Reporting is a tricky thing that can either make or break your entire marketing process. Whether you prepare a report for your client, your boss, or a colleague, there is always a risk of drowning in the data, drawing the wrong conclusion, and going in the wrong direction.
But there is good news — a properly crafted report can be an extremely actionable asset for you and your team, rather than just an ordinary “all is well”-style PDF you send to clients or C-level.
We at SEMrush conducted a survey among our agency clients, asking them, "What are the top things you’d like to automate?" Reporting was the most popular option, leaving all the others far behind.
We put together 10 examples of marketing reports for daily, weekly, or monthly use. You can download the examples or copy the templates — without having to leave your contact information.
Also, as a bonus, we asked several industry experts what distinguishes an okay report from a great one.
- General Marketing Reports
- SEO Reports
- Social Media and PR Reports
- Tips for Building Stunning Reports and Standing Out From the Others
General Marketing Reports
On average, it takes 6 touchpoints across different channels for a visitor to turn into a lead or paying client. With this in mind, which channel should be an immediate priority? How do you stay focused without missing out on the bigger picture? If general marketing reports are set up properly, these questions can be easily addressed.
Daily Marketing Report
Daily reports are usually used for internal purposes, especially when it comes to marketing agencies. The main goal of the daily report is to spot changes or threats as soon as possible and react immediately.
A proper daily report allows you to find out:
How well the client (or company) website and social media accounts are performing.
If there is anything that needs immediate attention (an organic traffic drop, a sudden growth in social media mentions, a spike in paid traffic, etc.).
If any Facebook or Google ads have been disapproved and need to be remastered.
The reasons behind the changes and how to act on them.
Where to get this data: a custom Google Analytics dashboard allows you to get a helicopter view of traffic dynamics (number of visitors, traffic sources breakdown, user behavior metrics, etc.). A default Home GA report, with the "Active Users Right Now" tab, is another great way to see the current situation and changes happening right now (though many marketing managers say it can become really distracting).
For media and mentions monitoring, there are a number of tools available. There are free solutions like Google Alerts or more advanced paid tools like Mention.com or Brand Monitoring, with additional features like sentiment analysis and estimated reach.
Image source: SEMrush Brand Monitoring tool
Tip: to spot disapproved ads, set up email alerts. It is more convenient to get notifications from different platforms into one inbox. Here is how to do it in Google Ads:
After going to Preferences, choose the Notifications tab in the upper-left part:
Weekly Marketing Report
Weekly reports are used to track and analyze the results of your short- and medium-term marketing efforts. For example, it can take several days to accumulate statistics on a new blog post, a newly launched PPC campaign, a big email blast, etc. Weekly reports form the basis for analyzing long-term trends.
Behind the scene stat: weekly reports are mostly sent at the beginning of the workweek, as 27% of SEMrush users schedule them every Monday.
What to expect from a weekly report?
A big picture of traffic dynamics: whether the overall traffic increased or decreased, which channels brought the most visits, leads, and conversions, and how the situation has changed since the previous week.
It gives you an idea of how successful your recent marketing campaigns have actually been in terms of conversions.
It provides a complete overview of vital social media metrics (engagement and followers)
It helps you develop an action plan for the coming weeks.
Where to get this data: Google Analytics — for all things traffic (visits, channels, user behavior) and conversions (goal completions) in comparison to previous weeks. For social media stats, use internal Facebook/Twitter/Instagram analytics (or accumulate them all in one dashboard in Social Media Tracker).
An example of a weekly marketing report:
Monthly Marketing Report
This report allows you to see the impact of strategic marketing initiatives and long-term projects, like SEO improvements, PR, and content marketing campaigns. The monthly report helps you understand how these projects influence the core metrics.
Questions to be answered in a good monthly report:
An overview of a website’s traffic: Which channels performed best (and worst) in this month? What needs to be changed?
Goal completions (purchases, leads, downloads, etc.): Have the ROI and ROAS improved or declined? What needs to be done to improve the results?
A brief overview of the main channels or campaigns: Did we manage to achieve the goals we had set? If we didn’t, what were the reasons behind this?
Where to get this data: a Google Analytics dashboard with the right time frames for everything related to traffic and conversions. Social media internal analytics to track social engagement and followers. Any other tools for specific channels and projects (mention trackers, email analytics, etc.)
Tip: if you operate in a niche with high seasonality, comparing the same month of the previous year can be more relevant than comparing statistics month over month.
Monthly Competitor Analysis Report
This is a separate (and often underestimated) type of report. The great thing about competitive analysis is that it can answer many important questions about your own results:
- Wondering why CPC in your paid campaigns has been increasing over the past months? Try checking the paid traffic dynamics of your competitors.
