Providing your clients with a comprehensive SEO report each month can confirm your abilities as an SEO consultant. A good report should summarize changes and improvements, analyze fluctuations, and offer actionable insights to improve their SEO/SEM strategy.
There's no universal format to follow when creating yours—they can vary significantly in length and depth. Summing up your work will take time and effort, but you can simplify the process by making a monthly SEO report template.
Monthly SEO Reports 101
The purpose of an SEO report is to show how a website is performing. It's a way for you to communicate to stakeholders how your SEO expertise is impacting their business.
An SEO report should focus mainly on organic traffic, domain metrics, and rankings, while also highlighting your actions. It should also provide commentary on successful changes, those that haven't been as effective, and activities you're undertaking.
Overall, a good SEO report will convey the following items:
- Progress: The report should not only show the client your work, but also progress. For example, how and where the site has grown during the month.
- Insights: Highlight issues and areas that require more work over the upcoming months.
- Recommendations: What do you recommend that the client should do to reach their goals? Let them know your suggestions.
Should You Send Monthly Reports?
Providing your client with a monthly SEO report is an excellent way to maintain transparency and keep things professional. It's your way to show off your hard work: the ins-and-outs of how you're helping their site for the better.
Achieving SEO isn't an overnight deal. It takes weeks for results from changes to appear, and monthly reports allow you and the site owner to track changes great and small.
Why Use a Template?
Since you'll be drafting up a report monthly, why go through the frustration of creating it from scratch every time?
The template will let you know what you should include and what you shouldn't. This way, you won't have to compare old drafts to figure out what needs to get included—or risk missing vital points if you're pressed for time.
Templates will also help you create professional, uniform reports; instead of receiving different documents. Your clients will also appreciate receiving a comprehensive, quality report that shows them exactly what they need to know each month.
How to Build a Monthly SEO Report Template
Having a report template readily available for when you need it is convenient. We'll explain each part of the report and tips to keep in mind:
The overview is the intro to your report—summarize critical items for the month and highlight significant wins.
Use concise, natural language that everyone will understand, even if they don't have SEO experience. Avoid sounding condescending—you want to come off as informative yet understandable.
Some companies will pass the report around between various departments, keeping the overview to the point and easy to understand is ideal.
Things you can include in the overview:
- Big or small tasks that you have completed during the past month.
- Items that require attention or will get dealt with and how.
- A summary of changes in organic traffic (increases or decreases).
- Upcoming tasks, meetings, etc.
Use this section to break down how you helped your client by explaining in detail the projects covered in the overview.
Explain what you did to improve the client's site, such as overhauling aesthetics, optimizing the content, keyword planning, adding a sitemap, etc.
This section is to show your client all the facts about the health of their website. Don't forget to show a before-and-after shot of the score. Ideally, you managed to get it up by at least ten percent from when you started.
Here is where you give your client an overview of technical issues or errors affecting the site's visibility in search engines. Don't shy away from technical terms, but keep explanations concise—you don't need to go on a lengthy spiel about sitemaps.
There are sophisticated SEO tools that can test various parts of a site. That will include info such as meta tags, site speed, robots.txt, sitemaps, and more. Once you get the results, pick the most important issues to highlight in the report and discuss them more.
Nightwatch includes a Site Auditor that can assess basic and sophisticated SEO troubles. You can also set it up for automated crawling to track and resolve issues as and when they come up.
Backlinks can make or break a website: good ones can increase a site's credibility, rankings, and traffic.
You can use this section to show your client what type of backlinks are pointing toward their site and the organic traffic they're driving. If the site you're working on had toxic backlinks, detail how many you disavowed and where they came from.
You can also identify whether the traffic is coming from top authority sites or low authority websites. You can list the leading authority sites and suggest your client reach out for more high-quality, high-DR backlinks.
Similarly, you should make a complete list of low authority sites to reach out to the owners and request they remove the links. Or, propose ideas to the client about how you could collaborate with niche-relevant low-DR sites that look like they have potential.
Assure your clients if undesirable sites don't respond to your removal request, you can disavow the links as you did with any toxic ones.
Some SEO reporting tools include integrated functions to analyze and monitor backlinks, such as Nightwatch Reports.
Include a breakdown of where your client's traffic is coming from and which channels are sending visitors. Include the following:
- Paid search
- Organic search
- Direct traffic
Compare the performance of the channels to help your client better understand which ones are bringing more value. You can also include how much social media referrals affected the site's traffic and which platforms the most traffic came from.
Don't hesitate to make recommendations even if they're outside of your realm of experience. For instance, your client will value that you encourage them to build a social fortress to build brand reputation, even if you won't be the one to handle it.
A website's ranking data is an essential part of search visibility and an accurate indicator of how your online marketing strategy is going.
Give your client a clear view of how your SEO expertise has helped to improve their rankings. Include site history data of how the website ranked for various keywords in the last months and years.
Show which keywords bring in the most traffic and inform them of the best-performing pages and keywords. You'll find that a tool like Nightwatch Reports lets you track a site's ranking across numerous search engines, including ultra-private DuckDuckGo.
Soaring in the SERPs is a dream for almost every site owner. However, merely ranking high doesn't determine how the website performs.
Don't neglect to include in this section an overview of how many clicks each ranking keyword gets.
By including this in your report, you give your client a better idea of which keywords drive more traffic to the site.
That can also give you some backup if you're pitching new content suggestions for the coming months. Nightwatch Reports includes a handy Keyword Discovery Tool for the purpose of enhancing your future strategy.
The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who simply leave your site after viewing one page—in other words; you want to keep this rating down.
A high bounce rate means your client's visitors aren't finding the entrance page helpful, valuable, or useful.
That can cause them to leave the website altogether and potentially go straight to a competitor's site instead. A high bounce rate also means you can't expect conversions, leads, or sales.
Inform your client about their bounce rate and how it affects their site, traffic, and business. Changing up the site's aesthetics, making it more user-friendly, and correcting SEO errors should improve it.
There are millions of websites available in today's world, with new ones created every day. It almost goes without saying that there will be some competition, even for tight niches or unusual businesses. It's crucial to have a thorough look at your client's performance and how it compares to their primary rivals.
Doing this will give your client a better understanding of where they stand against their competitors to improve performance.
There are tools available to help you get a general overview of competitive sites—or, you can perform a site audit and summarize the findings. Aim to discuss critical points such as the competitive site's traffic patterns and how high they rank.
It's also helpful to identify strong and weak points of competitive sites. This can help your client leverage it for their gain by offering what the other sites are missing. Don't skip on the positive factors either—tell your client what's going right, whether they set it up or you did.
Once you have covered all the essential data from the previous month in your SEO report, you need to provide them with a plan.
Use this opportunity to inform your client how you can improve shortcomings or issues for the next month. What will be the next step in improving your client's site and content? Will it benefit from ramping up content production, or do you recommend moving on to a new ad service?
Keep in mind that this will set the scene for your work over the next 30 days, so don't get too eager; include realistic goals or strategies only.
Timelines are often sensitive where it concerns SEO as actions can take weeks to manifest. If you have longer-term goals, don't promise speedy results you can't deliver.
Creating an in-depth, visually attractive, easy-to-read SEO report for your client is sure to score you a few extra points.
With a monthly SEO report template, you can quickly put together a detailed report that will not only inform your client of how their site performed the past month but also how you can improve it going forward.
Nightwatch Reports not only offers practical tools to cover core facets such as backlink profiling and site auditing, but it's also whitelabel. That means you can customize the design of each report with a user-friendly interface. Plus, you can automate reports to send out according to your specifications—so you can be more productive for your clients.
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