Transparent reporting creates a better relationship between you and your agency by allowing both parties to receive the most up–to-date information. Additionally, it allows you as a client to be aware of any changes month-to-month and helps prevent surprises.
Transparent reporting puts everything out on the proverbial table for everyone to see, and prevents corruption from having only select people see certain data. Unfortunately, more often than not, many business owners and executives investing in SEO will attest to not having a clear understanding of how exactly their money is being spent and what results it’s truly driving.
If you are currently investing in SEO and are unsure of how your marketing dollars are being spent, I’ve outlined and explained the critical SEO KPIs you should request and expect each month from any SEO agency.
The first component of an agency’s quality SEO report is organic traffic and conversion data. This is key SEO information as it allows you as a client to see the impact of utilized SEO tactics. One of the main ways to gauge how well your site is doing is by how much traffic and conversions it receives each day. Ask your SEO agency about any downward fluctuations in traffic or conversions during that month, what caused it and how they plan to resolve the issue.
Consistent, transparent reporting is key to understanding your businesses website traffic from a broader perspective – if traffic is slipping it is usually easy to spot differences when you have past reports. The same is true of conversions. If conversions go from 10-0 over a month, this usually indicates an issue with forms on the site or some sort of GA code problem.
The second component of solid SEO agency reporting is link building strategies and wins. Link building can have a huge impact on SEO efforts, but be careful – there are black hat and white hat link building methods. Black hat link building may trigger positive results faster, but are much more likely to take a serious nose dive if caught by Google. White hat link building may take a little longer to generate results, but the long term efforts will pay off in terms of improving your website’s authority and generating more quality traffic.
Keeping track of links built and perspective links, such as guest blogging links, are important to understanding your SEO agency’s methodology and practices. They should provide information about their link building practices freely. This also allows you to pull any month’s link out of the file and show what link made what impact at what time.
The third component of transparent reporting and building trust are monthly status calls. Your agency should give you the option of how many calls you want per month to review the status of your program. They should be available to take your calls or emails at any time so as to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
Withholding information or not getting your questions answered to the fullest are signs of poor SEO practice. Remember – they’re your marketing dollars, and even if you’re not an SEO wiz, you’re agency should still be able to provide you with the information you need to understand the true performance and ROI of your campaign.
To help you get the most of your SEO program, download Your Ultimate SEO One-Page Checklist and start learning the critical elements that should be a part of your businesses SEO strategy.