SEO Reporting: What to include in a Technical SEO Report
In my previous blog post, I explained and described SEO value and how to demonstrate the value of your work. The post covered the importance of SEO work and how to communicate issues that could be affecting a website. Here I’ll go into how to present findings and recommendations.
As a Technical SEO, part of the process of demonstrating the value of your work is to produce a technical SEO report or presentation to clients. The report or presentation must appeal to the senses of a wide range of client personality types. This can include the CEO of a large company or a local plumber.
It doesn’t really matter who the client is, though. The demonstrated value of your work remains the same.
What to Include in a Technical SEO Report
The audience for a technical SEO report will most likely be the owner of a company and/or their marketing team. Ironically, it’s vital that the report isn’t too technical. The information needs to be accessible to a wide audience – even if it’s an audience of one.
I use the What, Why, and How approach:
• What is the SEO issue or problem?
• Why is the SEO recommendation important?
• How will SEO recommendations be implemented?
But how do you present the information? Remember the acronym KISS: keep it simple, stupid. I use a simple and to-the-point layout that can be applied to almost any report. It’s been a successful way for me to present technical SEO recommendations documents and presentations.
Formatting a Technical SEO Report
Title: State the Technical SEO Issue
What: Briefly describe–in one or two paragraphs–the SEO issue or problem you’ve discovered.
Why: This is where you can quickly get the client’s attention. Demonstrate to the client you’ve listened and learned about what really matters most to them. Touch on the pain points and refer to KPIs. Explain and describe the negative impact the issue can have on their digital marketing efforts.
I recommend having spreadsheets, examples, and external reference links in your recommendations document. This way, if the client wants to travel ‘down the rabbit hole’ and learn more about the issue, you’re prepared and armed with information to prove your point. (Psst…this is when you can get very technical. They asked for it.)
How: Depending on the digital marketing relationship with the client, your findings may be presented in different ways. Are you working as a consultant with the client? Or are you reporting your findings to the client who expects you to take care of the issue?
As a consultant, it’s imperative to provide the following:
- Detailed instructions
- Resources such as supporting documentation, help articles, and examples
- Follow up and collaboration
If your SEO team is taking care of the issue:
- Deliver on your promise.
- Provide the client with a hard deadline when the work will be completed.
- Communicate any issues–in advance–that may affect the due date.
- Benchmark when the issue was resolved and completed. This way, you can measure and report on the added value to the client’s digital marketing campaign.
The digital marketing industry is competitive. Businesses have a lot of digital marketing agencies they can choose to work with. What gives your digital efforts that competitive edge and produces raving fans of your work? Value!
Make good on your promise of value and communicate this with your clients often. You’ll find them coming back to you again-and-again for your expertise and ability to deliver on a promise.