Most agencies use several different search engine optimization (SEO) tools to track progress, generate insights, and show results to their clients. These tools range from Google Search Console to Google Analytics to non-Google platforms such as SEMRush and MOZ.
The problem is that these tools don't give you the reporting functionality you need to easily create compelling and value-driven reports for your clients. Plus, these tools don't communicate with each other, which means you're forced to pull data out of several different platforms to create an accurate SEO report.
This makes it difficult and time-consuming to show your clients the value of your SEO strategies.
The solution is finding SEO reporting software that allows you to unify data sets and simplify your reporting processes. TapClicks accomplishes this with two key features:
- With TapClicks, you get the data you need into one dashboard. SEOs will benefit from our Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMRush, and MOZ native connectors. These are API connectors that can be set up in a day, so you can easily organize metrics and create visuals. We also use our Smart Connectors to help you bring in data from other rank tracking tools or SEO-specific platforms that we don't have an established API connection for, such as Ahrefs.
- By using TapClicks, reports are quick to assemble and easy to modify. Making your own SEO reports via Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint is not a scalable process. As you grow your client list, you'll run into bottlenecks from the taxing amount of client reporting. This is especially true when you want to pivot your strategies and need to recreate the entire in-house reporting dashboard to match new metrics.
In this post, we discuss in further detail the problems with manual reporting. Then, we walk you through what it looks like to use TapClicks as your SEO reporting software, and explain the ways in which it solves those challenges.
Tired of manual SEO reporting processes? Try our free 14 day trial to see first hand how our platform streamlines reporting and analytics.
The Problems with Manual SEO Reporting Processes
There are generally two ways agencies report on SEO progress to their clients:
- Exporting and organizing data in spreadsheets
- Sending clients screenshots of their dashboards (compiled in docs, emails, or slides).
Both of these methods come with significant drawbacks.
1. Using Spreadsheets for SEO Reporting
The most immediate drawback of exporting data out of your SEO tools and into a spreadsheet is the amount of manual labor it requires on the behalf of your marketers.
Your SEO team has to update the data in the spreadsheet each time they want to build a report because there isn't a live connection between your platform and your spreadsheet.
Plus, once the data is in the spreadsheet, it still needs to be organized and then worked into graphs or charts which often means using another tool such as PowerPoint or Google Data Studio.
So, for example, let's say your client requests a report on the total impressions of four specific landing pages over the past three months. And they're looking specifically to see if there is a positive relationship between your link building strategies and how many times their pages are displaying for queries in the SERPs.
Here's how that would look using spreadsheets to gather and organize the data.
First, you need to get data on impressions out of Google Search Console (GSC). But the problem is that when you export data out of GSC, it's all dumped into simple columns and rows. Plus, you end up with metrics you don't always need, such as CTR percentages and average position.
Then, you need to find the pages and metrics you want to report on and delete the rest. Additionally, you are still tasked with presenting that data in a compelling, visual manner.
You also need backlink data from an SEO tool like SEMRush or Raven Tools. So, now you need to export that backlink data out of its platform.
This means you're handling multiple spreadsheets just to make one custom report for your client. This is inefficient (not to mention error-prone) because it means your SEOs will be unable to take on new clients or develop new SEO campaigns. They're simply spending too much of their day on reporting tasks that can be taken care of by a reporting tool.
Note: Raven Tools currently has a native connector with TapClicks, so you can set up your Raven Tools SEO account with TapClicks instantly and start making SEO reports for your clients. Raven includes all the essentials (SEO audit tool, rank tracker, backlink checker, keyword research, and more).
Using Google Data Studio to Simplify the Manual Reporting Process
Some agencies quickly realize they can't afford to have their team creating SEO reports from scratch. To help them make graphs and charts for better visualization, they use Google Data Studio. Google Data Studio comes with widgets and templates, which are designed to make reporting easier.
There are two caveats to consider, however.
- The only ready-made connectors for GDS are Google-related platforms. If you want SEO data out of tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs, you're going to need to use third-party community connectors. Community connectors can be really valuable we've helped refine and improve marketing-specific community connectors for advertising agencies but their value does depend on the scope and depth of data that the connector will provide.
- Even with the right community connector, using GDS is still labor-intensive. This is because with GDS, you need a new dashboard for every campaign and client. So, while you're saving time by using GDS's widgets and templates, your team is still managing several dashboards, which makes it difficult to scale up reporting.
