“Let’s hop on a call to go over this report.”
Did you hear that?
That was the collective sigh of SEOs all over the place.
If we’re being trustworthy, most of us most likely view reporting the identical manner we view taking out the trash or folding the laundry. It’s a chore that robs us of time we may have spent on extra vital or satisfying issues.
Adding to the frustration is the truth that many purchasers don’t even learn their reviews. That’s proper. All that point you place into pulling collectively your knowledge and the report is likely to be without end resigned to the dusty nook of your consumer’s inbox.
In the phrases of Mama Boucher, reporting is the satan.
Hear me out although… have you ever ever considered reporting as a consumer retention software? While reporting is one thing that takes your time away from SEO work that strikes the needle, reporting can be vital if you wish to have a marketing campaign to work on in any respect.
In different phrases, no reporting = no worth communicated = no extra consumer.
The excellent news is that the reverse can be true. When we do SEO reporting nicely, we talk our worth and hold extra shoppers, which is one thing that each company and marketing consultant can agree is vital.
That all sounds good, however how can we try this? Throughout my six years at an SEO company, I picked up some reporting ideas that I hope you’ll have the ability to profit from as nicely.
P.S. If you haven’t seen it already, Moz’s personal Meghan Pahinui wrote an incredible submit for the Moz weblog on creating related and interesting SEO reviews utilizing Moz Pro Campaigns. Definitely test it out!
1. Report on what they care about
I’ve seen my share of reviews that highlighted metrics that simply didn’t mirror any of the consumer’s essential aims. Your shoppers are busy — the primary sight of one thing irrelevant and so they’ll lose curiosity, so make your reviews rely!
My course of for figuring out what I ought to report on is pretty easy:
- Identify the enterprise goal
- Create an SEO plan that can assist obtain that aim
- Execute the plan
- Report on the metrics that finest measure the work I did
In different phrases, select acceptable KPIs to match their enterprise aims and your technique, and keep on with these to your reporting.
2. Set particular objectives
You: “Good news! We got 4,000 organic visits last month.”
Client: “Why wasn’t it 5,000?”
If that’s ever occurred to you earlier than, you’re not alone.
This easy step is very easy to overlook, however be sure that your objectives are particular and mutually agreed upon earlier than you begin! At the start of the month, inform your consumer what your aim is (ex: “We hope to be able to get 4,000 organic visits”). That manner, if you overview your report, you’ll have the ability to objectively say whether or not you missed/hit/exceeded your targets.
three. Eliminate jargon
Your shoppers are professionals in their very own fields, not yours, so be sure that to go away the shop-talking to Twitter. Before sending out a report, ask your self:
- Have I outlined all doubtlessly complicated metrics? I’ve seen some SEOs embrace a mini-glossary or analogies to elucidate a few of their charts — I like this! It actually helps disambiguate metrics which can be simple to misconceive.
- Am I utilizing phrases that aren’t used outdoors my very own echo chamber? Some phrases turn into so ubiquitous in our rapid circles that we assume everybody makes use of them. In many circumstances, we’re utilizing jargon with out even realizing it!
Simply put, use clear language and layman’s phrases in your consumer’s SEO reviews. You gained’t serve anybody by complicated them.
four. Visualize your knowledge in significant methods
I as soon as heard a consumer describe a report as “pretty, but useless.”
They had a degree although. Their report was filled with pie charts and line graphs that, whereas important-looking, conveyed no that means to them.
Part of that “meaning” comes right down to reporting on the metrics your consumer cares about (see #1), however the different half of that’s selecting the way you’ll show that info.
There are some nice sources on Moz about knowledge visualization resembling Demystifying Data Visualization for Marketers, a video of Annie Cushing’s speak at MozCon 2014, and A Visualization Prescription for Impactful Data Storytelling, a Whiteboard Friday video by Lea Pica.
Resources like that can assist you rework your knowledge from metrics right into a story that conveys that means to your shoppers, so don’t skimp on this step!
5. Provide insights, not simply metrics
I bear in mind the primary time somebody defined to me the distinction between metrics and insights. I used to be blown away.
It appears so easy now, however in my earliest days in digital advertising, I principally seen “reporting” as synonymous with “data.” Raw, numeric, mind-numbing knowledge.
The key to creating your reviews extra significant to your shoppers is knowing that pure metrics don’t have intrinsic knowledge. You must unify the info in significant methods and pull out insights that assist your consumer perceive not simply what the numbers are however why they matter.
I discover it useful to ask “so what?” when going by way of a report. Client’s rating on web page 1 for this checklist of key phrases? That’s cool, however why ought to my consumer care about this? How is it contributing to their objectives? Work on answering that query earlier than you talk your reviews.
6. Connect SEO outcomes to income
I’m going to be trustworthy, this one is hard.
First of all, SEO is a number of layers faraway from conversions. When it involves “the big three” (as I prefer to check with rankings, visitors, and conversions), SEOs can:
- Most instantly affect rankings
- Influence natural visitors, however rather less instantly than rankings. For instance, natural visitors can go down regardless of sustained rankings on account of issues like seasonality.
- Influence natural conversions, however even much less instantly than visitors. Everything from the web site design to the product/service itself can have an effect on that.
Second, it may be troublesome to attach SEO to income particularly on web sites the place the last word conversion occurs offline (ex: lead gen). In order to tie natural visitors to income, you’ll need to arrange aim conversions and add a price to these conversions in your analytics, however right here’s the place that will get troublesome:
- Clients usually don’t know their common LCV (lifetime buyer worth)
- Clients usually don’t know their common shut charge (the tough share of leads that they shut)
- Clients know, however they don’t need to share this info with you
Everyone has a distinct reporting methodology, however I personally are inclined to advocate for not less than making an attempt to attach SEO to income. I’ve been in sufficient conditions the place our consumer dropped us as a result of they noticed us as a cost-center somewhat than a profit-center to know that speaking your worth in financial phrases can imply the distinction between holding your consumer or not.
Even although you possibly can’t instantly affect conversions and even when your consumer can solely offer you a tough ballpark determine for LCV and shut charge, it’s higher than nothing.
7. Be obtainable to fill within the gaps
Not the whole lot may be defined in a report. Even should you’re ready so as to add textual content commentary to elaborate in your knowledge, there’s nonetheless the danger key level might be misplaced in your consumer utterly. Expect this!
I’ve seen loads of consumer reporting calls go nicely over an hour. While no two conditions are alike, I believe beginning with a report that incorporates clear insights on the KPIs your consumer cares about will do wonders for shortening that dialog.
Your shoppers will have the ability to perceive these insights on their very own, which frees you up so as to add context and reply any questions with out getting slowed down with back-and-forth over “red herring” metrics that distract from the primary level.
I need to hear from you!
What about you? Every SEO has their very own reporting finest practices, wins, and horror tales — I need to hear yours!
- What reporting trick do you will have up your sleeve that might assist your fellow SEOs save time (& their sanity)?
- What’s your greatest reporting battle and the way are you making an attempt to resolve it?
- What’s an instance of a time when reporting performed a job in salvaging a consumer relationship?
We’re on this collectively — so let’s study from one another!
And in order for you extra the place this got here from, please contemplate downloading our free whitepaper: High-Impact SEO Reporting for Agencies! It’s full of recommendation and useful ideas for utilizing reviews to speak worth to your shoppers.
Read the whitepaper