Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.


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Now, you may be thinking that one metric isn’t enough to reflect the whole state of technical SEO. And you’re right. But you’re usually not sending SEO reports to developers or other SEOs who can easily understand more in-depth information. For this reason, the Health Score is the best proxy for a client-friendly, technical SEO metric.

If the client’s customers go through a complex buying process, you’ll also want to report assisted organic traffic conversions. You can find this in GA under Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions . These will complete the picture of the overall impact of SEO on the business.

A quick to-do list that summarizes your main focus for the following month will suffice. It will also serve as an anchor for your next SEO report.

However, you should only report on backlink profile changes if your activities in the project influence the acquiring of new links. That can range from creating link bait content to planning and executing outreach campaigns. I mention this because link building is quite often a separate activity from many SEO projects.

Next, you should dive into the SEO KPIs more. While the previous slide won’t cut it for most clients, some will already be pretty satisfied. This is as we’ve covered what matters the most on the first two slides:

9. Technical SEO health overview.

If you’re doing local SEO, you’ll probably include an overview of local rankings and local SERP features. E‑commerce client? You may want to include Average Order Value from the organic traffic and dive deeper into the technical side of things.

But back to the actual template…

You can change the color scheme to the brand colors of your client, give it a bit of your own branding, make it look fancier, whatever you like.

Be careful here. GSC only provides 28-day views and comparisons by default. Thus, you need to select custom dates to compare whole months. Remember to compare the same number of days. Let’s look at a scenario where a month has 31 days (e.g., in such a case, start the comparison on the last day of August to account for only 30 days in September).

So there you have it. A fully customizable SEO reporting template to give to your clients. In case you skimmed through the article first, here’s the link again:

Go to Ahrefs’ Site Audit, set up a project for the client’s website if you haven’t done so already, and let the tool crawl the website. Depending on your crawl settings, Site Audit can recrawl the website periodically, providing you with all the current and historical technical SEO data.

This slide is designed to let you go into further detail about your link building work done during the month.

It’ll get pretty messy to present position changes of possibly hundreds of keywords in a deck. We should, therefore, satisfy the client by only reporting on the most important keywords for the business, aka “money keywords.” You can then include the rest by linking to the exported spreadsheet if the client wants to see it.

Add in the date/month of the report, your own logo, as well as your client’s website URL. Once those are completed, you are good to go.

Your client may also get a significant amount of traffic from Google Discover or Google News. If that’s the case, it’s probably worth dedicating a separate slide to it.

3. SEO KPIs overview.

Now let’s get back to the expectations between you and your client. The report should primarily contain what you’ve previously discussed. If you sent an SEO report without educating the client beforehand, you’d get a lot of questions and demands to show more data. This is even if the SEO report is perfect. That’s because you’re the SEO expert, not the client.

SEO Reporting Polls for upcoming article/presentation (Please RT) 👇

Let’s get started.

I’ll explain all the used metrics and data as we go through the slides later on. But I also highly recommend you to check out our articles on SEO KPIs and SEO metrics that actually matter. These will help you and your clients be on the same page.

You get the Health Score on the overview page after each crawl is done:

To get this data:

To wrap up, I want to thank everyone who shared their reporting insights with me over the years. I’m also grateful for Ahrefs Insider members, who proactively reached out with their knowledge and reports before I even started creating the template. And special thanks to Gyorgy Bolla, the search performance lead at Westpac, who introduced me to enterprise SEO reporting—the only area I wasn’t familiar with.

10. Next month.

You can see the most universal SEO KPIs above: search visibility and organic traffic conversions.

This can be basically the first and also the last slide that a CMO or CEO looks at. Thirty seconds later, they’ll say, “Cool, good job,” and won’t bother with the rest.

After showing your client all the data and reports, you should give them a plan of the most important SEO tasks you’ll be working on next month.

It’s time to move on to the actual SEO reporting.

Next up is the backlink profile— s howing the client what new, interesting coverage they got in the past month.

Truth to be told, there’s much more to evaluating link building than the number of links and DRs of referring domains. But that’s relevant for link prospecting before launching outreach campaigns, not for SEO reporting. Your clients don’t need to dive into all the nuances.

