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The Ultimate Guide to Local SEO Reports

Last Updated May 30, 2024

Building a strong online presence has become crucial for businesses, as most customers now use the internet to discover local businesses. Statistics reveal that 96% of users learn about local businesses using local searches online, and about 80% of these local searches result in conversion. This shows how crucial local SEO has become for businesses, especially if your business has physical locations or serves particular geographic regions.

The idea of local SEO is to optimize your business’s online presence to become more visible and attract more local customers. To remain effective, you need to monitor your local SEO performance over time to understand what is working and areas for improvement. This is where local SEO reports come in. With regular local SEO reports, you gain insights into vital SEO metrics such as keyword rankings, website traffic sources, and search visibility.

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In this blog, we will cover how to create local SEO reports, why they are important, and what they mean for client retention.

Understanding Local SEO and Reporting

Understanding Local SEO and Reporting

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a strategy that helps businesses become more visible in local search engine results. The goal of Local SEO is to increase a business’s visibility to local consumers who are looking for products, services, or information in their geographic area. Hence, unlike general SEO, which focuses on improving a website’s general visibility, local SEO targets “near me” and geo-specific search queries. You would be able to keep tabs on all these results through regular reports.

Regular reporting on SEO results is not just beneficial but essential for both our team and our clients. First and foremost, it’s about building a foundation of trust and transparency. By sharing detailed updates, we ensure that everyone understands where their investments are going and can see the tangible work being done. It’s like giving a clear, ongoing snapshot of the journey and the progress being made.

In our experience, the most skilled SEO experts understand that frequent reporting allows you to stay agile so that you can adapt your strategies swiftly and effectively to keep your clients ahead of the curve.

Why is Local SEO Important for Small Businesses and Local Enterprises?

First, local SEO helps local businesses appear in local search results. This is essential as it puts the business exactly where consumers go to find local information – search engines. According to Google, almost half of all searches have a local intent.

Second, local SEO helps you optimize your website to target consumers, who are particularly looking for both what you offer and are around your area. That way, you have visits and clicks from genuinely interested potential customers, resulting in higher conversion rates. For example, say you run a restaurant in Los Angeles. Instead of optimizing for “top 5 low-carb foods”, which may attract searchers from anywhere in the world, optimizing for “top 5 low-carb foods in Los Angeles” makes it more relevant to consumers in Los Angeles.

Furthermore, you may gain a competitive advantage over other businesses within your area if they’ve not optimized their SEO strategy. The more visible your business is, the more it’s likely to outperform competitors who are not visible online. Moreover, by making it more visible and accessible to local customers, local SEO can help your business build connections within your community, fostering a sense of loyalty and community engagement.

8 Essential Items to Include in a Local SEO Report

8 Essential Items to Include in a Local SEO Report

A local SEO report tracks a business’s performance in search engines within a specific geographic area. The report achieves this using some or all of the following metrics:

  1. Content and deliverables (Work Product)
  2. Search Visibility
  3. Website traffic metrics
  4. Google Business Profile insights (Map Ranking)
  5. Monitoring reviews and ratings
  6. Analysis of links and citations
  7. Recommendations and local SEO strategy adjustments
  8. Next Month’s Expectations

What to Include in a Local SEO Report (and Why)

An SEO report should clearly specify the content and deliverables summary for the duration covered by the report, usually monthly. The summary should detail the work product for the last month including the targeted keywords (with an ahrefs screenshot), why each keyword was targeted, and the content strategy to maximize those keywords. It may also include screenshots or links to the keyword analysis, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or local SEO audit as proof that the selected keywords are actually relevant to local SEO.

The Search Visibility metric shows where the business ranks for its key local search terms. It also shows how this visibility changes over time. With the Website Traffic metrics, you get some insights into the traffic from local searches. It details the number of visits, how long the visitors stay on each visit, and the actions taken by the visitors on each visit. If you want to understand which exact keywords are driving local traffic, check the Local Keyword Rankings metric.

Details such as how many times the listing appeared in search results, customer actions (like calling or requesting directions), and demographic insights of the visitors are all captured in the Google Business Profile insights. On the other hand, you find out how your local SEO performs against that of your competitors by checking the Competitor Analysis data.

