SEO reports for clients

SEO Reports for Clients: What to Include

Key points

  1. SEO reports should be easy to understand and contain key data points such as search traffic, keyword rankings, conversion rates, and backlinks.
  2. Different clients require customized SEO reports, focusing on varying aspects like technical issues, content, and link building, all presented in an accessible format.
  3. Automating SEO reports saves time and can be achieved using specialized SEO tools, which can extract data from sources like Google Analytics and integrate with SPP for easy access.

Once you’ve started up your SEO agency and the first clients are trickling in, sooner or later you have to showcase your results. And what better way than with nicely designed, easy to understand SEO reports for clients?

The question is: how do you make this process simple for everyone involved—your team and the client? After all, nobody wants to spend hours copying data into spreadsheets. Ideally, everything would be automated, and data would always up-to-date.

Luckily, there are ways to achieve exactly that. But first, let me tell you about the anatomy of an SEO audit report for clients.

What is an SEO report?

SEO reports are summaries containing the most important data points about a website. They usually include search traffic, where it comes from, which keywords are responsible for the traffic. In most cases, an SEO report also contains data about the current rankings for keywords, click-through rates, backlinks, and conversion rates.

Embedded client report

An SEO report is usually designed in a way that makes it easy for clients to understand, supported by the use of graphs and tables. They can also be filtered to make it easier to dig deep into the data at hand.

SEO agencies not only create these reports for their clients to look at, they are also a great way to visualize their own progress.

What should an SEO report include?

SEO agencies are quick to include all kinds of data in their reporting—the more, the merrier, right? Not quiet, your client is rarely an SEO specialist; they might not even know the basics of search engine optimization.

So, how does it help them if you throw a bunch of tables and numbers at them if they don’t know how to interpret them?

What your clients do care about is data they can understand, for instance that:

  • the traffic increased by eight percent month-over-month

  • trial signups for their recurring subscription service increased by 20 percent

  • that a specific case study brings in one third of all trial signups

This is data your client can easily understand, and it makes you as an SEO agency look professional too.

With that said, not every client is the same. You might be servicing other SEO agencies or resellers, who of course know everything about search engine optimization.

Related

This is why it’s important to adjust your reporting and make it individual for each client or client group.

SPP custom SEO report for client

Another important question to answer: is it an SEO report that focuses on content, link building, or the technical side of things? Maybe it’s one that encompasses all these elements. If so, you need to create it in a way that the data is presented in an easy to understand way.

For instance:

  1. Start with the technical SEO section, highlighting performance issues and what needs to be fixed;

  2. then include an overview of the content SEO report, and more details about different aspects of it; and

  3. lastly, go into detail about your link building efforts, including the metrics for each link built.

Let’s look at a few essential your SEO client report must have.

Technical SEO report

SEO can be severely impacted by technical issues, spanning from slow loading pages to websites that are not mobile friendly. Some even have broken links, images, or broken layouts that span outside of the viewport.

Companies such as Brendan Tully’s WP Speed Fix are able to create a technical report and fix these types of issues.

WP Speed Fix SEO audit example report

According to Brendan, it’s important for agency owners or productized service provider to distill down the huge volumes of information that SEO tools and reports provide.

One of the services we offer is comprehensive and detailed technical SEO audits. Many agencies do this poorly and simply dump information on customers, drowning them in reports and leaving them more confused than when they started. This is the wrong approach.

Brendan Tully from WP Speed Fix
Brendan Tully , WP Speed Fix

The technical SEO audit his company provides has three distinct phases:

  1. Audit and action plan: this is where they audit the site and create an SEO action plan. It’s important to note that the action plan is the key focus. It’s supported by raw data and various reports but the action plan is the key deliverable, not the reporting.

  2. Implementation of the action plan: in some cases customers opt to do this themselves with support from the team of WP Speed Fix for the more technical aspects.

  3. Ongoing reporting, management and maintenance: Marketing managers should be able to review reports and understand at a glance whether things are on track or something has gone wrong. Reporting should act like the instruments on a plane, reporting whether things are on track or some intervention is required.

Content SEO report

This will be the most detailed and extensive report. And for that reason, I strongly suggest creating an overview section that highlights the key points.

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Below the overview, you can show more detailed sections for the following points.

Search traffic

Organic search traffic is a key metric that cannot be missed in an SEO report. It’s an easy way to track if your SEO efforts are paying off.

SEO software for agencies such as Semrush and Ahrefs allow you to check the search traffic based on countries, which for some clients is vital. Their ideal customers are often located in specific geographical regions.

SEO report search traffic

In order to display the traffic data correctly, it should be shown month-over-month, keeping in mind that there might be slight seasonal differences. A good SEO report will also show a trend line and compare the traffic year-over-year.

An important distinction to be made in the SEO report is the branded and unbranded traffic. The former can be large, depending on how big the client is. It makes sense to rank for brand keywords after all, but an SEO agency will target unbranded keywords in most cases.

