How to easily create SEO Dashboards – #CrawlingMondays 8th Episode

In the 8th episode of Crawling Mondays learn how to build SEO Dashboards that facilitate the monitoring -and reporting- of your key SEO process metrics, from organic traffic, to rankings, backlinks to visibility vs the competition, by going through the tools that will facilitate this task.

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Video Transcription

In today’s crawling Monday, I would like to talk about one of those elements, that although not many people will think as necessarily specific and actually they are not, but they are critical towards the success of an SEO process. Dashboards will allow us to identify when something goes wrong, when something is going pretty well, to identify problems, issues as well as opportunities in our SEO process. And therefore, it is key that we develop, that we create really good dashboards including the most important metrics in our SEO process in order to provide us a constant information about what is going on in it.

Also, it is important to clarify that although you might consider dashboards as this report that you would provide to your client, right? And I may understand in some scenarios, you will provide and give access to the client directly to the dashboard that you use on a day to day basis. They are not necessarily the same, right? One thing is this report that you will use yourself to get all the information about the different activities and the output of the different actions that you are taking in your SEO process.

And another thing is this report that you will provide to your client highlighting really the most important outcomes of these efforts, the goals that have been achieved which haven’t been achieved as you had established, as you had wished or planned and the different actions that should be taken whether to improve, whether you have seen that it’s working pretty well and what has, right? So I think that we can and should differentiate these two, right? And today I am actually to like talk about the dashboards that you use actually to monitor and follow up with your ongoing SEO activities.

And for example, there is a topic that actually have spoken quite a bit in past. You can see here in the screen right now how in the SEO project management presentation I gave last year at the Inbounder. I was mentioning how we should track the evolution of the different areas that we are working within the SEO process life cycle, those that have to do with technical optimization, crawlability, indexability.Those that have to do with link popularity and promotion, and so the back links that we may be getting from other websites, and of course the visibility metrics, the rankings, the traffic that this rankings are provided now.

So at the end of the day the conversions, the actual final outcome and value and transaction the website gets from all of the efforts, right? And actually I share a bit in one of those slides an example of the dashboard that I had set with one of the tools that I like to share with you today, to show you how we can easily set dashboards that we can aggregate and provide us the flexibility to aggregate all of this data that we might be working with today I would like to share a few ways to do this, and a few tools that I have identified that greatly facilitate this process. Let’s take a look.

The most fundamental dashboard that we have, a free one, for our websites and we should all have access to it is the google search console. Because if you take a look at it, you can see that it provide us in the main page of the new version, the access to view the evolution of the most critical or almost the most important critical area of our website, the feasibility evolution on one hand, then the indexability and error potential crawl in or the potential errors the enhancement and I will love to see here the information included about links, right? That would be amazing to have that information, that in one report here, the overview of the evolution of back links coming to our site and then the internal linking structure organization for example to have view of those different pages right away like for example if they have found any, or issues like this highlighted right? Of course they might be ways to improve that but I believe that it’s a really good right ahead straightforward way to have an access to a dashboard like this completely.

Another two that is free and from google that is also available not only for SEO but for any of the digital monitoring activity and we can use to create reports or dashboards to integrate a blend data across different data sources too is the gold data studio. And I am super excited that they have been continuously launching new phish anomalies and many more SEO tools are providing support and a connector for it ah it’s very very cool so for example here you can see a dashboard that I created that taking the information from the feasibility area of the google search console that is available to be integrated here in the google data studio.

And for me it’s pretty cool because it provide us a view that unfortunately we cannot get like this in a google search console native reports directly which is the combination of landing pages or pages that are getting visibility and clicks from organic search and inquiry connected to them directly in a single view like this, right? So this is something that we can set with the google data studio and as you can see here I have also included google analytics data information here directly. So for example here if I want to add here information about bounce rate all of these pages for example is very very straightforward and it will update and provide us also an easy way to sort it using different criteria and add a secondary sort and also to compare with the previous period of time and to switch between different ways to show the data between tables and different type of charts and visuals is very very very good. And I’m very excited about it and as you can see here we can easily go far more granular to for example just see the information about a single work.

