How do you immediately inform the distinction between a superb search engine optimisation and a nasty one?

Have a look at their search engine optimisation studies.

  • Unhealthy search engine optimisation studies – Purchasers get misplaced in pointless knowledge, don’t know what work was achieved, and get no insightful feedback.
  • Good search engine optimisation studies – Purchasers see key knowledge summaries and easy-to-understand insights and overview of the work achieved.

I’ve seen many search engine optimisation studies from consultants, in-house groups, and businesses. I mentioned them with consultants from our Ahrefs Insider group. The conclusion? You’ll be able to’t create an search engine optimisation report template that covers every thing crucial with out figuring out a consumer, their enterprise, and your duties within the challenge.

However what I’ve for you right here will get you as shut as doable to an ideal search engine optimisation report. That’s the essential purpose why I began discussing search engine optimisation reporting with consultants within the first place.

Earlier than you steal our search engine optimisation report template, let’s first study the next:

Let’s get into it.

An search engine optimisation report is an summary of necessary search engine optimisation metrics reflecting enterprise development, efficiency in serps, backlink portfolio energy, and web site well being.

It’s the principle useful resource to your purchasers, managers, or bosses that tracks the progress of your work and its impression. In spite of everything, these stakeholders need to see that their cash is effectively spent on you.

And whilst you can’t win with search engine optimisation each month, an efficient search engine optimisation report ought to nonetheless convey that your work is prone to have constructive ROI within the lengthy time period.

This leads us properly to…

What ought to an search engine optimisation report include?

What and the way you report in your search engine optimisation efforts depend upon the way you arrange expectations along with your consumer. Whereas search engine optimisation studies are dependant on a consumer’s enterprise sort, that is what everybody typically desires to see:

  • search engine optimisation KPIs – Consider search engine optimisation metrics which are carefully tied to income development.
  • Rating progress – See how rankings of a very powerful key phrases have modified.
  • Natural visitors progress – Verify how the earlier two features translate into absolute visitors numbers.
  • Backlink development – See new, invaluable referring pages that drive visitors and/or cross hyperlink fairness.
  • search engine optimisation well being – Know that the web site is doing effectively from the technical search engine optimisation perspective.

Your work doesn’t finish with simply dumping a bunch of metrics right into a doc, although. It’s good to interpret them. Your search engine optimisation studies ought to convey the impression of your work in probably the most succinct and coherent means doable. That’s how we made the template as effectively.

Now let’s get again to the expectations between you and your consumer. The report ought to primarily include what you’ve beforehand mentioned. In the event you despatched an search engine optimisation report with out educating the consumer beforehand, you’d get a whole lot of questions and calls for to indicate extra knowledge. That is even when the search engine optimisation report is ideal. That’s since you’re the search engine optimisation professional, not the consumer.

I’ll clarify all of the used metrics and knowledge as we undergo the slides afterward. However I additionally extremely advocate you to take a look at our articles on search engine optimisation KPIs and search engine optimisation metrics that really matter. These will assist you to and your purchasers be on the identical web page.

How lengthy does it take to create the report?

Based mostly on what I’ve heard, SEOs can spend anyplace from half-hour to some hours monthly on every search engine optimisation report. This depends upon a number of elements:

  • Your duties within the challenge
  • Complexity of the challenge
  • Your search engine optimisation expertise and data
  • Your knowledge analytics expertise and data
  • Reporting format you and your purchasers desire

Let me develop on the final level. It appears most SEOs desire utilizing the great outdated PDFs and decks for reporting functions:

Our search engine optimisation report template can be in a deck format as a result of it’s the simplest to make use of and skim for everybody. The draw back is you must undergo new knowledge each month and put it collectively manually.

Some seasoned entrepreneurs desire to make use of automated knowledge dashboards like Google Knowledge Studio, Tableau, or Energy BI. These could take you a whole lot of time to arrange initially. However they’ll replace all the information routinely, saving you time in the long term. In the event you’re questioning about this selection, we’ll be releasing Ahrefs’ GDS connector quickly that will help you with that.

However again to the precise template…

Steal our search engine optimisation report template (and make it higher)

As defined beforehand, our search engine optimisation report template (or some other) isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. It’s merely an incredible place to begin to create an search engine optimisation report your purchasers will respect.

To get this achieved from begin to end, you’ll want the next instruments:


Click on right here to make a replica of the search engine optimisation report template.

You’ll be able to change the colour scheme to the model colours of your consumer, give it a little bit of your personal branding, make it look fancier, no matter you like.

Earlier than we get into explaining the rationale behind every slide, let me emphasize a number of issues.

To begin with, be happy to tailor the slides to fit your consumer’s wants, in addition to your service choices. We’ve made this report back to cowl all search engine optimisation areas for month-to-month reporting.

Second, the kind of enterprise you’re doing search engine optimisation for also needs to be mirrored within the report changes.

In the event you’re doing native search engine optimisation, you’ll in all probability embody an summary of native rankings and native SERP options. E‑commerce consumer? Chances are you’ll need to embody Common Order Worth from the natural visitors and dive deeper into the technical facet of issues.