It took us a few slides before we got to the metrics a lot of SEOs and clients focus on first: organic traffic. The reason for showing this later is simple: Growing organic traffic doesn’t necessarily translate into business growth. The website can start ranking for keywords that drive traffic but not revenue.

What and how you report on your SEO efforts depend on how you set up expectations with your client. While SEO reports are dependant on a client’s business type, this is what everyone generally wants to see:

However, keep in mind that improving one goal can affect another, since they’re all connected. More traffic doesn’t necessarily bring more sales, but it can help. Whereas the wrong traffic could potentially hurt engagement.

Make sure your data is easy to look through at a glance. A client that has never seen your report before should be able to find the information (s)he is looking for quickly and easily.

For example, their goals may be:

Also, by tracking the new and lost referring domains, you can quickly see when something is wrong and fix the situation accordingly!

Even more importantly, you’ll want to explain how your chosen SEO goals will impact your client’s overall business. By outlining what you’re working towards and why, you’ll not only give direction to your report but also set your client’s expectations.

Page speed and performance.

Don’t forget to display all these KPI page by page to give a good overview or the top performing pages, landing pages or blog posts.

Organize ranking, linking, and analytics data in a logical way.

Not sure if DashThis is the right solution for your reporting needs? Try it free for 15 days! A free trial never hurt anybody!

Speaking of conversions… Be sure to include conversion data, since it’ll demonstrate your good work and the value you bring to your client’s business! These are KPIs you need to add, particularly if your client’s goal is to increase the number of sales, form completion, or downloads through his website.

SEO reports are not only your way of determining if your strategies are working, they’re also crucial in showing your results to your clients. And since this directly impacts your bottom line, I’d say it’s a non-negotiable for any digital agency worth its salt; you need to create well built, amazing SEO reports, quickly.

So let’s see a good example of what your monthly SEO report should look like!

You can then tweak the pages that don’t perform as well and reproduce what is working best on other pages.

We know we made the best SEO reporting software, but don’t take my word for it, just read what our clients have to say about us!

A tremendous part of SEO revolves around keywords : you want to know which are the most performing keywords!

How to create SEO marketing reports 1- Determine your objectives 2- Establish the KPIs you need 3- Build and share your report.

1- Determine your objectives.

Make sure you know which specific keywords improved in the rankings, how search visibility has changed, and of course, your average position in your target keyword searches results.

These KPIs are particularly important if your client’s objective is to increase engagement, which should ultimately increase conversions, right?

Also, always include the direct traffic in your SEO report, as well as the referral , in order to answer the age old question: who’s bringing traffic (or not!) to your website.

This is one of the most common SEO goals out there: increasing organic traffic. If your client has this goal in mind, make sure your SEO report includes your client’s site traffic generated through organic search AND paid search .

A high conversion rate and conversion volume directly indicates how your SEO efforts are paying off and how many leads are created thanks to your optimized website! With these KPIs, you can verify which page converts best, and which ones are not reaching their goals.

This will allow them to compare the traffic their website generates organically with the traffic from their ads, thus allowing you to highlight the impact one might have on the other! Don’t forget to take a look at the click-through rate on your ads. This website analysis of the traffic can really help your client understand the SEO value.

With that in mind, here are some of the most relevant KPIs to include in your SEO report;

*Hint: Never underestimate the layout!

It takes about five minutes to set up your automatic SEO report, and your clients will get them in a timely manner, with up-to-date data, every month. You heard me, you don’t have to come back and enter the new data monthly, it’s all updated automatically!

Pretty neat right? Now let’s see how to get there!

Make it look professional with headers and clear sections.

First and foremost, remember to always show your results in hard numbers ; nobody wants goals that aren’t measurable! Your reports should show numbers that you can rely on and track easily over time.

We also crafted a list of the 7 golden rules for creating kickass client dashboards if you want more tricks and tips like these!

However, creating your reports manually takes a bit more time.

Never underestimate the power of backlinks ! Make sure to include the domain authority metrics of those backlinks on your SEO report, as well as the new and lost referring domains .

Steps to create your SEO reports manually.

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