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SEO Reporting: How to Track and Measure Your Success

By Lani Sodunke
14 February 2024

Search engine optimization (SEO) plays a crucial role in online visibility. According to Bright Edge, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. 

This shows that optimizing for search engines helps your site rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), increases your organic traffic, and drives potential customers to your website. However, simply implementing SEO techniques is not enough. You need to monitor and evaluate your SEO efforts to ensure they are effective and yield the desired results.

This guide will explore the importance of SEO reporting, the key performance indicators (KPIs) you should consider, how to create effective SEO reports, and some of the best tools available for tracking and reporting SEO performance.

What Is an SEO Report and Why Do You Need One?

An SEO report provides detailed information about your website’s performance. It includes data on the number of visitors, search result rankings, and user interactions. By analyzing these metrics, you can better understand how your website is performing in search engine results and identify areas where improvements can be made.

While various strategies and techniques are involved in SEO, monitoring and analyzing your website’s performance through an SEO report is equally important. 

An SEO report goes beyond mere rankings. It helps you:

Identify Issues

With an SEO report, you can pinpoint and fix any technical issues that may be affecting your website’s visibility in search engines. It helps you find hidden opportunities, ensuring your website is optimized for more conversions and higher rankings.

Competitive Analysis

To ensure your website ranks high in search engine results pages, you must monitor your competitors. You should know the content they focus on, their campaigns, the keywords they rank for, and more.

Knowing all of these makes it easier for you to make more informed decisions and measure your SEO efforts in comparison to those of your competitors. 

By understanding how your competitors perform in the SERPs, you can identify their strengths, weaknesses, and the best ways to outrank them.

Track and Measure Your Success

After putting all the time, effort, and resources into implementing a new organic marketing campaign, it is essential to track and measure your SEO performance. 

Regularly monitoring your website’s performance allows you to identify any fluctuations or changes in rankings, traffic, or other important metrics. These metrics help you measure the effectiveness of your content and user experience while addressing important issues to make necessary adjustments to your SEO strategy.

5 Essential KPIs to Consider When Measuring SEO Success

With over 200 Google ranking factors out there, how do you determine what metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track? This is one of the most important questions we ask as SEOs or marketers. 

When measuring SEO success, it’s crucial to focus on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that truly reflect the impact of your efforts. SEO KPIs are measurable values demonstrating how effectively you achieve your marketing objectives through your SEO strategy. By tracking these SEO Key Performance Indicators, you can identify areas for growth, optimize your SEO strategy, and make informed decisions. 

Below are five essential KPIs that should be part of your SEO reporting when measuring for: 

  1. Traffic

Are you ranking high for relevant keywords? Are you attracting the right audience? These are the questions that traffic helps you answer.

Traffic measures the number of visitors who visit your website through organic and 

inorganic search results. It provides insights into how well your website ranks and attracts relevant traffic.

  • Organic Traffic: Organic traffic is the lifeblood of any successful website. It represents the visitors who find your site through search engines without any paid advertising. By tracking organic traffic, you can understand how well your SEO efforts are paying off. 
  • Inorganic Traffic: Inorganic traffic is generated through paid advertising campaigns from visitors who arrive on your website. This includes traffic generated through pay-per-click ads, social media advertising, display advertising, email marketing campaigns, affiliate marketing, etc.

When analyzing your traffic, you must report the average session length, traffic volume, user actions, visitor bounce rate, conversion rates, etc. The number of visits coming from each marketing channel helps you identify if there is any impact from other channels on SEO performance. For instance, understanding what PPC campaign or blog content brought in converting leads can help you decide what initiatives to focus on.

  1. Keyword Rankings

Keyword rankings serve as a vital indicator, reflecting the overall well-being of your website’s SEO health. They show you how well your website performs in SERPs for specific keywords important to your business.

Years back, many businesses relied on monitoring just a few keywords, basing the success of their strategies solely on this limited approach. But today, a single content page can rank for up to thousands of different keywords due to the emergence of semantic search. That is why looking at how traffic and behavior impact your revenue is so important.

  1. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

People often focus on keyword rankings and traffic while paying less attention to the click-through rate because it is not a direct ranking factor. 

But in a real sense, tracking your CTR is an important KPI that will help you find out why your high impressions don’t result in significant traffic. Having a high CTR also suggests that your content is relevant and compelling to users. It reflects visibility in search results and the appeal of your content, indicating that users find it valuable enough to click on.

Additionally, monitoring your CTR over time allows you to adapt and refine your SEO strategy. If you observe a decline in CTR, it signals the need for adjustments in your content, meta tags, or other elements to enhance user engagement.

The higher your CTR, the more likely you are to convert leads into customers. 

  1. Operational SEO KPIs

Operational SEO KPIs are essential because they provide a better understanding of the key issues that contribute to your SEO success. They help you identify problems early, prioritize tasks, and make data-driven decisions. Monitoring these KPIs can help you make data-driven decisions to improve your SEO and overall online presence. Some core operational SEO KPIs include:

[a] Backlinks

Backlinks, alternatively referred to as “inbound links,” are simply generated when one website links to another. The higher the quality of your backlinks, the better your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

As a website owner, you must consider backlinks when measuring SEO success. Measuring backlinks is integral to SEO reporting as it offers a comprehensive view of a website’s authority, competitive position, and the effectiveness of its link-building efforts.

