If you’re a bit more of a visual learner, take a look at one of my example reports here.
Download that, and tell any prospective SEO you want to work with to provide something equivalent.
Reporting is very important because you can not only see what’s been performed, but also understand the return on investment that you’re getting from your money.
There’s a big confusion in the industry that SEO should be based off keywords and rankings, and while this plays a part, it’s definitely not the main area we should be concerned with. The main area we should be concerned with is customer enquiries that lead to sales.
In this sense, we’re talking about successful phone calls and email inquiries to a business which can be tracked and measured.
Let’s talk about SEO reporting and learn how it should be.
This is a short and sweet paragraph outlining the work at a high level. “This month we focused on the following areas, as per our strategy discussion”.
The most important metric is conversions. I can use tools such as Google analytics to track the amount of phone calls and email enquiries my clients receive. So in my conversions area, it usually is very simple and has amount of phone calls and email inquiries to the business.
Really, the report could end here, because this is what matters to business owners, revenue and growth.
This would be what the SEO provider has actually done for your website. In my case, I’m usually producing pages of content for my clients in the form of traditional pages or blog posts.
This is a list of pages I’ve authored and published.
My client can quickly refer to the new content that has been uploaded to the site. Note: my clients “sign off” on all the content, meaning, they approve it before I publish it, so the information is 100% correct and upholds the values of the business.
I focus on creating pages that correlate to my client’s business and the direction that they want to go in.
For example, you might have a law client and they might desire family law enquiries opposed to criminal law enquiries, and in that case it would make sense to write content related to family law and to focus efforts there.
This is where we look for link building opportunities and fix anything relating to Google Search Console.
I do this through reverse engineering my client’s competitors, viewing their link profile, and identifying what’s working for them.
I use different tools to achieve this, such as Ahrefs, Screaming Frog and Semrush.
As an example, I recently discovered my law client’s competitors had links from lawsociety.com.au. I was able to inquire with lawsociety, and easily have my own client listed there.
Off-page optimisation, is just icing on the cake. The war is won through quality on-page optimisation, so I typically don’t place a huge amount of emphasis on off-page.
Again, a lot of people think SEO success is based upon rankings and amount of traffic to the site. That’s obviously part of it, however, a huge aspect of SEO is just improving the website as a system that supports the functions of the business.
Before I even commence an SEO campaign. I confirm the website is setup correctly. So it’s easy to navigate, it’s easy to contact the business and the information on the page flows correctly.
It’s all about proving expertise, and making it easy to make contact with the business (i.e. reducing friction, like slow pages or contact forms that are painful to fill in).
Some examples might be:
All these things allow for better user experience, and very slowly improving the website as a whole.
Another task is simply talking with my client and evolving our strategy.
Let’s say my client is a physiotherapist, and we originally focuses the SEO efforts on a specific area of their business, for example, acquiring aged care contracts. We might have focused on aged care for a while and they’ve reached capacity.
In this example, the client wanted to move away from aged care to lean occupational therapy. So it makes sense to re-align my efforts with their goals.
This point leads me into the next section.
Let’s say my client is a dentist, there’s obviously a lot of sub-categories of dentistry they will wish to acquire leads for.
So I’ll work with my client and provide them a list, something like:
You get the idea.
Basically, I ask the client to prioritise these for me. What’s the most profitable, what’s the one you like to do the most, what direction do you want to take your business, and I’ll focus my efforts there.
In the 12 hours or so I work per month, I’ll create the content that best aligns with my client.
Pretty simple really – but something a lot of SEOs miss.
Recommendations are somewhat separate to SEO, however play a role.
For example, some common recommendations I make are:
The job of an SEO is to help our client’s succeed online, not just rank in Google. So sometimes we’ve got to think outside the box.
SEO is a 50/50 partnership with the business. They need to contribute, or it just won’t work. Additionally, the client knows the in-and-outs of their business, and I do not, so I need to work alongside them to extrapolate that information.
I always tell me clients this on day 1, because I don’t want to have an arkward conversation when they ask “Can’t you just do it all yourself?”
Some common things I ask of my clients
And this brings us to our last item
This is the fun part where I can talk about anything, but the most common things are:
SEO reporting done right.
No crap about keywords or rankings, just what matters, which is enquiries and the work performed.
If the client knows exactly what you’re doing and you’re aligning your efforts with that business, everyone is going to be happy.