One way to classify SEO reports in PDF form is by their length:
Update SEO reports, with little or no analysis. These reports are usually structured as period-over-period (ex: month-over-month), and mostly show how headline KPI’s (traffic, revenue, leads etc) have evolved over a certain time frame.
Update SEO reports do not focus on analysis simply because nothing special has happened to a business during the reported timeframe. Traffic & revenue are mostly stable and things are generally calm. As such, there is no need for analysis.
Audit SEO reports, with problem diagnostics and strategy proposals. These reports are considerably more in-depth, and are created in case of severe SEO and traffic issues or as a proposal for a new, bold SEO strategy to increase revenue, leads or other important KPI’s.
What you need to create an SEO report
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- SEO tools (SEMRush, Ahrefs, Moz etc.)
- Databox, a free tool that combines data from all above sources in a single report.
Databox is a tool you might be unfamiliar with, but with it you can build reports that combine metrics from many different SEO, analytics, marketing, email and various other tools.
Below is a (non-SEO) example of Databox mixing data from Google Analytics, MailChimp, Facebook Ads & Google Ads all in one panel.
Tools like Databox aren’t necessary to generate effective SEO reports, but they will help enormously if you want to do it faster, and automate the process.
Update SEO PDF Templates & Samples
The main purpose of an update SEO report is to keep a client / executive up to speed on a site’s performance. As such, these reports should mostly focus on showing vital KPI’s.
- Update reports should be kept simple and to the point.
- Data must be understood at a glance.
- Can be as short as a single page or image.
- Don’t overload the client / exec with information they may not need.
Custom Google Analytics SEO Report (PDF)Google-Analytics-SEO-PDF-Report
This is a custom SEO report built with Google Analytics. It contains many important metrics for SEO, including a few bonus ones such as eCommerce conversion rate, total sales, site speed and geolocation breakdown.
Unfortunately, this report does not display information from outside of Google Analytics. This means you don’t get to show information from Google Search Console, other SEO tools or CRM’s.
Create this report yourself with these simple steps:
- From the Chrome browser, log out of all your Google accounts and then log into ONLY the account that your Google Analytics is attached to.
- Visit this URL. It will take you to your Google Analytics and automatically create the report above for you.
- Clicking the link will bring you to a page with a list of views for you to choose from. Choose the profile and view that reaches analytics for your entire site from the drop down menu.
- Choose a timeframe that is relevant to your report.
- If you want to add different metrics to your report, simply click on the “+ Add Widget” button and choose what information you want to see. Play around with the different metrics and chart types.
- Don’t worry about breaking anything. You can always just reload the link if you want to start from scratch.
- When you’re done, simply click on the “Export” button and press on PDF. After some 5-30 second wait, your browser should download the report in PDF form.
- BONUS: This report will automatically be saved in your Google Analytics. Simply go to Customization -> Dashboards and feel free to reuse whenever you want.
SEO Benchmark report templateSEO-Benchmark-report-template-pdf
This report is built using Databox, and contains information from multiple sources:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
To build this report:
- Create a free account at Databox.com.
- Log in to the account, go to Databoards -> Public Templates -> Type “SEO” in Search Box -> Select “SEO Overview” or any other template you might like.
- You will then be prompted to connect your data sources to populate the template. Choose whichever data source is relevant, and follow the on-screen instructions.
- Once this is done, you will be taken to the data board, where you will be able to customize and build your report however you want, with whatever data connections you want.
Audit PDF SEO Report Sample & TemplateTechnical-SEO-Report-Audit-PDF-PPT
To use this template, log in to a Google account and then simply click this link:
Next, go to File -> scroll down to Make a copy -> Entire Presentation.
Clicking on that will create a copy of the template that you can edit and use however you want.
The Overview slide summarizes the entire report in a few, key phrases.
Summarize the important information first. You will explain the subjects more in-depth in the rest of the report.
The information must be short, and to the point. Enough for the exec to read in 10 -15 seconds and understand the issues, at least on a superficial level.
