Confusing, long, or unbalanced reports
Whether it's a fully automated 70-page report that includes every single SEO action taken by the agency, or a document with inconsistent branding and copied data from various tools, it's not an actionable document that a client can easily read and can understand.
You need to keep the end goal in mind: the customer will read and learn how your work is helping the company. If the customer doesn't engage with your report, this is a missed opportunity to both present results and seek feedback.
To avoid these situations, think again about the key KPIs and SEO goals that you have agreed upon:
- Do you have a keyword list that you are particularly interested in?
- Are you an ecommerce customer looking to increase conversion rates?
- Is it a lead generation campaign?
After clarifying expectations and business goals, report monthly on how your SEO intervention is directly affecting KPIs and business results.
To fix any inconsistencies, you can create an agency template that focuses on these key insights and your agency's brand and unique voice:
- Remember to highlight key trends and wins in KPIs such as unbranded organic traffic and visibility trends.
- Focuses and keyword groups.
- Content performance.
- Competitor Insights.
- Important updates that affected the campaign (if applicable).
- Technical knowledge and recommendations.
- SEO opportunities.
Then you have a good foundation that you can further personalize for each customer.
Since every SEO campaign has its own specifics, you need to make sure you report on the specific needs of the client.
Too much data, not enough explanation
Aside from long or unbalanced documents, data-intensive documents with lists of keywords and complex graphics that are not self-explanatory to a non-SEO specialist can be another reason customers skip reading the monthly reports.
Sometimes you might be working with in-house SEO professionals, but most of the time it's a stakeholder who is interested in achieving their business goals so they need to talk about the business. And even if you are an extension of the internal SEO and digital marketing team, these have to justify the ROI of working with your agency.
In the end, it's far more important to highlight how you influenced marketing leads and sales than it is to deal with rankings and traffic.
Would you like more time to concentrate on the essentials? Then think about how you can automate data collection.
Instead of spending hours in your SEO tools copying diagrams, taking screenshots and looking for the most relevant insights, optimize the time and incorporate these actions into your daily routines.
With a report module like the one from SEOmonitor, for example, you get an assistant in the form of a Google Slides add-on that shows the critical findings from your campaign – which you can insert with one click. These insights are converted into visually appealing slides in your predefined agency template.
You can focus on what matters – explaining the metrics behind your actions, how the strategy developed, and how the customer's business is going.
Inconsistent reporting frequency
Should it be monthly? Or have you agreed on a custom time period?
If you don't get the timing right and don't match up with your client, it could be another reason why reports pile up in the unread file.
A set frequency, usually month after month, helps both from a process point of view and as a basis for calibration with the customer's team.
To make sure you send your reports on time, you can use a project management tool or again your internal agency dashboard. A support system with nudges and alerts via email, Slack or something else will keep you on schedule.
Don't forget to set your notifications in advance for preparation – summarize the findings and create the document yourself. You may also think about roles in the reporting process from the start so that you can coordinate with all team members in a timely manner.
There can be unfulfilled expectations on both sides: Your team has made some important SEO recommendations that the customer did not implement. The customer expects a different result.
As you close the loop on the crucial part of aligning and setting expectations, there is one final point to consider: Communicate why it is important to receive and read the report beforehand.
It can serve as an agenda setting for the final step in the reporting process – the presentation.
In the monthly meeting or the monthly phone call, you can explain and explain the trip so far and make recommendations.
It can even be an opportunity to recalibrate the relationship with a silent customer. It's not the unread report per se that needs to be resolved, but the way the two of you communicate.
Perhaps it is time to rehash what the two of you agreed upon when you onboarded, or it is time to come up with a new approach that will benefit both parties.
All in all, the same basis for this discussion increases efficiency. You and the customer can now focus on fine-tuning the campaign and the strategic conversation, knowing where you are, what questions need urgent answers, and can predict next steps.
Ways to optimize your reporting process
Creating an efficient reporting process for your agency is important because reporting is to some extent a retention.
Being able to articulate how your monthly activities and SEO interventions improve business results is not only beneficial for your customers' trust, but also for further collaboration.
In short, here are the key points to keep in mind when designing this reporting process:
- Definition of the reporting rules and clear communication with the customer in the onboarding phase.
- Have an established internal process for your reporting approach and strategic goal.
- Create a visually engaging monthly report for the entire agency showing your approach and key SEO insights: SEO actions, visibility status, keyword groups and their performance, competitor insights, SEO problems and opportunities, and next steps .
- Automate data collection so you have time to focus on what matters most: strategy, tactics, and explanation of events to translate SEO interventions into business results.
- Create a transparent process and collect feedback. Your reports and meetings are a great opportunity to take your customers' pulse and see what you can optimize. For the sake of transparency, give your customers the context in which to provide feedback and ask burning questions.
Our team at SEOmonitor has researched this process through and through and after gathering insights from SEO agencies, developed a reporting module that takes into account all of the above so you don't have to struggle.
- An overview of the status of your reports at the portfolio level.
- The status of a customer report at each stage of the process (Due, Overdue, Submitted, In Progress) in your Account Manager Dashboard.
- A builder who uses your campaign data from SEOmonitor in Google Slides – our intelligent assistant gets the most important findings from each campaign, which you can click on in seconds and insert into your agency template. We also create visually consistent graphs and charts that are easy to follow.
- A feedback tracker for each monthly report highlighting engagement data: most engaged slides, most popular slides, and overall customer satisfaction recorded at the best possible time – immediately after reading your report.
Reporting doesn't have to be a painful or time-consuming experience for your team. This can be important for supporting customer communication.
Join us and hundreds of SEO agency clients on their way to greater transparency and measurability in the SEO industry.