Today we will take an in-depth look at one of the most powerful tools a SERP tracker can offer you – the ability to generate beautiful, crisp SEO ranking reports for your clients, team and future prospects. We will dive into the industry-standard types of reports every major SERP tracker in the market should be able to generate, and as usual, I will focus on PRT’s ranking reports and features in my examples.
Some beginners neglect this great feature and end up missing out on an amazingly beneficial feature of SERP trackers. For starters, generating ranking reports for your clients is a must-have requirement by today’s standards. It keeps your clients in the loop of what’s happening and paints them a picture of how their ranks are faring. It shows them that you are open about the process and don’t portray SEO like it’s some secret mystic art form to be kept as ambiguous as possible. Keep an open and transparent communication channel, and it will show that you are confident in yourself and the process. It will increase the trust your clients have in your skills, and by the end of the day, it will make for happy and impressed clients.
Reports provide a clear visual picture of how ranks have changed across time. PRT has the ability to fine-tune and tailor reports in almost any configuration – from showing the broad picture of general progress of an entire account, or a more focused view of one particular campaign, down to the smallest resolutions of showing a single keyword in any given time unit.
We’ll start with the main types of reports you can generate, move on to more advanced reports, and explain a bit about PRT’s notifications system. Finally, we’ll go over our premium and unique reporting methods.
So let’s begin the tour:
The first and most elementary type of report is the Overview Report, shown here for a clothing and apparel eCommerse website chosen randomly (note the sample report below just shows 19 tracked keywords, however it’s common for websites of this magnitude to keep track of thousands of keywords):
A neat, easy-to-read data table showing your ranks. This is the most detailed and customizable of PRT’s reports. You can tailor it any way you like – have the data table show every parameter, or make it minimalist and have it show just the keyword and rank. Some clients prefer only the essence (that is, just the ranks), and some will prefer an in-depth report with all the parameters available. You can order the table in advance to show data by ascending and descending parameters – for example, the classic choice is organize the data table by ascending rank. Play around with it and find the configuration that suits you best. Here is a more minimalist approach (perhaps to a client who just needs the bare minimum data), the same report, but configured differently and without a custom logo, header and footer:
The report you want to generate can immediately be either downloaded as a PDF, CSV or XLSX file, or emailed and shared via Dropbox or Google Drive through the system:
Now as for the PDF itself – it is a customizable template. You can add comments and turn it completely white-label to show off YOUR company’s logo and details when sending the report to a client, making it appear like it is YOUR technology. This PDF can be attached to almost all of the reports you generate. You can customize several different templates for your convenience. Here’s a sample PDF with a few comments and a custom logo:
Groups Summary Report
In PRT, you can organize the URLs you’re tracking by groups. This makes for some quick navigation, and it’s also a great way to keep your account neat and organized, especially when you have several clients with different campaigns in different niches running all at once. This type of report generates a quick summary of all the groups that you’ve defined. You can, of course, select which groups are shown in this report. The report will visualize the data without a table, but it will show the total changes the ranks have made. These reports can also be immediately downloaded as a PDF, CSV or XLSX file, or emailed and shared via Dropbox or Google Drive. They’re good for a quick general outlook without going into details.
Tags Summary Report
Like the groups feature, you can additionally organize your account with tags, which can be assigned to the keywords you’re tracking. This is the same as the group summary report, only this one shows a summary of tags instead of groups. Naturally, here too you can choose which tags will show up in the report.
Daily Breakdown Progress Report
This report is somewhat similar to tracking stocks on the stock market. It shows the historic daily progress specific ranks have made over a given period of time for a specific URL. The data is visualized by a logarithmic chart. You can make the graph show any period by defining a date range. In this example we chose a date range of the historic data from the last 30 days of just a single keyword (however you can include in this report as many tracked keywords as you like):
Get familiar with the data. This report can show search engine patterns and very valuable historic signals of your SEO strategy. Study it to help you find what made certain ranks jump or drop, and if there are notable patterns to the progress. The report that’s generated can be downloaded as a PDF, CSV or XLSX file, or emailed and shared via Dropbox or Google Drive.
