3 Design Best Practices for Preparing SEO Reports

Most SEO professionals spend all of their time thinking about what metrics to include in their report. They don’t give much thought to how it is presented.

Presentation shouldn’t be an afterthought. In fact, the report design can help you tell a more compelling story with data. 

As Nate Nead of SEO.co says, “Proper reporting metrics are table stakes to any report, but report visualization, especially for higher-end clients, is very helpful. We outsource our report creation to a visualization company, so the metrics we provide are presented very well. This creates an aura of professionalism. First, nail the metrics in your report and then nail the presentation. Perception is reality when it comes to how you present your findings.” 

In this post, we’re sharing three simple strategies to help you nail your SEO report design.  

Keep the Layout Clean and Consistent 

“Keep the report clean and consistent,” says Robert Spinrad of SEOM Interactive. ”There’s nothing that can throw a client off more than an SEO report that is hard to follow and looks different each month. Making the report as easy to understand as possible allows the client to better understand what you are doing for them, which in turn makes you look better!”

Not to mention, if you are changing up the layout all the time, it distracts from the main purpose, which is to highlight the data. Some clients might even become suspicious, thinking that the design changes are trying to obscure or hide the data. 

Vlad Davniuk of Beverly SEO Studio says, “Do not change the design every month. Your clients want to see numbers, not new designs every month.” 

Incorporate a Mix of Tables, Text and Charts 

One of the best ways to appeal to different learning styles is to present your reports with a mix of text and visuals.

Aris Santos of NinjaOutreach says, “A lot of times, your client won’t be as good as you in SEO, but presenting a report in a visual manner helps them better understand what you’re about. Instead of saying there’s a 20% increase in organic traffic, *show* that there’s a 20% increase in organic traffic (text vs. graph), and your client would easily absorb what has happened in just one look.”

For example, Adam K. Stinson of Kidd Group says, “Visually show the correlation between getting more backlinks and more traffic to those pages. This way, you can portray the importance of link building to the client.” 

Pro Tip: Use a tool like Loom, to record a screencast walking through your report. This allows you to provide additional context. 

Outsource Your Presentation Design to a Graphic Designer 

“Don’t overlook the visuals and overall presentation,” says Collin Tate of Simplexity Marketing. “Sometimes we forget that real people read our reports, or we think that no one reads reports, so who cares how it looks. The truth is people do read reports when they’re good and ignore them when they’re bad.

It’s important to make your reports bite-sized and easily digestible. Each report should have key points, clear takeaways, and shareable charts and graphs because they get passed around often by email and on Slack.

If pretty charts and graphs aren’t your things, find a freelancer who can turn your black and white data into full-color insights. Never underestimate how good looking data can make your clients happy and boost your credibility.” 

Deepak Shukla of Pearl Lemon adds, “If a template can be made by a graphic designer or data analyst who has experience with software like Tableau or PowerBI, it can make the reports a lot easier to read, rather than if they were designed by your technical SEO team.” 

In summary, these are three strategies you can use to create more compelling SEO reports. And the good news is that you can get started today!

Author: Angela Ash

Managing content and publicity even when she sleeps, Angela also writes poetry, plays the piano, travels, loves on her two feline fur balls and can even beat Mickey Mouse at Disney trivia