Poll: Do You Provide SEO Ranking Reports

Jul 7, 2011 • 8:44 am | comments (14) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

There is an outstanding discussion taking place at Sphinn now on the topic of providing SEO clients with ranking reports. There are arguments for both side of the debate.

On one hand, to prove your worth the money your clients are paying you - they want to see what you have done for them. You can provide them basic keyword ranking reports to show them that the clients rankings have improved for X number of keywords over time.

On the other hand, you and I know that Google's search results can differ based on who is searching. Google personalizes the results based on a ton of factors including location, previous searches and clicks, web history, social metrics and so much more. So proving a ranking report really doesn't do justice to what the real searcher sees.

Finally, Google provides their own ranking reports within Google Webmaster Tools and soon, coming to Google Analytics. Other means of getting the data is often against Google's terms of service.

That being said, do you provide client's with keyword ranking report. Take our anonymous poll:



victor kasprzak

07/07/2011 02:34 pm

We at www.myVibe.ca always provide our clients with not only the ranking reports but also traffic results. Its always important to inform the client that results vary each month whether up or down. Its key to educate the client about the basics of seo and what's been done so they know exactly the extent of what our work provides.

Nick Stamoulis

07/07/2011 02:40 pm

I'll provide a keyword ranking report, but that isn't the only kind of information I present my clients to show how their SEO is performing. You also have to look at visitor growth, if the bounce rate is decreasing, average times spent on site, conversion rate and so forth. Rank is not the end-all-be-all measurement of success.

Randy Pickard

07/07/2011 03:07 pm

If your client is anyone except the CEO, it is foolish not to provide ranking reports. Your client's boss is almost certain to conduct their own search for keyword terms at some point, and may be unaware that they are getting a personalized result. When your client gets the inevitable call from their boss asking about keyword rankings, you are failing in your role as a service provider if you have not provided them with both results they can report upon, as well as the rationale as to why ranking reports only provide a small part of the picture.

Eric Ward

07/07/2011 03:47 pm

No, but I do show them how to run them themselves. Teach them to fish.


07/07/2011 04:19 pm

Ranking reports often create more questions than answers. Clients want an answer to "How is our site performing?" and often they ignore gains and focus only on losses even if they gain for their best keywords and lose a few spots for secondary terms. Like Nick, I tend to focus on traffic and conversion reporting because one could argue that with map results, extra ppc ad space and personalization, organic rankings are more of a signal than a valuable metric.

Wesley Dante Hann

07/07/2011 04:19 pm

Without a doubt clients should receive ranking reports, it is a basic part of our service to ensure clients know the progress of their website. How else are they able to ensure they are receiving what they pay for. It is true that there are many factors involved when determining rankings. However with local based search it's more or less accurate within a few positions between 5 up or down. This merely needs to be explained to the client that due to certain factors they may be ranking better in certain areas than other. We are internet based so we can provide extremely comprehensive reports. We need to make use of that so the person paying the money is entirely comfortable with the whole process. Clients have right and we must respect that.

Wesley Dante Hann

07/07/2011 04:22 pm

I understand your point of view, however one should never focus primarily on the success of the campaign rather what progress still needs to be made for the entire campaign to reach it's full potential. Traffic and conversion is really what it is about but rankings do influence traffic. If there is a area that has lost a few spots simply inform them of what you intend to do about it.


07/07/2011 05:23 pm

Victor: I am SO with you on this. In fact, we sell by showing our prospective clients exactly what you're talking about. I can GET rankings, it's what I do. But all the #1's in the world mean nothing to a client unlesd you also get them traffic.


07/07/2011 11:37 pm

Most of my customers tend to know some of their keywords and track them. From my stand point folks look at traffic, page views, leads and orders.


07/08/2011 06:53 am

 Yes, We are preparing ranking as well as traffic reports for our clients. We are actually using google analytics, webmaster tools and other seo tools to create such reports.

Lloyd Cooke

07/08/2011 11:24 am

If clients weren't bothered about rankings then SEO deals would not be signed in the first place. Clients need them to feel in control of the situation (certain industries are obsessed with certain top generics for example).


07/08/2011 12:34 pm

We at www.seocompanylimited.com believes on perfect and timely reporting for our clients, so they can understand actual process & engage themselves for better results.

Marcus Miller

07/08/2011 01:14 pm

For most clients, a ranking report is a good way to show progress. This would usually be coupled with some details from analytics showing increase an increase in traffic,  goal conversions etc.  We tend to tailor it to the individual client and the requirements of the specific job. There are times when it is highly important and other times when it can be misleading.  A client I recently visited needed ranking reports and as many metrics as possible to argue for SEO to the board of directors  who were all in their sixty's and favouring upping the old school approach that was slowly failing. 

webecho media

07/09/2011 03:06 am

I work with Small Businesses who generally don't have the time to study SEO themselves so I find that Ranking reports are an easy way to show simple results and get them interested. Once I have their interest, then I'm able to start introducing traffic numbers & sources, conversion rate, bounce rate and the metrics that actually mean something.

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