SEO is one of the most popular branches of online marketing today. And there’s a good reason for that – SEO continues to produce great results and the ROI is incredible, especially compared to paid media.
But with the growth of SEO, many businesses became interested in using SEO to grow their companies. With that interest came a challenge for agencies… How do you present the work you’ve done for your clients and which SEO metrics do you choose to showcase your success?
Having worked with hundreds of agencies, we know the exact SEO metrics you need to show your clients to prove that you’re getting them the results they seek. And in this article, we’ll reveal what those SEO metrics are!
There are plenty of vanity metrics in SEO, but organic traffic is not one of them. Simply put, if your agency is doing its job well, your client’s organic traffic should be increasing steadily each month.
Of course, you should let your clients know that they cannot expect meaningful results after just one month of content marketing and SEO.
However, beyond 2-3 months, your clients will expect a steady increase in organic traffic and this is a KPI you should always include in your reports.
With the average conversion rate hovering around 2% depending on the industry, the difference between 10,000 and 100,000 website visitors can make a huge impact on your client’s bottom line.
It doesn’t take a marketing expert to know that more people on your client’s website usually translates to higher profits. This brings us to our next point.
Conversions from organic traffic
If you set up your SEO reporting tool properly, tracking this metric is a breeze. Clients want to know the immediate impact of SEO activities on their bottom line and this is the easiest way to show them that.
With each new conversion that came in from organic search and content marketing, you can show your clients the exact value and effectiveness of SEO as a strategy. The key here is to do two things.
One, set up proper attribution so you and your clients are on the same page when it comes to what a conversion is. Two, set up a baseline so you can compare organic traffic conversions compared to PPC, social media and other channels.
Even if your client knows nothing about SEO, they likely understand the value of ranking well for their desired keywords. Even without an SEO expert, they know well enough which keywords they want to rank for and which of them brings in new revenue.
First off, make sure to report on keyword movements for existing keywords, especially the money keywords that bring in conversions. If there are any movements at all, they’ll want to know about them.
Moreover, update your clients about the total number of keywords they’re ranking for. While not the ultimate SEO metric, this is a pretty good signal that your SEO and content marketing efforts are going in the right direction.
New and lost backlinks
If your client is fairly new to SEO, understanding the importance of backlinks for their website and SEO is crucial. Make sure to educate your client base about what a backlink is, how it influences search engine results and what differentiates a good from a bad backlink.
The problem that often happens with backlinks is that they cost a lot of money to do right. White hat link building requires lots of hands-on work and many times, there are hidden costs involved, such as paying writers, editors and people in charge of outreach.
When you want to report on backlinks, be sure to include both new and lost backlinks in your report, especially in correlation with new pages that are ranking. This is a surefire way to convince any client about the importance of backlinks for SEO and overall business growth.
Bounce rate from organic traffic
A bounce happens when a visitor lands on a page and leaves it without going any further or taking any action. A bounce in itself is not a bad thing, but it usually signals that the visitor found nothing of value on the page and decided to leave.
A bounce rate is a good signal that you need to work on your content and provide a meaningful, engaging experience for your visitors. Make sure the content is structured well, with plenty of internal links to help them move on to other pages on your website.
More importantly, a high bounce rate is a ranking signal for search engines such as Google. Your clients should be aware that a high bounce rate can significantly impact not just their rankings but also their revenue. This is a metric that belongs on every SEO report.
Page load speed
It doesn’t take much to figure out why a fast website matters in 2022 and beyond. A website that loads fast provides a great user experience and makes visitors want to stay and click through.
Your website page load speed is more of a technical website issue but it should be included in your monthly or weekly SEO report. If you see a sudden slump in page load speed, this means that there’s a technical aspect of your client’s website that needs to be addressed.
More importantly, page load speed is another major ranking factor for Google and other search engines. If a website takes too long to load, the visitor will bounce immediately after opening a link, resulting in high bounce rates and short session duration. The end result? Poor user experience and a drop in rankings.
With so many buzzwords and mysteries surrounding SEO, focusing on what really matters can be difficult. And when you’re dealing with clients who have little understanding of internet marketing, you really need to be proactive and choose the metrics that make an impact and are easy to understand.
Guest Author: Mile Zivkovic is the Head of Content at Whatagraph, the ultimate marketing reporting tool for agencies and in-house marketers