How To Create SEO Reports with Ranking, Linking and Analytics Data

Note: This article contains references to Advanced Web Ranking Desktop, a version that is no longer under active development. 

A good search engine optimization strategy is based on careful planning, a lot of work and good choices made on key issues. Everything will get analyzed at the end of each month, when the time comes to send out monthly reports to your customers.

Looks familiar?

These seo monthly reports are the mirror of your efforts. The only difference is that your customers will not ask “who’s the fairest of them all”, but rather:

  1. Where do I rank in the search engines for this keyword?
  2. How many links do I have with this anchor text?
  3. How many visitors are coming to my website searching for this keyword?

Each question should find its answer in the details of the reports you prepare. To make them as “readable” as possible, here’s what you should consider:

Combine ranking, linking and analytics data in a consistent way

Remember, your customers do not have your SEO expertise. Things that seem so obvious to you may not make much sense to them. You need to make sure the ranking, linking and analytics details are displayed in such a way that marketers can easily extract the information they need to build future strategies.

One report with all three metrics should do this job better than three separate reports.

For your customers, these keywords define real life elements, like brand names, product names, concepts, etc. With a hybrid report that details ranking, linking and analytics metrics for each keyword, they have the chance to understand how well their business is positioned on the online markets for each of those terms.

Add a professional look

Comprehensive column names and legends explaining what the values stand for always help in making the reports more comprehensive for the readers.

Make sure the reports you send to your customers don’t have columns or graphic symbols that they cannot understand. Otherwise, the information you want to show them loses its value.

Don’t forget about the header and footer. Placing your logo and name on the SEO reports will give a personal touch, adding a brand value to them.

How to create hybrid reports with AWR 8.5

Now that you know how your SEO reports should look like, here’s how you can actually create them in Advanced Web Ranking.

The new AWR 8.5 version has integrated Google analytics and SEOmoz links data, giving users the possibility to combine all three types of metrics in the same report.

There are two ways to put together this data in a tabular report:

  1. The Website Ranking interactive report
  2. The Website Ranking printable report template

The Website Ranking interactive report

You can draw your own interactive hybrid report in AWR 8.5 from Rankings -> Website Rankings -> Date comparison view. Here are the steps you need to take:

  • Select the columns you want to be displayed

This can be done from the “Select Columns” button on the left side of the table header.

For example, let’s say you want to show your customer how high he ranks now for a particular keyword, how many visitors came during the last month to his website, using this keyword, and how many links he has with this term in anchor text.  In this case, you need to select the “Position”, “Change”, “Monthly Visits” and “Keyword in anchors” columns from the drop down list, as shown below:

Values displayed in these columns are related to the keyword selected (which in this example is “latest news”).

  • Select the keywords, websites and search engines you need

With AWR, you can choose the exact websites, keywords and search engines that you want to include in your SEO reports. The selection in the interactive report is done from the input panel.

Keep in mind that the Website Ranking interactive report displays data only for one keyword and one search engine at a time.

  • Sort and order values in your report

Ordering values ​​in a SEO report is very important, as it provides you with a flow that makes the data easier to follow. Plus, it gives you the chance to bring out front the best results you have achieved.

To do this, click on the column head by which you want to sort your data. The small arrow icon on the column head focused will indicate the ascending or descending order of the values.

  • Save and email the hybrid report

The interactive Website Ranking report can be generated using the Quick report feature. Just press on the Quick report button and select the file format you want.

The report will be opened in the default viewer and will also be saved in the default location stored in Settings -> Printable and Interactive reports -> Common Reports Settings.

If you want to send it to your customers directly by email, just click on the Send button next to the file format you have chosen and select the email addresses of the recipients.

The Website Ranking printable report template

With the printable hybrid report in AWR, not only you can choose the columns and keywords you want, but you can also generate and email it automatically to your customers, after each new data update. All the necessary settings can be done from Reports -> Website Rankings.

  • Select the columns you need

The Website Ranking printable report template has the same columns selection mechanism, as the one used in the interactive report. You can open the Select columns drop down from Output and Layout options -> Report layout grid of the report.

