Mastering SEO Client Reporting [2024 Guide]17 min read

Table of Contents

Mastering SEO Client Reporting [2024 Guide]

As a link-building or SEO agency, not only must you measure your clients’ SEO performance but also communicate those results clearly and concisely.

Our guide covers the essentials of SEO reporting, explains how to craft the perfect SEO report, and explores the best tools for the job. We also share the best practices for generating impactful client updates.

TL;DR

  • SEO client reporting is the process of updating clients on their SEO campaign‘s performance.
  • SEO client reporting is essential for tracking progress, identifying areas for improvement, maintaining client transparency, demonstrating ROI, and supporting informed decision-making.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you may want to include in your report include organic traffic, keyword rankings, CTR, conversion rate, bounce rate, page loading speed, backlinks, and more.
  • Using charts, graphs, and dashboards will aid clarity and help readers digest complex data.
  • Don’t focus on simply reporting historical data. Based on the data analysis, offer specific actionable recommendations for improving the SEO strategy.
  • Make sure to customize the reports to meet specific client needs and objectives, and include an executive summary for a concise overview.
  • It’s good practice to send monthly reports and clients often expect annual reports as well.
  • Google Search Console offers insights into a website’s performance in Google search, including data on clicks, impressions, query analysis, and page performance.
  • Google Analytics delivers a comprehensive analysis of website traffic, user behavior, conversion tracking, and traffic sources for in-depth SEO performance assessment.
  • Ahrefs features site audits, backlink analysis, keyword research, competitor analysis, and rank tracking, crucial for comprehensive SEO strategy development.
  • Semrush provides extensive digital marketing tools, including keyword research, site audits, competitor analysis, backlink tracking, and organic search traffic insights for strategic SEO planning.
  • Databox integrates data from multiple SEO tools into customizable dashboards for real-time reporting, goal tracking, and interactive client reports.
  • BacklinkManager supports real-time monitoring of backlinks, automated status updates, and detailed custom reports for clients. It also allows you to keep track of the links delivered by your team members and freelance link-builders, and manage relationships with your partners. Book the demo to learn more!

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What is SEO client reporting?

SEO client reporting is the process of providing clients with updates on the performance of a search engine optimization campaign.

Such reports normally offer information on such aspects as SERP performance for target keywords, traffic analysis, conversion rates, backlink profiles, and technical SEO performance.

These reports are an essential aspect of SEO services as they offer transparency, track progress, and guide future strategies.

Website & SEO report template. Source: CoAct
Website & SEO report template. Source: CoAct

Why is SEO reporting important?

SEO reporting is crucial for several reasons, particularly in the context of managing and optimizing a website’s search engine performance.

Here are some key reasons why SEO reporting is important:

  • Measuring success and progress – by tracking rankings, traffic, and conversions of their landing pages, businesses can see whether their efforts are paying off, and how well they’re progressing towards their goals.
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses – regular reporting helps identify what’s working well and what isn’t. This insight is vital to continuously improve search visibility.
  • Client transparency and trust – for SEO agencies and consultants, regular reporting to clients is crucial for maintaining transparency. It helps build trust by showing clients where their money is going and what results it’s yielding.
  • Guiding strategy adjustments – SEO is not a set-and-forget task. Reporting helps identify trends and changes in the digital environment, allowing businesses to adjust their SEO strategies accordingly.
  • Demonstrating ROI – SEO helps businesses to understand the return on investment (ROI) of their SEO activities.
  • Supporting informed decision-making – SEO reports provide the necessary data to make informed decisions about content, website design, and marketing strategies, to name a few.

Crafting the ultimate SEO report for clients

Creating an ideal SEO report involves focusing on three pivotal elements: choosing relevant KPIs, illustrating data visually, providing actionable insights, and tailoring reports to individual client needs.

Selecting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

When you create SEO reports, choosing relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is crucial for effectively measuring and communicating the success of your SEO efforts. Their choice depends on your client’s business objectives and priorities.

