✔️ Great SEO reports result in great SEO strategies. This is a fact.
❌ Great SEO reports are complex and difficult to create. This is not a fact.
While the benefits of solid SEO reporting are obvious, many marketers still shy away from them. Or at the very least, their reporting is thin and often misguided.
Here’s how you can improve your SEO reports and begin reaping the benefits of improved insight into your digital marketing strategies.
1. Focus on what matters
The most common mistake we see in SEO reporting is a high-level emphasis on vanity metrics.
At Pedestal Search, we keep conversions front and center in all of our reports. In most instances, that means sales.
In our opinion, impressions, clicks, average position, etc are important to help us make strategic decisions (we’ll circle back to this shortly), but at the end of the day conversions are the only metric that matters.
To put it another way, increasing impressions is wonderful. But if the increase in impressions isn’t driving an increase in conversions, then it’s meaningless to the business. We’re never hired to increase impressions. We’re hired to increase conversions.
One final note on this is in regards to lead-based conversions. Often digital marketers report the number of leads they provide. But the conversion rate between lead-to-sale is lost because the customer journey is taken over by the sales team.
Great SEO reports always follow a lead right through to a sale to ensure that the leads being provided are relevant and of high quality.
2. Report on every initiative
SEO is extremely complex and requires multiple actions to be fired at once: on-page optimizations, technical optimizations, content production, link building, etc.
While it’s important to remember all of these individual actions must cumulate to improve conversions (see the last point), we need to report on the success of each action individually to make strategic decisions. Here are some of our favorite metrics for common SEO actions:
Content Production: Use Google Search Console to report on the webpage’s overall impressions, clicks, CTR, and average position. You should also report on what search queries it is ranking for.
On-Page Optimization: Use Google Search Console to report on the optimized webpage’s overall impressions, clicks, CTR, and average position.
Technical SEO: Use Google Search Console to report on Core Web Vitals. Use third-party platforms like SEMRush to report on overall ‘site health’.
Link Building: Use a third-party platform like SEMRush to report on backlinks earned and lost.
Off-Site Reputation: Use review platforms and sites like TrustPilot and the BBB.org to report on average review rating.
3. Have success metrics and milestones in place before starting
Before actioning any SEO initiative, we highly recommend knowing which metrics you’ll be reporting on in advance. Knowing which metrics you’d like to improve and report on will be imperative to making strategic decisions.
Further, you should have a set of milestones (aka goals) in mind before you begin, even if you need to pivot and change course along the way.
A great SEO report is built around metrics and milestones to avoid hitting a home run that no one can see. If you don’t clarify goals, then you’re swinging at an invisible ball and even if you hit said home run, your audience (aka your clients or managers) won’t be able to see it.
4. React to results
Our final piece of advice is to always remember that reports need to be actioned.
When you’re reporting, create a mental narrative of what the numbers mean. Whether the results are good or bad, you need to know why.
Once you understand the ‘why’ behind the numbers, you need to decide on how you’ll react. Are you going to continue doing what you’re doing? Do you need to pivot?
Your decisions should always be guided and supported by data.
Implement data-driven SEO strategies
If your team is struggling to create a data-driven SEO strategy that can nimbly react and evolve, you may want to consider hiring an SEO agency.
SEO agencies are able to create and execute complex, multifaceted strategies that in-house teams often struggle with. We specialize in ensuring SEO best practices are met, initiatives are carried out, and reports are delivered. We’re especially good at taking the necessary time to review reports to ensure we’re on target. And when we’re not, we’re able to react strategically to improve and optimize performance.
If you’d like to partner with an experienced SEO agency, contact us today. We’ll conduct a free SEO audit of your website. The audit will clarify your website’s strengths and weaknesses and outline all the ways we can increase conversions.
SEO, SEO Basics
Senior Account Strategist
With over seven years of digital marketing experience, Carl leads Pedestal's Account Strategist team. He holds a degree in professional writing from York University and a certificate in digital marketing from the University of Toronto. Before narrowing in on SEO at Pedestal, Carl worked as a content writer, social media manager, and digital ads manager in the travel & tourism industry. He has worked at internationally lauded companies such as Intrepid Travel and Outward Bound Canada, as well as boutique businesses such as Out Adventures.