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SEO Report Template

SEO Report Template

Table of Contents

SEO Report Template: Create Your Next Monthly SEO Report in Minutes

Preparing an SEO report can be a daunting task for many SEO professionals. Determining the information that’s relevant to a monthly report can be a little tricky, let alone figuring out how to present it in a way that clients can easily understand.

A good monthly SEO report summarizes key data, provides clear commentary on fluctuations and commends actionable solutions to enhance future performance.

It doesn’t only show a client what work has been done, but explains why it’s done and the results achieved.

If you always find yourself struggling to write good reports for your clients, this post is for you.

In this post, you will learn how to create an exceptional SEO report template that will help you become better and more efficient in your reporting process.

Not only will you learn the art of writing a great report that your client will be happy to read, you can easily customize the template based on individual clients’ needs.

 

What Is An SEO Report?

What Is An SEO Report?

An SEO report is a document that provides an overview of how a website is performing in search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

A typical SEO report focuses on things such as organic traffic, rankings of individual pages, backlinks, and click-through rates, and more. The report also highlights any work done by the SEO agency or independent professional.

Proper SEO work involves research, strategic planning, and actually executing the plans day in, day out.

Whether you’re pitching other websites in your client’s industry for backlinks, updating old content or fixing coding issues in the backend, there’s always something to do to keep the website running.

A good SEO report gives an accurate analysis of all the planning and execution processes that go into the campaign and the results produced.

It goes without saying that without analyzing your work, it won’t be possible to determine how effective it is.

However, the report isn’t just for your benefits, it’s primarily for your clients. The report gives the client the idea of the level of effort you’ve put into their work and the kind of results you’ve achieved.

That said, it’s important that you don’t only present it in a way that’ll be easy for the client to understand what you’ve done, but also justify why they keep paying you. If your report doesn’t make sense to the client or they simply can’t see any value you’re bringing to their business, there are chances you may lose the client sooner than you ever imagined.

Related – how to sell SEO services to Local Business

What Does A Good SEO Report Communicate To The Client?

An effective report conveys primarily three things to the client:

Progress: SEO work is a continuum. Therefore, each report you send to the client should show the progress you’ve made with each month passing since you took charge of their website. Clients want to see growth in terms of improvement in organic traffic, ranking and more.

Insights: While the majority of clients you work with may not have a good grasp of how SEO works, it’s helpful to provide information regarding things that apply directly to them. Highlight issues and areas that still need improvement in the coming months.

Do you need to make the website more mobile friendly, fix 404 errors or minify visual elements on the site to increase page speed, everything needs to be clearly spelled out in your report.

Recommendations: What would you recommend the clients to do to reach their goals? A good report should include your recommendations on what can be done to improve general performance and achieve specific goals.

 

What Do Clients Want To See In An SEO Report?

There’s no one right answer to this question, as expectations vary depending on the campaign objectives and the client you’re working with.

However, there are certain things that all clients would like to see in your report. Some of these things include:

Report Summary: Diving straight into a comprehensive report can be intimidating, so give your client a brief overview of the content in plain language first. An effective report summary must provide a breakdown of elements such as project goals and KPIs (key performance indicators), tasks completed and results overview.

SEO Health: SEO health refers to the overall state of the client’s website, including technical problems such as low page speed or code errors that may affect the visibility of the website in the search result pages.

Backlink Health: The backlink health shows the quantity and the quality of links pointing at the client’s website.

Ranking Progress: The report should take stock of the ranking progression of important pages in the client’s site and keep watch over potential drop-offs.

Organic traffic progress: What improvement have you made in terms of driving traffic to the client’s website? Your report should have organic traffic history in the past month and highlight pages that are driving traffic.

Sales/ Leads: Your report should clearly show evidence of ROI gained from ongoing search engine optimization campaigns.

Providing all this data helps your client understand how their website is performing on the web, and also evaluate the value you’re bringing to their business.

But bear in mind that your report shouldn’t be excessively rife with data. The goal of writing a report is to distill a monstrosity of data into a piece of information that client can easily make sense of.

That said, you shouldn’t try to play smart by overwhelming the client with complex statistics.

Remember, clients are humans too.

