SEO reporting best practices that boost client retention
SEO reporting is a necessary investment for any digital agency, be it big or small. Clients want to see the evidence of progress. SEO reports allow your clients to visualize what they are paying for and gives them a chance to see which strategies are working and which are not. A consistent SEO report helps you boost client retention and gain referrals for the future. Hence, it is better to have a scheduled automated report with key performance indicators (KPIs) than to manually assemble the data points at the last moment.
For most of us, SEO reporting
has been considered as a chore that consumes a lot of time, which could have
been spent on doing other important things. In most cases, even after all the
time you put into pulling your data together and making the report, it is not
guaranteed that the client will read the report. Though SEO reporting may sound
like a huge waste of time, but viewing it as a client retention tool can
benefit you in a number of ways. It is important for any agency or a consultant
to retain clients and that can be done by good SEO reporting through which you
communicate your value to keep more clients. You can hire a professional digital
marketing company like Gray Cyan and can use some of the tips given below that
will help you become a trusted advisor to your clients and help you build long
lasting relationships to help boost client retention.
1. Set aside specific goals: Make sure that you discuss with your client and specifically and mutually agree upon your goals well in advance. You should discuss with your client your target at the beginning of the month so that when you review your report, you will be able to decide whether you have missed, achieved or exceeded your target goals.
2. Report what your clients care about: Clients are always busy and if your report does not highlight metrics that reflect the main objectives of your client and does not contain anything that catches their eye, they might just throw it away. It is important to make your report count and for that you need to first and foremost identify the business objective of your client and then create an SEO plan that while help you achieve your goal. You need to then execute the plan and then report on the metrics the best way the work was done. In simpler words, one must be able to choose and match the business objectives and the reporting strategy.
3. Create a unique rapport with the clients: Account managers in an agency are accountable for delivering and ensuring that the activities undertaken by the agency, align with the objectives of the client. Identify the goals of the client by asking the right questions in the kick off meeting. Prepare relevant questions in advance to hit the ground running in the first few months of any new client relationship. Be prepared for questions about the business growth, sales objectives, marketing plan, etc. to build a good relationship with your clients. Your relationship should progress from that of a technical expert or a service vendor to that of a trusted business advisor. Trusted business advisors help their clients earn more business through their marketing strategies which in turn which has a big influence on the client retention in any agency.
4. Eliminate Jargon: It is important to keep the language of your SEO report simple and easy to understand for the client. Before sending out the report, ask yourself if you have defined all metrics which might have been difficult for the client to understand. If the need arises, you may also use a mini glossary to explain some of your terminologies. One may sometimes use jargon or technical terminologies, without realizing it, so it is important to use phrases and words which can easily be understood by laymen.
5. Visualize your data in simpler ways and provide insights and not just metrics: Apart from the language, it is important to consider if the visual aspects of your report like pie charts and graphs are understandable by the client. Pure metrics do not have intrinsic data, hence it is important to unify data in such a way that will transform your metric data into a story that conveys meaning to your client. It is crucial to display the information in such a way that it is easy to identify with and must help your client understand not just what the numbers are but why they matter.
6. Try connecting your SEO results to revenue: SEO can have a direct influence on the rankings, organic traffic and organic conversions. Connecting SEO to revenue can get difficult when conversions happen offline, so it is important to set up goal conversions and add some value to the conversions to tie organic traffic to your revenue. This can get a little difficult as in some cases the clients might not know their average lifetime customer value (LFV) or their average close rate or in some cases they might not want to share this information with you. Even though one cannot influence the conversions directly, it is still vital to at least try connecting the SEO results to revenue.
7. Try to be available to fill in the gaps: Even if your report contains text commentary to elaborate your data, it might not contain everything to satisfy your client. Hence it is important to fill the gaps by providing clear insights. This will help your client understand the report easily and can save both your client and your time.
8. Identify the persona of your client and client motivating factors: There are different types of clients with different marketing agency budgets, so it is important to identify these clients in order to boost your client retention. Identify the primary motivating factors for your clients in order to build deeper personal relationships with your client. Some motivation factors might include being recognized as an expert internally, or learning how to implement marketing techniques themselves.
9. Practice Radical Honesty with your client: It is important to practice radical honesty with your client. It means saying what you mean without sounding mean. For instance, your client has an awful website and you believe that unless they invest in a new platform, they won’t achieve their online sales targets. Be honest with them at the outset and let them know that their targets are not achievable if they do not get a new site. This comes good in situations when you feel that your clients have unreasonable expectations.
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