This type of report is also great for making case studies of success stories to showcase for potential new clients, as they’ll be able to visualize the whole journey a successful web campaign has made under your helm; a website that initially struggled, not even being in the top 100, but eventually rising to conquer the top 10 charts of a niche.
Since PRT gives their users freedom to customize their reports, at the bottom of the page you can also add any comments and information you like to the PDF you generate to give it a special touch.
A very cool feature here is the ability to choose several tracked keywords (up to 15) and compare them one against the others in a chart such as this one:
This is also a great way to see how Google ranks the same website and keyword differently depending on what personalization factor is tracked:
A more thorough and in-depth analysis of the same report:
In the example above, you can see how the same website and keyword rank differently across the same search engine, but with different parameters. We can easily see how personalization matters and effects search results, and how the way you do SEO can influence certain types of Google ranks more than others. As we can see the general Google rank (google.com=US) is actually doing better than the french equivalent. This can mean a lot of things, perhaps most SEO efforts are focused on the US market, and perhaps the French local niche is tougher to conquer, but whichever it is, it can clearly be shown in this report. There are several types of Google ranks, and as an SEO expert who uses a SERP tracker, the rule of thumb is to always keep track of several types of ranks—in particular, your Google mobile rank, since internet usage across mobile devices has recently surpassed desktop usage. Local Google ranks matter a lot since Google always geotargets desktop searches, and a local business with a website that serves local customers will benefit greatly from a strong local rank, which might not even be that hard to achieve in comparison to ranking first overall in Google. This type of report is especially important now in Google’s first indexing era, where how well your website is optimized for mobile will greatly determine your mobile rank, and as a result, also your desktop rank. More about Google’s mobile first indexing:
Why knowing your mobile ranks is now more important than ever before! (+ 5 tips on improving mobile visibility)
Here is a good examination of the differences between a mobile and a desktop ranks for pacificwellness.ca, a business in Toronto offering acupuncture treatments:
An in-depth analysis:
We see good performance on both fronts, but the mobile rank sis slightly stronger, which is good and clever for this niche, since mobile ranks are always geo targeted, and people would probably search for an acupuncturist in their vicinity.
Week-by-Week and Month-by-Month Reports
Like the daily breakdown but this is a ‘zoomed out’ version, allowing you to make wide periodic reports showing resolutions by weeks or months. The data is presented in a table showing each week or month’s top, bottom and average positions. As with the daily breakdown, you can add comments to the PDF that you generate, and download the report as a PDF, CSV or XLSX file, or email and share via Dropbox or Google Drive.
The Week-by-Week and Month-by-Month can be easily generated. Just select the range you’d like to see by choosing “from” and “to” dates. You can select several URLs in this feature.
Since certain campaigns might take a while before they bear fruit, these type of reports can give you a broad overview of your ranks’ progress over medium and long periods of time.
URLs Comparison Report
This reports compares the current ranks of keywords among different URLs. For instance, if you were tracking the major book-related websites, you could choose the keyword “books” and compare between Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads. This is a great way to see how well a website is doing against its competitors. You can choose up to 8 URLs and keywords for comparison. In this example we’ll see how well our clothing eCommarce website is doing against a notable competitor for two keywords:
Once the report is generated, it remains active (unless you delete it), so you can check up on it as frequently as you like. It will be updated daily, or if you’re an Enterprise user, up to 3 times a day. You can download the report as a PDF, CSV or XLSX file, or email and share via Dropbox or Google Drive. You can also add comments to the PDF that you generate.
SE Comparison Report
This feature will allow you to see how well specific keywords are doing among the different search engines and Google personalization factors by comparing their CURRENT ranks. You can choose up to 8 keywords for comparison. To continue with the example above, you can see how “books” for Goodreads is ranking in Google vs. Bing vs. Yahoo! vs. Google mobile. Use it to see how your cross-SE strategy is affecting your ranks.
Here too, once the report is generated, it remains active (unless you delete it), so you can check up on it as frequently as you like. It will be updated daily, or if you’re an Enterprise user, up to 3 times a day. You can download the report as a PDF, CSV or XLSX file, or email and share it via Dropbox or Google Drive. You can also add comments to the PDF that you generate.