Some clients would rather part ways with a service that bore them with unfathomable data. In addition to offering a quality service, you also have a responsibility to report your success and challenges in an intelligible manner.

Any SEO agency or freelancer worth their salt needs to be focusing on trends and exploring why and how metrics relate with one another, and communicate their observation to the client in an easy-to read and highly informative report.

Related – How to price SEO services in your agency

How Long Does It Take To Create An SEO Report?

You can spend hours upon hours exporting data from different tools, downloading graphs, cleaning up files, and so on.

But is this the best use of your time?

Creating an aesthetically appealing report can communicate marketing expertise and help the client understand what you’ve been doing to improve their website’s performance.

But it’s not just about creating fancy reports. While trying to make your report colorful with pleasing designs, you mustn’t sacrifice meaning, clarity and usefulness.

Besides, you don’t always want to rack your brain each time there's a need to represent a report.

That’s where SEO report templates come in.

How To Make An SEO Report

When it comes to writing a report, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to follow. However, an effective SEO report must be able to convey information that matters to the client in a way that they can easily comprehend it. Broadly, your report needs to:

  • Provide data;
  • Explain it;
  • Make further recommendations

Just like anyone else, clients are busy with their business and personal lives, so you should avoid turning in boring or unnecessarily long reports.

A clear and effective SEO report helps them see relevant highlights without reading the entire report.

Using a pre-designed template is a good starting point to create your first SEO report or help provide context and structure to an existing report. Apart from the time it will save you, a good SEO report template makes it super easy for you to edit, improve and customize the report to suit your client’s needs.

Are you ready to build your SEO report?

Let’s get started.

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1. Title Card/Page

The first thing to add to your report is the title card or title page. The title card is the first page of your report and it includes information such as the date or month of the report, your own logo, and your client’s website URL. It’s important to include the right date of the reporting month and the title “SEO Report” boldly written on it.

2. A Report Summary

It can be overwhelming to dive straight into an SEO report full of technical jargons, charts, and graphs. That said, it’s good to provide your client with an overview of the report in the plainest language.

The secret is to keep it simple and short. If your client has only a few minutes, they should be able to read your report and make sense of it, even if they don’t know much about SEO.

A report summary provides a good introduction about all the information you’ve included in the report. A good summary should include:

  • Campaign objectives and KPIs
  • Tasks completed in the course of the month
  • A brief overview of increase (or decrease) in organic traffic
  • Results achieved within the reporting period
  • Upcoming tasks or meetings

The client should have a clear understanding of the direction the project is heading and the results achieved so far, immediately after reading the report summary. For example, they should be able to tell right from the first page of the report that organic traffic increased by 25 percent and generated 200 new leads.

At the end of the summary, you can add some notes to highlight the next line of actions or steps you plan to take, to help the client achieve their marketing goals.

Including this can go a long way in proving to the client and other stakeholders in the company about your commitment to their business online success.

3. SEO Health Overview

seo healthaSEO Health Overview

SEO health provides an overview of the overall state of the website, focusing on technical issues and errors that may impede the site’s visibility.

To get this data, you can use SEO tools like Ahrefs Site Audit tool

Using this tool, you’ll be able to have clear insights about the health score of your client’s website, crawled URLs and page types.

Common SEO issues to include in your report are:

Duplicate content and low word counts

To get this done using Ahrefs Site Audit tool, head over to Report> Content quality.

From there, you will see duplicate content clusters and word counts of each page on your client’s website.

Why care about duplicate content?

Having duplicate content on your website is adding no benefits to your website. Aside from bringing no benefits to your visitors, it results in having pages that compete with each other in the search engine results page (SERPs).

This will have a negative effect on your ranking because search engine bots or crawlers will be confused about which pages to rank for the keyword.

As for the word count, while there’s no minimum or maximum word count for a web page, Google normally gives preference to ranking content that provides in-depth information to the users. Thus, it’s safe to argue that low word count may not help your ranking.

Missing alt tags & broken images

Using Ahrefs, head over to Resources> Images to see all missing alt tags.

Although search engines like Google and Bing have become more advanced and sophisticated, they still help a little when it comes to images. This is where alt tags come in.

