Build amazing SEO reports with Google Data Studio
Let’s talk about the most crucial part of SEO that would actually make your clients happy – reports. Many of them use individual tools for importing data into their Excel spreadsheets and creating customized reports manually for their clients in a way that is understandable and easy-to-read.
To all those who are out there preparing such reports with such meticulous efforts, wouldn’t you like to use some automation to improve your existing workflow?
Why Automate Tasks?
Manual efforts in SEO are now long gone and automation is the new hero. Accessible and inexpensive tools and methods are available in SEO that could make your task flow manageable to the greatest extent.
But our greatest bet is that many of our search marketers aren’t taking advantage of these automation opportunities because either they don’t know about it or just simply set their limits on trying something new and find comfort with their same old dragging methods.
Before anything great is really achieved, your comfort zone must be disturbed.Ray Lewis
Stop for a moment and think about all those tasks that you carry out as an SEO on a regular basis. How many of them are usually repetitive? Are they required to be repetitive? Is there any efficient solution that could cut down the manual work and make reporting as good as the one that once used to be hand-made?
Enter Google Data Studio
For all those who are marketing specialists, Google Data Studio acts as an elixir for deriving powerful reports with great visualization capabilities. Communicating and presenting key metrics to your clients in a way that they understand has never been this easy.
It integrates with Google Marketing platform products such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360, etc. Also, data from consumer products like Sheets, Youtube, Search Console can be efficiently integrated for effortless visualization.
Not just Google products, data from other mediums like BigQuery, MySQL, and PostgreSQL, also market intelligence tools like SEMrush can be imported to this tool to create reports that look fancy, neat, and designed by pros.
So, what exactly is Google Data Studio?
Google Data Studio is a next-level and most importantly free data visualization tool that lets you build interactive dashboards and reports that are customized and clear-cut. It is basically a pumped-up version of Google Analytics which lets you track KPIs for clients, visualize trends, and compare performance over time.
Data Studio initially came as a part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite – the high-end Google Analytics Enterprise Package. In October 2018, the free version of the tool was made available and it has witnessed rapid consumption by companies due to many advantages.
Here are some of its key benefits…
Access unlimited widget options
Google Analytics allows a maximum of 12 charts or graphs in a report which is not the case with Data Studio. There is no limit to the number of widgets you can include which you can modify with a variety of metrics. Here’s a sample report published by them –
Ability to share reports effortlessly
You can share files just like the way you share Google drive files via links. You can also allow access to them customized to the form you want. Just like every other application by Google, this tool also lets you make real-time changes on your file and your team can view it in real-time.
This is like a major bonus of using this tool seeing how time-consuming the process of downloading and sending reports is especially when you want some quick feedback.
Coming to the best part of creating reports on Google Data Studio. Your clients would love to have easy-to-digest, lucid, graspable data on the reports you deliver which is the main useful highlight of this tool. You can customize your data to the level of your choice with various fonts, colours, themes, and sizes. You can break down a single report into 20 pages so that your team members and decision-makers can view your report from every angle.
Just like how we described it above, you can make changes in real-time and share it with your team. You can also make changes to your widgets in-the-moment and set your reports to update.
How to create reports on Google Data Studio?
Step 1: Accessing Data Studio
For this, you can either log into your Google Analytics account and click on the menu, where you would find the option to direct to Data Studio. Or you can directly access Data Studio directly by searching for it.
It will then take you to a page where you can choose an existing template or create your own.
Pro tip: start by using one of the templates and customizing it according to your requirements.
Step 2: Connect your data sources
Since we intend to create an SEO report, the Search Console report would be the best choice, to begin with. Next, what you have to do is to connect all your data sources from Search Console and Google Analytics. There is a wide variety of data sources available from Google as well as the ones which are third-party data sources like Ahrefs, SEMrush, etc.
Step 3: Structure your SEO report
The last step is to structure and create your SEO report. You can also make use of the tutorials provided by the tool for better understanding. The report should basically cover the following:
- The website summary which includes sessions, organic impressions, average positions, etc.
- The top-performing pages and insights on their performance.
- The top-performing countries
- Landing page activities
- Keywords driving traffic, etc.
The first page should ideally be an overview page where you can view the top-performing keywords and pages that drive the most traffic to your website. A complete view of your traffic, engagement, and conversion metrics should be visible at a glance from the overview page.
An efficient report template comprising of Google analytics, Search Console, & SEMrush
This article from the SEMrush blog is very helpful in creating your own SEO report template with all the key metrics efficiently. Here are some of the pointers which we took note of:
Organic Traffic Overview
This can be picked up from Google Analytics and you can show the changes in your performance with the key elements of the overview section ie. organic traffic sessions, the changes occurred during a time period, the graph for the last month, etc.
The changes that occurred in your performance can be easily explained using the comments field.
Insights on Conversions
The Total Goal Completion and Goal Completion trends graph of GA can give you detailed information on your conversions. You can track different pages of your website according to your requirements to view the performance in your sales funnel. For example, an online business would need to track clicks on ‘Add to Cart’, and payment completions and observe their abandonment rates.
Organic Traffic compared to other Channels/Sources
This also can be picked up from GA which lets you know how organic mode of search marketing performs alongside all other modes like Paid, Social, etc. The pie chart gives a lucid overview of the performance of each compared to every other.
Changes in SERP visibility
Google Search Console can give you insights on your SERP visibility can be tracked with basic metrics such as average position, site CTR, clicks, and impressions. You can observe and record the activities that got you traction to your website like the rework on the content or other rework you have done to increase traffic.
Positions breakdown within top 100
This data can be received from SEMrush for which you need a Business Account subscription. You can avail of a free version for 14 days right here.
Detailed analysis of the organic positions for certain keywords wouldn’t be available via Google Search Console. In SEMrush, you can view all keywords grouped according to your position in Google’s search results.
You can clearly identify your opportunities to improve your organic search rankings.
Performance of your backlinks
An important metric to track your backlink performance is Authority Score. It indicates the number and quality of backlinks and the strength of your domain.
Also, it would be very useful to import the New and Lost backlinks section of the SEMrush report to view how successful and consistently performing your link strategy is and spot trends from which you can make informed decisions on your next approach.
Google Data Studio is like a boon for marketers which helps in creating beautiful reports with detailed insights. And when tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush come together, they all together can deliver a masterpiece of a report.
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