Marketing is not just a one-and-done undertaking; it is a continuous cycle that requires input, feedback, and adjustment. If you are working with an outsourced marketing partner, that feedback will most likely come to you in the form of reports. Below are some of the most important reports that you might receive from your marketing partner and the reasons why they are so important to your brand’s growth. 


The Basics of SEO Reporting

Simply put, an SEO report is designed to give you insight into your website’s performance over a specific period of time. It can show you which of your SEO efforts are working and which ones aren’t serving you as well. The information these reports contain is essential for pointing out opportunities for growth, which is critical for improving your reach. For most brands, SEO is not an overnight process and it requires some trial and error. These reports detail the trials, spell out the errors, highlight the big wins, and show you where to go next. 


A good SEO report will include an overview, key metrics in the form of charts, graphs, or easy-to-understand text explanations, and a list of recommendations for your next steps. They’re visually appealing and digestible, too. After all, the reports your outsourced marketing partner provides to you are designed to help you – not make you scratch your head.


Activity Reports

One of the reports you should look forward to receiving from your outsourced marketing partner is their Activity Report, which breaks down a list of things that they have done. This might include things like optimizing specific webpages for keyword opportunities, swapping low-resolution images for high-res images with optimized descriptions and tags, or even optimizing your website’s response time to provide a better user experience. 


Example of a keyword mapping document we do when conducting onpage SEO.


keyword mapping


Your activity report may vary slightly from one report to the next as you try different things to improve your search engine rankings. For example, you might spend one month working on image placement, the next month improving your fonts and sizes, and the following month targeting a new set of keywords. These reports will give you a breakdown of everything your partner has done, and when you compare them over time, you can see what works and what doesn’t. 


Ranking Reports

Ranking reports are focused more on trends than on your website, but they are still crucial to your growth. Your outsourced marketing partner helped you decide which keywords you should try to rank for, and they optimized your site and your content with those keywords. A ranking report focuses on the keywords themselves and shows you how many searches are being conducted for a specific period, how much competition you’re up against for those particular keywords, and even what you can expect to pay if you were to do a paid campaign focused on those keywords. 


Example of a ranking report




Remember that the goal here is to get your website to the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) so that you can get more traffic. Assume that your SEO partner wanted to get you ranked for “chocolate ice cream” in March, and you started out on page 16 on the SERP rankings that month. The ranking reports for April, May, and June should show steady growth for that keyword if everything is going according to plan. 


Google Analytics Reports

Your Google Analytics report is one of the most insightful reports of them all, and it’s one that your SEO marketing partner should be sharing with you regularly. While this report shows you insights on more than 35 different metrics, the most important of these will be the metrics related to your traffic flow. Ideally, you will want to see your traffic steadily increasing thanks to your marketing partner’s SEO efforts. Some things to pay special attention to here include:


  • Active Users on Site: A real-time look at the number of visitors you have as well as an average for the month or period. 
  • Top Active Pages: This will show which pages of your website are generating the most traffic, and it can help you decide which content is working best for you. For example, if your most active page is a specific blog post, it’s safe to assume that you should produce similar content in the future. 
  • Goal Conversions: This is the bread-and-butter for most companies: it shows you exactly how many conversions occurred on your website in any given period, and you can compare this to other metrics to see what’s driving that conversion, too. 


Example of a section of a Google Analytics report (This one shows entrance pages)

Blog Pages and SEO


When you work with an outsourced marketing partner, you want to see proof that your budget is being used wisely. These reports (and perhaps a handful of others) serve as that proof. They are designed to show you exactly how your partner is optimizing your site and what kinds of benefits you are reaping as a result. 


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