What is a search engine optimization project report?
A search engine optimization project report is an overview and evaluation of a series of changes done in order to increase the ranking of a website on the major search engines. The report discusses success rates, the amount of time required, and the need for future maintenance.
The necessity of SEO reports comes from the nature of the optimization process. You need to know where you started from, where you are at right now, and where you want to go.
A good SEO project report should briefly explain the process of optimization, list your initial and final rankings on some major search engines, list the time you have spent on all kinds of activities such as keyword research, site content modification, and link building, and last but not least, you should explain what these activities are aiming to achieve.
How to conduct a search engine optimization project report?
In order for you to reach the point of creating and sending reports for your projects, you have to have prepared a plan of action for the months that you are going to perform the SEO activities.
Based on that plan of action you will send all the activities that you have managed to complete during the set period of time that you are reporting for. (Notice that I am not saying month, week, or a certain date, it is up to you to negotiate that period of time with your client). You should go into the necessary detail for your client’s understanding capabilities. In other words, if your client does not understand SEO, don’t talk in technical terms, but if they are well aware of the SEO process, then go into full detail.
After you have reported the activities that you have done during the last working period, you need to share what are your next plans of action for the next working period. It is an important step because the client that you are working for might have different plans and expectations than the things that you have prepared. If you don’t communicate your intentions then you might end up in a situation that you have done a lot of hard work and the client isn’t satisfied. That’s why it is better to leave no expectations and to communicate everything from start to finish.
Important elements of an SEO project report?
Of course that the last two points are not enough for a good SEO project report. In this section, we will talk about the mandatory elements of every SEO report. You need to send to your clients the following information:
Keyword tracking document
The document where you compare the previous working period to the one you are currently in. You want to show all good results as well as the bad ones. Your clients will appreciate your honesty and transparency. If you provide arguments for each increase or decrease in rankings, of course. If you just share information without any arguments they will be upon their own to interpret the results. You don’t want that. You are the expert and you want to give them as much value as possible.
Website health status
This is the document where you show the website’s current condition. It is an important element of each SEO project report because it gives valuable information on how the website is improving. It can also show if there was a major issue with the website that caused bad rankings.
Information from Google Analytics and Google Search Console
You have to provide information not only about rankings but also about organic traffic in general. Organic traffic is the goal, the keyword rankings are just an indicator of a successful SEO strategy. The visitors are the factor that will bring your client revenue/leads.
When to send SEO project reports?
As I mentioned earlier, it is all about what you negotiate with your client. In my honest opinion, sharing SEO reports on a monthly basis is the best way to go. If you share SEO reports on a weekly basis there might be a lot of unnecessary discussions based on SERP’s fluctuation that happens during the month. You want to focus on working, not on talking with your clients.
My SEO project report template
Here’s my exact SEO report template.
I write my reports manually and at the end of each month in Gmail and I send them after checking all the information that I wish to provide.
I start the email with information about the current status of the project. I call that part “personal commentary from the SEO”.
After that part, I immediately continue with what we managed to do during the last month of work. I usually send bullets with information and hyperlinks towards the documents that back up the statements that I make during that section. You can say that you have done a lot, but if you don’t add something to prove it, then you might end up in a situation where your client is not happy and they demand information about your work. Provide it before they start asking questions. It is the best way to go.
After the part where I share what I have done during the past month, I continue with information about what I am planning to do during this month. I list everything in another bullet list and attach a screenshot of where exactly we are in our plan of action. This section is super important because it gives your client a sense of direction and progress. They know exactly what you plan to do and why.
When I am done with all the reporting of activities and the plans for future accomplishments I continue with the links towards the most important elements – the keyword tracking file, the website health audit, and dynamic google data studio report.
These elements bring the email to a whole another level because it is not just plain text with some hyperlinks it is a functional report that gives all the detailed information for the project.
For my keyword tracking file, I send ahrefs report for keyword tracking with information about rankings.
For my website health audit report, I send an ahrefs audit report with the improvements that we managed to achieve during the last period of time. (I plan on updating my tool to Screaming Frog because since version 15.0 there is Crawl comparison and it will serve me just as good if not better)
For the organic traffic report, I use Google Data Studio – Any marketer’s best tool. There I can create a personalized report based on the client’s goals and metrics that they want to track.
If you want to create good and high-quality search engine optimization project reports you need to communicate with your client and provide them personalized reporting. If you rely on ready-to-go software you might lose clients. It is not because the software is bad, if you don’t have time, please use one, but it is all about your attitude towards your client. If you provide them with special reports they will have a special relationship with you. If you provide them with automated reports, then they won’t stay for long.
Agree or disagree? Leave me a comment down in the comment section!