Keyword ranking

With the traffic data at hand, the next data point should be the keyword rankings. This includes their current position in the search results page, any changes to them, and comparisons with past data.

SEO report keyword ranking

Again, seasonal changes that influence a business should be taken into consideration. Month-over-month data might not be as important as year-over-year comparisons.

Conversion rate

Traffic and high rankings are great, but they are useless unless the content also converts (into trials, newsletter signups, etc.). And this is where the conversion rate comes in: how good is each content piece when it comes to converting the traffic?

SEO report URL conversion rate

One thing to keep in mind is that the conversion rate needs to be defined for each content piece. Some of them are purely informational, others are commercial. But even the latter, can they really convert? Are there enough click-to-action elements on the page, can leads subscribe to a newsletter, or book a call?

Without these elements and clear conversion goals in mind, you cannot report accurately.

Landing pages

The aforementioned organic search traffic metric is one key of the bigger puzzle when it comes to SEO reporting. What your clients are interested in is to which pages the traffic goes to.

SEO report landing pages

Knowing which pages get the most traffic allows clients to figure out why that is the case, and how to improve the other pages. Are they missing backlinks, is the content not hitting the search intent, or do technical issues prevent them from ranking higher?

Link building agencies spend a lot of time and effort to generate links for their clients. As such, their efforts should be reported on, namely:

  • where was the link placed,

  • how much traffic does that page get,

  • and what kind of metrics do they have?

The metrics you do report depend highly on your own preferences. Some agencies report the DR and DA, others put emphasis on the traffic the page has (based on Semrush/Ahrefs data).

It’s important to note that getting relevant, high-quality backlinks is more important than hitting a random number of links each month.

How to make an SEO report for a client

Now that you’re more familiar with SEO reporting, let’s take a look how you can actually create the report.

Define goals

The first step is to agree with your client on goals and metrics to track. Depending on your activities, you might have an idea of what most clients want to track, but again, everyone is different.

Ask your clients in their SEO intake form what kind of goals they have.

Is it to:

  • increase their organic traffic

  • build more high-quality links

  • improve their SERP visibility

  • make more sales

Depending on the goals chosen, build the report with them in mind.

Choose a tool or template

There are many SEO reporting tools to choose from, and they range from free options to paid ones. Have a look at the linked post and decide which one is the best for your agency.

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Luckily, most of them have templates that you can use to get started, so you rarely have to build an SEO report from scratch. One thing to keep in mind is if the reporting tool allows you to pipe into the data directly. Otherwise, you’ll have to manually create the report every month. The better solution is to have dynamic reports that pull in data automatically and are always up-to-date.

Tools such as Ahrefs usually have connectors for Google Data Studio available that allow you to create such reports.

Share your SEO report with clients

Once the report is complete, all you have to do is share it with your clients. Most reporting tools support public sharing, meaning you can send your clients a link to view the report.

I recommend integrating your reporting within your client portal. In SPP, you can either use our native Agency Analytics integration to display client-specific SEO reports, or you can add the report manually to client accounts.

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The benefit of centralizing the reporting inside your client portal is that it’s easier to access it. Every time your clients log into the portal, they can navigate to the report tab, and view the newest data.

How do you automate SEO reports for clients?

As previously mentioned, it can be tedious to manually create and update reports for your clients, especially the more you scale your agency. In order to create an SEO report without relying on tedious manual tasks, you can automate a large part of the process.

The easiest automation you can make use of is to rely on SEO reporting tools. Their advantage is that they can extract all the data you need, for instance, from Google Search Console and Google Analytics. If you report on the links you built, you could use Zapier to add data to the report.

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Let’s assume that you track your links in a Google Sheet. Every time a new row is added, or a box is checked, update the report with new data.

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With that said, spreadsheets are not the best way to keep track of links. There are dedicated backlink management tools such as BacklinkPilot that regularly check if your links are still live.

SEO report for client FAQ

How do I present a SEO report to a client?

Ensure that the SEO report includes data that is easy to understand, and visualize it with graphs and tables. Also, make sure the tool you use allows you to share the report via a public link.

How do you present a technical SEO audit?

Technical SEO audits should contain a list of the issues you found, including an explanation on how to fix them.

What is the best automated SEO reports tool?

Some of the best automated SEO reports tools include SE Ranking and Agency Analytics. The former shines with many different reporting formats, such as PDF, HTML and XLS.

Clean reporting for SEO clients is important

Creating the perfect SEO report is not an easy task, but it’s not impossible either. There are many tools available that can help you get started, and even SEO report templates that you can use. But in the end, it’s up to you to determine what to include in your SEO reports.

If you’re looking to show your clients that your agency is on top of its game, you should perfect reporting process, and continuously optimize it.

Avatar of Deian Isac
Head of Agency Success
Having worked as a content writer for 8+ years, Deian has partnered up with a lot of different agencies for content production. He understands their processes and now helps agencies scale up their operations with SPP. Besides his success activities, he also manages the content strategy of Service Provider Pro, writes captivating blog posts himself, and produces case studies.

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