By Kaitie Frank
09 Jan 2024

How to Fail at SEO Reporting

SEO Reporting

It's essential to know that when it comes to making sure people can find your website through search engines, simply doing the work isn't enough. To make sure your efforts are paying off, it's important to communicate the results to the people who care about your website. 

To do this, you need to create a report that's easy to read and understand. A good report should show how your website is doing, what's working well, and what needs to be improved. It should also outline what you're planning to do next. 

However, there are some things that can make your report less effective. For example, if you don't explain things clearly, or if you use technical language that people might not understand. If you don't have all the information you need, or if you don't give useful advice on what to do next. 

To make sure your report is helpful and informative, it's important to keep these things in mind and create a report that people can use to help make your website even better.

Neglect Data Fluctuations

Data fluctuations are natural in SEO. For instance, algorithm updates can cause ranking fluctuations that seem like rankings are dropping but can right themselves within a day or two. 

While these fluctuations are normal, they shouldn't be ignored. 

Explaining these fluctuations can help address stakeholders' concerns about their SEO campaign. It can also help manage expectations and prevent any misinterpretations about the results. 

Do not simply present data; offer insights into fluctuations or changes and provide actionable recommendations based on the results. This proactive approach demonstrates your expertise and commitment to improvement.

Enhance the readability of your reports by incorporating visuals like charts and graphs. Visual representations can help stakeholders or other people not fluent in SEO interpret complex data quickly.

Keep stakeholders in the loop by providing regular updates on progress. Whether it's monthly or quarterly, consistent communication fosters transparency and trust.

Rely Solely on Vanity Metrics

Avoid relying solely on vanity metrics that might look impressive but lack real business impact. Focus on metrics that directly contribute to achieving the campaign's objectives.

Vanity metrics are numbers that look good on paper but don’t mean much in terms of results. Take these metrics, for example:

  • Social media followers
  • Pageviews
  • Subscribers
  • Downloads

These metrics are typically high numbers and look impressive, but they don’t affect a business’ ROI. 

Instead, report key performance indicators (KPIs) such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, and conversion rates clearly and concisely. These metrics offer a snapshot of the campaign's impact.

If you want to incorporate vanity metrics into your report, be sure that more concrete KPIs contextualize them. This can help manage expectations. 

Overlook Competitor Analysis

It is crucial to have a thorough understanding of your competitors' performance. By researching your competitors, you can gain valuable insights into their strengths and weaknesses and make strategic adjustments to maintain a competitive edge. This can help your clients create better content, identify areas for improvement, and determine where to build links.

Conducting a thorough competitor analysis involves researching your competition to determine their position in the market. This includes analyzing their website content, search engine rankings, social media presence, customer reviews, and other relevant data points. By doing so, you can better understand their marketing strategies and their strengths and weaknesses.

Once you have gathered the necessary data, you can benchmark your clients against their competitors. This can provide valuable context and insights for your clients, helping them to understand your reasoning for specific strategies. By incorporating competitor analysis in your reports, you can help your clients stay ahead of the competition and achieve their marketing goals.

Ignore User Experience Metrics

Looking at the latest developments in the field of SEO, user experience plays an essential role in search engine rankings. Google updated its algorithm to make page experience a ranking factor in 2021, emphasizing the importance of user experience in the search process. Therefore, SEO experts should prioritize user experience and optimize their websites accordingly.

To ensure that your website provides a good user experience, you need to monitor and analyze various metrics related to user interaction. These metrics include bounce rate, which measures the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing just one page. A high bounce rate may indicate that your website is not engaging enough for users and that you must make changes to improve their experience.

Another metric to consider is page load time, which measures how long it takes for your website to load. Slow loading times can lead to user dissatisfaction and a poor experience, ultimately affecting your search engine rankings.

Mobile friendliness is another thing to remember. With the increasing use of mobile devices to browse the internet, ensuring your website is optimized for mobile is important. This means your website should be easy to use on small screens, and its content should be clear and readable.

Finally, you should focus on Core Web Vitals, a set of metrics that Google uses to measure the quality of the user experience on your website. These metrics include loading speed, engagement, and visibility, which can significantly impact your search engine rankings.

Forget to Address Challenges

It's essential to address any challenges or issues during the campaign. Openly discussing challenges and proposing solutions displays a proactive approach to problem-solving.

Ensure you clearly articulate how the SEO efforts align with and impact the overall business goals and ROI. This helps stakeholders understand the tangible value of the campaign.

Provide a comprehensive overview of both on-page and off-page optimizations. Detailing the strategies employed helps stakeholders understand the holistic approach to enhancing search engine visibility.

Customize your reports based on the audience. Provide technical details for the web development team and high-level insights for executives. This will ensure that each stakeholder receives the most relevant information to their role.

Mastering the art of SEO campaign reporting involves a strategic blend of data presentation, insights, and stakeholder communication. By adhering to these do's and avoiding the don'ts, you can create reports that inform and inspire action, driving continuous improvement in your SEO strategies.

Kaitie Frank

Kaitie is a copywriter and content writer for Page One Power who specializes in SEO-optimized content. She has written for various niches and prides herself in knowing random tidbits of information. In addition to putting words to paper, she indulges in physical fitness and telling her cat why he is, in fact, a good boy.