A good monthly SEO report draws the line differentiating a good SEO consultant from a bad one. You need to be able to provide your clients with a detailed report that helps them understand the value of your work. Your monthly SEO report should contain actionable insights and key data points so your clients can understand where they initially stood and how much progress you’ve made.
With that said, anyone who’s tried to create an SEO report knows how time-consuming it can be. But it doesn’t always have to be that way, even for novice consultants. This post will help you understand everything about SEO reports and how to create one using a monthly SEO report template.
What is a Monthly SEO Report?
Before we provide you with a monthly SEO report template, let’s first take a closer look at what a monthly SEO report really is. In simplest terms, this is a report that gives your clients an overview of their website performance in search engines. It mainly focuses on organic traffic, rankings, and other domain metrics.
With a monthly update of this report, you can provide your clients with a clear idea of how much work your agency has been doing for them. You can show them their ranking progress, backlinks and SEO health, organic traffic progress, etc. In other words, a monthly SEO report helps people analyze the performance of their SEO strategies.
It is essential for the client because they have no other way of knowing what you’ve been doing. A monthly SEO report helps your clients keep track of your work and justify why they’re spending money on your services.
A good SEO report will typically convey three things – insights, progress, and recommendations.
Why You Need a Monthly SEO Report Template
You may be wondering why you need to use a monthly SEO report template in the first place. Why can’t you create your own report from scratch? You can definitely do that if you already have an effective approach.
However, using a template simplifies the process and reduces the time it takes to create a report. You’ll know exactly what to include in the report and what to leave out, so you don’t have to spend so much time on figuring what the crucial data points are. You just need to customize it with your own data and you’re good to go.
If you don’t know exactly which data points to include and which ones aren’t so important, your reports will likely be unorganized and difficult for your clients to understand.
So for beginners, a monthly SEO report template also gives them some structure to organize their insights in a way that’s understandable for the clients.
What to Include in Your Monthly SEO Report Template
Now let’s get to the most important part – what do you need to include in your monthly SEO report template? Once you get an idea of this, you’ll be able to build a robust SEO report that contains all of the information that your clients need to assess their website performance and your work.
Here’s what you should include in your monthly SEO report template. You can customize it as needed with your own data, and add more sections if your client requests any additional insights.
#1: Report Summary
It can be overwhelming to go through charts, figures, and technical terms. Help your clients understand your report by giving them an overview of your report content.
Highlight the key points in a list, using natural language that everyone can understand even if they’re not familiar with SEO. This is extremely important, especially in companies where different departments have to view the report.
You should provide a breakdown of important points like project goals and KPIs, steps taken, and results overview. For instance, your client should be able to understand that you successfully reached out to 10 websites for guest posting, out of which 6 guest posts are now live.
They should be able to easily understand results such as there has been a 23% increase in website traffic. In addition, you should also highlight items that require action, upcoming tasks, etc.
#2: SEO Health Overview
Your monthly SEO report should also provide clients with a snapshot of their website’s health. This would be an overview of the errors and technical problems that could affect their visibility in search engines. It would include factors like site speed, meta tags, sitemaps, robots.txt, etc.
You can use tools like SEO Site Checkup to test the SEO health of your client’s website and identify data that you should include in your monthly SEO report. This will test everything from general SEO and advanced SEO to speed and security. From there, you can pick out some of the most important issues and highlight them in your report.
Image Source: SEO Site Checkup
Additionally, make the most of the SpyFu site audit checklist to regularly test your SEO health. This will give you all the details of everything you need to test including page speed, meta descriptions, and backlinks.
#3: Channel-Wise Traffic Overview
One of the main things your client will want to know is where their traffic is coming from. So your monthly SEO report should contain a breakdown of which channels are sending visitors to your client’s website. This could include organic search, paid search, direct traffic, and referrals.
