In this definitive guide, you’ll learn what to include in your SEO reports for clients, and how to create a winning SEO Report template to boost client retention.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall: What is the best SEO report template of them all?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so simple.
A one-size-fits-all “template” doesn’t really exist.
When creating SEO reports for clients, you need to think about a few things at once:
The types of reports you send…
The elements included in each report…
How often you send the reports…
The methods you use for sending the reports…
Use this guide to help you create your own SEO reporting template — one that works for your client base in particular.
- The Importance of Sending SEO Reports for Clients
- 6 KPIs Clients Want to See on Their SEO Reports
- Types of SEO Reports to Send to Clients
- How Often You Should Send Clients Reports
- Ways to Send SEO Reports to Clients
- Best Practices for Sending SEO Reports
- How to Create an SEO Report Template
- Start Sending SEO Reports to Clients Today
The Importance of Sending SEO Reports to Clients
SEO reports are not just an added bonus for clients.
Always keep in mind:
Your clients probably don’t know nearly as much about SEO as you do.
Sending SEO reports to clients helps bridge the gap of knowledge between you and the client, keeping the client happy.
Specifically, there are four big reasons why you shouldn’t dismiss SEO reporting as an afterthought for your agency.
Keeping Clients in the Loop
You are well aware that you’re doing good work for your client. But put yourself in their shoes.
They took a chance of hiring your agency, so they’re probably constantly thinking:
“Is this agency doing anything for me?”
SEO reports answer that question with a conclusive YES.
Consistently following up with clients to show them the results you’re getting them is an easy way to boost your client retention. This takes us to the next major reason:
Track the Results that Matter
Once the client understands that you are, in fact, working on their website, they’ll want to know what you’ve managed to accomplish for them.
If you’ve set clear expectations, they shouldn’t expect organic traffic to double overnight. (Setting expectations is vital for selling SEO.)
But they do expect something to happen every week, or at least every month — whether that’s more productivity or results.
A properly automated SEO report can show them, at a glance, that everything is going according to plan while requiring little effort on your part.
Even without expansive SEO knowledge, they’ll see that you’re getting results of some sort.
You can’t afford to wait until you start generating substantial traffic and revenue to start sending out reports. In most cases, the client will drop you like a hot potato long before that happens because, as we’ve previously mentioned, expectations need to be set, and clients need to be kept in the loop.
Step Your Agency Up with Extra Professionalism
Imagine you order something online, and it shows up in a plain brown box.
Inside of the box contains just the item and some bubble wrap.
Right off the bat, you’re sketched out by the product, and by extension, the company that makes the product.
The best and most reputable companies put a lot of effort into presentation — even knowing that the presentation doesn’t affect the product’s quality.
They use branded boxes and provide plenty of instructional and other supporting materials inside of the box.
Why go to all of this effort? Because presentation is key. It shapes the perception of the product.
In our search marketing world, SEO reports are a key piece of your presentation.
In other words, your clients judge you heavily based on the reports you do (or don’t) send.
With professional white-labeled SEO reports, you have the opportunity to thoroughly impress clients — even before you start getting significantly tangible results.
The Most Important Reason: Increase Client Retention
You’ve probably heard it before:
Acquiring new clients costs five times more than retaining current ones, making a strong case for you to focus on retention.
If you don’t send out reports, clients aren’t going to be happy.
And an unhappy client isn’t someone who sticks with your agency for years down the line.
But the inverse is also true.
With the right reporting structure and frequency, clients will be very happy with your work and appreciate the communication.
And a happy client is one who stays with you practically forever!
So overall, you should give full attention to your SEO reporting practices.
They affect your agency in a big way, even if they might seem like an afterthought to the more direct work you do.
What Clients Want to See In Their SEO Reports — The Most Important 6 KPIs
When you go to buy a product, do you care about every feature of the product?
Sometimes. But usually, there are only a few key features that are important to you.
Savvy companies do not overwhelm customers with features. Instead, they focus on the features that are most important to the customers.
The idea is the same when it comes to SEO reports for clients.
Rather than bombarding clients with every single detail and metric of their campaigns (many of which they won’t even understand), focus on what they care about most.
So let’s dive into the top six SEO KPIs that you should include in your SEO reporting templates.
Rankings of Their Most Important Keywords
At the end of the day, the client hired you to improve their rankings for their most important keywords.
So, when something happens regarding one of them, you want to let them know!
You should generally limit keyword reporting to the most important keywords.
Sending your clients the new positions of dozens or hundreds of long-tail keywords will lead only to confusion.