Here are some important KPIs to consider including:

  • Organic traffic – the number of visitors coming to the site from search engines. This is a primary indicator of SEO success.
  • Keyword rankings – positions of the client’s target keywords in search engine results. Tracking changes in rankings can show how well your SEO strategies are working.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR) – the percentage of users who click on your site’s listing in the search results. This indicates how well your title tags and meta descriptions are performing.
  • Conversion rate – the percentage of visitors who take a desired action (like making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, etc.). This ties SEO efforts directly to business outcomes.
  • Bounce rate – the percentage of visitors who leave the site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate can indicate that the content isn’t meeting users’ expectations or that the user experience is poor.
  • Page loading speed – site speed affects both user experience and search rankings. Reporting on improvements or declines in page loading times can be crucial.
  • Backlinks – the number and quality of backlinks pointing to the client’s website. Backlinks are a key ranking factor, so tracking the link profile is important for SEO.
  • Organic impressions – the number of times your site appears in search results. This can give an idea of brand visibility and keyword relevance.
  • Top performing pages – identifying which pages are driving the most traffic, and conversions, or have the highest engagement can inform content and SEO strategy.
  • Local visibility (for local SEO) – for businesses targeting local markets, visibility in local search results and performance in Google My Business listings are key SEO metrics.
  • Mobile traffic and performance – with the increasing importance of mobile, tracking how well the site performs on mobile devices, including traffic, rankings, and usability, is essential.
  • SERP features occupancy – if your site appears in featured snippets, local packs, or other SERP features, tracking this can be beneficial.

Pro tip: grouping related KPIs in an SEO report helps readers gain a holistic understanding of your SEO strategy’s trajectory.

Visualizing data for clarity

Visualizing data effectively can transform complex information into clear, understandable insights, making it easier for clients to grasp the impact of your SEO efforts.

Here’s how you can optimize data visualization for clarity in your SEO reports:

  • Use charts and graphs – graphical representations like bar charts, line graphs, and pie charts can illustrate trends, comparisons, and distributions more effectively than raw numbers. For instance, a line graph can vividly show the progress of keyword rankings over time, while a pie chart can represent the distribution of traffic sources.
  • Incorporate color coding – use colors strategically to highlight key information or to denote different data sets. Consistent use of color can help clients quickly associate certain colors with specific metrics or trends.
  • Employ dashboards – custom dashboards can provide a consolidated view of key metrics in one place
  • Use heatmaps for website analytics – heatmaps are extremely useful for showing how users interact with a website. They can visually represent where users click, scroll, and spend the most time, offering valuable insights into user behavior and how to optimize the UI.
  • Opt for infographics for complex data – when dealing with complex data or statistics, infographics can be an effective way to present information in an engaging and easily digestible format.

Pro tip: be consistent with your design and layout throughout the report. Consistency aids in comprehension as the reader becomes familiar with your reporting style.

Providing actionable insights

SEO client reporting isn’t just about presenting data, it’s about translating that data into meaningful, actionable steps that can drive decision-making and strategy.

When we talk about actionable insights, I mean practical recommendations based on the data analysis.

For instance, if the report highlights certain keywords that are performing exceptionally well, the actionable insight would be to suggest the creation of more content around these keywords, or perhaps optimize existing content to better target them.

When providing actionable insights, prioritize them based on their potential impact and feasibility.

Not all insights will carry the same weight: some will be low-hanging fruits, easy to implement with likely immediate benefits, while others might require a more long-term strategic approach. The ability to spot and communicate this is essential for effective resource allocation.

Another critical aspect is to make these insights as specific and detailed as possible. Rather than vague suggestions, provide clear, step-by-step recommendations that can be easily followed.

For example, instead of simply stating that the website’s loading speed needs improvement, offer specific technical suggestions or changes that can be made to achieve this.

Tailoring reports to different client needs

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Creating custom SEO reports to meet each client’s unique needs and objectives guarantees the information presented holds relevance and value.

Different industries have distinct goals, target audiences, and competitive landscapes, so it’s essential to tailor your SEO reports to meet the specific needs of each client.

Tailoring SEO reports to different industry types may involve emphasizing different metrics as well as providing insights into the unique competitive landscape and target audience.

Pro tip: encourage clients to ask questions, provide feedback, and actively participate in the SEO reporting process to further enhance the effectiveness of your reports.

Setting the scene with an executive summary

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An effective executive summary sets the stage for the rest of the SEO report, providing a concise overview of the main points and topics addressed.

Here are some tips for creating an engaging and informative executive summary:

  1. Emphasize key metrics and KPIs.
  2. Provide a brief overview of key insights, such as changes in SEO rankings, site audit results, and organic traffic progress.
  3. Include thoughtful analysis and strategic recommendations.

By following these tips, you can create an executive summary that effectively communicates the main findings and recommendations of your SEO report.

An executive summary should be brief, generally ranging from one to three pages in length. By keeping your summary concise and focused on the most important information, you can ensure that your clients can quickly understand the content of the report and easily navigate the information.

In addition to providing a high-level overview of the report’s key findings and insights, an executive summary should also include a summary of accomplishments and future strategies.

