What KPI you should show to your SEO customers
In the SEO sphere, you should be 100% sure that you will always have something to do. After spending months of work, sometimes even very hard work, may not bring results that a specialist or a website owner wishes to see. To evaluate if all the work was done as it should be done, it is better to regularly track metrics, which are also known as key performance indicators (KPI). Any SEO knows that tracking a single metric isn’t the way out of such situations. There is another problem arises when your customers want to see how things are going and what for they pay. The solution is pretty simple. First of all, you should track multiple KPIs and, secondly, you should sort the data into two heaps: the one that is better to show to your customers and the one that is not that necessary for them to see.
As you already know, KPIs are shown in hard numbers that are received based on a website performance. Such data can be received, for example, from any analytics tool. One of them is Google Analytics which is free and provides with basic data. Also, you should remember that keyword rankings are not the only thing that shows the progress. They are great, no doubt, but there are more valuable parameters which dynamics can play into your hands. For example, you can demonstrate percentage increase in sales. But first things first. Let’s try to figure out which and how KPIs should be shown to your customers.
Plan your reports
This step must be done first of all. You need to be 100% aware of what indicators are the most important for your customer. For this, you need to find out all the preferences that your client set for his business in the very beginning of your partnership. Some of the business owners want to increase their popularity, see more visitors on the website, increase leads or sales and much more. So as an SEO specialist you have a wide choice on how to show the true value of your work.
After you have found out what KPIs are the most important, frame them around your customer’s business goals to show that you help them to move forward to their completion. You are not only moving a keyword ranking — your work adds real value to the business, reduces marketing costs, builds the brand and more. Just remember to let them know!
What performance indicators should be shown
Even when you have a certain list of what your clients want to get a report for, there are also common KPIs that should be shown as well. Or there might be a situation when your customer can’t choose what is the most important for him but wants to see the results of your work.
Opinions differ, of course. Some people think that it isn’t the main metric, but some consider it as a pretty important one. But let’s take a reality check. Any SEO’s work is primarily focused on keyword rankings and it is obvious that websites listed on the first page of SERP receive more traffic. By tracking keyword rankings you get an ability to improve your SEO strategy around those queries that require more attention. As for your customer, you can show the growth dynamics or how his website is climbing to the top of the first SERP. You can, for instance, use RankActive product – Rank Tracker to show how many keywords are in TOPs. It also has the Won vs. Lost section which gives a quick estimation on how many keywords changed their positions. Or pick Ranking Distribution section and show how the keywords are spreading among the 10 SERP of the selected search engine. The data displaying is very convenient. There are charts in each section that help to understand how things are going for a few seconds. So it will be easy for a person who doesn’t know much about SEO to see the changes. Make sure your client understands that if his website’s positions grow then the amount of qualitative traffic will increase as well.
Using this free tool you can show a huge amount of very necessary for your client information. Let’s dig deeper into it.
- Organic traffic. It is what most SEOs strive to increase because this kind of traffic shows how many visitors came from a search engine. Paid search ads are excluded from it. The better a customer website is ranking, the more organic traffic will be received. The growing dynamics of this data will clearly show that your work is done great.
- Unique Visitors. This metric helps to size the audience that a customer’s website has. The importance of it depends on what purpose the site has. If your client is, for instance, a seller, he will want to maximize the number of visitors at his website. If he is a blogger, he will be also interested in page views data to find out visitors engagement.
- Bounce rate may help you to change your customer mind. I will explain better. Some people when they come to the SEO agency are willing to leave all the details of their websites as they are. Sometimes it is not smart and when SEOs try to explain that some changes will be for better, a client may still hold his own no matter what. If the bounce rate is high and you know the certain reason for it, you can use these metrics as a proof of your words. Website visitors are arm’s length party, they don’t care about anything but the convenient usability of the website. If they don’t like it or don’t find what they are searching for, they will leave and in most of the cases, never come back. Explain it to your customers.
- Audience engagement can be expressed in the amount of time spent on the page. If you’ve published a new content, it will show whether users read what was posted and if it was interesting for them. The higher the average time on a page you get, the more engaged your audience is.
- Where the target audience is from. Google Analytics is very useful tool. It provides you with the data not only about the number of visitors but also their location. This information is important if your customer wants to expand the sphere of influence.
- Conversion Rate. After the optimization of a website is properly made its rankings and number of new visitors should increase. It means that the promoted product or service can reach the people who are searching for them. If SEO is working, the conversion rates should increase.
One of the great options of how to show such an impressive amount of the information is to provide your customer with an access to it. It is easy to do with Account access management from RankActive where you have an ability to invite any user, set a role for him and control what he can view or do. It will make your work easier because your customer will have an ability to check how the things are going anytime he wants and doesn’t have to wait when you will prepare weekly or monthly reports.
What should you do if you have nothing to show
Imagine such terrible situation when you’ve implemented a lot of marketing tactics to make the traffic for your website grow but even after posting qualitative content, sharing it on social networks and different niche websites, and conducting ads campaign, there are no results or they are not that fabulous as your customer wanted to have. In this case, first of all, you should find the reason of this fail and contact a client. It is much better to let them know about things that aren’t moving than being silent or making fake reports. The most important thing is to be honest with your customer. Explain why it could happen and what you can do for improving the KPIs. As a rule, there may be historical problems or some penalties from search engines side.
Why SEO might not work
SEO is a magical and sometimes pretty weird thing. What works for one website, doesn’t always helps another one to get the desired positions. What reasons may be hidden behind “no results” result?
- Wrong kind of SEO. To choose the right type of optimization you should clearly understand the sphere in which you operate and think of the different ways to optimize customer’s site to appear in those results that are most relevant for him.
- Weak on-page optimization. Make sure a website pages’ tags, like titles and meta descriptions, are optimized and relevant to the content. In this case, clicks from search engine result pages will be better enticed. Also, it is important to have the content that clearly explains the purpose of provided services and selling products.
- Over-optimised website. Check if your website has such problems: its content can’t be read well or is spammed with keywords, some pages are similar and the only difference is keywords. Found those mistakes? Immediately start working on their eliminating because search engines are smart enough to detect not only poor quality of content but also over-optimization.
- Technical issues. There can be crawling issues when a search engine is not able to scan your content; indexation issues when the same page has too many variations; domain or subdomain issues may appear in case when a website answers and is indexed on multiple domains or subdomains; duplicate content; mobile issues caused by poor usability on mobile devices.
- The absence of qualitative links. All the links must be from relevant sources. From your side, you should provide valuable content that is worth to be shared.
The point of reporting about your SEO work has a great value that sometimes is strategic. It may work perfectly for you. First of all, it helps you to be motivated and do better work. Also, your clients will be able to understand the true value of the SEO campaign components that often are confusing. If you do everything right, you will grow from a random SEO services supplier to a strategic partner and gain one the most important element of success – your client’s trust.