The benchmark report is another great report for seeing a broad picture. This type of report allows you to compare all the ranks for a certain URL between two selected days, weeks or months. These reports allow you to see changes in the ranks of keywords for a specific URL between the two periods. You will see the total picture of how well a campaign performed over a given period. For example, if you track 32 keywords for Goodreads.com, you will see the total changes for all those 32 keywords between the two dates or periods in a single unified report. You’ll see which terms rose, which flopped, and which remained stable.
The data is represented in a table, showing the top position for the two periods you chose to compare, and the report includes a summary of the total changes the terms have made. In the example above, you can see that in the period specified, keywords went up in rank, some dropped, while others remained the same. This is also a good report to include in a case study to give a quick glance of how successful a campaign has been over a course of some time. You can also show how a competitor dropped in ranks by comparison.
Like in all previous reports, you can add comments to the PDF that you generate, and of course download the report as a PDF, CSV or XLSX file, or email and share via Dropbox or Google Drive.
The automated report is sent by the system without any direct action by you. They are basically Overview Reports that you schedule to be sent either daily at a specific time, weekly or monthly, with up to 5 emails of your choice or to your Dropbox or Google Drive. If you’re a paid user, these reports can also be completely white label by pre-customizing an email template with YOUR logo and company details. The great thing here is you can also set the automated reports to be sent from your personal or company’s email.
The data customization here is similar to Overview Reports. This is a wonderful way to keep your clients up-to-date daily as to how their campaign is progressing, and save time without having to manually send a report every time. It will also allow for a smoother communication channel with your clients who will always be in the loop.
Notifications are similar to automated reports, with the sole difference being that these are not sent on a consistent schedule. Rather, it would be sent when a goal is reached or a mark is triggered, such as a term reaching the Top1 position, the Top10 positions or dropping out of the Top100 positions. Once a trigger happens, an Overview Report will be sent to up to 5 emails of your choice, or to your Dropbox or Google Drive to notify of the change. These reports can also be completely white labeled if you’re a paid user by pre-customizing an email template with YOUR logo and company details. You can also set the notification reports to be sent from your personal or company’s email.
You can design a notification template that will be different than your automated reports template, which is the recommended option.
This is one of the most valuable reporting features for an SEO campaign, since the notifications can be used as signals for a strategy. The last thing you want is for one keyword out of hundreds you track to suddenly fall through the cracks and find itself dropping below top100, and you not even noticing to save the situation. Likewise, it’s also great to have a signal once a keyword rises to a certain landmark, such as entering a top 10 position. This can also save you time, since once a goal has been reached, a Notification Report will be automatically sent to whomever you specify to let them know the good (or bad) news.
This is where we diverge from the basic reports and go into the premium realm of unique reports exclusive only to PRT. Note that these are available to paid users only.
Shared Reports are a unique and amazing white-label feature used to impress clients, and it’s one of our exclusive features. Instead of the traditional way of sending a PDF by email, the Shared Reports feature actually creates a web page with the data you want to show.
- The data shown in the page is fully customizable – the report shows overview data of all the changes that the terms have made, plus a data table showing fields of your choice, like rank, SE, search volume, etc. The data presented is of all the particular terms associated with a URL or a group of URLs.
- The link generated is unique and can even be encrypted with a password so only the people you choose can see it.
- It’s possible have the link expire in a set amount of days.
- You can also allow the person viewing the page to download the data as a PDF, CSV or XLSX file.
- This specially generated page is actually updated daily – the person you share it with doesn’t need to be a PRT user and only needs to have access to that link to see fresh updated data. You also have the option to include daily breakdown data (discussed in the previous email).
- This feature is completely white-label – you will have the ability to generate a link with YOUR domain as the URL and have your logo, design and details to embellish the shared report. Essentially, PRT remains hidden and acts as your backstage power and infrastructure.
Shared Report sample. It’s encoded with a password : 1234. Be sure to check it out!
MyRanks Client App
For those of you who truly want to impress your clients at the next level, this one’s for you. It’s available to Enterprise users only. MyRanks is a mobile app your clients can download that shows them their ranks.