So for example I just want a single information about this specific query, this specific term and see all the information about impressions, click, click thread and I can take a look here which are the specific pages like this so, I always create one of this for any website that I work with because even if I have the google search console access directly there I have this other way to aggregate data and easily filter data to identify if something is wrong. And as I mention before they provide here resources ways to obtain a much more data from many other data sources, find other data source. We can that there are ways to add big query data, google ads data, from the google sheets also, you tube analytics, super metrics provides a connector for different connector for the different metrics that they also aggregate. For existrix, they just launch last week a connector for it .

There was also a really really cool presentation that was given by Sam Marsden a few months ago regarding how to also aggregate and use the google data studio to aggregate data not only from a visibility and traffic perspective but also from deep crawl by using [inaudible 00:09:07] to [inaudible 00:09:10] connector that they have. Before I move on with the other tools I would like to say that there’s a really really good resource google data studio templates that you can reuse and guides to by [inaudible 00:09:21] that is fantastic because you can see that you obtain information about the connections that have been cover in different articles here about dashboards or reports that we can create for SEO, PPC or many of the different area so definitely check it out because maybe it might be a little too scary to start from scratch but you can use this resource here to obtain many of this already developed templates that can really facilitate the task.

Another new way to access all the information or most of the information of your SEO activities in a really really really good dashboard is the one of SEM Rush I have to say that I am very very impressed, and it says that it is still in beta and it was launched not so long ago but I am so impressed because in most cases in many occasions these are tools that we are already using right? Because it provides so much value that it allows us to do competition analysis, cure research but they have already for a while launched many of the functionalities for a technical optimization, with an SEO outed area, for ranks specific rank tracking to connect the data of our traffic also to provide much more meaningful recommendations. And so they, once that they have all these data it is very straightforward should be very straightforward for them that the next step should be to create something like this and they have done it really really really well.

So as you can see here we have an SEO dash board, in this case of the remoters website for which I connected google analytics, google search console so of course it provides the information of the evolution of the most important metrics of traffic we can see the keywords that I am specifically tracking. What the SEM Rush Tracker functionality, the back links that they provide to you because they also have back links section so I can see also the evolution of the new and the last links towards my website. A little bit of the evolution of the trends, devices on locations, geo distribution is something that is really interesting for international sites. And the evolution of the different visits from different channels right? Of course like even if we are purpose on the SEO we want to see what is the role of the SEO in the overall evolution of the website or the status of the website, right? And again, they have a backlink toxic area to identify potential natural links that are pointing to our site and they provide an overview of them here.

And a site audit section for which we can also set frequent and recurring crawls and we will have here the evolution of event and all pages on recommendation that is another model that they have in which they provide us direct actions that we can do to improve from a content and technical perspectives of specific pages of our site. And then the performance metrics from the google search console that we connect to like top queries here, the clicks, impressions, click to rate, average precision here. If we will have goals here in google analytics also the trend also of goal completions here. And the different metrics charts from google analytics.

So as you can see it’s really really good because it really aggregates normally the data that they provide directly with their own tool. And they allow us to set with their own tool from links to keyword tracking, popularity evolution and technical optimization, now, the technical configuration of our site. But also that allow us to connect with google analytics and google consoles for the traffic and additional visibility metrics that we will like to see in the single page.

Another great tool that provide us a very flexible, I have to say, probably the most flexible dashboard that I have seen in the market right now is the one of Cognitive SEO that is an SEO tool that I haven’t seen yet as still as mentioned as it should because it’s a really really good tool that has started a few years ago providing and focusing on link analysis and they use the data from majestic so it was a very complete data but for which they provided this additional layer of functionality and to facilitate, actually, the analysis and in comparison with all the websites. And they also, at some point, added run tracking, social visibility. A few months ago, they added site outed feature for technical optimization so of course now with this dashboard functionality that they provide, it’s brilliant because we can actually see all the information, all the metrics from the different areas in SEO as in an easy to access and very flexible dashboard.