Be sure to compare the performance of each channel so your client can better understand which channels are bringing the most value. Sudden peaks in traffic from a certain channel would be a sign that something is working very well. A decline would be an indication that something has stopped working and needs fixing.
You can use the Google Analytics annotation feature to explain these fluctuations in traffic quantity from different channels.
#4: Keyword Rankings
Clients also want to know where they stand in search engine results. So your monthly SEO report should clearly showcase which keywords they are ranking for and where they are ranking for each keyword. This will be a strong indicator of how your strategies are performing and what kind of improvements your client is experiencing.
You might even discover keywords that your client isn’t targeting but already ranking for. In this case, you’ll want to readjust your keyword targeting efforts and include these non-targeted yet successful keywords.
To get keyword rankings data, run a search of your client’s URL using SpyFu’s Domain Overview feature. Go to “Top Keywords” and you’ll get a complete list of all the organic keywords and paid keywords for which they are ranking. This will also show you at which position they’re ranking for each of those keywords.
You can also set up automatic ranking reports to help make this process smoother every month. You have flexible options that let you:
- Get a ranking summary for any set of keywords you want to show. (See item #1)
- Get an updated snapshot of a site's performance from any tool on SpyFu. (See item #2)
- Watch for rank changes from a specific page
#5: Click-Through Rate
While it’s important to rank number one in search engine results, ranking alone does not determine website performance. Your clients should be able to drive clicks to their links in search engine results. So your monthly SEO report should also include an overview of the number of clicks they are getting on each keyword for which they are ranking.
This will give them a much better idea of which keywords are driving the best results. You can view the organic clicks for each keyword under the “Top Keywords” section.
#6: Backlink Profile
Another crucial point to include in your monthly SEO report is the backlink profile of your clients. Since backlinks are a critical ranking factor, your clients should have a clear overview of which websites are linking to them. This analysis will also help you improve your strategy to boost your client’s backlink profile.
This isn’t just about the number of backlinks your clients are getting. You could identify top authority sites that are linking to them and hopefully reach out to them for more organic backlinks. You could also identify low authority sites that are negatively affecting your client’s website credibility by linking to them.
Make a list of these low authority sites in your monthly SEO report and reach out to the website owners with removal requests. If that fails, you can disavow those bad links to increase your client’s website credibility significantly.
SpyFu’s Backlink Checker will help you identify all the backlinks coming to your client’s website. It will automatically analyze the domain authority by number of organic clicks to the domain, domain stretch, etc. So you’ll be able to identify which are the ones worth getting backlinks from.
#7: Ranking History
Provide your clients with a clear picture of how their rankings have improved since you got involved. Your monthly SEO report should show them a historical data of how their website ranked for different keywords in the past years and months.
Go to the “Ranking History” section under “Domain Overview” and you’ll be able to see a handy chart outlining their ranking improvement over the months. This will show them exactly where their ranking started to improve.
This is also helpful for diagnosing a drop in rankings. It's not a fun aspect to share with a client, but having a proactive response to bad news is bound to make you more valuable to their business.
#8: Competitor Performance Comparison
A thorough look at how your client’s performance compares against that of their competition is another essential element of your monthly SEO report. This will help them understand exactly where they stand against the competition and identify any scope for improvement.
To get an idea of how your client’s competitors are performing, you can go to the “SEO Research” section of SpyFu and click on “Competitors.” Enter the competitor’s URL and run a search to identify other top organic competitors. The tool will also show you where each of the competitors are standing in terms of keyword ranking.
The “Competition” section of your “Domain Overview” also shows you how your client shares organic keywords with the competition. It also shows you the number of keywords for which the competition is ranking but your client isn’t. This will help you identify opportunities for improvement.
These are the key data points to include in your monthly SEO report template. You can customize this with your own data and even add other data points that your client expects from you. As you can see, you’ll be able to use SpyFu to collect most of the data. You can combine that with insights from Google Analytics and other analytics tools you’re already using.