  • Select the keywords, websites and search engines you want to display

You can choose the keywords, websites and search engines you need in your printable report from Output and layout options  -> Report inputs. This grid is similar to the one you have in the interactive report. The difference is that, here, you can select multiple keywords and search engines. Thus, you can see the ranking, linking and analytics metrics for all keywords and search engines at the same time.

  • Sort and order your data

Sorting is done the same way as in the interactive Website Rankings report. Just go to the Report output grid and click on the relevant column head.

For example, let’s say you want values to be sorted by the number of visitors driven last month by each keyword. To do this, values need to be sorted by the Monthly Visits column, as shown below:

  • Add custom header and footer

You can create a white labeled report by using a customized header and footer. Once it is set up, you can easily added it from the Reports settings ->  Header and footer section.

This feature is available only for the printable reports.

  • Generate and email the SEO report automatically

When all columns and inputs have been selected, it’s time to see how the printable report will look like.

With the Website Ranking printable report template, you have the possibility to preview the report before you actually generate it. To do this, just click on the Preview button, below the report name.

If you are happy with the result, all there’s left to do is to generate the report. To do this, you can just press the Generate button (next to Preview). Easy, right? 🙂

To generate the report automatically, every time new ranking, linking or analytics data was gathered, make sure you check the “Generate report after each update” check box form the Save to local file section – Deploy dialog.

The report file will be saved to the location defined in the Save to local file section of the report template.

To further send the report to your customers by email or via FTP, you need to check the Send report by email and/or Upload report to FTP check boxes from the related sections, and choose the recipients accordingly. The best part here is that, unlike the interactive report, the printable template gives you the possibility to edit the email text body and add variables like the date, the report name or the project name. Also, only reports generated from the printable templates have the option to be uploaded on FTP.

Bottom line

Integrating ranking, linking and analytics data in the same frame offers a better analysis based on keywords. The hybrid reports you prepare can now provide customers with a clearer guidance and a more pleasant experience reading them.

You can also learn more about creating AWR reports from the Advanced Tutorial found in the user guide.

I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to creating a great SEO report. Each of you probably have your own tricks to impress your customers. I am really looking forward to read some of your tips in the comments below.

Photo credit: miguelavg

Author: Aura Dozescu

Aura Dozescu is Customer Care Specialist for AWR Cloud. Passionate about Internet Marketing and SEO technologies, she is working closely with seo software developers to implement the feedback received from customers. Connect with her on Google+

14 thoughts on “How To Create SEO Reports with Ranking, Linking and Analytics Data”

  1. I made a report like this, and I saw the figures in the Montly Visits column refer only to the URL in the Websites column. I think it would be great to see also the visitors that keyword brings for the entire website, not just for a URL

    1. Thanks for your comment Tim. Your observation is correct: the Monthly Visits column shows you how many visitors your keyword drove in one month, only for the URL displayed in the report. If you want to see the number of visitors that the keyword generated for the entire website, you need to use the Site Monthly Visits column. You can add it in the report from Select columns, the same as the other columns.

    2. Tim, the comparison Monthly Visits (as for the webpage) vs Site Monthly Visits (for the entire website) can give you a good insight over whether the page you are monitoring is indeed optimized for that keyword.

      I happened to see this on one of my websites where only about 10% of the traffic a keyword drove to the entire site was to my actual landing page. So the keyword was relevant and good but the page I was monitoring wasn’t. I had to change that.

      Good job with the links&analytics integration.

  2. I also agree with Tim but perhaps another take on it. I am looking for a keyword report that shows how much traffic each keywords brings to the site each month. That way customers can see that number increase. Then to view a graph as that keyword increases in rank you can see an evolution in monthly traffic.


    1. Thanks for writing Adam.

      We are already working on implementing the analytics component in the rankings reports. This should be available in our next application version. For the time being, you can see the analytics and visibility metrics in a chart, using the Overview – Evolution in Time – Keywords interactive report. Values here are shown per each keyword that you select, for all search engines in your project.