To check the quantity and quality of reviews on platforms like Google Business Profile, Yelp, and other relevant local directories, see the Reviews and Ratings Monitoring metrics. Similarly, the Link and Citation Analysis shows you details about the links and local citations (mentions of the business name, address, and phone number) that help boost local search ranking.

Hence, you can have a comprehensive overview of your business’s local SEO campaigns and how effective your local SEO efforts have been by reviewing your local SEO reports. Understanding the different metrics of the report will help you assess the performance of your website, and the efficiency of your SEO service providers, as well as identify possible areas for improvement.

Finally, the SEO report should detail what the client should expect the next month, including the deliverables, expected strategy adjustments, target keywords, target rankings, and other relevant mentions.

How often should you send an SEO report to your client?

We recommend prioritizing regular, comprehensive monthly reports. These are not just updates; they’re a deep dive into everything that has been done over the past month. This way, you always know where you stand and both you and your clients can see the tangible benefits of your investment in SEO.

In addition to that, whenever we achieve something truly impactful, whether it’s ranking for a highly competitive keyword or a surge in traffic from a successful campaign, you don’t want to wait for the end of the month. Share these wins as they happen. This keeps the momentum and excitement going but also gives you immediate insights into the direct benefits of our ongoing efforts.

Tools and Software for Generating Local SEO Reports

Tools and Software for Generating Local SEO Reports

There are many methods and tools for generating local SEO reports. While some of these tools help in manual reporting, others are for automated reporting. Some of these tools offer free services, paid services, or both. Each method and tool type offers different benefits depending on your business’s needs, resources, and scale of operations. Typically, paid tools tend to offer more robust data and insights than free tools, while automated tools are mostly faster than manual reporting.

Manual vs. Automated Reporting

Manual reporting involves manually collecting, analyzing, and compiling data about a business’s local SEO performance. This method relies heavily on the personal involvement of an SEO expert and manual operations using basic tools. You’d have to extract data from various sources such as Google Analytics, Google Business Profile, and local directories, and manually track keyword rankings using spreadsheets.

One of the primary benefits of manual reporting is the flexibility it provides. Manual reporting allows you to streamline your local SEO report to the specific needs of your business, including unique insights and detailed analysis that automated tools might overlook.

However, manual reporting takes a lot of time and effort. Especially for a small local business, this can be a drain on resources. Aside from that, handling data manually may lead to errors which may affect the accuracy of the local SEO report.

On the other hand, automated reporting involves using tools and software to collect, analyze, and compile local SEO data automatically. With these tools, you can connect, extract, and aggregate data from multiple data resources and visualize them on a user-friendly dashboard. Examples of automated local SEO reporting tools include BrightLocal, Moz Local, and SEMrush.

Many local SEO clients prefer automated reporting because it saves time and stress of running daily manual checks. The software provides regular updates and insights into local SEO. Additionally, it provides consistent updates, making it easier to scale local SEO efforts across multiple locations or business units.

However, the advanced features of automated reporting tools usually come with a subscription cost, which can be a significant expense for small businesses. Additionally, some automated tools may lack flexibility in customizing reports. Therefore, you might extract generic reports that do not address your specific business needs.

In our experience, the most useful automatic reporting tools to invest in are aHrefs projects for weekly website monitoring and Brightlocal heat maps, where you just add your keywords and schedule your reports. As for Manual reporting, for auditing content Google Search Console is great, but Surfer SEO’s Audit tool is better!

For a full comprehensive SEO report, we recommend a combination of all of the above, manual and automated reporting methods combined in one document!

Free vs. Paid Reporting Tools

One of the major factors businesses consider when choosing local SEO tools is cost. Free tools might seem the best option for businesses with low SEO budgets while other businesses may prefer paid tools for the advanced functions they offer.

Free local SEO reporting tools often provide basic functionalities for essential local SEO operations such as local listing management and website traffic tracking. Examples of such tools include Google Analytics for analyzing the user behaviors of local visitors, and Ubersuggest for tracking keyword search volumes, competition, and seasonal trends. Other common examples are Google Business Profile and Moz Local Check Business Listings.

Apart from the primary benefit of no cost, free local SEO reporting tools provide basic data insights and analysis without looking too complex, making it a good option for beginners. However, the disadvantage is that most free tools do not provide access to advanced features that you may need as your business grows and its SEO needs become more complex.