- Losing rankings for multiple keywords? See if your rival took your positions with some aggressive SEO efforts.
- Wondering if it makes sense to advertise on Facebook or Quora? See if other brands in your niche are doing this and how much traffic they get.
The metrics to track with the competitor analysis report are:
Website traffic and visitor engagement — how it changed over a determined period of time and if there is anything unusual
Organic search performance — to understand if their SEO tactics are worth attention.
Link building performance compared to other competitors.
Advertising strategy: paid search and display ads (with some creative ideas to borrow).
Content marketing and PR performance.
Social media performance.
Where to get this data: competitor analysis tools like Traffic Analytics automate the data-gathering process, but also offer exclusive insights (like traffic and engagement metrics) that you can’t find by reviewing SERPs and social accounts manually.
An example of a competitor analysis report:
Tip: For more insights and step-by-step instructions on setting up the report see Automated Competitor Monitoring and Reporting with SEMrush.
SEO is considered a relatively slow-changing industry, compared to paid advertising or social media marketing. It can take a year (or even more) to rank in Top 1, even for a team of professionals. This can be the reason why daily SEO reporting isn’t a common practice. From what we see in SEMrush’s My Reports tool, users prefer sending reports on a weekly or monthly basis (69% and 35% respectively); only 8% of users use daily SEO reports.
Overall SEO report
This report will help you (or your client) answer the following questions:
How is my website traffic changing?
What is the proportion of organic traffic changing compared to other traffic sources?
Which countries do my visitors come from?
What is the proportion of branded vs. non-branded traffic?
Which keywords are driving visitors to my website?
Which SERP features are triggered by these keywords?
Did my organic rankings improve or drop?
Did the number of backlinks to my website increase or drop?
Are there any technical issues on my website threatening my SEO results?
Where to get this data: Google Analytics for all things traffic, Google Search Console for search visibility metrics, backlink and technical issues information, SEMrush for SERP features (and all the other metrics, if you are analyzing a website without access to its GA and GSC).
An example of an SEO report:
Technical SEO performance:
While it is hard to build and easy to destroy, a backlink profile is vital for SEO. Spotting unnatural link growth or drops and reacting quickly can save you from an automatic or manual penalty. That is why regular inspection of your backlink profile can save you hours of work and phone calls with clients.
A backlink report will allow you to find out:
The number of links and domains linking to your website and how this number changed over a certain time period.
Whether you gained or lost any backlinks (and if there is anything unusual you need to pay attention to).
The overall toxic score (and if it requires urgent action).
The proportion of toxic, potentially toxic, and “healthy” links to your website.
The number of follow vs. no-follow links.
The most used anchor texts (and if there are any potentially dangerous texts).
How you perform against your key competitors.
Where to get this data: Google Search Console to track the number of backlinks, Google Analytics for top linking websites, external backlink checkers to evaluate the toxicity of your links, top anchor text, and other valuable information.
An example of a backlink report:
Technical SEO report
Technical SEO is a website’s backbone. There are about 200 issues that can potentially harm your website performance; finding them all manually would be impossible, especially when a website has thousands of pages. Using this report, you can see exactly what prevents it from indexing. Is it a crawlability problem? Duplicate content issues? 5XX and 4XX errors? Or a slow load speed?
Where to get this data: Google Search Console provides you with a lot of data about site speed, mobile usability, AMP and other types of issues. However, to get a more complete picture of technical problems, you can use external SEO audit tools.
An example of a technical SEO report:
Regarding a template, filling out a report with dozens of technical SEO checks can be a really daunting task, this is why we recommend you generate reports right in your audit tool.
Social Media and PR Reports
Unlike SEO, on social media, things happen very quickly. Your post can go viral and bring you hundreds of new followers and comments, but so can a negative review of your company (you will see a lot of comments here too, but this is the kind of social engagement no one wants to get). This is why social monitoring ideally should be done on an hourly basis, as 64% of Twitter users expect their questions to be answered within an hour.
However, you can find out whether your social strategy was successful or not only by seeing the bigger picture. Here are the metrics and reports that will help you do that:
Social Media Performance Report
The Social Media Performance report is needed if you want to know:
What is happening to your follower base? Is it growing or decreasing? How are its demographics and interests are changing?
How active your brand was on social media in a determined period.
What engagement dynamics and which days, formats and audience segments turned out to be the most successful in terms of likes, reposts and comments.
How you stack up against key competitors.
How much traffic and how many conversions you got from social media channels.