[b] Crawl Error and Efficiency

Search engines consider the crawlability and efficiency of a site as factors in their algorithms. If a search engine encounters persistent crawl errors or inefficiencies, it may impact how your site is ranked in search results. Regularly monitoring crawl error and efficiency metrics allows you to detect trends and address potential issues before they escalate. It also ensures a positive user experience and provides valuable insights into your website’s health and performance in search engines’ eyes.

[c] Average Page Loading Time

Pages with a loading time of 1 to 2 seconds show an average bounce rate of 9%, whereas pages with a loading time of more than 3 seconds show an average bounce rate of up to 38%, according to Pingdom. Tracking SEO metrics relating to page loading time is important to ensure that your web pages are user engaging and promote high conversion rates. 

If your website has a fast page speed, Google and other search engines will prefer sending their users to your site, where they can have a pleasant user experience.

[d] On-page Optimization

On-page optimization aims to enhance specific elements on a webpage to improve its search engine visibility. However, specific on-page optimization metrics such as keyword density, page views, meta tags, header tags, bounce rate, and content quality can be considered as individual operational KPIs when measuring SEO success.

It notes the little changes in these KPIs that make all the difference. You don’t want people leaving your site as soon as they get on it or scanning it and leaving without taking any actions that might benefit you. Throughout your optimization process, having an On-Page SEO Checklist handy will assist in comparing the state of your on-page SEO before and after making changes, making it easier to report on the impact of these optimizations on search engine rankings, organic traffic, and other KPIs. 

  1. ROI

In any business, measuring your ROI enables you to identify which aspects of your business are delivering the most significant returns, allowing you to allocate resources strategically. Considering your ROI in your SEO report is the same. It’s a strategic necessity for optimizing your efforts, aligning with business goals, and demonstrating the tangible value of your SEO activities.

Measuring and reporting ROI for your business or clients is a powerful way to showcase the value of your SEO initiatives. It provides real evidence of the positive impact on the bottom line, creating trust and confidence in your SEO efforts.

Though it may take months or even years to see returns on your SEO, a clear understanding of ROI enables informed decision-making. 

How to Create an Effective SEO Report

Whether you’re managing your website or working for a client, creating an effective SEO report that is easy to understand and highlights important information about your SEO efforts is the perfect way to determine if your strategies are working.

Reading through, you will understand step-by-step how to create an effective SEO report.

Step 1: Determine Your Objective

While the primary goal of SEO is to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs), clearly determining your objectives and how you intend to achieve them will help you or your client avoid unrealistic expectations.

When setting clear objectives for your SEO report, it’s important to consider the specific goals you want to accomplish. For example, if you’re looking to identify areas of improvement, you should focus on metrics such as keyword rankings, organic traffic, and conversion rates. On the other hand, if your goal is to measure the effectiveness of your strategies, you should track metrics like click-through rates, bounce rates, and sessions.

If you have different objectives, you must prioritize them according to their significance in the overall business strategy. This approach ensures that your efforts and resources are on the most important aspects of your SEO campaign.

By taking the time to clearly determine your objectives, you provide a solid foundation for your SEO report. This clarity guides the data collection and analysis process and ensures that your report delivers actionable insights relevant to the strategic goals of the business.

Step 2. Pick Your Most Important KPIs

After determining your objectives, the next step is to select your most important KPIs.

When selecting relevant KPIs for your SEO report, it’s important to choose SEO metrics that are directly related to your objectives. This will help you provide meaningful insights and recommendations to improve your SEO performance. 

Some essential KPIs to consider have been discussed earlier. Others include:

  • Mobile Friendliness
  • Website Health
  • Conversion Rate
  • User Engagement, etc

Remember that business objectives and priorities evolve. So, constantly reassess your chosen KPIs to ensure they remain aligned with your current goals.

Step 3: Outline SEO Next Steps

Outlining your SEO next steps is essential to bridge the gap between your analyzed data and actionable strategies. After assessing the performance metrics and identifying areas of improvement, it is important to clearly articulate the steps needed to enhance the website’s SEO. 

Some recommended steps could include:

Prioritize Action Items: Based on your data, prioritizing the identified issues or opportunities will help determine which aspects of SEO are most critical for achieving the defined objectives.

Address Technical SEO Issues: If the SEO report reveals issues such as broken links, crawl errors, or slow page load times, outline specific tasks to address these issues. Provide recommendations for optimizing website performance, ensuring smooth navigation for both users and search engine crawlers.

Educate Stakeholders: If the SEO report is intended for a broader audience, provide educational insights on the importance of the outlined strategies. Clearly communicate the potential impact of these strategies on overall business objectives.

Offering insights and actionable recommendations will demonstrate your expertise and add value to your SEO report. Ensure that the outlined next steps are realistic and achievable within the given time frame and resource constraints.