This helps to demonstrate the impact of your SEO efforts and provides a clear roadmap for your clients’ continued success.

How often to send SEO reports?

A suitable frequency for sending SEO reports to clients depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Client goals and objectives
  • Reporting cadence preferences
  • Changes in SEO strategy
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Client communication preferences

It is recommended to provide clients with a monthly SEO report, as this allows for regular monitoring of progress and timely adjustments to the SEO strategy.

Providing yearly growth SEO reports to clients is also beneficial, as it demonstrates the progress your agency has made in improving their keyword rankings and website traffic.

Do this 6 – 8 weeks before the client’s annual operating plan for the upcoming year to allow sufficient time to review and incorporate the findings into their strategy.

By providing regular and timely SEO reports, you can ensure that your clients stay informed and engaged with their campaigns, ultimately driving better results for their businesses.

Best SEO reporting tools

Using SEO reporting software offers several benefits:

  • Automates creating SEO reports, reducing the time and effort
  • Allows you to focus on analyzing the data and extracting valuable insights
  • Helps interpret reports and automate the reporting process
  • Ensures that clients receive timely and accurate information about their SEO performance
  • Enables you to integrate multiple data sources to identify trends and patterns that may not be apparent when examining individual sources

When selecting SEO reporting software for efficient report creation, consider the following features:

  • Automated SEO reports
  • Comprehensive data analysis
  • Customizable reports
  • Visualizations
  • Integrations with other tools
  • White-labeling
  • Collaboration and sharing

BacklinkManager.io

BacklinkManager.io is a powerful link-building platform that allows SEO agencies to keep track of the links they build for their clients.

By providing a comprehensive tool for backlink tracking and evaluation, BacklinkManager.io enables real-time monitoring of backlinks, automated status updates, and the generation of detailed, white-label reports for clients.

This allows for transparency and facilitates the showcasing of link-building efforts to clients.

SEO client reporting tools: BacklinkManager
SEO client reporting tools: BacklinkManager

Here are the key benefits of using BacklinkManager for reporting:

  • 24/7 real-time backlink monitoring – its real-time monitoring system keeps users informed about new backlinks, the loss of existing ones, or status changes.

    BacklinkManager Link Tracker
    BacklinkManager Link Tracker
  • Reliable link crawler – provides a two-factor check on every link you’ve built: first, it checks the HTML of the page with the link and then with a cloud-based browser imitating a regular user connection.
  • Link-status notifications – instantly notify you in-app or via e-mail when a link gets removed. This can help you prevent your clients’ links from rotting (and your reputation from getting damaged).
  • Backlink monitoring by status – you can easily switch between do-follow and no-follow links.
  • Custom reports – for easy reporting on the backlinks you’ve built for your clients in a specific period. These reports are easy to share.

    BacklinkManager Custom Reports
    BacklinkManager Custom Reports

You can start using BacklinkManager for free. The free plan allows you to track up to 250 links.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console (GSC) is an invaluable tool for SEO client reporting due to its comprehensive insights into a website’s performance in Google search results.

SEO client reporting tools: Google Search Console
SEO client reporting tools: Google Search Console

Here’s how you can leverage Google Search Console for effective SEO client reporting:

  • Performance data – GSC provides detailed data on how a website performs in Google search results. This includes information on total clicks, impressions, click-through rate (CTR), and the average position of the website for specific queries.
  • Query analysis – GSC shows the queries that lead users to the website. This is crucial for understanding what search terms are driving traffic and which ones need more focus.
  • Page performance – you can see the performance of individual pages on a website in GSC. This allows you to identify which pages are the most popular, which ones are underperforming, and how they rank for specific queries.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is a powerful web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It’s an essential tool for SEO as it provides detailed insights into how users interact with a website.

SEO client reporting tools: Google Analytics
SEO client reporting tools: Google Analytics

Here’s how Google Analytics can be effectively utilized for SEO client reporting:

  • Traffic analysis – provides comprehensive data on website traffic, including the number of visitors, sessions, page views, and the duration of these sessions.
  • Traffic sources – breaks down traffic into different sources: organic search, direct, referral, social, and paid search.
  • User behavior – allows analysis of user behavior on the site, including which pages they visit, time spent on each page, and bounce rate.
  • Conversion tracking – you can set up goals in GA to track conversions, such as form submissions or product purchases. This is key to demonstrating the ROI of SEO efforts.
  • Custom reports and segmentation – GA allows for the creation of custom reports and data segmentation, enabling tailored reports to focus on the metrics most relevant to each client.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO toolset that is widely used by digital marketers and SEO professionals.