And lastly, take into accout the template accommodates principally made-up knowledge, insights, and situations. Don’t attempt to analyze the content material of it. Slightly, use its construction as a information.

Let’s get began.

1. Title card

The primary slide is the simplest half to create.

Slide showing the title of the SEO report

Add within the date/month of the report, your personal brand, in addition to your consumer’s web site URL. As soon as these are accomplished, you’re good to go.

It’s time to maneuver on to the precise search engine optimisation reporting.

2. Highlights

A highlights web page that summarizes a very powerful info of that month is an effective intro.

Slide showing key highlights for the month

This may be mainly the primary and likewise the final slide {that a} CMO or CEO appears to be like at. Thirty seconds later, they’ll say, “Cool, good job,” and gained’t hassle with the relaxation.

What sort of issues are you able to embody right here?

  • Transient abstract of your search engine optimisation KPIs
  • Stuff value bragging about
  • Most necessary duties accomplished throughout that reporting interval
  • Duties that require additional consideration

3. search engine optimisation KPIs overview

Subsequent, you need to dive into the search engine optimisation KPIs extra. Whereas the earlier slide gained’t minimize it for many purchasers, some will already be fairly happy. That is as we’ve coated what issues probably the most on the primary two slides:

Slide showing data on progress of search visibility and conversions

As mentioned earlier, it’s possible you’ll need to embody completely different or extra KPIs, relying on the consumer and their enterprise sort. The rule of thumb is to decide on metrics as carefully tied to the enterprise’s income as doable.

You’ll be able to see probably the most common search engine optimisation KPIs above: search visibility and natural visitors conversions.

Search visibility is the search engine optimisation model of one of the vital necessary advertising KPIs: share of voice (SOV). It’s mainly key phrase rankings on steroids.

To get the search visibility metric, create a challenge in Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker. In there, paste the principle key phrases that embody what your viewers is trying to find (it is advisable to end key phrase analysis first), tag it to allow filtering later, and also you’re good to go:

Rank Tracker page to add keywords, also features SOV

You’ll then discover the search visibility metric within the Rivals overview tab:

Competitors overview report results

Relating to natural conversions, the screenshot within the report is taken from a customized Google Analytics (GA) report that solely reveals the supply/medium dimension and chosen conversions to keep away from all of the muddle within the default studies. The conversions are then in contrast month over month (MoM).

If the consumer’s clients undergo a fancy shopping for course of, you’ll additionally need to report assisted natural visitors conversions. Yow will discover this in GA below Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions. These will full the image of the general impression of search engine optimisation on the enterprise.

4. Rating progress

The general search visibility KPI isn’t the one visibility metric that purchasers are concerned with. They’ve sure product classes or matters on the weblog that often differ in relevancy and worth to the enterprise. That’s the place measuring search visibility for key phrase segments comes into play.

Slide showing data on ranking progress per keyword segments

You may get this knowledge by creating extra tags in your Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker challenge. Scroll right down to your key phrases within the overview, verify those who you need to tag, and assign the tag to them or create a brand new one:

Dropdown options for keywords in Rank Tracker

5. Cash key phrases rating overview

Whereas search visibility metrics are the very best proxies to your natural development, most purchasers additionally need to see place adjustments of their most necessary key phrases.

Slide showing key data on money keywords rankings

It’ll get fairly messy to current place adjustments of presumably tons of of key phrases in a deck. We should always, due to this fact, fulfill the consumer by solely reporting on a very powerful key phrases for the enterprise, aka “cash key phrases.” You’ll be able to then embody the remainder by linking to the exported spreadsheet if the consumer desires to see it.

Once more, tag these key phrases within the Rank Tracker. You’ll be able to determine whether or not a key phrase must be tagged like this primarily based on its enterprise relevancy and CPC. Or you may simply undergo the key phrase listing with the consumer.

6. Non-branded natural visitors progress

It took us a number of slides earlier than we obtained to the metrics a whole lot of SEOs and purchasers give attention to first: natural visitors. The explanation for displaying this later is easy: Rising natural visitors doesn’t essentially translate into enterprise development. The web site can begin rating for key phrases that drive visitors however not income.

The general visitors quantity isn’t actually an incredible search engine optimisation proxy for something. To make it extra related, let’s section it into non-branded natural visitors solely:

Slide showing data on non-branded organic traffic progress

The explanation for displaying non-branded visitors right here is to keep away from attributing natural visitors adjustments to advertising actions unrelated to search engine optimisation. For instance, if the advertising workforce launched an incredible PR marketing campaign or began airing mass advertising campaigns, your natural visitors would naturally go up simply from individuals trying up your model extra.

To indicate a extra correct overview of natural visitors progress, merely apply a question filter in Google Search Console (GSC):

Query filter in GSC

Once more, you need to evaluate the present month’s efficiency with the earlier month’s and, ideally, even with the year-over-year (YoY) efficiency. Most companies are likely to have seasonal swings, so some MoM comparisons could look dangerous simply because the excessive season has already ended.

