client or team members, pull your SEO report in advance and spend time analyzing and digesting the data to figure out what it really means for your project. You’ll have a clear understanding of what is happening and can anticipate questions from your client or business when reporting. 

Beyond fluently understanding your data, you should also have an idea of why the performance is good or bad and report on it. Build upon the positive momentum from what’s working and devise a plan to overcome what’s not. An SEO report should fuel transparency about what’s going on in your business and provide motivation to take action.

4) Craft Your Story

Only reporting on your SEO numbers isn’t enough to create a comprehensive report. You also need to know how to report SEO success to make it relevant to your clients or business by using your data to tell a story. A good SEO report should include data on critical initiatives. As you go from putting together the strategy to executing various tactics, your SEO report should look at performance along the way to help tell that story.

5) Apply Your Insights

An SEO report means nothing if you don’t do anything with the information it provides. Every report should offer actionable insights on where to investigate challenges and what to change. At the very least, it should signal what to monitor in your business and website to help shape your marketing decisions.

These days, most SEO reports function as high-level metrics, replaced monthly with the most up-to-date data available. It won’t fuel new ideas or strategies, but it should dive into what you’re seeing to improve on what you’ve already established. 

As you work on your reports, you will collect valuable data and gain new insights as you implement your strategy. Take the time to dive into your SEO data to empower new opportunities. You end up with a constant evolution of your SEO strategy with a focus on growth.

In the end, the goal of your SEO report should be to tie everything back to your business and campaign goals. Take the time to build out your data around vital initiatives alongside the core metrics you’re reporting. You’ll have more than just paperwork with data to share, but a story with insights, takeaways, and next steps to build the success you’re looking for.

Need Help with Your SEO Strategies?

Ready to take control of your SEO? Learn more about best practices for marketers and all things SEO with our guide, The Marketing Leaders’ Guide to SEO.

Mat Ingham

Mat is an experienced strategist with the proven ability to connect client goals to actionable digital solutions. He enjoys helping clients achieve measurable business outcomes.

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