If you invest in any form of marketing you’ll want to know that your money is being well spent and that it’s making a difference. If you’re responsible for providing a marketing or SEO service you will need to be able to produce accurate and regular SEO reports for your clients.

Although there are different approaches to producing reports, a good report should always include an analysis of the core metrics, which can be produced separately and presented as a full report. The core metrics include:

  1. An SEO work report: Work completed to date.

  2. Rank report: A keyword rank report investigates where keywords rank, tracks changes in position and includes plausible explanations behind any sudden fluctuations.

  3. Link building report: Links obtained since the last report was produced

  4. Traffic report: Measures the changes in organic traffic within the reporting period which can be attributed to the SEO tasks completed.

Today, we’re going to be concentrating on SEO work reports. We’ll be explaining what an SEO work report is, why they are beneficial, how to produce an SEO work report, and how they differ from the traffic reports that you may be more familiar with.

What is an SEO work report?

An SEO work report details all of the work carried out on a site and allows site owners to understand and supervise the full range of SEO tasks.

Before work commences on a site an initial report should be produced. This should include a full and extensive audit of a site and include the following:

  1. Elements of the site that need fixing or improving: The easiest way to do this is to run a site audit. WooRank conveniently displays results in a traffic light colored system. Red indicates areas that need fixing, amber is for areas that need improving and green indicates the site elements that have passed.

    WooRank color-coded audit

  2. Analyze your competitors. How does their site compare with yours, how many backlinks do they and where do they rank

  3. Assess where the site ranks for its targeted keywords

  4. Number of links and quality

Doing this will allow you to set objectives and build robust strategies that can be agreed on before any work begins.

What the report should include

Many SEO tasks are detailed and require a lot of research. It is, therefore, a good idea to identify the number of days that went into searching for those awesome keywords or obtaining those two new backlinks from quality sites. To the untrained eye, these may not sound like groundbreaking improvements, but we all know that these tasks require a lot of research, time and effort.

So, instead of simply reporting on the two new backlinks include the strategy that was created for this task or the spreadsheet of influential bloggers that you’ve already started following, or the audit of your competitors’ backlinks.

A work report should also include the tasks that are going to be completed during the following period. Not only will this help you to stay on track, but it will also give your client an idea of work that still needs to be completed.

Why are SEO work reports beneficial?

Perhaps you’re wondering why you even need to produce a work report. It’s not like you’d ask your accountant to report back on the work they’ve completed. However, like most marketing activities you need to be able to measure impact in order to calculate a return on investment. Although a work report won’t necessarily identify impact made, any improvements to rank position and organic traffic can be attributed to the work you’ve done.

SEO work reports also:

  • Highlight the value of the service

  • Measure the correlation between completed tasks and improvement in performance.

  • Help clients or internal colleagues supervise projects

  • Highlight progress made

  • identifies outstanding tasks

  • Show what is required to maintain good site performance.

How to produce an SEO Work report?

If you’ve already conducted a site audit you may have constructed a ‘to-do’ list that includes all of the elements that need attention. Use this to formulate your overall strategy and set objectives.

As you work through the tasks check them off and report back on the work completed. As mentioned earlier, don’t be afraid to go into detail. If you’re using WooRank for your audit then tracking tasks and producing a report couldn’t be easier.

When you work on a site for the first time there may be a lot of errors that need correcting. Some of these can be fairly simple to fix but also have a major impact on performance. It’s, therefore, a good idea to explain what results it will, or has already produced.

For example, if after submitting a Robots.txt file and sitemap to Google you notice that the number of indexed pages increases - mention it! The pages are now being indexed by Google so organic traffic should improve.

How is an SEO work report different to a traffic report?

Instead of highlighting the SEO tasks completed, like in an SEO work report, traffic reports measure how organic search brings revenue to the business.

Traffic reports therefore help to quantify the impact of the SEO work and should examine the following:

  • Organic traffic: Check organic traffic by going to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. An increase in organic traffic will indicate that your SEO efforts are paying off. You can also see which search terms and search engines are driving the most traffic.

  • Conversions: If you have goals set up this can be a great indication of how much organic traffic is being converted. This is also handy if you’ve been tasked with enhancing the on-page experience.

  • Bounce rate: Examine the bounce rate of specific landing pages to identify any potential problems. Go to Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages to see the bounce rate for each page. Try to understand what your visitors aren’t seeing that they’re expecting to see and remember to include this in your SEO work report.

Use the SEO monitoring tool to stay on top of your website’s traffic and performance.

Finishing up

When we think of SEO reports there’s a tendency to put an emphasis on ranking and traffic reports. While these reports tell us what impact SEO is having on our site it’s important to keep track of the tasks being carried out. Remember that when it comes to SEO the results are seldom instant so work reports are crucial for those that may be feeling the pressure from clients. Not only do they prove that work is being carried out, but over the months you’ll be able to prove how beneficial it’s been.

However, don’t rely on work reports alone. Although work reports should be produced regularly, they should always be accompanied by a rank, link, traffic and competitor report so that positive changes can be monitored and attributed to the work completed.