Meanwhile, paid local SEO reporting tools offer more advanced features and comprehensive data analysis capabilities. These advanced features are relevant for businesses with more complex needs or those that manage multiple locations. Paid tools often offer extensive options for integration, conducting in-depth competitor analysis, and generating advanced reports. Examples of paid tools for local SEO reports include Moz Pro, BrightLocal, and SEMrush.

The primary benefit of working with paid tools is that they offer advanced features to provide comprehensive local SEO reports and more functionalities than free versions. But beyond that, most paid tools also have stronger customer support. Some tools also provide local SEO report templates to save you the stress of having to create local SEO reports from scratch. Additionally, most paid tools update regularly to catch up with new features that improve their functionalities and keep the business at the cutting edge of SEO practices.

On the other hand, paid tools can be too costly, especially for growing businesses on a tight budget. Additionally, handling complex data and features can be overwhelming for new users or beginners in local SEO. Hence, they might not be able to maximize the functionalities to justify the cost.

Overall, the tools suitable for a business, whether free or paid, depend on the business’s needs, preferences, and budget. Small businesses with basic local SEO needs might be content with free tools. Contrarily, large-scale businesses may need paid versions for in-depth data analysis and support.

Features to Look For in Local SEO Reporting Tools

Features to Look For in Local SEO Reporting Tools

Before you settle for any local SEO reporting tool, you need to identify and understand the features and functionalities that will help you achieve your local SEO goals. Consider these features:

  • Local Keyword Tracking: A good local SEO report tool should be able to track rankings for keywords with local intent. The details show how well your business performs in search engine results for searches specific to your region or city.
  • Competitor Analysis: Look out for tools that offer insights into how your competitors are faring in their local SEO. This includes the keywords they target, how they’re ranking, and their online reviews. You’ll be able to identify possible areas you need to improve or potential loopholes you can explore when you understand how your competitors are performing in their local SEO campaigns.
  • Google Business Profile Integration: You need a tool that integrates smoothly with Google Business Profile. That way, it’ll be easier to extract and incorporate important data such as customer reviews, Q&A, and engagement metrics into your report.
  • Review Monitoring and Management: This feature lets you manage and track customer reviews on platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp. It allows you to set alerts to notify you of new reviews and provides tools to help you respond to the reviews on time and appropriately.
  • Citation and NAP Tracking: With this feature, you can make sure your business Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) remain consistent on all listings. This is important to keep your local business online identity uniform across all platforms for easy identification.
  • Local SEO Audit Tools: You need regular audits of your local SEO performance to identify areas that need attention. Hence, make sure your local SEO report tool can perform comprehensive audits on on-page elements, backlinks, local listings, and social media management.
  • Automated Reporting and Alerts: It’s recommended to work with a tool that can schedule and automate reports. That way, you’re sure not to miss out on regular updates, and the automation saves you a lot of time and stress. Moreover, getting prompt alerts regarding any significant change in your local SEO rankings or any problems with your website will help you respond as early as possible to avert serious consequences.
  • Customizable Reporting: Your tool should be flexible enough for you to customize your reports. It should allow you to focus your report on only the metrics that are important to your business at the moment. The aim is to be able to present data in a way that is most useful for making informed decisions.
  • User-friendly Dashboard: To report data accurately, you have to first understand the data and what they mean. This is why it’s necessary to have a tool with a built-in and clear dashboard to make the data comprehensive on the first look. The dashboard should clearly display important metrics such as local traffic sources, improvements in rankings, and local visibility.
  • Mobile Optimization Analysis: Almost half of local searches come from a mobile device or tablet. It then goes without saying that it’s crucial to make sure your website is optimized for mobile users. Hence, you also need a local SEO reporting tool that can analyze how mobile-friendly your website is and provide insights on improvements to enhance mobile user experience.
  • Easy Integration: For a successful local SEO campaign, you might be working with a combination of various tools and platforms. Therefore, make sure your potential local SEO report tool is able to integrate other relevant tools such as CRM systems, analytics software, and marketing platforms.
  • Support and Resources: Reliable customer support and a library of resources such as tutorials, guides, and community forums can be very helpful, especially when you encounter issues or want to maximize your use of the tool.

