SEO Reporting: Successfully Measure Measures & Performance

What is SEO reporting?
Why should you create a regular SEO report?
What belongs in an SEO reporting?
Measure SEO goals – important metrics and KPIs for SEO reporting
SEO Reporting Tools and Dashboards
Conclusion: Start evaluating your SEO strategy regularly now

Search engine optimization (SEO) is not an end in itself. A good SEO strategy tries to achieve certain corporate goals in interaction with the other online marketing channels. For example, new as well as returning users should buy products, request product demos, sign up for the company newsletter or download the latest whitepaper via organic search.

But in order to keep an eye on the success and failure of all SEO measures along the way and to draw the right conclusions, SEO reporting is essential. If you don’t evaluate your data regularly, you run the risk of optimizing haphazardly and in the wrong places. This can cost valuable resources and money!

How do you create meaningful SEO reports and use your data effectively? Which key figures and metrics should you look at? And which SEO tools support you in your work? Find out everything you need to know about SEO reporting in our guide.

What is SEO reporting?

SEO reporting gives you and your team detailed information about the current SEO performance of your website. For this purpose, various data is collected, processed and analyzed at certain intervals, for example weekly or monthly. This makes it possible to assess exactly how a website is performing in the organic search results (SERPs) and the extent to which search engine optimization is contributing to the business goals pursued with the website.

Why should you create a regular SEO report?

The main goal of any SEO report is to use predefined metrics, so-called key performance indicators (KPIs), to put the success of measures taken to the test, as well as to gain further, important insights for future optimization. SEO reporting is therefore an integral part of the entire SEO process and indispensable for your successful SEO strategy.

Figure 1: SEO process

With the reporting you have all trends, developments and the progress of your SEO performance always in view, you recognize which measures work well and which less well, can react quickly to acute problems and plan your next steps accordingly.

In addition, you not only make the actual SEO work easier for your team, but also create the necessary transparency in the company. Rarely do SEOs decide on their own and it is necessary to convince other stakeholders of the value and benefit of the often extensive SEO work. By means of real facts you create a good argumentation basis for further investments and measures. If you can clearly prove how optimizations make a significant contribution to business goals and the company’s success, you won’t have to worry about budgets and resources in the future.

What belongs in an SEO reporting?

Not all SEO reporting is the same and, as is so often the case in SEO, there is no universal standard. However, there are some important rules regarding execution and essential functionality – you should follow these for meaningful SEO reporting.

Requirements and needs of companies, business models and stakeholders can be very individual. Therefore, some basic conditions should be clearly defined in advance with the recipients of the reporting:

However, the mere collection and provision of all data does not make a useful SEO report. All too often, the daily business is limited to this. To get the best value out of your SEO reporting, you should integrate several important elements:

Measure SEO goals – important metrics and KPIs for SEO reporting

Data, data, data – which metrics can be used to measure the relevant SEO goals? Whether SEO is for search engine traffic, e-commerce sales, lead generation, or brand awareness, specific metrics are needed to measure the success of SEO. These metrics can be measured in the specific time intervals of SEO reporting and thus provide concrete information about the current progress, i.e. the effects of your measures and optimizations. That’s why you should always consider your metrics in relation to past values, such as year-on-year, as well as their long-term development!

The selection of the tracked KPIs can, as already mentioned, differ depending on the objective and type of company. Depending on your SEO strategy and goals, the first step should be to determine all the KPIs that are critical to you and include them in your reporting. We would like to introduce you to some frequently used and relevant KPIs:

1. visibility of the website

Probably the most widespread metric in SEO, but also the most discussed, is the organic visibility index. This value basically describes how visible your domain is in the rankings of organic search results for certain search terms (keywords). For the calculation, a large pool of keywords from a wide range of topics is used to provide a picture that is as representative as possible. The keyword rankings of a domain together with other factors, such as the search volume per month and the click probability, finally result in the visibility index. The higher the value, the better the visibility.

With different SEO tools like Sistrix, Ahrefs or SEMrush you can measure your index.

Important to note: the tools use different data bases and numerical values, so there is no one visibility index.