  3. Awesome! I feel like I have a magic pencil 🙂 I actually created different templates for my clients, each one with different columns and sorting. Now my reports make everybody happy

  4. This all sounds awesome – I have a couple of issue however:

    – I am not getting ANY data for monthly visits.  My analytics account is hooked up fine.  Any ideas?- When creating a printable report, the ability to filter what sites/keywords are shown is greyed out.  I want to make a simple version without any competitors.  Thanks.

    1. Hi Barry, 

      It looks like you are using a global report template. The global template in AWR is available in all projects, not only in the project you have currently loaded. So, by design, it includes the data for all websites, keywords and search engines in the report file generated from each project. 

      If you want to generate a report file only for a specific website in the project, you can use one of the report templates that are available only in that project (you can see all these templates in the Report menu), or you can create a new template, without marking it as “global”. In this case, the websites, keywords and search engines grids will not be grayed out, so you can select the ones you need to show in the report file. 

      Regarding the analytics data, we would need more details to see what happens in this specific case. Please contact our support team at help at advancedwebranking dot com

      1. Thanks Aura.  That worked.  It’s a bit odd – setting up a Global report – I would have just thought that it means the report (with all your custom data/settings) could be run from within any project.  Take the one in the article for instance, would be useful to have this as a ‘Report Template’ in any project without having to go through the setup again.  Otherwise, Global Reports in their current configuration do not seem to be that useful – I cannot see that many use cases when you would want a report to contain all websites and keywords from all projects?  I will email the support team about my other issue – just getting to grips with AWR!

        1. The reports generated from a global report template contains all the websites, keywords and search engines from each project (not from all projects together 🙂 )

          The two types of report templates were designed to cover two workflows: 

          1. website owner, with a small number of projects (<20-30). 

          In most cases like this, there would not be a need for global templates. The user can easily go through each project whenever he wants and generate the report files with the selection that he needs, from any of the report templates available in that project.

          With these report templates per project, users can generate the report files either for a specific selection of websites and keywords, or for all websites and keywords that he has added to that project.

          2. seo agencies, with 1000+ projects 

          With a large number of customers, seo agencies need to automatize the update and report generation processes. Thus, the solution implies the use of multiple scheduled update tasks, that generate the report files automatically for each project after the ranking updates have been completed.

          In order for the scheduler to "know" which report to generate for which project, the user needs to actually select the related report templates in the Scheduler Wizard, when creating the task. 

          However, selecting +1000 report templates would be a time consuming task. This is why we implemented the possibility to create global report templates.     

          For example, if the user creates a Keyword Rankings global report template, he will have this template available in all +1000 projects. Thus, if this template is set to be deployed automatically after each project update (Report – Save to local file – Deploy) then after the update of each project, a Keyword Rankings report file would be generated from this global template, with the settings the template in question has. 

          To make sure these Keyword Rankings report files are generated from the template following the multiple update scheduled task, the user can easily select the "Reports generated after each update" option from the Scheduler wizard steps, instead of working with the "Selected reports" option there, where he would need to select the keyword ranking report template for each of the 1000+ projects

          Now, with the global report template, since the user can see this template from any project, the changes performed on the template (like the report title, or file name, etc.) from one project is further reflected in the global template the next time the user accesses it, from any other project. 

          This mechanism makes it necessary to have, by default, all websites and keywords from each project added automatically to the report files generated from the global template from each project at a time. 

          In cases where users would need to see a report from a project only for one of the websites added there, they can simply generate a report file from another report template that is available in that project, and is not global

          You can find more about working with different types of templates and editing them in our user guide, here:

    1. Hi Sydney, 

      You can see the number of links you have for each anchor text in the Links – Anchor Text Distribution report. Once you retrieve the SEOmoz anchor text details in AWR for your domain or for the pages you are interested in, you can see in this report the links and linking root domains related to each anchor text, as well as the referrer URLs. 

      Hope this helps 🙂

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