Step 4: Simplify Your SEO Report

Complicated reports with unnecessary data will only make collating your SEO results challenging and distracting. By simplifying your SEO report, you ensure that your audience can easily digest the information, leading to better understanding, informed decision-making, and more effective stakeholder collaboration.

This is where Swydo comes in handy. Leveraging Swydo’s features, you can simplify the process of creating, customizing, and presenting SEO reports to suit your client’s needs. This will help clients or stakeholders grasp the key findings and insights without getting overwhelmed by raw data while saving you valuable time in the reporting workflow.

Swydo also facilitates collaboration with clients by providing shared access to reports and dashboards. This transparency fosters communication and ensures that clients are well-informed about the performance of their SEO campaigns.

The Best Tools for Tracking and Reporting SEO Performance

Tracking and reporting SEO performance can be overwhelming without the right tool. The ideal tool not only aids in formulating actionable strategies but also enables the assessment of your campaign effectiveness, yielding tangible results to create informed decisions.

Whether you oversee an in-house team, are a freelancer, or an agency, having an effective SEO reporting tool that enables you to analyze, customize, and send data reports to you or your clients is essential. Out of the numerous tools available, here are some of the best tools to help you track and report on your SEO performance while providing comprehensive insights.

  1. Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Monitoring and tracking your SEO issues manually is inefficient. Setting up alerts for organic performance through Google Analytics 4 can help you save time and improve your SEO.

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Google Analytics 4 is one of the most popular and powerful web analytics tools to help you manage your website’s SEO. Integrating it with Swydo enables comprehensive and streamlined tracking, analysis, and reporting of key performance metrics for a more insightful and data-driven approach to your marketing efforts.

One of its core strengths is collecting data from websites and apps and turning it into insightful reports. Connecting your Google Analytics 4 account with Google Search Console (GSC) makes things even better. 

If you’re using GA4 without using GSC, you will never get the entire picture. With Google Analytics 4 and Google Search Console linked, you can acquire more relevant SEO data, use queries to identify opportunities for improvement, and effectively report SEO performance than by just focusing on one tool.

Customer Rating Score (G2): 4.5/5

  1. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO tool that provides in-depth insights into your website’s backlink profile, keyword rankings, organic search traffic, and competitor analysis. 

Using Ahrefs provides an overview of each website’s organic traffic, which tells you if a keyword is worth investing in. You can also check your SEO report at any time to see your most current rank position and the history of rank changes to track your movement and address pages that show declines.

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Additionally, if you want to create content for YouTube, Ahrefs stands out as the only platform on this list that provides keyword research specifically for YouTube. Ahrefs Top Features include:

  • Site Explorer
  • Content Explorer
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Keywords Explorer
  • Site Audit
  • Rank tracking

PS: If you want to spy on your competitors, then Ahrefs’ site explorer is an excellent tool to analyze your competitors’ top-performing organic and paid results.

Customer Rating Score (G2): 4.5/5

  1. Semrush

Semrush provides actionable insights for users of any type. Apart from SEO, Semrush offers users the capability to generate customized reports across various marketing channels such as Pay-Per-Click advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, etc.

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Its easy-to-understand ToolKit allows you to track a website’s visibility improvement over time, perform technical audits, track SERP performance, review the organic keywords your site (and competitor’s sites) rank for, check backlink profiles, and so on. 

What’s more, it integrates with Swydo, massively expanding its integration and automation capabilities.

Customer Rating Score (Capterra): 4.7/5

  1. SE Ranking

SE Ranking is a user-friendly SEO tool that helps improve businesses’ online visibility and organic traffic. It offers a comprehensive SEO report generator as one of its many tools while allowing you to seamlessly execute in-depth site audits, discover profitable keywords, optimize your local presence, monitor your ranking progress, and leverage its link-building tools to enhance your E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness).

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And when it comes to competitor research, SE Ranking is not left out. The competitor analysis feature on the platform has proven to be useful overtime, showing competitors’ paid and organic strategies. SE Ranking also provides some of the best white-label reporting for SEO users and other useful digital marketing features for PPC, social media management, lead generation, and marketing planning.

Customer Rating Score (G2): 4.8/5

  1. Accuranker

If you want to grow your organic traffic, stay ahead of the competition, and easily create reports for clients, Accuranker is an SEO tool to have. 

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With Accuranker, it’s like having your own spyglass. You can monitor your competitors and the keywords they rank for. Since it updates keywords every 24 hours, this provides useful data, helps you keep track of hundreds of keywords you are trying to rank for in Google, identifies potential keyword opportunities, and keeps an eye on competitors.

You can expand AccuRanker’s reporting features by connecting it to other reporting tools like Swydo. Additionally, if you have more than one domain, you can track them all from the platform while identifying which landing pages are performing better and which need to be optimized.

Customer Rating Score (Capterra): 4.9/5


Tracking and reporting your SEO performance can be a daunting task, especially when you use various tools to monitor and report your progress. 

You can save yourself stress by integrating all your tools into Swydo’s all-in-one reporting platform, which will help automate and simplify your report process and combine your marketing data from multiple sources.

Ready to get started? Request a demo or sign up for a 14-day free trial.