An initial SEO report (sometimes framed as an SEO audit) is B.S. 95% of the time for roofing companies. It’s not that the report itself is dishonest; it’s that the presentation of the data is manipulative. In today’s Roofing SEO podcast, Nolen and Jason give examples of SEO reports that are B.S.
What is an SEO Report?
SEO reports are digital documents that present metrics and analysis of a website and online presence compared to competitors. Many popular SEO software tools like SEMRush can autogenerate reports by entering a URL.
Types of SEO Reporting
Consumers may confuse the term SEO report as it is used in different contexts throughout the industry. An initial SEO report often called an SEO audit, is different from an SEO progress report that your current agency delivers. Salespeople often push SEO audits as a way to get new customers.
An SEO audit is an initial SEO report aimed to identify problems with your existing marketing campaign. Unfortunately, salespeople use SEO audits to manipulate roofing companies into false narratives and perceptions of what’s wrong with their websites, if anything is bad at all.
SEO Progress Reports
An SEO progress report is typically delivered to the client each month to highlight improvements in particular metrics. Although these types of reports can be helpful, they are also used manipulatively. As with SEO audits, the presentation of metrics can be spun to fit a narrative.
Principles of Manipulative SEO Reporting
While SEO reports are a tool for genuine marketing analysts, they are also powerful for spineless and soulless salespeople. An SEO report is one of the top weapons salespeople use to poach roofing companies from other agencies or convince them to pay a higher monthly rate for SEO services.
Salespeople tap into visceral human instincts like fear to encourage swift reaction. One way to achieve this is by presenting SEO reporting metrics in a way that threatens the roofer’s livelihood. For example, if the metric suggests that if you don’t take action A, your competitors will overtake you permanently and go out of business.
Another way salespeople use SEO reports to manipulate roofers is by tapping into their natural competitive spirit. For example, Joe at so and so roofing is dominating you on Google search results, aren’t you mad? That’s essentially how they frame the narrative, and they use out-of-context metrics to drive home their portrayal.
SEO tools like SEMRush are handy for agencies and roofing companies. However, it takes little effort to produce reports using these tools. For example, a so-called SEO agency can enter your website URL into SEMRush and produce a full report within seconds. Reporting on SEO requires zero skill and expertise but can be used for quick manipulation.
When Are SEO Reports Useful?
SEO reporting is valuable when metrics roofers understand how the metrics relate to their business success. For example, Google Business Profile insights provide raw data like the number of calls you receive directly from your listing. This is the metric that gives you tangible evidence of your online presence.
Data from Google, whether Google Analytics, Search Console, or GMB Insights, is necessary and helpful. 3rd party tools like SEMRush, Moz, and AHRefs are also beneficial in the proper context. However, you or your marketing agency must properly place the data into the appropriate context.