And, reporting on so many smaller keywords may drown out the results of the most important keywords — AKA, the ones the client cares about. And most likely, these will be the ones driving the conversions.
So how do you keep track of hundreds or thousands of keywords for your clients at once?
That’s where a rank tracking tool like ProRankTracker comes in.
ProRankTracker helps you keep track of all of your keywords across the top search engines like Google, YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, and more.
But the best part?
ProRankTracker will help you consolidate all of your rankings into a white-labeled report that you can send to your clients.
(More on the specific reports later…)
Local Rankings (for Local SEO Clients)
And local SEO gets a bit more complex than regular SEO.
For local SEO clients, you’ll need to be able to report results for local rankings, Snack Pack listings, and map listings.
Due to how the Google algorithm works, local SEO clients often have no idea where they stand in regards to local rankings.
Why? Because most of the time, they do not have the tools required to produce accurate assessments of local rankings.
For these clients, this is where a dynamic rank tracking tool really comes in handy.
With a tool like ProRankTracker, you can know exactly where your client stands in regards to local rankings and their GMB, which serves two purposes:
- Keeps them informed on a subset of important rankings in local search and Google Maps.
- Keeps them impressed with your technological capabilities
Traffic is key. Both you and the client know that.
Sending traffic reports is equally as important as sending ranking reports.
Traffic reports tell the clients two things:
- The effect of improved rankings on important keywords
- The effect of your overall SEO strategy
Without informing the client of organic traffic increases, they might not be impressed with what you did for their rankings.
“I’m paying you [this much money] every month, and all you did was move me up one position? I want traffic and leads!”
You never want to hear anything along those lines from a client.
Providing detailed organic traffic reports will help prevent this sort of dissatisfaction in the first place.
And if your client does indicate they are dissatisfied, you can instantly put them at ease by clearly showing them the traffic you got them.
Most of the time, clients don’t inherently care about traffic, even if you got a client more traffic.
What they really care about is conversions because conversions usually mean leads, and leads turn into money.
They hired you to increase their profits, and conversions are the final step of that process.
Along with ranking and traffic reports, be sure to show the client the direct impact of your organic marketing efforts on their bottom line.
If you clearly show that it was your SEO campaign — and not other marketing methods — that led to conversions, they’ll never want to leave you.
In fact, they may ask for you to do more for them.
If you’re not tracking conversions from organic traffic, begin doing so immediately.
Google Analytics is a robust conversion-tracking tool that will work for almost every client.
Best of all, it’s free. So make sure Google Analytics “Goals” are set up properly to track your SEO efforts’ direct impact.
New Backlinks Acquired
Although you probably shouldn’t bombard the client with their link building campaign’s technicalities, they’ll usually want to see something, even out of curiosity.
Despite there being a handful of shady tactics around link building, they’re still a highly significant ranking factor.
Consider sending clients reports containing new authoritative backlinks that you acquired for their website.
Tell clients only about the best of the best links.
This way, if your client takes a few moments to review the new backlinks, they won’t get as overwhelmed and will be impressed with what you’ve been able to accomplish.
Tip: If you land a backlink in a major publication, consider sending the client a personalized update email to ensure that they’re 100% aware of your good work..
Other Data Exclusive to the Client
Reporting on SERP movements, traffic increases, conversion increases, and new backlinks will be enough for most clients.
However, always be on the lookout for ways to give the client an even better report.
For example, if the client has a robust funnel in place, through enhanced conversion tracking, you could show him how organic traffic stacks up against his other marketing channels at every step of the funnel.
Or, it may be as simple as sending out more detailed reports in some regard — to satiate your extra-curious clients.
Types of Reports to Send to Your Clients
As we briefly mentioned in the introduction, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to SEO reports for clients.
Before we can understand how to put together a reporting strategy that works in our clients’ best interests, we need to understand the types of reports we can send out.
Tip: All of these reports can easily be white-labeled and sent out to clients using the ProRankTracker tool.
An overview report shows your client a broad view of the current rankings for different URLs and search terms.
You can also compare current rankings to those from a day, week, or month ago.
Overview reports are good all-around reports to send to clients. They paint a conclusive picture of a website’s standings in the search engines.
Not surprisingly, progress reports show daily, weekly, or monthly progress of a website’s rankings.
Progress reports are unique in that they display progress in a very easy-to-understand way.
Even if there are bumps in the road as a client’s website moves up in the SERPs, a progress report will show the upwards linear progression.
Everyone loves a marketing graph with an upwards trend.
Comparison reports provide a comparison of rankings of the same term on different URLs.
They’re useful to show a client how they stack up against their competition.
Comparison reports are frequently used to justify the particular SEO strategy you want to use for a client’s website.
