There’s more to ranking well in Google than just writing great content and building inbound links. Without being able to accurately track and report your SEO progress, even the most technically advanced SEO campaign can fail to produce results.
In order to keep track of your website’s search engine rankings, you’ll need to track your progress and prepare timely SEO reports. In this guide, you’ll discover a simple blueprint for tracking your progress and writing a weekly or monthly SEO report.
Are you new to SEO? In order to follow this guide, you’ll need to understand basic SEO terms like backlinks, PageRank, SERPs, and more. Learn the fundamentals of search engine optimization with our course, ClickMinded SEO Training.
Before you create a report, perform an SEO audit
Think of your weekly or monthly SEO report as a measure of your progress. In order to know how much progress you’ve made, it’s important to know two things: where you started from and where you want to be.
Before you start any SEO campaign, it’s important to establish your goals. List your target keywords and where you’d like to rank for them. Make sure your SEO plan is actionable and measurable so that you can easily prepare reports later.
A good SEO plan should list five to 10 keywords you’d like to achieve strong search engine rankings for, as well as 10 to 20 additional keywords. Learn more about how to prepare a detailed, actionable SEO plan in our SEO Training online course.
Carrying out an SEO audit of your website
You’ve listed your SEO goals and created an actionable plan – that’s step one of the process completed. Now, you’ll need to audit your website to determine what you’ll need to change and which pages you’ll need to focus on optimizing.
SEO auditing is a complicated process that involves looking at your existing inbound links, determining which pages should rank for which keywords, and looking at the existing state of your website.
Is this your first time auditing a website for SEO? Enroll in our course, Essential SEO Training For Successful Web Marketing, to learn the basics of SEO auditing, from the keyword research process to building XML sitemaps and page redirects.
Tracking your SEO progress using Google Analytics
Once you’ve established the current state of your website’s search visibility and put together a long-term SEO plan, you can start taking action. Implement the tactics in your SEO plan, from on page optimization to off site link building.
As you carry out the tactics in your SEO strategy, you’ll want to measure their effect on your rankings. One of the easiest ways to do this is by monitoring the amount of traffic your target keywords are generating using software like Google Analytics.
While Google Analytics won’t offer data related to your website’s search rankings or competitor information, it will tell you where your traffic is coming from. If you start to generate traffic from a certain keyword, your ranking for it has likely improved.
Learn more about using Google Analytics to monitor your SEO progress with this Google Analytics Mastery course. Join George Gill as he shows you how to use Google Analytics to track traffic, conversion goals, and hundreds of other variables.
You can also use third-party rank tracking tools to determine where your website is ranking in Google’s search index. While these tools offer precise information on your rankings, they often don’t specify how much traffic each keyword is producing.
Learn more about tracking your SEO progress and optimizing your website with our blog post on SEO tips.
Tracking your rankings, traffic, and conversions for reporting
As your website climbs up the search engine rankings, you can prepare SEO reports to keep track of its progress. The content of your SEO report depends on your goals, but it should report on at least three factors: rankings, traffic, and conversions.
Why these three factors? Because they quickly provide a report of the key goals of any SEO campaign: improve search engine rankings, increase search engine traffic, and produce conversions in the form of new users, leads, sales, or subscriptions.
While tracking rankings and keyword-related traffic is simple with Google Analytics, tracking conversions can be a more complicated process. If you’re also running paid advertising campaigns, using total conversion data isn’t always accurate.
Learn how to track conversions using Google Analytics and third party software in our Conversion Crash Course. From killer copywriting to optimizing your landing page, you’ll learn how to make conversions and revenue the focus of your SEO.
Preparing a detailed SEO report for your clients
Keeping track of metrics like PageRank and MozRank might be simple for your in-house SEO department, but most clients like to have their SEO progress presented using simple, easily understandable terminology.
Luckily, Google Analytics makes condensing complicated information into simple SEO reports easy. Using the Custom Reports feature, you can export reports from Google Analytics to present to your clients or marketing department.
Custom Reports can track almost any variable of your campaign, from the traffic a certain keyword generates to the total revenue generated by one of your keyword sets. From revenue to traffic, producing detailed reports for clients is simple.
Would you like to learn more about creating Custom Reports? Enroll in our Google Analytics Mastery course to learn more about exporting data from your account to use in reports, charts, and business presentations.
The importance of SEO reporting
When you’re managing an SEO campaign, it’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day details and lose track of the bigger picture. Preparing regular SEO reports helps you stay focused on making progress, not just building links or writing content.
Whether you’re optimizing one of your own websites, working as part of an internal SEO team, or carrying out SEO for a client, being able to prepare SEO reports is often the difference between fast, successful projects and expensive SEO failures.