As such, avoid phrasings that aren’t easily measurable such as “severe traffic loss”. Reports tend to be dry, so dramatic cliffhangers like these can give the client or exec a heart attack.
Finally, avoid the temptation of making the Overview a Table of Contents section. Don’t label point 1 as “Analyzing traffic loss” or point 3: “eCommerce and revenue situation”.
Monthly traffic performance
This report uses the free version of Databox to combine data from Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Ahrefs into a single report.
The headline figure is the -22% drop in sessions. All the other metrics, such as Clicks, Impressions and Keyword Position Top 10/3 are secondary KPI’s that are used to give context to the headline -22% traffic drop.
Your own report doesn’t need to look like this. Ideally, you should replace metrics you don’t need with others that are more useful.
For instance, you might not need to devote so much space to Keyword Positions or general SEO stats. Instead, you could replace those with metrics such as Organic Traffic eCommerce conversion rates, number of leads generated etc.
In this case, the client is SEO literate so the Ahrefs metrics are useful in giving actionable information regarding site health.
SEO diagnostics slides
The first slide explains what caused the traffic decline in a few short phrases.
Long explanations clutter reports and are at risk of being misunderstood.
A relevant example of this would be writing a long explanation on why backlinks are necessary for SEO, only to have the client / exec get the idea that you need backlinks at all costs in order to rank. They’ll then buy 100 links from a shady seller on Fiverr, which then tanks the site’s rankings for unnatural backlinks.
As a rule of thumb, keep explanations short and let the client or exec contact you for more information. This way you’ll make sure that the other person will have a correct understanding of the situation.
This slide is designed for smaller blogs or sites with few money pages, that can be displayed all at once on the same databoard.
This is so that the client has an at-a-glance understanding of how the most important pages of a website are performing.
The chart shows that the site’s SEO issues affect all pages, and not just one or two high-traffic ones that drag down the rest of the site.
Sites with high-traffic volumes such as news sites or eCommerce will likely need a different set of metrics since they have far too many pages that won’t fit in such a report.
Fixes and solutions slide
The normal structure of an analysis report requires identifying problems and their causes, followed by proposing solutions.
The proposed solutions should be presented in a few sentences. If there is need for more depth, these can be expanded in a separate report.
Backlinks and link building
Due to the importance of backlinks in SEO, it is good practice to have a backlink section in every SEO report, alongside a linkbuilding strategy if need be.
eCommerce and revenue
Ultimately, SEO is a tool used to accomplish a goal. In the case of this site, the goal is eCommerce revenue.
Whenever possible, SEO reports should clearly indicate the connection between actual SEO work, and the tangible results it brings.
Most of the times, it is revenue. But other valid KPI’s include: leads, email subscribers, audience building for PPC etc.
How to quickly generate PPT/PDF SEO reports and at scale
Combining data from multiple sources
A good SEO report needs data from multiple sources to show a complete picture of a site’s health.
The traditional way of creating an SEO report involved screenshotting analytics graphs & charts, pasting them in a document and then adding notes.
Because of this, manually creating lots of reports can eat tens of hours of precious worktime.
This is one of the biggest reasons why we recommend using a tool such as Databox, since you will eliminate all the copy / pasting involved.
All you have to do is drag and drop metrics from different data sources (Analytics, Search Console etc) onto the report.
This greatly simplifies the process of building a report, and can save valuable time better spent on actual marketing efforts, instead of reporting.
Always up to date information
Another problem when creating reports with the manual method, is that you will have to recreate the report every single quarter, month or week.
This is because the metrics in the report are just static screenshots of numbers. At the beginning of every reporting period, you’ll have to replace the old screenshots with the new metrics.
On the other hand, reports built with data dashboarding tools are live, meaning they automatically update the metrics with new information coming in from connected data sources.
In other words, you’ll only need to create the report once.
Automating report sharing
Finally, after creating the report you’ll also have to share it, usually by email.
With the manual method, you’ll have to hand create an email every single time you share the report.
If you have to 5+ reports per month, you’ll need to use Excel and various reminders to keep track of them all.
