Darina Andronova
updated

Annual Progress Report in Just 4 Steps

This post is in English

The end of the year is close, and that means it’s time to send out those annual reports. Drawing up a worthy annual progress report in the chaotic environment of the Christmas rush and tough deadlines is quite tricky. But SEMrush can help!

Our My Reports tool lets you aggregate the data from dozens of tools within the SEMrush suite in a click. In addition to this, you can:

  • Create reports from scratch or use customizable templates.

  • Include screenshots and text of your own.

  • Add Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google My Business data.

  • Schedule regular email delivery of the reports to the target email address.

Before We Start

In this busy world, we are all pressed for time. So before you start choosing from dozens of My Reports widgets, make sure you observe the 10 rules of an awesome report that will guarantee appreciation from managers and colleagues:

  1. Make it helpful. The key to first-class reporting is the ability to answer any questions people may have about your work, even before they think of the questions.

  2. Make it clear. Use numeric data, charts, and illustrations to support your conclusions and suppositions.

  3. Highlight the KPIs. It’s the easiest way to relate your performance with the company’s goals.

  4. Cut it short. In case you have to speak at the annual demo, put the most important information from the report on the first 2 or 3 slides of  presentation and be prepared to get into the details if probed.

  5. Be straightforward. Stick to self-explanatory information.

  6. Show the data in dynamics. Values that can’t be compared to anything have no meaning.

  7. Benchmark. Why? See above.

  8. Plan for the future. You’re not complacent, are you? So say it aloud!

  9. Give credit. Include recognition for the leadership and key staff members who contributed to your success.

  10. Get prepared in advance. Collect data on a weekly or monthly basis to save time in the end.

Keeping these ten things in mind, just follow the steps below and you will end up with a stunning PDF in around 20 minutes.

Step 1 -Start from the Top

Choose the My Reports tool in the left-hand menu and create a new report or choose a ready-to-go template from the template panel. Enter the title and subtitle and change the logo*.

*The function of changing the logo is available for Guru and Business plan subscribers.

Create a brief overview of the company’s conversions and goal completions if these are applicable to your area of activity. This information can be added to the report from Google Analytics and Google Search Console widgets.

To access these widgets, you should have GA and GSC connected to your SEMrush account.

Now it’s time to jump into the details. Just choose the area of your expertise (SEO, Online Advertising, Social Media, or Content and PR) from the sections below and proceed from the selected section.

Step 2 - Drill Down to Specifics

SEO

If you earn your living helping people to cope with clients’ low rankings, little traffic, AMP implementation errors, etc., your job specifics are not easy to explain to the untrained. However, the clear-cut widgets from My Reports will do the work for you.

Start with the aggregate picture of your website’s traffic and user behavior (Google Analytics: Overview widget).

Then move to its keywords and rankings.

To cover other aspects of your work or go into the details of the areas we just mentioned, pick the corresponding widgets from the left-hand menu (to access more widgets, type in the name of the tool in the search bar).

  • Tracking online visibility and search rankings (e.g. Position Tracking: Trend, Rankings Distribution, Organic Search: Summary, etc.)

  • Reporting on link building (e.g. Backlinks: Totals, New and Lost Backlinks,Competitors Comparison, etc.)

  • Demonstrating a website's health (e.g. Site Audit: Issues and Crawl Budget, Visibility vs. Errors Trend, etc.)

  • Making plans for the future (Ideas Trend: Chart and Ideas List)

To speed up the process, you can pick the SEO Monthly Report template at the top of the page and move backwards, removing the widgets you don't need. And to get more precise data and additional widgets, connect your Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google My Business accounts to SEMrush.

Social Media, Content and PR

Most people believe that social media is all about checking the newsfeed in the morning and upvoting kitten photos. Let's take them to the world of engagement metrics and justifying budgets.

Start with showing the results of your efforts on different channels and comparing your company’s social channels against competitors’.

And of course, there is more!

  • Audience growth (e.g. Social Media Tool: General, Overview, Competitors Comparison,etc.)

  • Engagement (Social Media Tool: Engagement, Engagement Trend, Engagement Distribution by type, etc.)

  • Activity (Social Media Tool: Activity, Activity Trend, and Competitors Comparison Trend (Activity), etc.)

As for content, there are a variety of metrics that you can find in Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

You can also add data concerning the performance of a specific article or blog post from Position Tracking tool (requires a project set for the exact URL).

The PR is a bit complicated. Usually, you have to show all mentions and reviews you have earned combined with the detailed data about the source. At the moment we are working hard on the integration of the data from our Brand Monitoring tool into PDF reports. But you can still export all collected brand mentions to XLXS.

