Before we dig into the process involved in monthly SEO reporting with Google Data Studio, we have to understand what a monthly SEO report is. After that, we’ll dig into some of the magic of data analysis and how it can make your clients swoon when you present it right.
A monthly SEO report is a document that project managers usually create to assess the project’s growth in a month. As you quickly assess this at the beginning of the next month, you can have better plans for that month.
With all the updates you provide with this, your clients will get clarity about the amount of work the agency is doing. You can assess ranking progress, SEO health, organic traffic progress, backlinks, etc. with a monthly SEO report.
In short, a monthly SEO report can be described as an overview of a website’s monthly performance in search engines that focuses on organic traffic, rankings, and other such metrics. You can also include some information about your link prospecting strategy and whatever else you’re doing for them, but great reports usually keep more of an overhead view without getting too much into the nitty-gritty unless the client wants that.
Similarly, local SEO reporting can be defined as assessing the keyword trends and campaign growth locally instead of globally.
There are several tools online that you can use to check your monthly and local SEO report. But only go for those that provide the three important things – growth, insights, and recommendations.
Five Phases of SEO Campaign
Whenever you carry out a digital project, it is led by an SEO campaign. You plan to optimize a website or page so that it improves in terms of Google SEO rankings. It is a long term process involving elements such as SEO analysis, keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, etc.
Even though the end results of an SEO campaign are always unknown, you can plan your efforts to almost reach your goals. Your hard work might also land you into the trending pages of Google SEO ranking.
To improve your SEO rankings, you can follow the five phases of an SEO campaign, or popularly known as The Blueprint. Agencies follow this pattern every month to race further in the SEO competition.
Learning – When you begin your project, you start with your research. Become familiar with the previous month’s report and work from there.
Improving – With the help of a monthly and local SEO report, keep your pros consistent, and work on eliminating the cons. Ideate on plans that will work for your SEO campaign.
Building – Once you have reflected on your report, it is time to put those ideas into action. Make use of your best accessible resources to create a campaign that will woo the consumers.
Promoting – With a campaign ready in hand, be ready to distribute it across the platforms. Maximum promotion is directly proportional to maximum reach.
Evaluating – Now comes the important step of all. At the end of every month, your SEO campaign should be thoroughly evaluated, especially if it is active for a few months. Evaluating will bring you factual information about where your SEO campaign stands.
Understanding Phase 5: Evaluating the SEO Campaign
Like we said, evaluating is a parameter to know how well your SEO campaign is doing and why. The monthly SEO report will also show you the campaign’s weaknesses for you to work on.
This phase holds great importance because to improve on your SEO campaign, you have to understand the faults in it. Note that the quantity of faults does not determine whether the campaign is substandard. In fact, no campaign is perfect, and it is made with mere imperfections.
That being said, evaluating your monthly and local SEO report will bring awareness and allow you to ideate on how to reduce these faults over time. There are several components to take into consideration when it comes to evaluating. However, these two hold great importance.
Monthly SEO Reporting
Evaluating a monthly and local SEO report is not that difficult when you understand what you need to look at. If you are new to SEO and do not understand the metric meanings, it is completely okay.
Everyone goes through this at some point. Nevertheless, take this time to understand those metrics. These will come in handy at the time of evaluating your monthly SEO report.
Once you do your homework, go ahead, and evaluate your monthly SEO reporting. Take some time to prioritize what weaknesses you need to work on.
SEO Closeout Reporting
An SEO closeout report is simply an overall version of the monthly SEO report. While the monthly and local SEO report digs deeper into the growth of the campaign, the SEO closeout report compiles it.
It consists of the overall SEO campaign goal, methodology, results, timelines, budgeting, and so on. There is not much that goes into a closeout report that is not included in the monthly report.
Overview: Evaluating Monthly SEO Reporting
Yes, we know that evaluating the SEO campaign itself is a phase, but evaluating has a process of its own. This is because many factors play a key role in helping you improve.
You might already be aware that Google Data Studio is a platform that caters to your evaluation needs to enhance customer engagement and drive traction. This is part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite alongside other products such as Tag Manager 360, Analytics 360, Attribution 360, Optimize 360, and Audience Center 360.
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Data Studio assists you with data analysis and visualization to create remarkable reports that you can store and share. To start working on data, you first have to gather data. Once you do this, you can then check for calculating, formatting, and reorganizing.
With prepared data, you can go ahead with visualizing on the canvas. The Data Studio has a feature where you can connect the dots and outline them in any manner. Moreover, you can share these reports and collaborate with your partners across seven seas.
Refer to The Blueprint template to understand the following features of the Google Data Studio. This will help you understand what to expect from the platform.
As you access the template, you will see your pages on the top-left part of the document. In total, there are four categories of pages that are carefully segregated for easy usage. You can go ahead and customize the required ones or remove some pages that are irrelevant.
