SEO Reporting Pains & Gains: What Marketers Need to Know to Grow

Marketing teams today rely on their data to make good business decisions and drive growth. Every channel, campaign, and creative asset can be reported upon in one or more ways, which empowers marketing leaders to provide more strategic value to their company. 

But more information isn’t always more valuable…it’s insight that’s important, and that’s surprisingly hard to come by.

Even with oceans of SEO data mere clicks away, many marketers still struggle to effectively report on SEO progress or leverage SEO reporting to inform anything beyond the fundamentals of their content strategy. 

The consequences of limited insight are high: the top organic result on Google’s SERP gets nearly twenty times the traffic the top ad does (39.6% vs 2.1%), and B2B companies spend an average of 22% of their marketing budget on SEO*.

Demandwell aims to help marketers avoid common mistakes and SEO reporting problems that can stymie growth. So, let’s highlight some of the problems, pains, and pitfalls that today’s B2B SaaS marketers often encounter when it comes to SEO reporting – and what you can do to prevent them from hurting your SEO performance!

1. It’s too hard to get simple answers to critical questions

Problem: Disjointed data and systems lead to disconnected decisions and threaten the success of your SEO campaigns. It’s clear that data-driven decision making inherently requires that the data is not only precise and accurate, but to ensure the data you report on is actually relevant to your business objective. 

Solution: Make sure your reporting tools integrate with your many sources of data. Find tools that allow you to slice and dice data however you want to. And make sure that you can combine the information from different systems in individual charts – so that you’re not stuck making mental leaps between disparate information or downloading another csv to answer a simple question.

Learn more about Demandwell’s SEO Report Builder

2. Reporting fails to account for incomplete or misaligned strategies 

Problem: SEO reporting tools often lack focus, or are set up to report on vanity metrics. SEO reports should show leaders what’s working and what impact SEO work has on overall marketing and revenue performance. Too often, SEO’s impact on business objectives is under-valued because it’s under-measured. But that’s not the only issue we see with SEO reporting today. 

Solution: Craft your SEO reporting for leadership with a clear understanding of what KPIs matter to you, and which ones you can ignore. The fundamental metrics to track can include: number of keywords that you rank for, traffic, conversions from organic. Better yet, knowing how many terms you have on page one, and how that changes over time gets at the meat of the issue. If the goal is to drive leads, opportunities, and revenue from SEO, consider the steps it takes to get there, and track the metrics that tell you you’re on your way.

3. The ROI chicken & egg problem 

Problem: You can’t immediately get ROI, so you may not get the budget to invest in SEO. But without investing in SEO, you’ll miss out entirely on one of the highest return channels there is.

Solution: Evaluate your SEO investment in the context of industry benchmarks, and with the rest of your demand engine in mind. All channels have “adjustment periods” when you first launch them, where it can take some time to “nail” performance before you can “scale” performance. Many Demandwell customers use PPC while waiting to get onto page one for key terms, and once ranking, can re-evaluate paid spend and strategically use saved budget. Ultimately, measuring ROI of SEO is simple. Create a report of the leads sourced from your SEO pages, and track them through your sales process. 

More on the ROI of content marketing and seo here.

Solving Your Reporting Problems 

Build reports for all stakeholders

Different stakeholders need different reports. Leadership teams may only care about MQLs and organic conversions. Practitioners will need more focused reports on leading indicators: things like indexation or keyword rankings. Goals change over time, so try to find a reporting tool that lets you build custom reports and adapt as your needs change.

Pay attention to both Macro and Micro reporting

In SEO, it’s important to first and foremost understand exactly how well your SEO program is performing as a whole. How is your investment in SEO impacting your bottom line? This reporting looks at SEO at a macro level. But a lot of SEO reporting involves drilling down on many different metrics at the micro level. Reporting at this level requires flexibility and customization in order to answer the specific questions you have about SEO performance. When building out your SEO reporting, look for tools that can help you understand the impact SEO has on your business at a macroscopic level, and also look for advanced customization features to help you answer all your SEO questions.

The Demandwell Report Builder solves for the issues laid out in this article – take a self-guided walkthrough, or request a demo here