How To Understand Your SEO Report Card

If you hire an SEO company to build links and monitor your website’s rankings, then you will usually get a monthly report card showing your progress and where your website currently stands for your targeted keywords.

SEO Report Card

While most SEO companies make their report cards as simple to read as possible, it’s still very easy to get tripped up by the terminology if you aren’t familiar with this subject. Every report card is different, but these are the most common terms that you will encounter with SEO reports.


Most SEO reports will address keywords. The most common factor that will be addressed is your current ranking for the keyword. For example, if the report card says that you are nine for the keyword, then this means that your website is the ninth one to appear when someone searches that term. A lower number is best with this factor.

Many report cards will also show you how many people are searching that term per month or day. This lets you know how profitable the keyword is and how much traffic you can expect to garner from targeting that keyword. A higher number is better for this factor.


Another important thing on an SEO report card is backlinks. An SEO company will most often improve your search engine ranking by building links for your website. A good SEO report will show you where these links are coming from and their PageRank.

If you hired the company to build a certain number of links, then ensure that they made the right number of links. This usually isn’t a problem, but you always want to make sure that you get what you paid for. Higher PageRank links are the best. You should expect a ranking of three or higher from most companies.

Another thing to check is the source of the links. The links should be relevant to your website. Relevant links mean much more to search engines. If the SEO company is good, then you should only get relevant links that look natural to the search engines.

Advertising Information

While SEO is great for organic traffic, there are many SEO reports that will include PPC information. They will often show you how much you can expect to pay per click for your targeted keywords. PPC ads will help boost your traffic because you can bypass the search engines by creating advertisements that will appear in prominent places.

These reports will often show you how much each advertising platform will charge per ad. You can expect to see Google AdWords, Bing ads and several other platforms on the report if this factor is included.

On-Page Elements

On-page elements are often included in initial SEO reports, and they might also be displayed on future reports. While building links and targeting keywords will help improve your ranking, your website should be fully optimized to make the most of this marketing.

On-page elements include everything on your website. For example, the report card will often judge the length of your title tags, how good your meta information is and image optimization. A good report card will show you ways to improve these elements.

Another factor that will be judged is keyword usage. The report will tell you if the keywords are being overused, and it will also check to ensure that the keyword is used on your page. The keyword must be mentioned somewhere on your website.

Traffic Sources

The last element on most SEO reports is the traffic source. Most website owners seem to assume that most or all of their traffic is coming from Google. While Google is the most popular search engine, you might be getting a lot of traffic from Yahoo or Bing. There are times when a large chunk of your traffic will come from other websites that aren’t search engines.

Knowing where your traffic is coming from allows you to adjust your marketing to get more traffic from that source.


SEO report cards are common, but understanding them can be a little difficult if you aren’t familiar with the terminology. You really just need to know about links, on-page elements and how keywords are judged to understand these reports. If your report has something that you don’t understand, then it’s best to ask the SEO company about it.

About the author


I am Vishal Gaikar, Engineer, Web Addicted, Living in Maharastra, India. Email Me @

1 Comment

  • Thanks for sharing! Absolutely SEO report such as current keywords ranking, backlinks, advertising, and off page report is great way to improved the position on SERP. I am worry about difficult in monitoring my blog. I want to looking for some SEO service which could report all above to me but I will cost me around $60 to $100 per month. And especially, my budget is not enough to run for one.
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