SEO analytics and reporting forms and statistics can look like a different language to many clients, but JSL Marketing wants to make sure you understand each decimal, each row, and each abbreviation. Which is why we decided to create a quick and dirty guide to your SEO analytics and reporting.
Let’s dive in.
What Are SEO Analytics?
Not to sound too simple, but this is exactly what you would expect – your analytics give you a breakdown of the analysis of your SEO strategy. Or, it is a report that tells you if your SEO work is working or not.
Think of your SEO analytics like the ongoing version of your initial SEO audit (which is an audit, or inspection, of all of your website’s SEO components).
This means your SEO analytics should come monthly (if not more often) and should explain to you how your website and SEO strategy is working thus far. Of course, SEO isn’t an overnight science, so your analytics might not skyrocket you to the first page immediately, especially if your keywords are competitive, but you should see some jumps fairly soon.
Your Analytics & Reporting Have to Begin [& End] with the Numbers
I know that many people didn’t love statistics class, but analytics and SEO reporting is basically all statistics, charts, and numbers. If that is something you are comfortable with, the hurrah, you may stop reading this, but if you need to be walked through your analytics and reporting – that’s okay too.
Hopefully, your SEO partners or digital marketing company will explain anything you need. But just in case they aren’t clear, or they are so deep into SEO that they don’t realize when they are using too much technical jargon, here are a few places you can go to view your analytics on your own:
Understanding Your Ranking Factors
Did you know there are over 200+ (known and speculated) Google ranking factors? Well, there are. Additionally, this is a decent chunk of your analytics, as slow site speed, errors, or duplicate content will drop your ratings.
Make sure you aren’t just looking at your SEO analytics to see where you fall on the search engine’s results page (SERP) but also how your speed is doing, if you have any 404 errors, warnings, duplicate meta descriptions or thin broken internal or external links.
If you want an in-depth list of all the (known) ranking factors and what they mean, we recommend this comprehensive guide by Backlinko.
Understanding Your SEO Reporting Sections
But if you want to know what you should see in your SEO report each month, it should be something like this:
- Title tag report
- Keyword report
- Meta tag report
- Content report
- Internal link report
- External link report
- ALT tag report
- Page ranking report
Of course, this is merely a template, and more (or less) can be in your report depending on your preferences, your company, your goals, and more.
Though some of the above are self-explanatory, and others are linked to educational articles and blog posts, let’s run through them quickly to make sure there is no confusion.
Title Tag Reports & Meta Tag Reports
These reports tell you if you have any title tags (names of pages) or meta tags (summaries of pages) that are duplicate, missing, short, long or do not include your keywords.
Keyword Reports & Content Reports
This will tell you if your keyword density is low, high, or just right, as well as if your content is thin compared to others, and how easily readable it is (it’s readability score).
Internal & External Link Reports
Just as the names sound, this will tell you about your internal links (links that lead to another page within your site, like here) and external links (links that lead to an outside source, like when I linked to those 200 ranking factors from Backlinko).
If you have dead (not-working) links anywhere on your site, that can be an indicator to Google that you do not monitor or take care of your site, and your rankings could suffer.
Alt Tag Reports
Essentially an ‘alt tag’ is just how Google can read your images. If you have missing alt tags or poor ones, then Google doesn’t know what your images are and will essentially ignore them. This can seriously hurt your rankings if you have a heavily visual site, are in a visual industry, or are an e-commerce site.
Page Ranking Reports
Finally, we’ve gotten to what most people think is the entire report – the section that shows where your pages rank and where your keywords rank.
Yes – this is the end game, as seeing a bunch of ‘number one spots’ in this section makes you feel great (and probably has increased your traffic and sales considerably, too). But just remember that all of the factors and reports we’ve talked about before here are what got you here.
The Best SEO Report is a Clear SEO Report
The final thing you need from an SEO report is to actually be able to understand it. And from the JSL Marketing team’s experience, the clarity and helpfulness of an SEO report are directly linked to the clarity and helpfulness of the SEO company who designed it.
Find a good company, get a good report, get better results – it’s as simple as that.