SEO: Why people need to know exactly what you’re doing

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SEO
Reporting on SEO can be tough, but only if you don’t know what you are doing.

Make sure that your SEO company is providing comparative reporting, or if you are an SEO company, make sure you’re transparent. First you need to decide what proper reporting means to you. Is your focus purely brand exposure? Impressions? Or, is it lead generation? Or perhaps it’s a number of factors.

For any SEO company to be successful it needs to ensure that clarity is evident in its reports. Factors that could influence your reporting negatively include seasonality, markets, and global changes, so make sure clients are aware of these phenomenons.

Below are some reporting tips to consider and to look out for. Use Google Analytics to illustrate the effectiveness of your campaigns. This might sound obvious; but not filtering analytics to your clients campaign needs can create a great deal of confusion. Clients can often understand Google Analytics results incorrectly – make sure you make reports easy to read.

The below graph shows comparisons for organic search traffic – for most websites, search traffic is the biggest contributor to website traffic. Organic traffic is traffic that has arrived via search engines naturally, meaning its non-paid traffic. By showing comparisons from the previous year compared to the same period this year, shows that the campaign is working, or it shows if attention is needed.

Some people are attracted by graphs and others figurative stats. In the graph below, overall traffic is clear organic search mobile and paid traffic. The advantage of a table is that it’s easy to read, and the below results cover most traffic bearing sources that are important to clients. Both of the graphs in this article do comparisons and that’s key.

The advantage of reports like these is simple: the client can see comparisons, and value for their money. Other reports, which must be reported on, would be goal comparisons. This is the percentage of sessions on a site that result in a conversion goal being achieved on that site. A conversion involves a specific call to action on a website, which is successfully completed by a visitor to the site — the goal page could range from a confirmation page, to a ‘thank you for registering page,’ a download page or an online presentation. Essentially the process involves a call to action, an enquiry and then a sale.

By showing leads or sales, a client will feel confident spending more on their campaign. Google’s goals reporting (found in Google Analytics) are a fantastic way of showing return on investment.

Keyword rankings are also very important. Knowing where your client’s keywords rank over a period of time will once again show the client that you are willing to show clarity, and in most cases it will illustrate that you know your client’s product or services. The thing about rankings is that results cannot always improve; it’s a continuous battle to keep improving rankings.

SEO as a form of marketing is highly profitable for most companies. It is very much about results. Search marketing is growing daily. Why will search be around for decades to come? Well, humans are constantly searching for information, and search engines fill this exact space. Search engines are the tools that allow people to navigate through the internet with ease. So its important that SEO companies can report effectively on campaigns. Search engines have replaced the yellow pages. Now search is digital, and even the yellow pages uses search engines.

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