Alt tags help search engines to understand the images through text descriptions. When there's a problem and the website cannot see the image, the alt tag shows up, providing the web visitor with an idea of what the missing image is about.

HTML issues

Common HTML issues include missing H1 tags and meta descriptions.

Again, there are many SEO tools that help you to check these elements. Examples include Screaming Frog, SERush, and Ahrefs.

Broken links

Broken links are common and almost inevitable. As a client’s website grows, there are chances that links get changed without being redirected, leading to 404 pages. This can become a serious problem when you’ve got tens to hundreds of 404 pages.

Not only do 404 pages result in loss of traffic, they also waste your crawl budget. If Google bots or any other search crawlers visit your client’s website and see a lot of broken links, there’s a chance that your pages won’t get crawled and indexed.

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4. URLs Crawled

This part of your SEO report goes beyond providing details about your SEO health into focusing specifically on the health score and number of URLs crawled on the client’s website.

A proper sitewide crawl provides an overview of the total number of pages on your website, allowing you to investigate how each is faring in the search result page.

Therefore, your report should show the progress that you’ve made since you took over the account, relative to the number of existing pages on the website.

You can crawl up to 500 URLs for free Screaming Frog. You’ll need to pay for a lifetime license if you’re going beyond 500 URLs.

You can also use Ahrefs to crawl URLs. To do this, head over to Project history in Site Audit.

 

5. Backlink Profile

Backlink Building

A backlink profile slide shows the results of your link building efforts throughout the month.

A backlink profile typically includes:

  • The number of pages from other websites pointing at your client’s website
  • The quality of the links gained: dofollow links vs nofollow links
  • Top anchor texts
  • Number of lost backlinks – yeah, a website may decide to remove your link from their website or remove the content outright.
  • The number of new links gained

You can use a number of tools to uncover your backlink profile. The tools include Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, and Monitor Backlinks.

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6. Traffic Overview by Channel

Traffic Overview by Channel

Traffic is an important metric in any SEO project. If a client is retaining your service to improve their visibility on the web, then they deserve to know how many people are visiting their website and page ranking for which keywords.

Importantly, they’ll also be interested in knowing the channels through which visitors are discovering their websites, such as organic search, referrals, direct traffic, paid search and more.

You definitely shouldn’t stop at providing specific metrics for each channel, what you want to do is evaluate and compare the results with each other and spot patterns and trends about traffic change over a period of time.

Clients want to see how traffic has improved since you started the campaign. This provides you an opportunity to show how effective your service is and how it shows in the amount of traffic you’re able to generate.

To track organic traffic to your client’s website, you can use a Google Search Console or Google Analytics. You can also use paid tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush or Ubersuggest to get more detailed data.

Screenshot the graphs, and copy and paste it to your report.

If you specialize in SEO, then you want to highlight changes in organic traffic to educate your client about the impact of your efforts in comparison to other channels. You must be able to show a clear difference.

 

7. Organic Positions

SEO Ranking

It is both important to show the client the organic traffic you’re driving to their site AND how the traffic is distributed across the keywords that matter to their business.

You can either check this manually by searching for each keyword and their position on Google. However, a more efficient alternative is to use a tool like Ahrefs’ position distribution history graphs.

From the Organic search tab of Site Explorer, scroll down and you will see the keyword position distribution right below keyword graphs.

The graphs display how organic rankings are distributed across the pages on the website.

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8. Organic Keywords

SEO Keywords

It’s hard to create an SEO report without talking about rankings. They are a crucial part of search visibility and a solid performance indicator that your SEO strategy is effective and generating desirable results.

In your report, you’ll need to highlight organic rankings of the various pages of the client’s website and how these rankings have changed over the course of time.

More importantly, you want to show the client the keywords that drive the most traffic, but at the moment might not be the most important keywords they clients want to crush on the SERPs.

By providing this information, you’ll help your client to have a better understanding of the current performance of their website and what you’re doing to take them closer to achieving their marketing goals.

You can understand the organic keyword ranking of any website by using organic keyword tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, Ubersuggest.

Before you decide which data to include in your report, you need to identify the traffic generating search terms.