Online Advertising

To those who deal with paid advertising, we offer a full Advertising Research Report (find it in the templates panel). It is generated quickly and contains all the details of the target advertising campaign, from paid keywords distribution by country to their traffic cost and real ad copy.

If you prefer speaking about exact metrics and factors that could have influenced them, you are welcome to choose one of the available widgets:

  • Advertising Research (e.g. Paid Search: Traffic/Keywords/Cost Chart, Top Keywords,etc.)

  • Display Advertising (e.g. Display Advertising: Recent Sites, etc.)

  • PLA Research (e.g. PLA Research: Competitors)

Step 3 - Benchmark

Still with us? You’re close to the end. Now you can emphasize the success of your digital marketing campaigns compared to your competitors’ with the help of Traffic Analytics reports that feature a wide variety of benchmarking options.

Show the difference in traffic growth.

And then speak about the impact of your activities on it.

Other available widgets:

  • Assessing traffic and user behavior (e.g. Competitors Comparison (Traffic Overview), Top Subdomains, Competitors Comparison (Visits), Competitors Comparison (Bounce Rate), etc.)

  • Analyzing traffic sources and distribution: Competitors Comparison (Top Traffic By Country), Competitors Comparison (Traffic Sources), etc.

Step 4 - Submit Your Report

Polish your report and send it to your boss or client right from SEMrush.

When you are done sending your report, we would really appreciate your feedback. Do you like My Reports? Will you use it again for creating quarterly summaries or campaign statements? Would you recommend it to your colleagues? Drop us a line at my-reports-feedback@semrush.com, and we will try to improve the existing templates or develop new ones based on your suggestions.

My Reports

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Great post. In a world where optimisation is key, using these processes to make your own work more streamlined and in truth, easier is a must. Really useful post.
Excellent point, Everybody has a job to do, and nobody wants to dive into the details of someone else’s job. Your reports should be concise, and some things just cannot be explained briefly."

Brevity is best. You are right, keep it at the macro level, don't get into the weeds. Even for myself, I go too far in describing the nuances of a report.
Daniel H.
I agree with you. That's why in our tool you can always select how much detail you provide.
Hello, is there a way to customise the actual email that's sent when you send the report to a client? As the email is branded SEM rush, if we could brand as per an agency this would be awesome to setup a report, schedule sending to a client and forget :-)
Hello! Loved this! I've been looking for a way to seamlessly include all my reporting elements in one spot. Question for ya though! Is there a way to show more Google Analytics info, such as breaking down by Location, Channel, etc? Haven't played around with this yet, just figured I'd ask in case someone else was wondering. Thanks for posting this article!

Also this says my name is Matt. It isn't! I'm Heather.
Heather Lumb
Yes, we plan to improve Google Analytics widgets. There is only one in the Report Builder right now. We will add much more.
The branding thing is a letdown if you are in-house and do not need the business plan. 'Unable to brand report. Branding PDF reports is not available for your current subscription plan. If you’d like to remove this limitation, please upgrade your SEMrush subscription.'

Lame-o. Looks rubbish with SEMrush branding all over it and not the website logo.
Keith Greywood
Actually, business plan has many other cool nice-to-haves which could be helpful to an agency. White label reports is just one of them.
Hello Alexandra,

Great post and lots of helpful tips.
However, the database doesn't display India, I know it's there but somehow it's not included in the list.
Harsha Kulkarni
Hi Harsha!
If I got you right, you tried setting up a widget and didn't spot the Indian base there. Which one did you use? I checked out several widgets from the Domain Analytics section and found the Indian (IN) base between the Japanese (JP) and the Hungarian (HU) databases. If you still got troubles finding it, please, email us at mail@semrush.com. It is very unlikely, but it could be a bug so we'd be happy to spot it as early as possible.
Excellent.
Shankar Bohara
Thanks! Happy to help.
Still bummed that Pro plan users lost branded PDF report functionality a while back. Seems rather short-sighted to take away a feature that I'm sure many smaller agencies welcomed.
Gee Ranasinha
Hi Gee! Thanks for the comment. I'll definitely take your consideration to our product owners, as we always strive to make our product better for our customers. In the meantime, I think Guru plan that includes branded reports has many other great features, so it is worth trying out.
Very Nice
manoj sharma
Thank you! Doing my best to help!
This is really awesome :)
Utsav Fashion
Thanks, mate! It really helps organise your paperwork.
Awesome !
Shlomi adactive
Thanks!
Wow, this is really great to know! It is always nice to have automated reports for clients, but knowing I can organize them in the order I want makes your reports seem a lot more appealing than others.
George
Yeah, we got you all covered! Cheers!
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