Before you begin optimising your website for search engines (SEO), you need to obtain an accurate picture of how well it currently measures up to the latest ranking factors and SEO guidelines. You do this by creating a report based on a full SEO audit of your site. Once this initial step is complete, you continuously produce these reports to monitor progress, both in the search engine results and against your own strategic KPIs.
What is an SEO report?
An SEO report provides a concise and granular view of your website’s search engine performance. There are multiple aspects to SEO, from on-page copy to the underlying code and other technical factors like web server configuration. Consequently, there are various facets to an SEO analysis report, and many different metrics to consider.
A basic SEO ranking report, for example, will simply show you how well your website ranks on the search engine results pages compared to those of your competitors. On the other side of the spectrum, a technical report will reveal issues like faulty redirects from out-of-date pages to new ones.
With so much data to collect, analyse, and measure against your website’s KPIs, generating reports that contain actionable insights can be a challenge. Let’s break down the process into manageable steps.
Define your KPIs and metrics in advance
Your website should always have strategic content marketing aims, even if you’re only using it as an online brand brochure without specific visitor conversion goals. You need to create KPIs as part of your site planning process to have clearly defined goals. These become the metrics you use to analyse your site’s success in SEO reports.
In the case of SEO, there are several easily available basic metrics. Some of the most important include:
- Keyword ranking report: how high your website appears on the search engine results pages. And for what keywords your content ranks for.
- Number of visitors arriving via search engines: otherwise known as organic search traffic.
- Which search engines are referring your website: you might find that you get more traffic from Bing than Google, for example.
Implement an SEO audit
An SEO audit is a snapshot of how well your website conforms with the basic SEO requirements.
There are certain fundamental SEO elements that all search engines rely on to accurately “understand” and index your website. These include main keywords in specific places, meta titles, correct heading hierarchies and alt tags for images.
You can also measure a limited number of your KPIs, depending on their nature. If, for instance, one of your KPIs is increasing website visitors, an SEO audit will immediately reveal how successful you are.
However, a KPI like the number of visitors you convert to customers depends on many more factors than an SEO audit. It can tell you how many visitors moved through your conversion funnel, but it cannot identify the factors that led to that. This is more in the domain of how engaging and effective your content is.
Nonetheless, an SEO audit will give you a very good idea of whether you need to change any basic SEO elements to improve your site visibility and traffic.
What should an SEO analysis report include?
Once you’ve fixed any current issues that the SEO audit uncovered, you’ll rely on SEO monthly reports to further monitor your progress.
You can use a number of tools to dig deeper into your website metrics to compare them against your KPIs. This doesn’t need to be complex – it should be easy to understand and recommend actions you can take to drive further website growth.
Some of the main areas on which to focus are:
- Overall website SEO health
- Keyword ranking progress
- Organic traffic progress
- Organic traffic conversion rates
- Number and growth of backlinks to your site
In addition, you can get information on how well your different types of SEO content are performing, such as featured snippets, images, videos and local SEO real estate on the front page of Google.
Use all of these to identify weak points and future opportunities.
Using Google Analytics and the Google Search Console
Google Analytics and its Search Console are two powerful free SEO reporting tools you can combine to glean the metrics you need.
Google Search Console tracks KPIs like page impressions by country, your most popular pages, the types of search queries visitors are using to find your website, and the devices they’re using to browse.
Google Analytics provides more granular information, like bounce rate (how many visitors immediately leave your site), the number of user sessions and their average duration, how many pages visitors view per session and so on.
You can also set up customer conversion funnels in Google Analytics to track your visitors’ progress through them. This will give you important insights. For instance, you can identify weak points where visitor click-throughs from one page to the next are relatively low, and change your content to improve this.
Putting SEO analysis reports into action
Now that you have all your SEO metrics and KPIs compiled into a clear, easy to understand report, you can create an action roadmap for the next month, quarter, or year. This should cover your accomplishments and, ideally, suggest what you need to aim for in the future.
Choose the reporting frequency that suits your business and remember to review your SEO reports regularly for gaps or to include new measurements as your site develops or if you launch new marketing campaigns.
Successful SEO can be extremely time-consuming, but well worth it to your bottom line. Thankfully, you don’t need to become an expert in SEO reporting and analysis yourself or hire expensive new resources. You can cost-effectively entrust customised performance reporting to an expert SEO agency like Key Content.
 Sources: https://visme.co/blog/seo-report/