SEO REPORTS: How to Gauge the Performance of Your SEO Company

You finally managed to seal the deal with an SEO company who is committed to boosting your search engine ranking. However, a few days and weeks pass by and you find yourself wondering if they are doing a good job of it.

You’ve most likely cut the first few checks already but can’t seem to shake this nagging question: are they doing what I paid them to do and is it too early to decide whether it’s working or not?

Good SEO is not a game of chance but rather a highly specific and scientific approach to not just getting more traffic to your website, but also ensuring that it is 100% quality and relevant traffic.

Before we get to the nitty gritty of how to gauge your SEO company’s performance through detailed reports, let’s quickly understand what SEO analysis and reports are at their core and why they are so crucial to the overall success of your business.

What’s an SEO Report?

SEO reports let you gain insights into how your website can improve its ranking on popular search engines such as Google. However, this is often not as straightforward as hiring an SEO company and leaving it up to them entirely to deliver the goods. In fact, good SEO analysis and reporting can be a complex process which needs to be broken down using the right level of data and tools, in order to get meaningful results.

Two of the best SEO reporting tools currently available are Moz Pro Tools and Google Webmaster Tools. The latter happens to be one of the most preferred SEO reporting and analysis tools today because it’s not only free to use, but also has a very user-friendly interface. And, the fact that it’s created by the number one search engine in existence today further cements its credibility and reliability.

Why it’s Important

Until and unless a complete SEO analysis is performed on your website, you are not really in a position to make good decisions with regard to boosting your ranking on Google’s search pages.  Let’s say you’re located in Toronto, and you wanted a Toronto SEO company to work on your site.

A detailed SEO analysis and report will identify what obstacles are preventing your site from ranking high, so that you can start gearing your efforts towards removing those obstacles and taking certain measures as well, to ensure that you continue to rank high and reel in quality traffic.

As long as your SEO company is relying on the right metrics to redo your site’s SEO in order for it to rank higher, you know that you’ll be generating leads much sooner and with significantly less effort. We’ll be shedding light on those metrics later in this article.

Typical Components of an SEO Report

Since there’s a wide range of SEO tools to choose from, different SEO companies will work with specific components and metrics when compiling their detailed analysis and report.

However, some of the most common components of an SEO report include:

Competitive SEO analysis; details on your industry’s top competitors and how their SEO is holding up.

Keyword performance reports; this includes competitor keywords, monthly searches, current rank and difficulty to rank.

Link reports; lets you know what links on your site are spammy, bad or generally broken.

Data on page performance such as load speed and navigation, just to name a few.

Website structure and layout.

How/where “alt text” is used for images.

How meta descriptions are used.

Number of repeat pages or duplicate content volume.

Pages that are not saturated with enough content.

How responsive your site design is.

So at a glance, these are typically components you’d come across in an SEO report.


Case Study: Boosting Organic Traffic to Stratosphere Levels through Comprehensive SEO Analysis and Reports

Alan Perlman, founder of UAV Coach wanted to build a business around something he was very passionate about: helping people pilot UAV drones the proper way and even help them penetrate the industry as a professional drone pilot.

Alan’s next order of business was to find a way fast, to generate repeat traffic and leads. A New York SEO company was hired to build highly relevant and engaging content for the website in order to generate sustained exposure and position his brand as an industry leader.

The SEO team Alan had hired relied on a six-step formula for success which can be applied to ranking content high in any niche whatsoever:

1. Keyword Research and Competitive Analysis 

Choosing the right keywords can bear serious fruit, which more or less involves:

  • Assessing traffic potential on the basis of monthly search volume
  • Ranking faster by focusing on less competitive keywords
  • Maximizing organic traffic by focusing on keyword variations you’re competitors are not using
  • Aligning keywords with search intent at different points of the ‘buyer journey’

2. Content Creation 

When it comes to content, this ideology generally works the best: creating the best quality content there is, because that’s what Google is after. For example, if your audience is looking for your business using the search term “quadcopter”, what is the best and most readable content that you can create based on that term?

Give people what they want to read and you’re effectively making content promotion and link building a lot easier.

Content that’s between 2,500 and 4,000 generally ranks higher than say, 500-2,000 word blogs; as a general rule of thumb, your content should always be:

  • More in-depth than your competitor’s
  • More up to the minute
  • 100% actionable
  • Easily readable and highly engaging

3. On-page Optimization

On-page optimization refers to the webpage elements that affect how search engines rank them. They tell Google what the page is all about, what keywords it’s ranking for and how valuable the content is.

So what you need to do is see to it that your content is optimized according to your target and secondary/related keywords. Elements that you will be typically focusing on during on-page optimization include:

  • Keyword placement; i.e. title, headers, body URL and alt text
  • Keyword variation
  • Multimedia
  • Internal links
  • External links
  • Load speed

4. Convert Traffic into Email Subscribers

Building an email list is absolutely crucial if you want to keep your audiences engaged and convert them into long-time paying customers. Use this three-step formula to collect email subscribers by the numbers:

  • Create a lead magnet; free ebooks and trials, mindmaps, infographics etc.
  • Set up delivery channel; popups, scroll mates, header bars etc.
  • Set up automated delivery

5. Content Promotion

Ranking high on Google isn’t something you can enjoy in a matter of days or weeks. As a matter of fact, it can often take several months. The early stages are when you should be aggressively promoting your content to give it the right level of exposure. Because at this point, you need to be driving social engagement while striving to get honourable mentions and natural, quality backlinks. All of these help you steadily climb search engine rankings.

