As a freelancer or agency offering SEO services to your customers, you strive to provide ongoing value. Communicating that value is a critical, but sometimes overlooked aspect of selling your services.
How do you communicate value? Sending a monthly SEO report to your client is a great way to do so.
Monthly SEO reports include performance data. Typically, they include an overview of website performance, a detailed breakdown of organic search statistics, and keyword rankings. Here's a sample report to reference as an example. Note: This is an example of a monthly report generated by our guided SEO platform.
Delivering a report to your customer each month (typically a link to their report and/or a PDF attachment via email) establishes trust and sets expectations. Your customer trusts that you are monitoring and responding to results, and they know they will hear from you on a regular basis.
Here's the catch —the value of the report isn't just the data or the user-friendly layout. Sure, we all love to look through the numbers, but your experience and insight are the value-adds your clients most appreciate. Don’t hesitate to offer your in-depth perspective on not just the numbers, but what they mean and how they can drive next steps.
We have found emailing your insights along with the actual report to be an effective approach. Following a consistent email format increases client comprehension.
Our standard email setup includes a written overview of:
— Action items completed the previous month
— Plan for the upcoming month
Here's an example email:
Hi [Client Name],
Happy Spring! Attached is your [Month] SEO report. Your website recorded [x] sessions from organic search in [Month], a [y]% increase compared to last [Month]. Revenue was strong with $[z] of transactions in [Month], an [a]% increase compared to last year. Organic search continues to be the top performing channel and contributed to [b]% of the total site traffic!
Last month, we focused our attention on [link building]. Our goal is to [leverage your professional relationships into a network of links online that build your business’s authority online]. Thank you for your help coordinating with [partner] to secure a link from their sponsor's page. That is a valuable win in the long run.
This month, we're focusing our attention on [building expertise online]. We noticed that one of your older blog posts — [URL] — is getting exposure for some great keywords such as [keyword]. We’d like to capitalize on this further by [expanding this post from 500 words to 2,000 words]. I’ll share a proposed outline for the content expansion so that [Name] can focus on the copy.
Looking forward to our standing monthly call on Monday, [Month] [Date]. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to reach out with questions.
Weaving effective communication and recommendations into your monthly reports will set your SEO service offering apart from the many agencies who automate this send. It also creates a collaborative atmosphere where each customer is an active participant in the search engine optimization campaign. After all, great SEO can’t be delivered in a back office, siloed from other marketing initiatives.
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Frequently Asked Questions
It’s always easy to communicate good news, but it’s likely you'll face downturns in results from time to time. While bad news is harder to deliver, it’s also an opportunity to build trust with your client.
Don't brush the statistics under the rug. Instead, outline any key wins from the month alongside the areas of concern. If you can help answer the “why” for the results, your customers will better digest the news.
Don't forget to ask questions. Your customer may have broader industry insights that can explain why performance has faltered. Also remember to discuss how the results (as well as any industry trends) may impact your overall strategic direction.
You can use SEO software such as Pathfinder SEO, MozPro, and SEMRush to easily generate standard monthly reports. These softwares integrate data from multiple sources such as Google Analytics and keyword rank tracking.You can often white-label the reports and customize them to match your agency's branding.
Another option for reporting is the Google Data Studio. GDS allows you to create a general template that can be quickly personalized for each client.
Lindsay Halsey is a co-founder of Pathfinder SEO. She has over 10 years of experience working in SEO with small to large businesses. Lindsay focuses on teaching business owners and freelancers how to get found in Google, Yahoo, and Bing via a guided approach to SEO. Stay in touch on Twitter - @linds_halsey.