Are you struggling to decide which KPIs to include in your SEO performance reports?
Well, you've come to the right place because today we're taking a look at 7 essential KPIs that'll help you create the perfect report for your clients.
When it comes to SEO reporting, there are good reports and bad reports.
While it can be all too easy to end up with a bad one, there are a few simple steps you can take and KPIs to include that will ensure your next report hits the nail on the head.
We’re living in a golden age of information where marketers have access to more data than ever before. So, it would make sense to include as much of that as possible in our reporting... right?
The number one mistake seen time and again are reports stuffed with so much data that the recipient isn't able to make heads or tails of what they're looking at.
Deciding which KPIs to include in your SEO report can be hard.
The main things to keep in mind are:
- Who's going to be reading the report?
- Will they care about this metric?
And let's be real... Most clients aren't concerned with vanity metrics.
Keep your reporting lean and just include the data that helps move their business forward.
What type of content is attracting more website visitors?
Is their recent email campaign leading to more conversions?
Your reporting should paint your clients a clear picture of how their SEO strategy is affecting their return on investment (ROI).
Of course, what makes an effective SEO report will vary from business to business, depending on the individual goals of each organization.
But typically your clients will mostly be concerned about how SEO efforts are impacting their bottom line.
Fortunately, there are some key metrics that you can include in your next report to ensure that you can get this message across clearly and concisely and that’s what we’re going to discuss today.
What’s more, all of these metrics can be found inside Google Analytics!
So without further ado, let's take a look at what you should be including in your next SEO report.
The first KPI you should consider for your SEO performance report is your website traffic.
Knowing which percentage of your website visitors are arriving coming from social media, blogs, referral links, and search engines can help identify which of your marketing efforts are working and which aren't.
For example, let’s say that for the past 2 years your client has been investing resources in writing blogs with the goal of increasing their website traffic.
The problem they’re having though is that Google Analytics isn't showing significant growth in organic traffic over that time.
So, what gives?
Well for one, this information could suggest a technical website SEO issue, such as slow page loading speed - because of this, potential visitors could be quitting their sessions before Google Analytics can track them.
Or perhaps the problem lies with the online content itself.
Are they targeting keywords higher than what their current site authority can realistically rank well for?
Your clients will be expecting this type of insight from your SEO report so that they can address any problems in their marketing efforts.
Get the stats: Google Analytics > Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
Keeping an eye on the ratio between new and returning visitors to your site can provide you with great insight as to whether a website’s content is optimized to meet a user’s search intent.
High-quality and engaging content will keep your visitors coming back for more.
However, if you notice that only a small fraction of your audience is returning then it may be time to review your current content strategy.
Make sure that you're offering value to your audience that's in line with your business objective, whether that's through content that is educational, entertaining, or inspirational.
Get the stats: Google Analytics > Audience > Behaviour > New vs. Returning
When it comes down to brass tacks, you need to know if your digital marketing efforts are actually producing a good ROI.
The easiest way to track this is by setting up goals in Google Analytics.
By doing so you can track how many visitors to your website are performing the actions you want them to take - whether that’s signing up to an email newsletter or starting a free trial, etc.
Keeping your eye on conversion rates is a great way to track whether or not changes to online content and web pages are having a positive impact on things like sign-ups and sales.
Get the stats: Google Analytics > Conversions > Goals
This metric shows the number of single-engagement website visitors - that is, they didn't click on any other link after arriving at your site.
What is considered to be an acceptable bounce rate varies greatly between page types.
On average, an acceptable bounce rate is between 40-90%.
You might think that 90% is high, but this can be quite the norm for blog posts and landing pages with calls to action such as ‘call us now’ or ‘download our app’, as these will typically be the only page the user needs to visit in order to fulfill their needs.
This is also true when a user’s search intent is simply to find out a store’s opening times or to view a restaurant’s menu ahead of their visit.
It’s important to understand that high bounce rates aren’t the be-all and end-all.
However, they can be useful contextually in order to identify possible issues with a website, such as:
- Low relevance: assessing whether or not your content meets the user's expectations
- Bad UX: does the design of your site cause issues with readability and navigation?
- Loading speed: are your landing pages taking too long to load, driving many users and potential customers away?
So if you see a higher-than-average bounce rate, don't panic.
First, determine whether or not the anomaly is in-line with what one should realistically expect from the kind of page being analyzed.
