As we are coming up on the end of the year, marketing managers should be thinking about what to include in the end of the year report. This is a great opportunity to take a step back, evaluate the year, and present more data and more visually appealing data than your typical monthly report would include.
Here are a few important things to consider when putting together an SEO report for the end of the year:
Metrics to Include
Even with the end of the year report, you should focus the most on the critical KPI’s. For an SEO campaign, the basics are usually organic traffic, organic conversions/leads, and rankings. Here are a few specifics to consider for each of those metrics:
- Amount of and change in organic sessions
- Rate of increase throughout the year
- Percent of organic traffic compared to other traffic channels
- Engagement – Has it improved over the year? How does it compare to other channels?
- Amount of leads generated by organic traffic
- Rate increase for leads throughout the year
- Organic conversion rate – what it is now, how it has changed, how it compares to other channels
- Type of Leads – are there different goals for the website? If so, include the metrics above specific to each goal completion
- Current rankings for targeted keywords
- Total improvement made to rankings for targeted keywords
- Highlight first page rankings
- Total number of keywords the website is showing up in search results for
- Average position on Google
Was there anything that happened this year that significantly impacted results and do you expect something like that to happen again next year? Are there trends to be aware of? At what rate should progress continue throughout the next year? Share that information in the report!
The presentation of this report is especially important for a couple of reasons. First, there will be more data than a monthly report and you don’t want the people reading the report to be overwhelmed. Second, this report may be reviewed by people higher up in the company than normal. Executives may not review the report each month, but they may want to see an overview of progress made throughout the year. It is critical that the report data is visually appealing and easy to understand.
The main way to present data visually is to use graphs. Graphs make data easier to read, are more interesting, and can help illustrate trends. There are a variety of tools you can use to create graphs. Some we use are Excel, Piktochart, and Google Data Studio. You can also use the graphs created by Google Analytics and other reporting tools you use.
Here are some examples:
Organic Traffic by Month – 2016 vs 2015
Google Rankings – Number of improvements made each month for the targeted keyword
Percentage of Traffic Brought in By Each Channel
Goal Completions by Traffic Channel
Average Position in Google Search Results
(The closer to 0 the better because that means higher up in search results)
Other aspects of presentation to consider are labels, colors, and organization.
Make sure graphs and other data are clearly labeled so everybody understands the data that is being reported and the time frame for that data. Labels should also simple enough so they don’t make the report look to busy.
Color can help make the report more visually appealing. Using color consistently can also help readers better understand the data. For example, if there is an increase, highlight it green to signify progress.
You can also use the same colors for the same types of graphs to make them easier to read.
Group the information together if they relate to the same KPI. Utilize headings to help readers understand the focus of each section of the report. Put the few most important and most impressive pieces of information in an executive summary at the beginning of the report for those who are just interested in the highlights.
SEO Strategy Review
The end of the year report should also give an overview of the work that was done during the year. Was link building a focus? Then list the main strategies used. Were you writing for the blog? Then list the number of pieces published and topics that performed well. Don’t go into too much detail, but highlight the focus of the year and what you feel were the most successful strategies.
Project Specific Reporting
It is critical to back up that information with data that illustrates the results.
Data for content projects should be included in this report. The most important data to include is traffic and conversions. Depending on the type of content and level of promotion, you could also consider including data about links and social media shares.
If there were link building opportunities that required more time/effort than most, then you can add in data about referral traffic coming from that link or improvement to rankings for the keyword used in the anchor text.
Planning for Next Year
After reviewing the previous year, decide on the strategies that you want to utilize during the next year. Decide what bigger projects you would like to complete and include it in the report. It will give other people involved in the marketing work a chance to review and approve your ideas if necessary. It will show that you are thinking ahead.
Even if you don’t have the specifics worked out yet, you can list the general focus of the year (onsite vs offsite SEO vs content) or the number of large projects your team will complete (things like skyscraper articles, infographics, quizzes, high authority links, etc.).
Is there something you like to include when you are making reports for the year? Let us know in the comments below!