For agencies seeking to increase discoverability on search engines for their clients or brands, choosing the proper SEO reporting tool is an important step that merits attention. SEO can be a highly effective marketing strategy; but implementing it correctly requires high-quality reporting.
Let’s define the basics of SEO, learn about the important link between reporting and strategy, and then explore which SEO reporting tool is right for your agency.
Overview of Search Engine Optimization
Whether it’s Google, Bing, or Ask Jeeves (it’s still a thing), search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving rank on the search engine’s results page in order to drive quality traffic to a website.
However, in an industry that’s constantly updating algorithms and “best practices,” it can be exhausting for agencies to keep track of all the step changes in SEO.
Effective SEO is more than a simple keyword strategy. SEO is technical, holistic and inclusive of off-page and on-page optimizations that go beyond just a magic combination of words.
On-page SEO optimizes parts of your content you can control directly, such as title tags, headings, URL structure, alt-text for images, site-speed, social tags, keyword strategy, and improving copywriting & UX.
Off-page SEO activity seeks to optimize aspects of your content or website that may rely on outside parties, such as; seeking out high quality backlinks, updating local citation and directory profiles, improving internal link structure, and promoting content with paid ads.
When you take into consideration all the metrics required to properly gauge the performance and progress of SEO, you can appreciate how an agency’s approach to client reporting directly influences the success of their SEO efforts.
The Link Between SEO and Reporting
Since SEO is so reliant on performance analytics, having access to high quality reports and marketing dashboards is essential to success. And while there are hundreds of possible reportable metrics to include in an SEO performance report, it’s important to identify the analytics your target audience will find most compelling.
Some metrics you might consider including in an SEO report:
- Keyword Rankings
- Domain Score
- Page Level Traffic
- Estimated Traffic Value
- Conversion Rate & Goal Completion
- Time on Site & Bounce Rate
- Page Speed
- Next Action Steps
Since there are so many data points to consider in SEO, performance reports can become cognitively overwhelming, which is why the last step of providing insight, analysis, and action steps, may be the most important.
Everyone who has access to your agency’s SEO reporting tool can see the same charts and graphs. What strategic insight can you reveal from the data that is hidden to clients, what story can you share with stakeholders that will inspire them to invest in another chapter?
Another important benefit to having a reliable SEO reporting tool in your agency is that gathering performance data for yearly content audits becomes ridiculously easy. When you have access to SEO reporting data, you can ensure keyword consistency, identify content gaps, understand seasonal search trends, and see which content has contributed to sales.
Better SEO Reporting Tools Equal Better SEO Strategy
Along with tracking the technical performance metrics of content, one of the main reasons for utilizing an SEO reporting tool within an agency is to ensure the quality and efficacy of the content in driving tangible results.
Quality SEO content attracts the right audience, provides measurable engagement, and helps the customer on their journey. With an SEO reporting tool, it’s easy for your agency to identify content that’s useful for the audience and the brand.
So whether it’s on-page or off-page, qualitative or quantitative, an SEO reporting tool allows your agency to gather and better understand the large amounts of performance data associated with SEO, and deliver results and develop optimized strategies based on that data.
Picking The Right SEO Reporting Tool for Your Agency
When picking the right SEO reporting tool for your agency, the software has to fulfill the key tasks of delivering insights such as ranking, impressions, click through rate, cost per click and cost per lead in clean dashboards and presentations. It can also help you discover technical issues such as duplicate content, broken links, and page load speed.
There are several channel-specific SEO reporting tool options such as Google Search Console, SEMRush, Moz, UberSuggest, Screaming Frog, and Siteliner. The cost of these solutions run from free to potentially a few thousand dollars, and there are several reasons for the differences in price.
For full-service digital agencies, it’s also important to consider how SEO reporting fits within the larger context of comprehensive client reporting. While SEO is a critical digital channel, it’s not the only one. Your clients want the full picture of not only SEO, but also paid search, social and other digital channels are contributing to results. That’s where a digital marketing performance management tool that unifies data from all of your platforms and tools can make all the difference. When making your SEO reporting tool selection, consider if it integrates with your agency’s primary client reporting platform to streamline workflow and uncover cross-channel insights.