Watch out right here. GSC solely gives 28-day views and comparisons by default. Thus, it is advisable to choose customized dates to check entire months. Bear in mind to check the identical variety of days. Let’s have a look at a state of affairs the place a month has 31 days (e.g., in such a case, begin the comparability on the final day of August to account for less than 30 days in September).

Your consumer can also get a big quantity of visitors from Google Uncover or Google Information. If that’s the case, it’s in all probability value dedicating a separate slide to it.

7. New referring domains highlights

Subsequent up is the backlink profile—showing the consumer what new, fascinating protection they obtained previously month.

Slide showing key data on new referring domains

Nonetheless, you need to solely report on backlink profile adjustments in case your actions within the challenge affect the buying of recent hyperlinks. That may vary from creating hyperlink bait content material to planning and executing outreach campaigns. I point out this as a result of hyperlink constructing is very often a separate exercise from many search engine optimisation initiatives.

In case you are accountable for backlink profile development, go to Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer, verify the Referring domains report, and filter for brand new referring domains previously 30 days (as you may see within the slide).

We present the highlights of the newly acquired referring domains sorted by Area Ranking (DR) rating as a result of it’s a stable and easy-to-understand proxy for bettering backlink profile development.

In the event you have interaction in outreach actions and see a brand new referring area gained from that, you may spotlight it within the screenshot in order that the consumer can differentiate earned and bought hyperlinks.

8. Hyperlink constructing progress

This slide is designed to allow you to go into additional element about your hyperlink constructing work achieved in the course of the month.

Slide showing data on link building progress

It could actually embody:

  • The pages you constructed hyperlinks to.
  • Any standout, new referring pages.
  • The variety of hyperlinks these pages obtained.
  • Your hyperlink constructing statistics, e.g., prospects contacted and success price.
  • Any insights you deem related, e.g., exceptionally good or dangerous hyperlink bait content material.

Ahrefs’ Greatest by hyperlinks development report in Web site Explorer is sweet to incorporate right here as a result of it reveals you pages that obtained probably the most backlinks previously 30 days.

Fact to be informed, there’s way more to evaluating hyperlink constructing than the variety of hyperlinks and DRs of referring domains. However that’s related for hyperlink prospecting earlier than launching outreach campaigns, not for search engine optimisation reporting. Your purchasers don’t must dive into all of the nuances.

9. Technical search engine optimisation well being overview

That is the place you’ll give a snapshot of the web site’s well being that takes under consideration all technical search engine optimisation errors and points.

Slide showing Health Scores for this month and last month, respectively

To get this knowledge:

Go to Ahrefs’ Web site Audit, arrange a challenge for the consumer’s web site in case you haven’t achieved so already, and let the software crawl the web site. Relying in your crawl settings, Web site Audit can recrawl the web site periodically, offering you with all the present and historic technical search engine optimisation knowledge.

You get the Well being Rating on the overview web page after every crawl is achieved:

Various data on technical SEO overview page

If that is your first time crawling the web site, use this Well being Rating as a place to begin. You can begin referencing month-to-month comparisons in your second report.

Now, it’s possible you’ll be considering that one metric isn’t sufficient to mirror the entire state of technical search engine optimisation. And also you’re proper. However you’re often not sending search engine optimisation studies to builders or different SEOs who can simply perceive extra in-depth info. For that reason, the Well being Rating is the very best proxy for a client-friendly, technical search engine optimisation metric.

Once more, this doesn’t imply you shouldn’t report on extra technical search engine optimisation metrics, and so forth. Some initiatives contain big web sites and complicated, technical search engine optimisation duties. In such conditions, it’s doubtless the consumer will welcome crawling and indexing statistics, particulars about a very powerful points, and so forth.

10. Subsequent month

After displaying your consumer all the information and studies, you need to give them a plan of a very powerful search engine optimisation duties you’ll be engaged on subsequent month.

Slide showing "to-dos" for next month

A fast to-do listing that summarizes your essential focus for the next month will suffice. It is going to additionally function an anchor to your subsequent search engine optimisation report.

Closing ideas

So there you will have it. A totally customizable search engine optimisation reporting template to present to your purchasers. In case you skimmed by means of the article first, right here’s the hyperlink once more:

Click on right here to make a replica of the search engine optimisation report template.

Reporting will in all probability by no means be anybody’s favourite exercise. However it’s essential that you simply nail this to have happy and well-paying purchasers.

To wrap up, I need to thank everybody who shared their reporting insights with me through the years. I’m additionally grateful for Ahrefs Insider members, who proactively reached out with their data and studies earlier than I even began creating the template. And particular because of Gyorgy Bolla, the search efficiency lead at Westpac, who launched me to enterprise search engine optimisation reporting—the one space I wasn’t conversant in.

Assume there are extra metrics or slides this search engine optimisation report template ought to have? Acquired any questions? Ping me on Twitter.

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