These days, mobile is winning over desktop, and the goal behind creating MyRanks was to ensure that your clients get fresh rank data anywhere, at any time, from the convenience of their own mobile phone, without the need to be near a computer screen or wait for a PDF report by email. This assures your clients you are on their case the whole time, and they can always get updated on the progress of their SEO campaign.
- The app is available for iOS, Android and Windows.
- You choose what data you want the users to see – you can either share a URL or a whole group that you defined.
- The data is updated up to 3 times per day.
- The person viewing the app can download the data as a PDF, CSV or XLSX file to his mobile device.
- This app is 100% white label and should be embellished with your logo and details. PRT is behind stage. The white label customizations for MyRanks can be easily done through PRT Settings.
- Set up a user name and password for your clients, colleges, or boss, then they can simply download the app through either iTunes, App Store, Google Play or via this link.
The App will show 4 tabs:
Showcasing MyRanks to potential clients can help tip the scales towards getting a new client, since you should know that no other SEO tool or SERP tracker currently offers anything like that. This means that, chances are, no one has ever showed them anything of the sort. Also, the potential client will consider it to be YOUR amazing technology, as it will carry your logo and company details. You can look more impressive than bigger SEO agencies with this technology at your disposal. MyRanks and Shared Reports are two unique features that we are very proud to give to our users.
Get more info about MyRanks – an app for your clients
Sub Accounts – While not exactly a report per se, they deserve an honorary mention in this tour, since they are nonetheless related. As the highest level of white label solutions, only high-end SERP trackers offer this feature. With this feature you can set up smaller PRT permission-based user accounts with their own unique user names and passwords, managed under your main account, giving access to the system with more than read-only options.
Every sub account will have your own logo on PRT’s system, instead of PRT. Give access to this option to colleagues or important clients with their very own username and password, and the logo they will see will be whichever you choose. It can also appear like it’s hosted on your website, keeping PRT 100% backstage. The benefit of this solution is that it can make you appear like a huge SEO agency with its very own SERP tracking technology!
This is how a limited sub-account looks when there is a custom white labeled logo and not PRT:
You can define the data that each sub account sees and adjust various permission levels depending on who gets the access, the highest being admin-level permission, which would give a sub account the same powers as the main user. In addition to impressing clients, this is also a great organizational solution for distributing workflow to your team and colleagues and delegating tasks. Each campaign can have its own unique sub account associated with it.
I’ve mentioned customizable templates throughout this post, so let’s do quick summary of the three different templates you can customize for your reports:
- PDF Template – the most commonly used template. This PDF can be attached to almost all of the reports you generate: Overview Report, Groups Summary, Tags Summary, Week by Week, Month by Month, URLs Comparison, SE Comparison, and Benchmark Reports. We recommend you customize several different templates for your convenience.
- Email Reports Template – the template you or your colleagues/clients will see in the emailed Automated Reports.
- Notifications Template – The template you or your colleagues/clients will see in a Notification Report email.
The beauty of no limits
One of the best parts of PRT’s reporting abilities is that you can send a virtually unlimited amount of white-label ranking reports to your clients! Yes, unlimited. The reason behind it is simple – convenience and a superior user experience. The truth of the matter is, you never know how many reports you might actually need to generate, and you don’t want some report counter looming over your head, ticking away ominously, making you triple check everything before you decide to generate a report. Having no limits to the amount of reports you can generate provides you with the freedom necessary to experiment and grow to have as many clients as you can handle as an agency.
A few more thoughts on white label
Although it was already mentioned, I will mention it again – obviously all the reports I mentioned can, and should be white labeled to show your company details and logo, as I’m sure you are proud of your brand. White label is a subject in itself and has substantial benefits to it:
White label means you can look like a big SEO agency with its own advanced SERP tracking technology, and that can give you a much needed edge in the VERY competitive SEO business. White labeling is not exclusive to small agencies or solo SEO experts either, huge SEO agencies use white label all the time, since the cost of developing your own platform in many cases just isn’t worth it.
So, that’s it as far as SEO ranking reports go. PRT has the highest industry standard reporting solutions available for its users, plus the premium solutions unique to PRT, such as MyRanks and Shared Reports. Experience it yourself by giving PRT a try!