Rock & A Hard Place – Rank Reporting for Clients

by Matthew Diehl on January 12, 2009

Rank reporting is no longer a relevant measure of return on investment (ROI) for search engine optimization campaigns.  This has been common knowledge in the SEO industry for some time but what about your clients?

rock-hard-place-simpsons

Rank reporting comes with a new disclaimer – Results May Vary.

With the increased usage of Personal and Universal search features being offered by the search engines, the search engine results pages (SERPs) vary greatly from user to user and location to location. This has had a major impact on the how accurate and accountable the ranking reports you offer to your clients are.

Many Search Engine Marketers are steering clear of ranking reports and offering their clients analytics based reporting. These reports include measurable site attributes including traffic and conversions. This has now become the de facto standard for reporting in the SEO industry.

However, clients are hesitant to let go of their ranking reports even with the disclaimer attached. SEO to everyone outside of the SEO industry boils down to ranking. Bruce Clay and industry leaders¬†can say “Rank reports are dead” until the end of time but until the clients and the world learns that our efforts go beyond ranking they will always be around.

So, do you continue to offer your clients ranking reports on top of additional analytics reports or cut them completely from your reporting?

{ 1 comment }

Aaron January 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm

I’ve been trying to downplay the importance of ranking reports – but it’s not easy. For a lot of clients this is the easiest metric for them to grasp – especially clients with unreliable conversion/lead tracking or for those who aren’t selling widgets but trying to build a brand or promoting a service.

In addition, for many clients, ranking high is about ego and a sense of entitlement. It’s hard to convince them that what they see on their screen when they do a Google search is mostly meaningless.

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