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If you manage SEO for your clients, it is a good idea to submit regular progress reports. Not only is it an opportunity to evaluate tactics and track progress, it’s always nice to present evidence of any key achievements and peaks in performance.

If you’re not sure what to include in your own SEO reports, we’re going to be offering a few suggestions on how to approach creating an SEO report for clients.

For the First Timers

If you’re looking to create an initial SEO report, WooRank makes site auditing and reporting very easy. After you’ve run an audit on WooRank, simply click the ‘Download PDF’ or ‘Download Slides’ option to create a report that can be sent to clients.

Download PDF or slide reports from WooRank

Reports can be personalized to include your own branding.

Customized SEO report PDF

Creating SEO Progress Reports for Clients

As you complete SEO tasks you will want to be able to create a report that details progress being made and report back on the impact your work is having. The purpose of an SEO report is to demonstrate:

  • Tasks completed
  • Progress made
  • Key achievements
  • Keyword rankings
  • Changes to traffic
  • Set objectives and tasks for the following month

Here’s what to include.

1. Make it client centric

Build your report around your client. Include an overview of the previously agreed aims and objectives that you have been hired to achieve. Avoid generic objectives, like ‘make the site rank better’ or ‘attract more business’. They are too vague and harder to measure.

If you’ve done a detailed analysis you should be able to create realistic and detailed objectives like:

  • Increase conversion by 1.8%

  • Rank on the first page for specific keywords

  • Outrank local competitors for specific keywords (local SEO strategy)

Remember to ask your client about their specific goals they want including in the report. If there’s something they absolutely want including which is within your capabilities, you should probably include it.

2. Detail specific tasks completed

Broad objectives like those listed above may need breaking down into smaller tasks. If this is the case make sure you make of list of tasks completed and include them in your report. If you’ve set them up on Google My Business, make you sure you record it as a completed task.

Alternatively, if you’re making your way through the handy marketing list included with the WooRank review, again, make sure you include any tasks that you have been able to check off the list. You can filter the list by ‘tasks checked’ to make this easier.

WooRank Marketing Checklist

3. Keyword rankings

For many, keyword rank position is likely to be the part of the report that most interests the client. Let’s face it, rankings is probably the whole reason they hired you in the first place right?

A great way of easily demonstrating movement in keyword rank position each week is by using WooRank’s keyword tracker. Simply add your keywords to Keyword Tool and it will track progress as well as provide the average monthly search volume (particularly useful now that Google’s Keyword planner only provides a broad data range) and competitor rankings.

Keyword Tool

For each keyword, you can also see performance over time and compared to your competitors for a better understanding of how well it’s doing. This is also useful for monitoring impact.

For example, if you made a lot of changes to your site’s content or improved technical SEO elements and then noticed your keywords ranking rank improved, you may be able to suggest that any improvement in keyword rank could be attributed to the work you have completed.

The reality is that changes in keyword rank will be a result of the hard work being carried out across the site in its entirety, but you can still prove that you’re making a difference.

Use Google Analytics to measure the impact on organic traffic. Go to Acquisition>Channels>Organic to view your top landing pages as well as the keywords driving the most traffic.

Check if this corresponds to any shift in keyword rank position to provide a better overview of keyword performance.

Keyword Tool historical performance graph

I would also try and find new keywords to target and include these in my report. Although this particular site is ranking highly for specific keywords, as you can see the monthly search volume for these keywords is very low, so I may want to suggest new keywords or add an action to find new keywords in the following months.

Since backlinks are a significant ranking signal, it will no doubt form part of your SEO strategy. As well as detailing your backlink strategy you should aim to report on the number and quality of your backlinks each month.

WooRank makes this easy to monitor by showing you the number of backlinks compared to your competitors.

WooRank backlink analysis

It will also detail...

  • how many backlinks are pointing to your site
  • the number of referring domains
  • the quality of each link pointing to your site
  • anchor text used for each link
  • link source (external URL)
  • target page (the page URL being linked to)

If you’ve been hired for link building, highlight any new backlinks that you’ve been able to obtain, especially if they are particularly valuable.

5. Technical improvements

If you’re working on any technical SEO improvements, report on the progress to date. You may be working alongside developers to improve site speed or develop a mobile version of your site. Ask your developers to include their own report with timescales for completion.

As technical SEO tasks are checked off remember to monitor improvements to SEO scores, site performance, the number of organic visitors, and rankings to show how much impact that has had on your site.

6. User improvements

Making your site more user-friendly by optimizing structure, navigation and conversion is always beneficial and a strategy you’re likely to adopt for your client.

The best way to measure this is through Google Analytics. Set up conversions and goals to measure and compare traffic each month.

Look carefully at the behavior flow of your users and monitor the exit pages. This will be able to give you an indication of where your customers enter your site, where they go and when they leave. If your customers aren’t interacting with the pages you’d expect you may need to look at making your call to action buttons more prominent or examining why they leave when they do.

7. Outreach and marketing

Detail the campaigns, activities or content produced over the month and the impact they’ve had. Have they been shared? Did they generate any backlinks? Was it ‘liked’ across social media? What impact did this have on website traffic?

It is a good idea to always demonstrate how something has made a difference to the final objective. It may also be a good idea to set up goals and conversions in Google Analytics before putting content out - especially if the content has been designed to get your audience to do something specific.

By setting up goals it will be easier to measure successes and monitor impact.

8. Keep layout consistent

Keeping reports consistent in design, layout and structure will make it easier for your clients to assess progress from month to month. It will also help you in identifying any increases or fluctuations in performance which you can then provide reasons why this has occurred.

Using templates has the added bonus of allowing you to simply enter information in one place, streamlining your whole reporting process.

Wrapping Up

SEO reports are a great way of reporting on the tasks that have been completed each month. It is also an opportunity to evaluate and present how these tasks have benefited your client’s site.

Remember to include tangible improvements and measurements.

More importantly, SEO reports are your chance to evaluate what is working well and what isn’t, giving you the chance to re-examine strategies and devise new plans. It is always a good idea to tell your client why you want to tweak things or take a different approach. If you’re able to estimate what difference this will make to their site, they’ll be more than happy to take your lead.