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.
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:
- Where do I rank in the search engines for this keyword?
- How many links do I have with this anchor text?
- 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:
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.
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.
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