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With an endless number of companies recognizing how important data is and can be for the success of their business… whether it’s related to data about their target audience, how revenue enters and exits a company, or how large their market share is compared to their largest clients… there’s no question that data is important in this digital age. For those of you that are wondering if the available data associated with SEO strategies and campaigns being implemented for your website/business, then the below points should help you appreciate why this information can be very valuable; which is where an SEO reporting dashboard can come in handy.
Some of the most successful SEO experts can tell you that there is no shortage of datasets that can, and should be, considered when trying to succeed with organic search engine rankings. What are some of the most important elements of an SEO campaign that can be used with some of the most useful dashboards for reporting on SEO?
Here Are Some Important Datasets That An SEO Reporting Dashboard Can Highlight:
SEO Performance Reporting:
Having a clear sense of what is happening with the SEO performance of your website is beneficial for a number of ways. Not only does it ensure that you’re being found by your target audience that is looking for the products / services you provide, but its also an accurate way to gauge whether or not any marketing budget being allocated to this aspect of digital marketing is producing an ROI. Below are a few of the most common elements that SEO gurus use to track their performance using an online reporting dashboard.
- Organic Traffic – This is a pretty obvious one since organic traffic has always been one of the most watched, reported on, and coveted aspect of just about every SEO strategy used by a digital marketer. This isn’t to say that replacing an industry-wide organic traffic reporting tool like Google Analytics can/should be replaced; in fact, the opposite is true. However, when you have that data integrated into an SEO dashboard… there are a variety of powerful tactics that can be used to get the most out of that data.
- Keyword Rankings – Second to organic traffic, keyword ranking changes is one of the best ways to get a sense of how well an SEO campaign is going. Having the ability to daily, weekly, or monthly check how keywords a moving is an excellent way to get a sense of whether or not an SEO strategy is going in the right direction.
- Mapped Pages – Similar to organic traffic, being able to look at how specific pages are performing from an SEO perspective puts digital marketers in a great place to get the most out of those pages. Looking at more than just traffic, but how the page is converting, what long-tail keywords and keyword variations it can rank for, and the impact it has on the overall revenue and new business opportunities is an excellent way to get the most out of an SEO campaign.
- Brand/Website Visibility – Understanding how, when, where, and why your site is being accessed by the viewers that come in as a result of SEO is quick way to know if your current SEO campaign is doing its job. Many SEO reporting dashboards can look at this data, and compare it to other websites in your industry and make a comparison of how your site measures up to the competition.
- For a brand that is the largest in their industry, this is an excellent way to stay on top of any smaller competitors that might be actively looking for ways to use SEO take away some of the market share of the larger business.
- For start-ups that are looking to identify who the most major stakeholders are in their industry, from an SEO standpoint, they can compare and strategize how to best compete with them… having a dashboard that will do this type of analysis in invaluable.
On-Page SEO Reporting:
Working on this aspect of an SEO campaign is usually one of the first areas that an SEO marketer will focus on. Since the largest search engines are actively crawling websites, and identifying changes made to specific pages and even entire websites… being able to monitor, track and report on how different on-page aspects of an SEO campaign is performing is of vital importance. What are some of the most common on-page SEO datasets that many reporting dashboards offer?
- Optimization Recommendations – Some of the most comprehensive and widely used SEO reporting dashboards will analyze specific pages of a website, and make a comparison of the top ranking sites for user selected mapped keywords to those pages. With that data, the dashboard itself can then recommend optimization recommendations that an SEO can use for implementation on a website. While we have not found a dashboard or software that automates this process as accurately as a human would, for a website that has a very strong domain presence in a search engine or that is in an industry that isn’t very competitive, this type of data can result in many page 1 rankings by simply implementing the on-page optimization recommendations provided.
- Internal Linking – As we’ve said many times before, this is one of most impactful yet commonly overlooked aspects of an SEO strategy. For over a decade there have been endless amounts of real life examples of a website ranking very well in the search engines despite having very few backlinks pointing to their website. It’s something that happens most commonly for e-commerce websites or for sites where content is continually being created. The combination of having a lot of pages on the site, and ensuring that different pages of the site are linking to other related pages has helped 1,000s of business rank for competitive terms when they correctly use internal linking. A good SEO dashboard will be able to make recommendations for this on-page SEO element.
- Word Count – This one is pretty straight forward. Content is still king and will probably always be; especially when we consider how much digital content is being consumed at literally all hours of the day. Having a clear sense of not just the number of words on a page for top ranking competitors vs. a target website, but also… clearly understanding what that content is about is a great way to assist with areas of SEO like content marketing.
- Keyword Density – This is an on-page element that has been discussed and debated over the years by many people who are trying to determine how important it is. Since this article isn’t about that specifically, what we will say is that after looking at keyword density for more than a decade for websites in 100s of different industries… it is an on-page element that needs to be taken into consideration. An SEO reporting dashboard that does that type of analysis for specific pages and makes a comparison of the types of pages ranking well in a given industry is a very useful feature that will help SEO improvements and overall performance.
Off-Page SEO Reporting
There are many areas of off-page SEO that we could discuss that are worth tracking and reporting on, but let’s just consider two:
- Backlinks – In the opinion of many, backlinks are just as important as content, and in some instances, it seems like it’s more important. That’s a debate that will probably never end, so let’s not go too far down that road. When it comes to a reporting point of view, getting an understanding of the types of links a website has, how many there are, how old they are, how powerful they are, how related they are, and where they are coming from is all extremely valuable information. Understanding this information can be the difference between ranking at the top of the search engines for any keyword term being pursued and having a search engine penalty. This is an area of off-page SEO that isn’t monitored or understand nearly as much as it should be.
- Social Signals – For the last 4-5 years there have been numerous case studies that show and prove how important social signals are for ranking well in the search engines. Many business owners don’t see the value in having an active share on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. It’s not a requirement when it comes to SEO, but if having lots of likes, shares, favorites, reposts, followers, etc is what’s making the difference for search engine rankings between you and your competitors that are outranking you… overlooking and not reporting on this aspect of SEO would be a mistake.
So… How Does SEO Reporting Dashboard Data Like This Help Improve Success With SEO?
At the end of the day, SEO comes down to guessing why search engines rank a particular set of websites in the order that they do. For any that don’t know, that’s because no one knows exactly how much weight search engines put on different aspects of the sometimes 100s of “signals” they use to rank websites organically. The above elements that have been confirmed to play a large part in how a website performs in the organic search engine rankings can give a search engine optimizer plenty of information to be able to create, implement, monitor, and report on an SEO strategy that will produce positive results 100% of the time.
Despite having all of the above data clearly organized in an SEO dashboard, there is still a good amount of guessing and assuming that is needed to succeed in this industry. Without the above data, imagine how much more unlikely it would be to implement a successful SEO campaign?
You might be wondering how or why your marketing team and/or vendor are doing your day to day SEO without such detailed data available to them. Well… would you say the SEO strategy they are working on for you at present is a success? If not, then this may be part of the reason why. If they are succeeding, it’s likely that they are using an SEO reporting dashboard or a combination of them.
In a future article we’ll be sure to share some of our favorite SEO dashboards, but in the meantime… for those of you that have any dashboards that you’d like to recommend, please let us know in the comments below. Otherwise, hopefully, this information will help you appreciate how you can be sure to succeed with SEO by investing in and using a dashboard for SEO. Nomvo!