It provides a range of features that help in analyzing a website’s performance, understanding competitors’ strategies, and uncovering opportunities for improvement.

SEO client reporting tools: Ahrefs
SEO client reporting tools: Ahrefs

Here’s how Ahrefs can be used for SEO client reporting:

  • Site audit – a detailed site audit feature that can identify SEO issues on a website
  • Backlink analysis – a core strength of Ahrefs is its backlink analysis capabilities. It allows you to track the number and quality of backlinks pointing to your client’s website, as well as the growth or decline of the site’s backlink profile over time.
  • Competitor Analysis – Ahrefs provides insights into competitors’ SEO strategies. You can analyze competitors’ backlink profiles, the keywords they rank for, their search traffic, and their top-performing content.
  • Keyword Research – Ahrefs offers robust keyword research tools that help in finding relevant keywords that the client’s website can target.
  • Rank Tracking – with Ahrefs, you can track the rankings of the client’s website for targeted keywords over time.
  • SERP Analysis – Ahrefs’ SERP analysis tools allow you to understand the search result pages for specific keywords. This includes information about featured snippets, knowledge panels, and other SERP features that could be targeted.
  • Reporting and Visualization – Ahrefs offers reporting features that help in visualizing the data so that you can create an SEO report that is comprehensive yet easy to read. These reports can be customized to focus on the aspects most relevant to the client’s goals.

Semrush

Semrush is a widely recognized digital marketing tool that offers extensive capabilities for SEO, PPC, content marketing, and competitive analysis.

Its comprehensive suite of features makes it a valuable resource for SEO client reporting.

SEO client reporting tools: Semrush dashboard
SEO client reporting tools: Semrush dashboard
Here’s how to use Semrush effectively in this context:

  • Keyword research and tracking – Semrush excels in keyword research, providing detailed data on keyword volume, difficulty, and trends. It also allows for tracking the rankings of specific keywords.
  • Competitor analysis – with Semrush, you can conduct in-depth competitor analysis. This includes tracking competitors’ keyword rankings, understanding their search engine positioning, and analyzing their content and backlink strategies.
  • Site audit – Semrush offers a comprehensive site audit tool that checks for SEO issues, including technical problems, on-page SEO errors, and opportunities for optimization.
  • Backlink analysis – the platform provides detailed insights into backlink profiles, both for your client’s site and for competitors. It also allows you to identify broken links on a page.
  • Traffic analysis – Semrush offers traffic analytics to understand a website’s traffic sources, user behavior, and engagement metrics. This is crucial for evaluating the effectiveness of SEO in driving quality traffic to the site.
  • Reports and dashboards – by using a Semrush SEO report template, it’s easy to create a comprehensive and easy-to-understand report.

    SEO client reporting tools: Semrush
    SEO client reporting tools: Semrush

Databox

Databox is a business analytics platform that aggregates data from multiple sources into a single, accessible interface, offering powerful tools for data visualization and reporting.

It’s particularly useful for SEO client reporting as it allows for the integration of data from various SEO tools and platforms.

SEO client reporting tools: Databox
SEO client reporting tools: Databox

Here’s how you can use Databox for effective SEO client reporting:

  1. Data aggregation – Databox can connect to numerous data sources such as Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Google Search Console, and more. This allows you to compile a comprehensive view of a client’s SEO performance by pulling in data from these various platforms into a single report.
  2. Customizable dashboards – one of the main features of Databox is its customizable dashboards. You can create tailored dashboards that display key SEO metrics and KPIs relevant to each client’s specific needs and goals.
  3. Real-time reporting – databox offers real-time data visualization, which means you can provide clients with up-to-date information on their SEO performance. This is particularly useful for monitoring ongoing campaigns and making timely adjustments to strategies.
  4. Goal tracking – you can set up specific SEO goals within Databox and track progress against these targets.
  5. Automated reporting – Databox allows you to automate the reporting process by scheduling regular updates and sending reports directly to clients.
  6. Interactive reports: The reports generated in Databox are interactive, meaning clients can drill down into specific metrics for more detailed insights. This level of interaction can be particularly engaging for clients, allowing them to explore their data more deeply.

By using Databox for SEO client reporting, you can provide clients with a holistic, integrated view of their SEO performance across various tools and metrics.

Conclusion

Effective SEO client reporting is crucial for the success of any SEO campaign.

The easiest way to create comprehensive reports is by combining data from multiple SEO analytics tools.

If you want to learn more about BacklinkManager and how it can assist you in building SEO reports for your clients, get the demo!