The birth and eventual growth of search engines have been one of the greatest events in the Internet Age as this has literally democratized and centralized information at our fingertips.
SEO has become a 65 billion $ industry as per 2016 reports and is estimated to grow to 72 billion $ in 2018 and it will keep growing as the search engines become more personalized, customized using the machine learning and artificial intelligence era that’s going on currently.
In this post, I’ll be sharing some basics of SEO, how to choose the right metrics and finally the SEO reporting templates that you can use right away. You can even these SEO reports for clients directly as they are super helpful to analyze the business and make data-driven decisions.
Importance and Growth of SEO
The way SEO is increasing, every small business will eventually need an SEO strategy and work to find their next customers in an urgent need. Appearing and making your business relevant in context to your target customers problems/issues and real-time of need via searches is the key.
In this way, we will have an era where the search is one of the must-haves for every small, medium and big business to educate, help and eventually acquire customers. The growth and ROI for this is quite debatable as it takes a long time to actually rank on searches depending on the industry, competition and reach you want. However, once ranked, there is a good amount of traffic that you can enjoy for a long time! There are definitely updates needed and other folks can topple you off – but the organic free traffic and conversions are important for any business. The only investment is valuable content, SEO basics and all the time involved in the same that you are putting into it.
Having worked in SEO for quite a few clients and given great results to them, even though that’s not my main business (data analytics services) and core expertise, I can personally say that the main focus has to be on two cornerstones of SEO only for actual growth at the start:
- Keyword Research
- Link Building
That’s it. That is SEO for you.
Even Moz wrote a detailed article on this simplifying SEO and the complex buzzwords for everyone.
Stop reading every tiny detail, nuances and just focussing and deep-diving on those two concepts is enough provided you have the basic foundation of key and valuable content drilled into your business.
However, any type of content that’s not valuable and not adding value to the users will just not work with every concept of SEO and all other types of marketing applied due to the advancements in the intelligence of search engines.
The Right SEO Metrics for YOUR Business
There are probably hundreds if not thousand blogs written on this topic about the Top and best metrics for SEO. Basically, it’s all not very useful unless we really add business context, business goals and tie them up with metrics.
Looking at the popularity of SEO, we clearly have every freelancer, every agency doing SEO, making it extremely difficult for clients and freelancers both to find the right fit in the market for each other as per requirements and expectations.
Ever had a new SEO pitch given to you by cold emails? Ever had a random freelancer or agency tell you they do SEO? So you know exactly what I’m talking about!
Coming to the metrics, you can read every article, resource, and material out there but pick up right metrics for YOUR business will always be a challenge because of the unique part of your business, your goals, objectives etc. The right metrics for you can be picked up by using the KPIs framework, that I have repeatedly enforced in all my posts and with all the clients that we have worked with.
So use the above framework and then list out a set of objectives & business questions first. After this, for each business question – add an exhaustive list of metrics (use tables in basic spreadsheet or excel)
At the end, you should have a big list of metrics from an overall standpoint. Now, you would want to choose the right and the most important metrics from them – which would become your KPIs (key performance indices)
Taking the time to do this is surely a pain but it would guarantee that you are always following the right metrics which are aligned with your business goals.
SEO Reporting Templates
Now, we can finally jump to the ready templates for reporting that you can use instantly. These can all be used as SEO reports for clients also directly.
These should ideally help you get a clear structure, speed up the work you are doing and present it in a manner that’s consumed by clients rather than just data-pukes or just another report!
Note: All data is sample or dummy data shown just for reference. All reports are owned by the websites that are linked to and are not my property, they are available to use depending on the product/service with those websites directly.
This report by SEO PowerSuite gives a great holistic view on all the rankings on various search engines, the positions etc so that we really understand the current situation very clearly and we can take it to the desired situation with a clear focus.
This also includes any movement of keywords up or down depending on latest changes.
To clean up your website, you need to undergo a content audit, whereby you review every piece page on your site. This template will help you to define, whether each page of your website has to be:
- Left as it is
- Reviewed for quality
- Deleted, or
- Redirected to similar content
This categorization and the actionable report will really help in a complete audit, reporting and next best steps for your website from an SEO perspective.
The backlink summary report, as the name suggests focuses on the off-page SEO aspects fofyour website.
This is to understand the progress in all types of Link building metrics for your website, the trends, the growth and much more. From domains to anchor texts to linked pages, all the main metrics have been covered.
This report is provided by SEO PowerSuite and their set of tools.
This report shows an overview of the type of keyword performance and compares both Adwords and Organic keywords for a holistic view.
This report is provided by Supermetrics.
All the above reports can be made in spreadsheets/excel and also in other custom tools, the most important part is that the templates are ready which are client-facing and adds value to the end user. You can also use tables in basic spreadsheet or excel to give it a professional look.
This concludes the entire list of SEO reporting templates and the basics of SEO. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments or feel free to reach out here for any help in SEO reporting/analysis/analytics.