2. Using Screenshots for SEO Reporting
Sometimes agencies skip the headache of spreadsheets and Google Data Studio and rely on a really simple method: taking screenshots of the data within each platform and sharing that with the client.
But this comes with its own list of drawbacks.
First, screenshots are difficult to manage in the long run. Unless you develop a clever tag and title system, they aren't easy to search through.
This means if a client has a question about a report you sent weeks ago, you're going to have to dig through emails or Google Drive instead of just pulling the report up.
Second, while screenshots are great for visually showing data that the platform presents you, you're limited in your ability to customize what you report on to clients. For example, above we can see total clicks, impressions, the average click-through rate, and average position for the last three months.
But what if you want to show your client total impressions and total clicks from organic search, along with the conversions of each landing page, all in the same graph?
That's not something you can do, so you're going to have to use screenshots along with other manual processes.
In short, screenshots are fine for surface-level reporting like when a client wants a quick update on their CTR but it doesn't solve the problems of manual reporting over the long term.
Examples of What It's Like to Use Our SEO Reporting Software
TapClicks' SEO reporting software lets you collect, analyze, and report on relevant SEO metrics and KPIs. Plus, it provides you with more customization over your data, which means you can use data sources in ways that native platforms can't.
With TapClicks, you can:
- Get all the data you need into one unified dashboard
- Quickly create white-label reports and set up automated reporting
We have ready-made connectors that let you bring in data from Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMRush, and MOZ.
And if you need data out of a platform we don't have a live connection for, you can use our Smart Connectors which are able to take data from any platform that can export its files into one of these formats: csv, tsv, xlsx, and odf.
What makes using our smart connectors a better option than just normal exporting and importing? Smart connectors will retrieve data in real-time, that way your TapClicks dashboards are always up to date.
For example, if you have a graph tracking bounce rate (from Google Analytics) for your highest-volume buyer-intent keywords (from SEMRush or MOZ) the graph will constantly display the most up to date metrics from each of the respective platforms.
Once your data is in your dashboard, you can start blending and transforming it, which we go over below.
How to Create Reports that Accurately Tell the Whole Story
A problem with building reports from disparate data sources is that even the smallest oversight can lead your agency to short-change the value of your SEO strategies.
To help you create reports that accurately depict the value you're bringing your clients, TapClicks allows you to blend and transform your data.
Blending SEO performance data means taking two disparate data sets such as page impressions and referrals and putting them together to show relationships between the two metrics. For example, if you're increasing impressions for your client, but their referrals are going down, you might think of adjusting your SEO strategy to target more bottom of the funnel keywords.
Transforming data means grouping similar metrics together to give a more accurate picture. So, let's say you want to show your client how you have increased their brand awareness. You can take impressions, pageviews, and organic traffic and put it all into one metric to show how much your client's audience has increased since your agency took on SEO.
Note: These features are equally valuable for analytics. By looking at Bing and Google Search data in a more nuanced way, your SEOs can spot new opportunities and deliver more winning campaign strategies.
How TapClicks Drastically Reduces the Time It Takes to Create Reports
Finally, TapClicks saves you time by making reporting easy and intuitive. Because your data sets are in one Dashboard, you can easily pull up the data you want to see, along with a specific date range, and send off a report.
You can also set up automated recurring reports, so every Friday at the end of day, TapClicks will send a report to your clients covering whichever metrics you designated.
In addition, our Report Studio allows you to create professional, white-label reporting. This can help your agency stand out and build trust with clients.
Lastly, agencies also benefit from using our notifications feature, which allows you to set up alerts for when KPI's drop below a specific benchmark. This way, for example, your SEOs could be alerted to a change in keyword rankings for a target search term, letting them figure out the issue and propose a new plan.
Ready to Level Up Your SEO Reporting Processes?
The issues with manual SEO client reporting are nontrivial. They're slow, labor-intensive, error-prone, and difficult to scale.
TapClicks SEO reporting software leverages automation (data sets are updated on their own and you can set up automated reports) to reduce the amount of time your team needs to spend making client reports. This lets your team focus more on delivering the best SEO results to your clients.
Plus, our software pulls all the data you need into one customizable dashboard, letting you compile metrics from multiple platforms, and create a more accurate picture of the value your SEO strategies are bringing to your clients.
If you'd like a personalized look at how TapClicks can streamline your SEO reporting processes, try our free 14 day trial.