Where to get this data: social tracking tools (Social Media Tracker) for your and your competitors’ accounts, Google Analytics for referral traffic tracking.
An example of a social media report:
Brand Reputation Report
The Brand Reputation report helps answer the following questions:
Has our brand visibility increased or decreased in the analyzed period?
Which mentions contributed the most to our brand visibility in terms of referral traffic, awareness or coverage?
What was the sentiment of our brand mentions? Did it improve or not?
Where to get this data: mention trackers (for example, Brand Monitoring) with sentiment analysis.
An example of a brand reputation report:
Tips for Building Stunning Reports and Standing Out From the Others
A good client report communicates data in an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand format. A great report takes it one step further and tells the story of that data over a particular time period in relation to a goal. Did we achieve the goal, or are we on track for achieving the goal? Why or why not?
The report needs to present the right data to answer these questions in a way the client will comprehend and not be overwhelmed by. Simplified and well-labeled graphs, charts, tables, icons, and colors are a great way to visually tell a story with just a quick glance. Finally, a great report should be able to stand on its own, without the need for an in-person meeting all the time.
I deal with both reports that are sent to me and those that need to be delivered to the client. I think there is a bit of a difference between those.
On the client side:
On top of actually making clients money, we are also concerned with keeping them happy. As you know, good numbers don't guarantee a client, but bad ones will always get you fired.
Clients don't really care about metrics that much; the majority of them don't understand them or cling to the ones that don't influence their marketing objectives. Even if you deal with a great marketing manager, they need to get approval for the budget from someone who doesn't know the difference between bounce and exit rate.
That is why a great report for a client, in our perspective:
- Has a half-page summary that includes what has happened this month and why. Did our plan for last month work, and what are our future plans?
- Ideally will show them how you directly influenced the bottom line.
- Has to tell a continuous story each month and be consistent. We can't adjust our interpretation to make numbers look good. So, we can't say one month, "The organic traffic is down, but the leads are up, and they are the only important thing," and next month, "Well leads are down, but look at all of this organic traffic."
- Provides all of the stats to support the summary in the beginning.
- Clients are funny about the metrics they deem important. Often, they can have zero relevance to their particular business. Put those in the report too.
- Include something educational, as no matter how many times you say things to clients, they will forget, so we need to repeat the same things many times. For example, "This double-digit growth is not sustainable, and we will be moving into protecting keyword positions and traffic maintenance stage in Q4".
On reports from my staff:
I need a very clear understanding of what is actually happening with their business. If we are doing well, or we need to put more resources into the client, or the monthly report will be ugly.
- I need a daily report on things that are wrong (like disapproved ads or keywords) and what was done to fix it.
- Weekly reports on where we are this month YoY on major metrics. Then an explanation of what is moving the numbers with data backup. For example, “organic traffic is down, mainly due to this keyword. We are in the same position for it, but the volume decreased, so there is nothing we can do with it." For them to get that, they need to cross-reference SEMrush, Google Search Console, Analytics, and a CRM system to make sure what they think is happening with numbers is correlated in each system.
- We also report internally on different metrics at each stage of the marketing funnel. That way, we are not just looking at traffic>leads and trying to guess what is going on in between. We pull different levers to increase each stage of the funnel. It is way too granular for the client reporting, and again, most of the time is above their heads.
How does a great report differ from a good one? The most important element of a good report is approachability. It needs to reflect both the interest and knowledge level of your partners in a way that presents the information they want to see and not so much that it is overwhelming.
How to make a report for a client (or boss) stand out from others? Have some fun with it! Brand your report and add some color to make the data a little more exciting. We also like to add some short narratives below each chart that highlight what we think is important and why the results matter.
I believe a great report should focus on three features: target, action, and data visualization.
Target: KPI and dashboards should reflect the final users’ needs. That means, focus only on Macro-KPI if the users are on top management — such as ROI, LTV, and cost per acquisition. To that report, add processes for Middle Management users, such as conversion paths and attribution models. To that report, add Micro-KPI, if addressed to Specialists such as CTR, CPC, position changes.
Action: Every report should be actionable. That means, give the readers practical suggestions on what to do to improve the KPI. Even just a short phrase at the end of each Dashboard, such as: “invest more advertising budget on mobile devices, which drive the best conversion rates.” This makes the role of the analyst more pragmatic and results-oriented.
Data Visualization: Turn data into visual insights, seeking a compromise between creativity and simplicity. Don’t disrupt typical visualization conventions that users expect, such as color conventions (red=danger..) while trying to tell a compelling story, targeted on your final user.