A benchmark report is a comparison of terms rankings for a single URL between two dates.
They’re handy when you want to show a client how a particular page has improved over time.
Frequency Interval — How Often Should Reports Be Sent to SEO Clients?
Now that we know what to send — let’s talk about when to send.
You should generally send reports to clients at either weekly or monthly intervals.
In rare cases, daily reports may be helpful, especially for very large clients.
But for most clients, daily reports will be overwhelming and unhelpful, so we will focus exclusively on weekly and monthly SEO reports for clients.
After all, SEO growth is about the bigger picture and trends.
Sending an overview report on a weekly basis is never a bad idea.
Even if very little changes, your client will enjoy hearing from you. Seeing the fruits of your service will be like a hit of dopamine to keep them satisfied.
You may also consider sending the client a report on new backlinks acquired during that week.
However, we recommend treading a fine line when it comes to weekly reports.
For smaller clients, you don’t want to overwhelm them with reports.
If nothing has changed, their response to the report will be annoyance — not appreciation.
Monthly reports are much better at giving clients an idea of how their rankings are trending. I recommend sending out SEO reports to clients at least monthly.
These are the reports you’ll help yourself by going into more detail about progress, benchmarks, general overviews, and comparisons with competitors.
Overall, the reports you decide to send, whether weekly or monthly, are completely up to you.
Aim for not too much and not too little. Just right, as Goldilocks would say.
Ways to Send SEO Reports to Clients
Once you’ve put together a plan of action regarding automated SEO reports, you need to figure out how you’re going to send them to the client.
Email is straightforward, but there are other ways to dazzle your clients — especially using the ProRankTracker tool.
Email, DropBox & Google Drive
Should you decide to email reports, stay away from attachments.
More specifically, attachments are messy.
They’re not organized in any way, and if the client wants to keep track of reports over time, he needs to put in manual labor to keep things organized.
Ideally, categorize your DropBox and Google Drive files by client, then give the client access to his entire folder.
That way, the client can review the reports at a later date should he choose to — and he doesn’t need to download anything to view them quickly.
Share Reports Through a Link with PRT Shared Reports
If you want to save yourself some time, skip the process of porting your reports over to DropBox or Google Drive.
As the leading SERP tracking and reporting tool, ProRankTracker provides an all-in-one solution.
Just generate the report, grab the link, and send it to your client using your messaging system of choice. That’s it!
PRT also supports automated SEO reports for clients: Set your parameters, set the report frequency — and you’re done.
The MyRanks App
If you want to go above and beyond, consider using MyRanks to deliver reports to clients.
MyRanks makes you look like an SEO conglomerate.
- Log into PRT and set up MyRanks with your branded company info.
- Clients download the MyRanks app (available for both iPhone and Android).
- Clients access their SEO reports in real-time.
MyRanks can help you save time and impress clients simultaneously.
Tip: MyRanks is exclusive to ProRankTracker users and included free in every subscription.
Best Practices for Sending Your SEO Reporting Templates for Clients
No matter who you are or what types of clients your agency handles, here are two key tips to keep in mind as you create and send out SEO reports to clients.
Use Automated SEO Reports to Save Time
Automated SEO reports may seem like a hassle, as they require some setup time.
But you save yourself a lot of time in the future with a little bit of upfront work.
Rather than sending manual reports (which will take up countless hours the more you do it), we strongly recommend setting up automated reports.
That way, everything is breezy from the start, and you can focus on the more important things — like getting results.
White-Label All of Your Reports
Once your automated reports have been created for a client, don’t forget to white-label them.
White-labeling is the act of using third-party software but making it appear as though it’s in-house.
For example, in the PRT dashboard, you may upload your logo and company information in just a couple of seconds.
You can change your SEO reports to look just the way you want.
From there, every report you send to clients will contain only your business information. ProRankTracker won’t be mentioned anywhere.
Step-by-Step: How to Create an SEO Report Template for Your Clients
- Sign up for ProRankTracker. (Free trials are available.)
- In the left sidebar, click “Reports.”
- Select the type of report to create.
- Input your report parameters.
- Click “Next.”
- View the report.
To customize your new report’s CSS, go to “Customize Templates” in the left sidebar.
If you need help navigating our platform, our customer support is standing by 24/7 to guide you through every step of the process.
Start Generating SEO Report Templates Now with ProRankTracker
ProRankTracker offers robust SEO reporting for clients. No matter how small or large your agency is, we have a plan that will suit your needs perfectly.
Try a free trial of ProRankTracker today to start tracking your clients’ KPIs and sending them detailed white-labeled reports.