All: Monthly Summary, Organic Traffic, and Breakdown, & Organic Landing Pages
The pages included in this category are monthly summary, organic traffic performance, organic traffic breakdown, and organic landing pages. The category can be used by any kind of website that requires lead generation, goal completion, or eCommerce. Most of these pages also have ‘last six months’ and ‘last 12 months’ visibility for you to distinguish.
ECommerce: Organic Revenue Dashboard, Breakdown & Demographics
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The eCommerce category includes organic revenue dashboard, breakdown, and demographics. You will only be able to use these pages in case your client uses Google Analytics. These can be used to track the eCommerce business’ revenue, transactions, and GA.
Goals: Organic Leads Dashboard, Breakdown, & Demographics
They have a similar layout to the ‘all’ category in terms of the monthly structures. Due to this, you can assess your long term trends as well. This will assist you with the goal set up for the client’s website.
Local: Location Breakdown
This category has only one page called location breakdown. You can use this for any website that is linked with a location page URL filter. For instance, if your landing path is linked to any local page, then this one will be relevant for your evaluation.
All: Keyword Visibility and Rankings, Target Keyword Rankings and Page Rankings, & Live Links and Content
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This category includes everything ‘keyword’. You can evaluate all your keyword rankings and trend changes in this section. If you publish content for a website, then the live links page is relevant to your evaluation.
Sub-Processes: Evaluating Monthly SEO Reporting
The evaluating phase further branches out to the monthly SEO reporting sub-processes. Here you can understand the basics of the Data Studio, ways to compose your report, and customize it with the platform’s features.
The first two steps involve reviewing the output in Google Data Studio and understanding the basics of the platform. In this module, we will be explaining these two as we guide you through the next steps. This will allow a deeper understanding of Data Studio’s features.
Wiring Up Your Data Studio
If you are aware of the Data Sources, then you know that you have to set-up four essential ones. These include the monthly keyword tracking, Google search console by URL and Query, and Google Analytics. Setting these up will help you to link your website together.
· Google Analytics Set-up
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Starting with the GSC set-up, make sure you make a copy of this data source before going further. Once you do this, change the name of the source to match your preference. Follow the below path to finish setting up Google Analytics,
Edit Connection > Account > Select Website > Reconnect > Apply
The following path links your website to display all the metrics. Later, you can format or change this data.
· Google Search Console (URL & Query Set-up)
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The set-up for GSC by URL and Query is the same. Similar to GA, you start by making a copy of the data source. Moving on, you change the name and follow the path given below,
Edit Connection > URL Impression > Select Website > Reconnect > Apply
As previously mentioned, you can format or change later.
· Keyword Tracking Set-up
Unlike GA and GSC, there is no native connector for keyword tracking. Instead, you compose the data in Google Sheets with the help of The Blueprint template. With the help of Sheets, you can present the data on Google Data Studio in your keyword ranking section.
Referring to the template, you can see sources included, such as monthly keyword tracking, target pages, campaign timespan, etc. To get started with the template, you can follow these simple steps.
• Set your keyword tracking service like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or others.
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• Further, obtain the data from any three time periods. This includes campaign start month, last month, current month, or such depending on your evaluation.
• Set the columns properly so that your monthly SEO reporting can function smoothly.
• Set a campaign month on your Google Sheets.
• Lastly, make a copy of your GA and GSC data sources, as previously explained.
Creating and Sharing Your Report
This is the most interesting and essential step. Although creating your monthly SEO report requires minimal set-up, here are some things you can do to make your job easier than before.
When you open Data Studio, you can use The Blueprint Template and replace the older data sources with the news ones that you created earlier.
Further, pull the data report into the platform. Since all of the platforms used earlier were native Google sources, the data will mostly fit perfectly. In any case that it does not, you can manually edit the settings.
Since your client will be receiving this, be sure to change the name to theirs. You can also change the logo if you are using the template. Do not worry about the date as the range changes automatically.
Once your charts show up, remember to look through the report thoroughly and fill out the monthly summary page. Check for the keyword tracking sources and update it monthly.
Update the live links and content page as well. You can either connect it with the client’s workbook, or you can change them manually.
For sharing the monthly SEO report, you can share links and collaborate after deleting irrelevant content for clients. You can also download PDF’s to share or store backlogs. While doing so, you have the option to select certain pages.
Before we end this module, here are some additional things to keep in mind. During GA and GSC set-up, be sure to go through the field changes. However, you can ignore semantic configuration. In regards to sharing the documents, Google Data Studio allows you to set a reminder as well.Even though you have the feature, try to avoid it at all costs simply because it will help you remember on your own every month. Make sure that you consistently update the data, or you might end up with loads of backlog.
Social signals always look great as part of your SEO reporting, too, it’s something that’s easy for clients to quantify and recognize.