If not, then take a look at the other factors that could be contributing towards it like a bad user experience, slow loading speeds, or lackluster content.
Get the stats: Google Analytics > Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages
Tracking your backlinks can be a useful way to measure the value and quality of online content and the level of service being provided.
Having a lot of high-quality backlinks can also increase your site authority, making it easier to rank higher in search engines and compete for content with higher difficulty and volume ratings over time.
Keep in mind though, it's about quality, not quantity.
Generally speaking, there are diminishing returns for each time the same website links back to yours (there are of course exceptions to this, such as mainstream news sites, etc).
You also want to avoid the temptation to participate in any get-rich-quick style link exchange groups, as search engines will eventually catch on to this dirty tactic and penalize you for it. It’s not worth it.
Instead, focus on creating genuinely great content that people will naturally want to refer to and link to. That kind of content is well worth its weight in gold!
Get the stats: Google Analytics > Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals
Keeping an eye on the number of visits to specific landing pages can be useful for 2 reasons.
First, it can help identify what kind of content is resonating with the website’s audience.
Knowing this will allow your client to carve a clearer path for their content marketing strategy, saving time and money by only investing resources in the topics that are driving traffic to their site.
Second, tracking this metric could even reveal potential technical SEO issues, such as the accidental inclusion of noindex or nofollow meta tags.
If Googlebot isn’t able to crawl and index your client’s website pages then their content isn’t going to appear in search engine results pages (SERPS), which means no one is going to find them.
And showing up is half the battle!
Get the stats: Google Analytics > Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Pages
Keyword ranking reveals just how relevant search engines think your content is.
Everyone wants to be the first organic result on Google's page 1 and for a good reason!
According to Search Engine Journal, in 2020 this position would take home a whopping average of 28.5% of all the SERP traffic.
The average click-through rate (CTR) of the second and third positions drop-down significantly at 15.7% and 11% respectively.
That’s not to say that there isn’t any value in being able to rank 2nd or 3rd for your targeted keywords - even appearing in positions 4-6 could still yield a significant amount of traffic if the keyword has enough search volume.
Tracking average keyword positions is a useful metric because it lets you see whether or not your content is satisfying the search intent of your target audience.
And that’s useful because the better you can understand your audience’s queries, the better you can serve their needs and ultimately convert more of them into customers over time.
Get the stats: Google Analytics > Acquisition > Search Console > Queries
Now that you've decided which KPIs to include in your SEO report, it's time to build it... but what’s the best way?
Well, you have 2 options:
- You can build your report manually
- Or you can use a report-building software
So, which way is best?
Manually building an SEO report can be a good option for those with a quiet schedule, as it can be very time-consuming.
But time is money, and you may find it more beneficial to spend that time building your client base or doing other work for your existing clients than constructing tedious marketing reports.
Another problem with manual reporting is that it’s vulnerable to human error.
Incorrect data could be disastrous for your client, causing them to make bad decisions based on bad reporting.
But with Metrics Watch, automated reporting has never been easier!
Build professional, fully customizable reports fast with our simple drag-and-drop builder - no coding experience or “tech skills” necessary.
Metrics Watch automatically sends reports directly to your client’s email inbox daily, weekly or monthly to suit their needs.
No clunky 3rd-party dashboards for them to log in to or annoying PDF attachments to download - your reports arrive straight to their email for truly frictionless reporting.
Metrics Watch integrates with all your favorite 3rd-party tools (like Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Facebook, Instagram & more), allowing you to create more comprehensive reports as you continue to refine your marketing strategy.
Start your 14-day free trial of Metrics Watch today and see for yourself how easy building effective reports can be.
Try Metrics Watch 100% risk-free (no credit card required).
Need to build your custom report fast but still not sure where to start?
Our upcoming templates feature will have you up and running in no time!
To get early access to this, just sign-up for your free trial then send us a message via the chat support and we’ll add this to your account.
And that's it for today. Hopefully, these 7 KPIs and bonus tips will help you to refine your SEO performance reports.
If you enjoyed this article, then be sure to check out our other posts to level up your reporting skills even more:
- The Best 8 Agency Rank Tracker to Climb the Ranks
- 5 Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) KPIs to Track
- SEM Reports 101: What KPIs You Need to Climb the Ranks
These resources will give you more information to build better and more comprehensive reports.