SEO reporting plays a critical role in developing a strong digital marketing strategy. Collecting the right data and knowing how to sort and understand the information can let marketers know what efforts bring customers and what areas need improvements to provide a quality ROI for the company.
Despite the obvious need for SEO reporting, 74 percent of marketers say that they do not adequately track their results. Similarly, only 22% of marketers say they have data-driven strategies that drive strong strategies.
What makes SEO reporting and analytics so critical?
Brands that do their SEO reporting house in order tend to have a far better idea of what their customers like and respond well to and what they do not. They can clearly see which topics and types of content attract more engaged customers and lead to a higher number of conversions.
As brands develop a greater understanding of what customers like and do not like, they will be able to better allocate their limited marketing resources. They can focus more time and energy creating content that has a higher chance of properly engaging the target audience and bringing the brand revenue.
Brands with strong reporting will also find it easier to detect trends in consumer needs. You might see higher engagement with certain topics or types of content at particular times of the year. This will provide greater insight into what people likely look for during different seasons. Armed with this insight, organizations will find it easier to anticipate new needs for customers moving forward.
SEO reporting metrics to understand funnel success
To set up your SEO reporting, you will want to track how well your digital marketing efforts bring in leads and how well those leads convert into customers. This requires a keen understanding of your sales funnel and the metrics that determine your success at each stage.
SEO reporting requires examining closely how well your outreach efforts encourages people to enter and engage with your site. You then need to track how those leads move through the funnel until you get new customers.
There are a range of metrics you can use to better understand your sales funnel. At the top of the funnel, you want to gauge how well your content and SEO efforts bring in leads. Metrics here include:
- Content ranking
- Shares/likes on social media
As prospects move through the funnel, you want to see how well your content encourages people to progress close to a conversion. For this stage you want to measure:
- Engagement rates
- Return users
- Followers on social media
You also want to see how well your traffic turns into official leads, so look at:
- Non-purchase conversions
- Email open rates
Finally you want to see how well your leads turn into paying customers and how much money you make per customer. So monitor:
- Your purchase conversion rate
- Your average purchase size per customer
You can then take this information and determine the financial value of your leads working backwards. Your conversion rate will let you know how many leads you need to secure per customer, on average. Then, calculate the value of each lead. Using the value of the lead, you can start to generate numbers that will tell you the value of your various SEO efforts. These concrete estimates can then be used to determine SEO ROI and your more profitable executions.
While these core metrics will give you a far better idea of how your SEO and your content throughout the funnel performs, you can also track other metrics that will provide valuable insight into the standing of your content. For example, many BrightEdge customers find it helpful to also track their rate of backlink acquisition. Backlinks provide Google spiders with important information about how your content is regarded by readers– reputable content will regularly be linked to. You can track the number of backlinks on your content through helpful features on the BrightEdge platform.
How long does it take to see the impact of SEO initiatives?
As you implement changes to your SEO strategy, you will want to closely track performance before and after to gauge impact. While you work on your optimization strategies, you should mark important dates in your BrightEdge account with the Page Events capability. Marking the day within the system allows you to track when changes were made, simplifying your ability to see ranking changes before and after.
If you make major changes to your site, it can be worth asking Google to recrawl your site, particularly if your domain is smaller and less popular. Otherwise, it might not get recrawled for a few weeks. Google tends to crawl larger domains that receive huge amounts of regular traffic on a regular basis, so this would not be as important for them. Google does have a quota to the number of times you can ask for a recrawl, so generally save this strategy for when you make large changes that you would like to see reflected in your rankings immediately. Regardless of whether you request a recrawl or if you allow Google to get to the page naturally, you can watch the progress through your Google Index Status Report.
The rate at which you see progress in your SEO analytics report will depend upon a few factors, including against whom you complete and the authority of your domain as a whole. Generally, SEO updates and changes should start to create some positive changes within a few weeks of making updates. You might not immediately jump to page one, but you may start to see an uptick in rankings and traffic within a week or two.
If you do not see any changes in performance within a few weeks after making updates, you should look carefully at your site to see if anything else is holding you back, for example the robots.txt file which provides crawling instructions to the the search crawlers. Keep in mind also that the authority of your domain as a whole impacts the ranking of individual pages. Look for ways to boost your site, such as internal links, your site map and see if that helps to lift your optimized pages as well.
What should I do if my analytics reports show drops?
Not only will monitoring your SEO report and your analytics report help you see the success of your digital marketing strategy, but it can also alert you to problems. You can never afford to neglect pieces on your website, especially not those that have secured your top rankings.
If you see your rankings start to drop, you should always inspect your page and its competition. Look to see who replaced you in the rankings and what optimization strategies they use. BrightEdge can allow you to dive into the recommendations for a single page, helping you pinpoint what will help recover your position.
If you notice a dramatic drop in your rankings on multiple page, you will need to inspect your site with your Google search console and check popular SEO sites to see if any algorithm updates may have hit your site. Examine your site for potential problems, such as duplicate content.
Presenting SEO reports to others in the organization
Now that you have a solid SEO report, you will want to present your digital marketing findings and your analytics report to others in the organization. Providing such a report can help you convince others in your organization about the value of your SEO efforts, which can make it easier to secure assistance on particular projects–such as the UX team or subject-matter experts within the company who you would like to collaborate with on content. Marketing heads and others in the C-suite want to see reports as well.
Begin compiling your report by identifying key areas that this particular position wants to see. For example, the c-suite will want to see revenue related to SEO, someone in sales or product marketing may want to see information on leads earned. Consider the statistics that matter the most and pull out the numbers that present the positive, strongest picture.
On the BrightEdge platform, the StoryBuilder feature makes it simple to create eye-catching, clear reports that will emphasizes your chosen statistics. The data can be easily compiled into your relevant report.
When it comes to succeeding in digital marketing, understanding the value of the SEO report and how to compile a thorough analytics report remains critical. This type of data will not only make every step of your job more efficient, but it can also impact your budget and collaboration with the rest of the organization. Consider these tips as you build your own strategy and analytics reports.