Beispiel Sistrix Sichtbarkeitsindex
Figure 2: SISTRIX Visibility Index

For the interpretation of the visibility index in your SEO reporting, you should also keep in mind:

Ultimately, however, the index is very well suited to look at current trends or the historical development within the search results as well as the comparison with the top competitors in your market. For an even more meaningful visibility index, it is worthwhile to create an individual keyword set with the most relevant keywords for you.

2. keyword rankings

In addition to the overall visibility of all rankings, the specific positioning of individual pages for the most important keywords should always be kept in mind.

As part of an SEO strategy, the targeted focus keywords and landing pages suitable for them are first defined. These are the most valuable search terms that potential customers within your target group type into the search engines and for which you want to be found as well as possible. Accordingly, monitoring these rankings and their current development, also called keyword monitoring, provides further important insights within the scope of your SEO reporting.

The search results and keyword rankings on Google are subject to daily fluctuations. You should always view your keywords over time and not as mere snapshots. Compare the changes of the positions to the previous month to identify significant ranking increases or losses.

Tracking keywords helps you especially at the beginning of your SEO strategy as an indicator of initial progress, which is not yet noticeable in the larger KPIs such as visibility and traffic. In the further course, you can analyze the effects of certain optimization measures on keyword and page level or, conversely, quickly take countermeasures if individual keyword rankings suddenly plummet.

Within the keyword monitoring, the so-called threshold keywords, rankings on the second SERP page, offer an optimal starting point for further potentials.

If you have a larger website and a particularly large number of focus keywords, you should also divide them into clusters and monitor them, e.g. an online store according to product categories or a blog according to content subtopics.

Checking the URLs ranking for the keywords lets you quickly identify any problems, such as cannibalization between multiple pages.

3. organic traffic

Behind every search query on Google there is a user who should be directed to your website. The number of these visitors coming to your website via organic search (also known as organic traffic) is essential for your SEO reporting.

Increasing organic traffic is of course one of the primary goals in SEO, so in the long run you can see if your SEO strategy is going in the right direction and is crowned with success. Web analysis tools like Google Analytics or Matomo give you information about the organic traffic.

Beispiel Google Analytics Nutzerbericht
Figure 3: Google Analytics user report

You can also track how many users landed on your website via the clicks and click-through rates in the search results registered in Google Search Console.

Beispiel Google Search Console Leistungsbericht
Figure 4: Google Search Console performance report

In addition to the overall traffic of the website, at this point you should analyze in more detail the most important pages for your business goals. For example, in a “Top 10 Landing Pages” report.

4. conversions & conversion rate

Mere keyword rankings, visibility and traffic lead companies in very few cases to the actual goal. The bottom line is that they are interested in concrete sales and the return on SEO investments. Specific user actions on the website are usually directly or indirectly related to revenue goals and are probably the most important metric.

Such conversions should definitely be defined, tracked and integrated into SEO reporting. Conversion rate additionally measures the percentage of converted users. Some examples of conversions are e-commerce orders, online bookings or lead generation, such as contact inquiries, downloads of content formats or product demos.

5. reporting on individual SEO sub-areas

In addition to the overarching metrics mentioned so far, your team can enrich the SEO reporting with additional information and results from the individual SEO areas as needed:

User Signals & User Experience

SEO and User Experience (UX) are merging more and more and cannot be imagined without each other. Visitors who jump back to the search results after a few seconds are sending bad user signals. Google takes such signals into account when evaluating pages for keyword rankings. Also in terms of conversion optimization it makes sense to observe these metrics.

The bounce rate, dwell time, page views, scroll depth or certain predefined events such as shopping cart abandonment or button clicks, among others, give very good indications about the way user groups interact with your content and pages. Use these KPIs in your SEO reporting to make better statements about the user experience.

Technical SEO

Without a clean technical foundation, websites have little chance of good rankings and high visibility. Technical SEO for improved website quality is the basis of any SEO success and includes aspects such as load times, core web vitals, crawlability, indexing or accessibility. Too many errors in these areas can negatively affect rankings and SEO performance. Especially in larger web projects with many thousands of URLs, which are subject to constant changes – whether system, technology, content, design – this factor must never be neglected. In such cases it is worth to monitor critical technical errors in SEO reporting. You can immediately track the progress of technical bug fixes and correct serious problems at an early stage.

