The truth about any marketing activity is that it’s generally more fun preparing the creative and planning and executing the campaign than it is analysing and reporting on how well it has done and what corrective action to take.
In my experience marketers tend to be better at creating, planning and executing than they are at reporting and analysing their successes and failures and identifying ways to improve their ROI. Poor SEOs probably fall into this bracket too; good SEOs don’t.
To be successful at SEO doesn’t require rocket science or an infinite wealth of resources, but a systematic approach to the whole SEO process. Effective SEO analysis and reporting is required at every stage of this process and not just at the end of the process to help you succeed.
The 6 Truths about Effective SEO Reporting
1. SEO is a continuous process – You’ve heard of ‘real-time search’? Well, the search engines’ algorithms don’t stand still; your existing competitors won’t stand still and everyday there are new competitors on the horizon chipping away at your share of the organic search results in your niche. You need to implement an SEO process that can report on this activity as it is happening.
2. Competitive benchmarking is essential – Benchmark where you are at before you start. Don’t just look at how well structured and optimised your site is; but look at how well you are doing compared to your competitors. Make sure this is part of your reporting mix.
3. Set specific targets – Set yourself some specific and measurable targets and measures of success (as you would for any other marketing activity). Ensure you have an easy means of checking how you are progressing to target.
4. Constant monitoring – Give yourself a mechanism for constantly monitoring the competition and how the competitive environment is changing. Who is growing links aggressively? Who is adding new content? What new entrants have appeared in the search engine results pages (SERPs)? Ensure you have a mechanism for keeping up-to-date with what is going on.
5. Communication – Make sure you have identified all the key organisational stakeholders that have a role in optimising your website; or an interest in the results. Understand what they are looking for and deliver it to them when they need it. Avoid reporting boredom; don’t send them the same report like clockwork every month. Mix it up a bit; use PowerPoint instead of a long Word document or PDF. Keep it brief and leave them with an appetite for more, and a clear picture that you have all the bases covered.
6. Reflection – Even with the very best SEO tools, SEO team, website developers, content writers and online PR gurus things don’t always go according to plan straightaway. Setting alerts to warn you when you are slipping is always helpful; but setting aside time to refine your approach and re-plan is an even better way of creating a virtuous circle of success. Schedule this time in at the beginning of each SEO campaign and you will find you produce better results more quickly with fewer resources.
Introduction to Analytics SEO
If you are looking for an SEO project management tool that handles all aspects of SEO campaign reporting then why not give this SaaS based SEO software a try – Analytics SEO.
It automatically follows a simple and successful 5 step SEO process and helps support you to create a more user-friendly and search-engine friendly website. For users with multiple websites it allows you to systematically and consistently manage and report on all your websites and SEO activities simultaneously. It’ll keep you on top of your site, and your site on top of the search engines.
By: Laurie OToole
CEO and founder of Authoritas. Entrepreneur, SEO and golfing enthusiast!