For his specific website, Alan incorporated the following content promotion strategies:

  • Social media automation
  • Established social media accounts
  • Quora
  • Forum marketing

6. Build Links

As mentioned in the previous step, backlinks are a crucial ranking factor. Here are five backlinking strategies that were used in one of Alan’s website articles:

  • Blog commenting
  • Directory submissions
  • Fake forum account link building
  • Weekly roundups
  • Resources/links pages

After it was all said and done, Alan’s SEO agency managed to rank the business at the top while outranking major brand names like Mashable. In just 6 months, organic traffic increased by a mind-boggling 11,065%.

What we presented here was the short and sweet version owing to the limited screen real estate. However, we feel that it’s only fair to give credit where it’s due which is why we highly recommend checking out the full case study here.

Measuring SEO Success through Key Metrics

Your hired SEO company is only as good as the results they show. If you’re not tracking certain metrics, you’ll never know how successful the SEO agency’s approach is.

If your SEO company ever tells you that SEO success can’t be measured tangibly or that reports don’t mean much, you can politely have your contract terminated. Everything on the web can be tracked and the best SEO agencies make use of certain metrics to determine if their SEO efforts are yielding favourable results or not.

Here are four common metrics SEO reports focus on as success indicators:

Keyword Rankings – Understand Where Traffic is Coming From

Keyword rankings are an important metric because they come in handy when measuring specific search terms you’re ranking for. They also help you decide if you are indeed targeting the right keywords when trying to outrank the competition.

When you measure rankings for keywords that are searched extensively, you get to know:

If you’re targeting the ideal keywords; if your blog posts aren’t ranking for their designated or target keywords, you need to be targeting keywords that are less competitive.

If you’re actually experiencing growth; as you steadily gain backlinks, your keywords should start to rank better since your site is starting to become an authority and trusted source. If this isn’t the case, something is definitely aloof in your SEO strategies.

If you’re transferring “link juice”; every time you get a new external link, most of the ranking power goes t that page. Being said, some of that power can flow to other pages you’re linked to. If your older pages haven’t improved their rankings, you can improve your internal linking.

Backlinks: Tracking Your Authority

Over time, search engines have become more dependant on certain on-page SEO factors and user intent patterns. However, backlinks continue to be one of the most important ranking factors and this isn’t going to change anytime soon.

A major part of any SEO plan revolves around gaining backlinks. If you don’t focus on this now, you’re essentially putting a cap on your growth.

Measure the results of your link-building campaigns by monitoring new backlinks you’ve acquired from a quantity and especially, quality perspective.

Checking your backinks regularly is very important because:

Acquiring a few quality links isn’t all that fruitful if you’re dishing out close to $1000 per link. Evaluate the cost of acquiring links through different link-building tactics, something your SEO company should be well versed in.

You can monitor the success of your tactics; much like the cost per link scenario above, you can easily monitor how many links you’re able to acquire from a single tactic. For instance, if you’re getting 7 links from a 100 emails through an email outreach effort, you’re link rate is 7%.

It can help you find potential relationships. People usually link to you because they enjoyed reading your content. This is a good opportunity to send them an email to start a formal relationship which could even lead to better linking opportunities.

Organic Search Traffic: How Search Engine-friendly Are You? 

One of the most common reasons to even involve an SEO agency in the first place is to get meaningful organic search traffic that’s free.

Your search engine traffic needs to be tracked, which is something that should be increasing every few months, since seasonal changes can have an impact on traffic density.

You can easily do this by going to the main dashboard in Google Analytics (Audience Overview). The first graph you see shows overall traffic for the last 30 days. Adjust this to a longer time frame if need be.

Click on “Add segment”, scroll down until you find “Organic Traffic”. Check it and apply changes. This adds another line to your graph which indicates your organic traffic next to your overall traffic. You can also track your traffic by day by clicking the checkboxes beside each respective search engine; click on the “Plot Rows” button.

Returning Users: Did You Make an Impression? 

If your content is highly engaging, you’ll see a lot of returning visitors. Go to the main screen of Audience Overview in Google Analytics and have a look at the graph in the bottom-right corner of the screen.  This lets you view the number of new and returning visitors.

At least once a month, you should be recording the ratio as well as the absolute number of returning and new visitors. The absolute number for both visitors should be rising steadily. Even though the ratio itself isn’t a major success indicator, the returning traffic should make up most of you traffic. Returning visitors are the most valuable type of traffic you have as they already know the benefits of buying from you.

Google’s Video: How to Hire an SEO

Don’t just take our word for it.  Here is Maile Ohye, Google Developer Programs Tech Lead to tell you more about what you should look for in an SEO company:

AOK Marketing – Pioneers in driving SEO Campaigns

A seasoned SEO agency will never hesitate to show you key metrics that are being used to gauge your SEO performance. In addition, they’ll also go the extra mile to explain to you precisely how it all works and what your competitors are doing to get ahead.

That’s exactly the kind of value you get when you employ the expertise of AOK’s digital marketers and SEO specialists. To learn more, call us now for a FREE consultation at 1.888.566.2577.