How to Analyze Your Local SEO Reports and Adjust Your Strategy

How to Analyze Your Local SEO Reports and Adjust Your Strategy

The aim of getting local SEO reports is to provide insights into your local SEO performance over a given timeframe. Thus, it’s important to learn how to effectively analyze the reports to understand your current online local presence, identify areas for possible improvements, and implement a strategy to boost your local search visibility.

Think of your local SEO reports not just as a collection of data, but as a treasure map. This map doesn’t just show you where you are; it highlights the paths to where you need to be.

Start with benchmarking. By setting clear benchmarks based on your initial findings, you know exactly where you stand and what goals to aim for. Whether it’s boosting your rankings for specific keywords or improving your conversion rates, these benchmarks guide your strategy with precision.

Identifying the patterns in your data allows you to understand the rhythms of your market and customer behavior. Maybe you notice that certain services or products gain more traction in specific seasons, or that some keywords consistently bring in traffic. With this knowledge, you can anticipate market demands and tailor your SEO efforts to meet them at the right time, maximizing impact.

Lastly, prioritizing actions based on insights. For instance, if you spot inconsistencies in your NAP listings or find that certain backlinks are underperforming, these are immediate areas for improvement. This focused approach ensures you’re not just shooting in the dark but are making calculated moves that bring real results. You can also revamp the content, enhance the user experience, or strengthen your backlink strategy specifically for these elements. It’s about making smart, data-driven decisions that have a direct impact on your performance.

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Local SEO

5 Common Pitfalls in Local SEO and How to Avoid Them

To maximize your local SEO results, you need to be aware of several common pitfalls that can affect the effectiveness of your local SEO efforts. Let’s consider some of these pitfalls and what specific aspects your SEO company should be paying attention to.

1. Overlooking the Importance of Local Backlinks

Many businesses fail to recognize the importance of obtaining backlinks from local sources. Such backlinks are crucial for boosting local search rankings and establishing regional relevance. Your SEO company should be looking at local partnerships; to engage with other businesses and organizations within your area for backlinks from their websites. You should also seek coverage from local newspapers, magazines, and blogs that can offer valuable backlinks. Additionally, your business can participate in community events to gain mentions and links from local event pages and press releases.

2. Not Optimizing Your Google Business Profile

If you do not optimize your Google Business Profile, you might miss opportunities to appear on Google Maps and local search results. The solution is to make sure that you fill out every part of your GBP carefully. Crosscheck that your business hours, contact details, and services offered are all correct. Schedule regular updates for the profile with high-quality photos and videos of your business.

3. Ignoring the Need for Local Content

You’ll miss multiple opportunities to engage with your local audience if you do not create content that is relevant to them. To prevent this, create and promote content that addresses local issues, events, or interests. This kind of content offers excellent opportunities to target local keywords and improve your local search performance. A quick way to do that is to generate GEO Pages or Location pages to create quick and valuable growth.

4. Ignoring Negative Reviews on Local Directories

Reviews are critical to your business’s reputation and SEO. Most customers decide whether or not to interact with a business based on what other users say about them. Hence, your business reputation is at risk if you neglect negative reviews. To address this, monitor and respond to reviews from time to time. Especially for negative reviews, be sure to respond professionally to address the customer’s concerns. Moreover, learn to find good ways to ask your customers to leave good reviews when they are satisfied with your service.

5. Failing to Track Local SEO Performance

How do you know if your local search strategy is working? The answer is simple; by tracking your performance. Without proper tracking, you won’t know what strategies are working or where you need improvement. Hence, regularly review local SEO reports to monitor your performance and adjust strategies as needed.

Are you having issues with your SEO agency’s reports?

By treating your local SEO reports as a dynamic guide rather than a static document, you unlock the potential to not just participate in the market but to actively shape your presence in it. Each adjustment you make, informed by solid data, pushes your business closer to the top of local searches, right where your customers can find you easily.

For guidance on how to optimize your SEO efforts contact SERPs for a free consultation. Whether you are looking to create Geo Pages to drive growth or need advice on SEO reports, SERPs offers a comprehensive suite of Local SEO tools and expertise for WordPress Agencies worldwide.

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