By contrast, a data dashboarding tool takes care of this process by automatically sharing the report at set intervals, and to how many people you want.
Make the report on-demand
On-demand means that the client / exec has access to the information in the report 24/7 and that the information is constantly up to date.
Data dashboarding tools give you the ability to send a shareable link to the report, that a client / exec can always visit to see up-to-date information regarding the website.
Click this link if you’d like to see how such a report would look like: https://app.databox.com/datawall/a5a4a644485caaa041abb8aaf148bcd705fcf409c
What metrics should an SEO report include?
All SEO reports need to contain at least one metric regarding traffic. This metric can be different from site to site, depending on how they generate their revenue.
Blogs and news sites tend to measure pageviews or sessions, since they are dependent on ads and those metrics are tightly correlated to ad revenue.
Alongside those headline figures, an SEO report could include other secondary traffic metrics that can indicate a website’s performance such as:
- Returning visitors. Good for news sites that rely on loyal readers who visit the site often (think New York Times, Wired etc.)
- Pages per session. Good for all websites, since it measures visitor engagement.
- User location. Can be a critical metric for sites that rely on traffic from a particular location.
Revenue, leads & other important KPI’s
Ultimately, SEO is a tool used to generate more money for a business. If SEO efforts don’t lead to more revenue, transactions or leads, then all the traffic it generates can be considered a vanity metric that doesn’t do anything.
As such, every SEO report should contain business important KPI’s.
Relevant business KPI’s for PDF SEO reports:
- Revenue from organic traffic.
- Transactions from organic traffic.
- Leads from organic traffic.
- Adsense revenue.
- Adsense revenue.
- Affiliate link clicks.
Keyword tracking & Google Search Console
When measuring keyword performance, it is best to combine data from SEO tools (Ahrefs, Majestic, SEMRush etc.) with that from Google Search Console (GSC).
This is because unlike GSC, SEO tools measure how a website moves up and down the search results. Another advantage is that SEO tools can track keywords in top 3/10 positions, including rich results and featured snippets.
On the other hand, Google Search Console measures impressions and clicks, per query or page.
When you combine the two, you will get an accurate picture of how well a website performs on a keyword level.
Relevant metrics for Keyword Performance section:
- Keywords in top 3/10 month-over-month.
- Total number of keywords a site ranks for.
- Total GSC Impressions, usually month-over-month.
- Total GSC Clicks, usually month-over-month.
Every SEO report should have a dedicated backlink section, because of how important backlinks are to SEO success.
Relevant metrics for backlink section:
- Total backlinks. Not always relevant, since one domain can send 1000+ backlinks, which dilutes their value.
- Total referring domains.Can be either an alternative to Total Backlinks or a secondary metric to it.
- New and lost backlinks. Losing a backlink can have a painful SEO impact, so it’s best to be aware of this metric and do corrective action early.
- Number of dofollow vs nofollow links.
- Internal and external links. These are less talked about concepts in SEO, but many studies have proven that they do actually influence ranking.
This section usually measures aspects such as site speed, crawled pages, Domain Authority or Domain Rating, redirects, broken links etc.
This section should only be included if the site has ongoing SEO health issues. If these SEO issues are fixed, including them is basically dead weight since it’s just the same information that repeats itself from one report to another. It essentially clutters the report and acts as filler.
Relevant metrics for site health:
- Site speed. This metric has proven to have a good correlation with search performance.
- Crawled pages. Mostly relevant to big sites with lots of pages, such as eCommerce.
- Broken Links. Mostly a usability issue. Not usually viewed as urgent, but a good metric to review every once in a while.
Notes and mentions
Some SEO achievements are not immediately visible in analytics, but will have an ongoing positive effect that will produce results for months or even years.
However, these SEO achievements should be included in a report even if they don’t generate movement in the analytics tools.
Relevant examples of SEO achievements:
- Acquiring a high-quality backlink (from sites such as Forbes, Wall Street Journal etc.)
- Improving site speed.
- Eliminating duplicate content.
- Implementing Schema markup across the site.