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. Because different clients have different reporting needs.
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 for your clients.
- 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. They’re an essential part of client communication, and they can make or break your agency.
Always keep in mind that your clients probably don’t know nearly as much about SEO as you do.
Sending SEO reports to clients helps bridge the knowledge gap between you and the client, keeping the client happy (and keeping you in business).
Specifically, there are 4 big reasons why you shouldn’t dismiss SEO reporting as an afterthought for your agency.
Reason #1: You Need to Keep 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 on 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. It makes your company look good and greatly increases the chances that your clients will pass along a good word about your agency.
Reason #2: You Need to Track the Results that Matter
Once the client understands that you’re improving their SEO performance, they’ll want to know what you’ve accomplished 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 (everyone knows that green means good, after all!).
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.
Reason #3: Your Agency Should Look Professional
Imagine you order something online, and it shows up in a plain brown box.
Inside, the box contains just the item and some hastily thrown in 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.
For example, 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.
Reason #4: The Most Important Reason – Increase Client Retention
You’ve probably heard it before:
Acquiring new clients costs five times more than retaining current ones, and 82% of customers in the US stop doing business with a brand if they aren’t satisfied with the customer service. These 2 statistics make a strong case for you to focus on retention and customer satisfaction.
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 6 SEO KPIs that you should include in your SEO reporting templates.
1. 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 is an agency rank tracker that 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…)
2. 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 regard 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.
- 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 ensure that Google Analytics “Goals” are set up properly to track your SEO efforts’ direct impact.
5. 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 accomplished.
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.
6. 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 their 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.
6 Main 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.
Historical Progress Reports
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 upward linear progression.
Everyone loves a marketing graph with an upward trend.
Ranking Comparison Reports
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 compares 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.
Rankings Section Reports
ProRankTracker uses 5 Rankings Views to give you a complete view of your SEO progress.
- URL View
- Term View
- Daily View
- Full SERPs
By using the Rankings Section reports in the Reports Center, you can turn any of these Rankings Views into a white-label report and automatically send it to your clients.
These are great reports to send when your clients want a little bit more information about their current ranks. If they want more information than they’re getting from your normal reporting schedule, send them some of these to help them out.
Unlike the other reports that ProRankTracker offers, notifications are not sent on a set schedule. Instead, they only send when certain parameters are met.
For example, you might set up a notification to send when one of your client’s URL/keyword combos drops or jumps by more than a couple of spaces on the SERP.
Triggered notifications are the perfect addition to any reporting strategy because they give you 100% up-to-date information.
In other words, reports only send information about what’s been happening RECENTLY, while notifications send information about what JUST happened.
Use notifications to figure out what’s happening with your ranks and take action before a bad situation gets worse.
Frequency — 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, with some seasonal reports thrown in for good measure.
In rare cases, daily reports may be helpful, especially for more needy clients.
But for most clients, daily reports will be overwhelming and unhelpful, so we’ll focus on weekly, monthly, and seasonal reports.
After all, SEO growth is about the bigger picture and trends.
Sending an overview report every week 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 regarding 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.
Whereas weekly reports give a more detailed look at what’s happening in your clients’ SEO recently, monthly reports are designed to give a broader look at the goings on of the month.
For example, your client will want to know:
- How many ranks dropped, jumped, or stayed the same?
- What new keywords is their competitor targeting?
- How are their ranks this month compared to their ranks last month?
There are some reports that don’t need to be sent weekly or monthly, but they’re still very important. Some of these need to be sent once a quarter, and others may need to be sent once or twice a year.
For example, your client may want to see a report comparing this March with March from last year (or any other month). They may want to see a yearly report showing their average ranks broken down by month or week.
Keep these reports in mind and offer them to your clients when relevant. Keeping your lines of communication open will improve your relationship with your clients and could even earn you more business.
3 Ways to Share SEO Reports with Clients
Once you’ve put together a plan of action regarding automated SEO reports, you need to figure out how you’ll send them to the client.
Email is straightforward, but there are other ways to dazzle your clients — especially using ProRankTracker.
As with everything else in business, the key is to communicate clearly with your clients. Figure out their expectations and then exceed them in the ways you send them their reports.
The easiest way to send reports (and the way most clients will choose to receive them) is via email.
ProRankTracker makes this incredibly simple. All you have to do is select the “Export to Email” option, then do the following:
- Select file type (XLSX, PDF, or CSV)
- Choose your design template, which you can create in the Reports Center
- Choose your email language
- Write out the subject of the email
- Fill in your client’s email address
- Specify the email address you want to send the report from (so it doesn’t look like it’s coming from a third-party SEO tool).
After you specify these options, ProRankTracker will remember them and continue to send that report to the specified email address every time it’s scheduled in the future.
Share Reports Through a Link with PRT Shared Reports
As the leading SERP tracking and reporting tool, ProRankTracker provides more impressive options than a simple email.
ProRankTracker shared reports send a live website link to your clients, enabling them to load their reports at any time of the day or night to check on their updated ranks.
Since ProRankTracker updates its ranks every day, that means your clients can stay totally up to date without bothering you for more reports.
Just generate the report, grab the link, and send it to your client using your messaging system of choice. That’s it!
The MyRanks App
If you want to go above and beyond and you’re subscribed to a ProRankTracker Pro-level plan or above, 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 colors, logos, and 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. The ability to use their smartphones to check their ranks will be extremely convenient to clients and helps your business look even bigger and more professional.
2 Best Practices for Sending Your SEO Reports to Clients
Now that you’ve established your reporting schedule and decided what reports you’re going to be sending, it’s time to talk about the best ways to fine-tune your SEO reporting technique.
No matter who you are or what types of clients your agency handles, here are 2 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.
Doing this in ProRankTracker just takes a second. Just select the frequency, day, and time you want the reports to send when creating the report. That’s literally all there is to it!
White-Label All of Your Reports
White-labeling is the act of using a third-party service or software but making it appear as though it’s in-house.
ProRankTracker allows you to customize report templates to align with your brand.
For example, in the ProRankTracker report templates menu, you can upload your logo and company colors in just a couple of seconds.
After adding your white-label customizations to your ProRankTracker template settings, just select the template you want to apply to any future reports you create, and ProRankTracker will automatically apply your customizations to that report.
From there, every report you send to clients will be on brand, and “ProRankTracker “won’t be mentioned anywhere.
What is SEO analysis?
SEO analysis is when businesses use tools to check their ranks on search engine results pages (SERPs). They then use that data to analyze the success of their current keyword and SEO strategies.
How do I generate an SEO report?
The best way to get an SEO report is by using a highly specialized tool like ProRankTracker, which offers more than 20 types of white-label ready reports and notifications.
How can I check my SEO for free?
While you can check certain aspects of your SEO for free with tools like Google Analytics or Google Search Console, we highly recommend using a low-cost tool like ProRankTracker to get the most out of your SEO efforts.
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.