As you can see here, for example, they provide this my rank tracking data have set with them so they tell me the improved, decline keywords, the ranking trend over time, the links that I have gained or lost, those that might look natural to check out. This google analytics traffic data, the trend over time, they got the trend over time, those stole pages and then of course, the specific keywords that have increased or decreased that I have specifically set with them and my overall website visibility versus the one of my competitors to give a bigger context if everything is going good or bad. So this is brilliant that they also connect the data of two parties like this to provide a much more complete information and again here more link data and the technical configuration of my website, the content counter issues, redirect, broken pages over time etc.

So I think this is really great as you can see here look, we can move like every any dashboard from one side to the other like this, it’s very very straight forward. I can go and if you see here I can select here for any of the metrics here. Not only the websites, but for example, what way I would like to do specific information that would filter out for which country, if I want to add additional filter by location for example by search engine, maybe it is easier if I show it like this, take a look. So they have all these different types of widgets that we can choose from to show the data that we want right? From rank tracking, the link analysis, site audit, social visibility, alerts that I have set with them and also custom widgets.

So I have to say that it’s really really good. I love that they integrated google analytics probably the only thing that I haven’t seen yet today with this google search console hopefully it’s coming but I think that it’s pretty good again it’s pretty good value from what it cost and at the end of the day if you are really using them for your going SEO activities and tasks it’s pretty straightforward, it’s pretty cool that they provide this easy way to access the information in a single view, to avoid going through each different reports and views for each single area that you are working with them.

So take a look, I think it can provide really good option for SEO dashboard for you. Another way to create a dashboard is actually by using a dashboard too. There was a boom I think a few years ago of many many web dashboards that up to a point a few of them died, a few of them stayed and evolved and integrated much more with specific metrics in the different areas of specially in marketing in order to provide more value. There was this post that I wrote already five years ago, oh my God, it makes me feel so old already, about how to create and SEO dashboard using dash this. And as you can see I am showing the post, at how you can create by integrated data of the cool master tool at that time was called like this google analytics and master data writer like this right with Dash this. And also a further online marketing dashboard with also twitter data, Facebook data, mail data that would provide you like an easy way to follow the different activities and SEO digital marketing right?

That just sold in the market thankfully because I really believe it’s a really really good tool a really really good value tool and it really facilitates to why I wrote about it in the first place five years ago. And it still facilitate the aggregation of data from all of these different data sources.

And you can see here how you can select from preset widgets so I am showing here the different data sources that I have already connected with them google analytics, google search console, ahrefs, and all of the different custom widgets that I can use to show the data in a way that is much more meaningful for me, easier to understand for me and some statics widgets here that I can also include for with comments, with data that I might like to manually import, like CSB or with a CSB or something like this but you can see here how for example overall traffic, SEO organic traffic from goal analytics, I can set, I can bring the top pages from google search console the clicks, impressions and average click to rate and here the trend over time that I can easily see. Oh my God, this will be amazing to have directly again in the google search console.

But then again as you can see this data that I can include here dashes and as I shown before also that you can set in google data studio these amazing it makes it so so easy to see a little bit of trend over time in a much more easier way. The click per query to see in a very very easy way which queries are improving or increasing decreasing over time and the back links data with a share. I hope that you have enjoyed this episode of Crawling Mondays. Hopefully you have seen any way to follow up with your current SEO activities and in a nice looking dashboard with the dashboard that really facilitate, what it is really more important I believe than if it is really really nice looking or not. Facilitates the analysis and provide action ability to really facilitate your day to day SEO, ongoing SEO activities, right? That’s the most important the most critical thing. And I am very looking forward to see you next Monday in a new episode. Bye bye.