The question of how in-depth metrics on the various technical error types should be included in SEO reporting must be answered individually depending on the project. Interesting KPIs in technical SEO are for example:

Different tools, specialized on certain metrics as well as comprehensive SEO tools, which crawl the website, offer you the possibility to provide corresponding reports on technical SEO for your reporting.

Technical SEO is a very complex field with a lot of different parameters. Accordingly, reporting can only provide insights up to a certain point. It is recommended to perform detailed technical SEO audits at regular intervals for a complete picture.


Backlinks are external linking of your website by other domains and still belong to the important ranking factors in SEO. If you are active in off-page and link building, you cannot avoid a success control of your efforts. But even without targeted measures in this area, it makes sense to keep track of new external links and the overall development of the link profile. There are various data sources available from tool providers such as Link Research Tools, SEMrush or Ahrefs. You can display the number and especially the quality of individual links and the respective linking domain in your SEO reporting.

SEO Reporting Tools and Dashboards

The range of possible SEO reporting tools, data sources and dashboards is huge. We have already mentioned some examples. Below you will find an overview of the possibilities and benefits of the most popular tools for your reporting:

Google Search Console

The Google Search Console is probably one of the most important tools of an SEO. This service, which is provided free of charge for website operators, offers you numerous settings and functions in the administration of your site, as well as particularly exciting reports on data aggregated by Google itself. In the “Performance” report, you can display KPIs such as clicks, impressions, CTR (click rate) or average positions. But not only for your entire domain, but also for each individual page or keyword for which you were displayed in the search results.

Beispiel Google Search Console Dashboard
Figure 5: Google Search Console Dashboard

The “Index” report also gives you information about the number of indexed and non-indexed pages. If you go into more detail, you can also see the various reasons for non-indexing, such as pages excluded by “noindex” or forwarded.

Beispiel Google Search Console Index Bericht
Figure 6: Google Search Console Index Report

This is only a fraction of the possibilities within Google Search Console. Take advantage of other reports with information on crawling statistics, core web vitals, mobile-friendliness, structured data, internal links and much more.

Google Analytics

If you want to know how many visitors land on your website, where they come from, which pages were viewed particularly often and other similar evaluations, track your users and resort to a web analytics tool. Google Analytics is and remains an indispensable part of the data analysis repertoire of most companies and online marketers. The tool, which is also free of charge, provides indispensable data on organic traffic, conversions, user behavior and target groups for reporting SEO performance.

Be sure to note that the transition from the old Universal Analytics to the next generation Google Analytics 4 is currently underway, and as of July 1, 2023, data will no longer be processed in standard Universal Analytics properties.

Beispiel Google Analytics Dashboard
Figure 7: Google Analytics Dashboard

Sistrix, SEMrush and co.

Finally, the many SEO tool providers also offer comprehensive, automated reporting options. The evaluations refer primarily to SEO-specific key figures such as visibility, keyword rankings, backlinks or technical errors. They are particularly well suited for competitive analyses and comparisons. Popular all-in-one SEO software are:

The data can be displayed directly in the tool in clear dashboards, compiled as individual reporting or exported for further use in various formats (Excel, PDF, etc.).

Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio)

Google Data Studio, recently part of Looker Studio, is a very popular tool to merge and visualize data. You can retrieve a wide variety of data sources from specific platforms via interface (connectors) and compile your individual SEO reporting. This is possible for Google data like from Google Analytics or Google Search Console as well as for third-party data. The Looker Studio Dashboard offers a wide range of possibilities:

Looker Studio is also ahead of most other dashboards in terms of design, functionality and interactivity. The implementation does not require advanced web analytics knowledge. Another big advantage is the high data refresh rate of most connectors. Thus, with Looker Studio you are always up to date and can work with meaningful SEO reporting.

Beispiel Looker Studio Dashboard
Figure 8: Example Looker Studio Dashboard

Conclusion: Start evaluating your SEO strategy regularly now

SEO reporting can have very different focuses, depending on your company’s specific requirements. In our guide, we have provided you with the most important key points on functionality, components, KPIs and tools for optimal SEO reporting.

Now create your individual reporting for your SEO process. There are no limits for you. But always keep in mind that the evaluated data should support your team in the best possible way for future decisions and optimizations. At the same time, the inventory must be understandable for all involved groups of people, stakeholders and readers.

We wish you good luck with your reporting!


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