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Understanding Your SEO Report

Understanding Your SEO Report

Are you receiving SEO reports as part of your MSP marketing strategy? Do you read or even understand them? If not, you are missing a wealth of insight on how to improve your website and use it to generate the leads your business needs to grow.

What is an SEO Report ?

An SEO report provides information on your website's performance on search engines such as Google and Bing. It provides insights into your SEO strategies and where there are opportunities for improvement. 

Everyone who generates an SEO report will usually provide different information, organize it differently, and use different data sources. Unfortunately, some may be less helpful than others.

One critical thing to remember is that an SEO report is a snapshot in time, and it is only over a long time that you can determine the best strategy to increase your online presence. This intimate look at your website is the main difference between having a monthly SEO plan and relying on “free” SEO reports to develop your MSP marketing strategy.

Finally, your SEO report aims to view and analyze the data and metrics regarding your SEO performance. This will allow you to understand which content drives results and which doesn't (SEO is no longer driven by keywords only, but within the context of its content). 

Your SEO report should explain your SEO status without jargon. It should also offer solutions to issues preventing your website from being as prominent as possible. Your SEO report is to provide you with the advice needed to put your MSP in front of people as it rises to the top of Google and creates opportunities to generate leads. 

If you do not read your SEO report, you effectively set your MSP marketing efforts on the back foot. Now that you have your SEO report in front of you, take a moment to understand some of the essential information it contains.

Understanding Your SEO Report: Sources of Traffic

One of the most critical data points your SEO report can provide is the type of traffic that your website receives. Is it organic, direct, or referral? Each source of traffic is valuable in different ways. Your SEO report will usually pull this information from your Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

Organic traffic is regular, unpaid traffic from a search engine. When someone enters a search term, such as "computer consultants in Springfield" into a search engine like Google or Bing, the resulting traffic to your website is considered organic because it is generated "organically" as part of the natural search process.

Direct traffic comes when a user types the URL of your website in the browser or visits your site through saved bookmarks. Direct traffic is crucial because it is usually where traffic bots will influence your data and are the first place to look if you see extreme swings in traffic.

Referral traffic occurs when someone clicks on a (hyper) link to a new page on a different website. The originating site (such as Twitter or Facebook) is called a "referrer" because it refers visitors to your website from its own. Keep in mind that some referral traffic might be split into a few parts. It’s common for social traffic to be in its own bucket.

Paid Traffic: As the name suggests, this is traffic generated by your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns. While PPC can increase traffic and name recognition, once you stop running your PPC, all the traffic and perhaps name recognition will disappear as your ads will no longer be shown.

Location: Where is your traffic coming from? Are you successfully attracting customers from your targeted area? Google treats traffic as local, and most traffic should be from your location unless you're a nationwide organization. If it's not, then your content (blogs, meta-descriptions, white papers, etc.) isn't conveying the areas you serve. 

Tip: Your content must indicate that you actually serve your targeted locations; merely adding cities to your menus or keyword spamming cities won't work. Your best bet will be to have case studies, blogs and other content showing that you have completed projects in those locations or to create custom content that explicitly mentions events and areas in those locations.

Reading Your SEO Report: Search Terms

We have previously discussed best practices for using keywords in your MSP Marketing strategy. Still, it is challenging to develop your strategy if you don’t know what keywords your website is ranking for. Your SEO report will tell you which search terms people are searching for. This is essential because SEO is content-reliant; knowing what people are searching for allows you to develop content that converts because you are addressing their pain points.

Page Position: Your SEO report should provide a list of keywords and how they perform, allowing you to decide which services to focus on, as you already indicate what potential benefits are selling. As you should be aware, the closer you are to the first few websites shown in the search results, the greater the chances are your MSP will be successfully clicked upon.

Visited Pages: One of the most significant advantages of developing a content marketing plan is knowing what information your leads are interested in learning more about. Knowing which pages potential leads visit, how long they stay, and where they go after grants you considerable insights into your marketing. 

For example, you can focus on those areas via social media, featured blogs, email blasts, or other types of marketing. For instance, if your blogs on cybersecurity are gaining traction, you could offer webinars or partner with your local Chamber of Commerce, allowing you to continue communicating with interested parties.

Successful marketing relies upon multiple types of communication, meaning you need to have multiple touchpoints that feature and create specific content featuring those popular topics. You have a better chance to drive qualified traffic to your website.

Is Your SEO Report Giving You The Answers You Need?

MSPs often ask what is the most important KPI, what data point or “magic” keywords will drive traffic to their website. The unexpected answer is that it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter if you don’t follow the advice provided. You can have the perfect keyword and website and still have a poor outcome because SEO isn’t passive and requires action to be taken to succeed. In other words, the most important takeaway from your SEO report is what to do next.

Your SEO report will (should) contain opportunities. These opportunities will be suggestions or advice to increase the metrics your SEO report is providing. Do this if you want to rank for these keywords and increase page position, traffic, or brand awareness. While it is natural to be hyper-focused on the data, data without responding to the suggested action to benefit it leads to lost opportunities. Assuming your SEO is well developed, providing the information you need, are you following the advice they provide?

Most SEO Audits are Designed to Poo-Poo Your Website

There isn’t one singular magic bullet that can improve your SEO ranking and increase the traffic on your site, and minus a few extreme situations, there isn’t a singular flaw to a properly built website that is preventing you from ranking at all.

Yet, most online website audits and free tools can only see a part of the picture. They can scan your website and look for a list of a few dozen things and tell you what you did or didn’t work based on their own perception of how the search engines work.

While you might be able to glean some good information from these reports, they aren’t the full picture. A free audit doesn’t have access to your historical analytic data. It doesn’t know what your conversion rates are, or who your target audience is and what might drive them to click on something. It doesn’t know what people search for, or how your potential customers behave when they need your services.

What these reports can do, however, is count the number of characters in your meta description and tell you if they are too long or too short based on some arbitrary range. They can tell you that page 47 of your blog archive is just using generic title tags or meta information and that you should painstakingly go through all 289 pages of blogs and write custom meta information just to appease the tool.

But—meta descriptions don’t actually help you rank… and Google tends to have a much wider tolerance for longer and shorter meta descriptions. It doesn’t care if your meta description is 90 characters or 280 characters, but most tools warn you once you are beyond the arbitrary sweet spot of 160 characters. The point is, these tools aren’t the law, and don’t always give you much priority. If you wasted hours and hours of time making the tools happy, you’d likely still rank the same, or improve your rankings because you were actually using the time as an exercise to improve other areas of the site.

SEO is all about having a solid platform following a big list of best practices, while building content that engages and entices your audience, while also cultivating your audience and relationships off of your website (like on social media, and other websites). You need to balance between all of those things to get the success you want.

Are You Giving Your MSP Marketing The Support It Needs To Thrive?

Your SEO, like your MSP website, content management, and lead generation efforts, must be treated as part of a whole. 

If you’re not satisfied with the marketing results your MSP is receiving, we can help. We offer a full range of marketing services designed specifically to help MSPs reach an audience and gain the traction they need to be successful. Call 888-546-4384 today to schedule an appointment.

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