Ranking number 1 for a search phrase that drives zero traffic is nothing but a vanity metric which doesn’t add any value to the client’s business or increase their bottom line.

Your report should include top organic keywords that bring the most organic traffic to your website.

Once you identify them, screenshot them and add them to your report.

 

9. Conversions via Organic Traffic

Conversions via Organic Traffic

Ultimately, every client wants to see how investment in marketing is impacting their bottom line. This is where you can show the client the value you’re bringing to their business, as a result, you want to be as analytical as possible.

First things first, you need to set the goals or metrics you want to track. Goals will evaluate metrics like leads and conversion.

For example, each time a lead visits your “thank you” page, it means they’ve probably bought something which means they took the action you desire from them to complete.

Once you have your goals set up, it becomes easy to measure your success.

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10. Ranking Insights

Ranking insight

The ranking insights part explains to your client the circumstances surrounding their organic keywords in the search results, specifically in regard to SERP features, such as featured snippet opportunities, image pack or site links. You can advise them based on the features they can own, and those they cannot.

For example, if one of the client’s keywords is “the best roofing company in Houston,” you can search for it and check all the features that pop in the search results to see if, and where the client’s site is ranking.

This way, you can show your client the SERP features they’re appearing in and those they aren’t. This is proof that your efforts are producing results.

It’s also useful to provide recommendations on what they can do to maximize their ranking by showing in features where they’re currently not showing.

For example, if a client isn’t showing in the Image pack, you can recommend them writing more high quality content with frequently asked questions alongside their corresponding answers.

 

11. Ranking Progress

Reporting the ranking progress of major organic keywords or pages on the client’s website can give the client an idea about search visibility in the SERPs.

One of the best tools you can use for this is Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker. When you use tags in Rank Tracker, you can easily provide proof of keyword rankings without overwhelming them with many pages of rankings.

The Tags feature allows for easy labeling and grouping of keywords so you can group them based on their class or category.

For example, if your client were a roofing company, tags can be quite useful to group the various services they offer.

Roof repair, roof replacement, emergency roofing services, new roof installation, roof leak, roof inspection, and more can be tagged under roofing services

If you’re only monitoring a few keywords, you could add them all in the report. However, if you are monitoring numerous keywords, you could filter out only 10-15 of the most important keywords that your client cares about.

Your report should include the following:

  • Total number of keywords that the website is ranking for
  • Amount of organic traffic those keywords generated
  • What URLs are ranking for those search terms?

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12. Next Month

After providing your clients with all the data, charts and graphs showing the results you’re able to achieve in the reporting month, you’ll have to wrap up your report by disclosing the plans you’ll be executing to continue to improve their website’s performance.

A quick, and clear to-do list that highlights your action plans for the coming month is enough.

Adding your next month plan in the SEO report has two key benefits:

It gives your clients an idea of the next thing you’re working on the following month.

It makes them see the need to continue to retain your service so you can continue your great work.

 

Wrapping up

Writing an effective SEO report may not be a simple or fun task to undertake, it’s certainly not as scary or intimidating as you might think. Using the structure provided in this post, you can build your own SEO report from scratch within the shortest time possible.

It goes without saying that every SEO report you provide should be customized to the individual’s goals and their knowledge of SEO. This doesn’t mean you can’t use a template, in fact they can save you a ton of time and also remove confusion from the report writing process. However, just ensure you aren’t sending the same copy and paste report to every client.

A lot of clients who like to be involved in their SEO project or campaign will most likely love a comprehensive report to look at, while more hands-off clients just want assurances the campaigns are going quite well.

Try to structure each SEO report in a way that’s meaningful and easy for the client to understand. Simple and clear reports educate your clients about the results your efforts are bringing, and provide both of you an accurate idea of what you’ve achieved and what needs to be done next.

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About Chris M. Walker

Chris has been active in the Information Technology industry for over a decade. In 2013 he began working in Search Engine Optimization and internet marketing. He has a proven track record of helping businesses reach their full potential with a combination of SEO, PPC Advertising, Social Media and Reputation Management, Custom Mobile App Development. Turning his clients businesses into Superstars.

Looking to Learn more about seo?

Get Content Directly From My Inbox To Yours That You Won’t Find Anywhere Else.