More threads by JordanJCaron

Mar 20, 2014
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This has been bothering me ever since I started my own company 4 years ago.

When it's invoicing time, if I see a clients rankings have dropped in their Bright Local Report, I'll hold off sending them an invoice until the rankings improve. I don't feel right asking for money if the rankings haven't improved. It's causing more stress and pressure then I would like.

So am wondering am I alone in this? Do I need to get over the fact that SEO and rankings can be up and down and that I should bill regardless as I am providing a service?

I always think about how newspaper companies or radio stations wouldn't even think about this when it comes to advertising. They bill the client no matter what the results are.
Hey Jordan, are you reporting any other metrics besides rankings? There are other ways to demonstrate value depending on the business objectives.

Another thought is that you aren't just being paid for rankings and performance exclusively. Unless you are doing a performance based retainer. You have to factor in your time and expertise as well.
I think it depends what you did in that month. You can't really control what happens in Google, so what else are you doing for the client? I think if you looked at the day to day workflow where you either helped build their brand off-site, or created new content on their site you would see how it affected them.

Keyword ranking reports are not KPI's. What happened in their site analytics? Did you drive traffic to the pages you created? Are you getting referral traffic from sites you're promoting their business at? Do you see overall traffic growth as a result of the combined efforts?

If they're growing in traffic, converting traffic on the site, and getting more customers, then what does it matter if the keywords YOU'RE tracking aren't ranking as well? For all we know, you're not even tracking the queries people are actually using. If the site is growing, then invoice away because you did your job. If the site isn't growing, then quickly evaluate you methods and change your strategy.
Thanks for the replies Colan and Eric.

I'm not on a performance based retainer. Monthly billings but obviously the client wants to see some outcome from the work we've done.

In the past for a few clients I had sent along Analytics stats as well and explained how to look at them. I have goals tracking in GA as well (form submissions, clicks on phone call buttons) but I don't always send this unless the client comes back and says they haven't had an increase in calls or customers. I know I should be sending it every month though since I monitor the GA stats closely.

I would love if Bright Local's external search reports would also have the clients GA. Would make it easy for the client to see.

Some clients do want to see a list of what has been done each month. So I send along their citation spreadsheet with a list of the content we've added to their site and other links we've built. Those are fine and dandy but at the end of it, they want more leads. More phone calls or emails inquiring about their services.

I will start to send their GA stats along with rankings reports to show that traffic is increasing. If the leads aren't coming in, then I can have the discussion with them about bringing in a conversion consultant.
Yes I did see it but never took the time to fully look into the dashboard and how the client can see that. Thanks for pointing it out Colan!
...I would love if Bright Local's external search reports would also have the clients GA...

Jordan, I've been using the BrightLocal external client reports ever since they were introduced.

I have sort of a love/hate relationship with them.

They are better than having no external reports at all. Parts of them are very good.

There are also bugs, at least one of which has been outstanding since last October, having to do with the Facebook stats reporting and the selection of date ranges for those stats. They have stopped responding to my defect reports regarding that one.

There are a few other problems with the Facebook reports.

There's also a brand new defect that I just discovered with the Google analytics reports, wherein the numbers reported are wrong. THAT is a serious one.

All in all: I should be able to love them, but I really don't. The main one that works very well for me is the ranking report.

Even then, you can only include ONE ranking report on your external dashboard even though you can create many, many different ranking reports for each client.

Overall these dashboards are pretty good. I've spent the last couple hours working on getting a couple clients with multi locations setup. It would be nice to add multiple search reports for one location as I'm the same and have a few different search reports for one location. Would also be nice to send a client one dashboard link which then has links or all locations listed on one page.

Thanks for the notes on the Analytics. I will advise my clients on this. Would be nice to be able to access the ogranic search traffic by landing page. I can do that manually in GA by doing unlocking the not provided keyword data they like to hide.

Overall the BL dashboards look pretty good to me.
...Thanks for the notes on the Analytics. I will advise my clients on this...

I just looked at this more closely. I think the problem is that the dates shown on the x-axis are off by one month, skewed to the left. In other words, the data for January 2017 is labeled December 2016 on the x-axis, etc.

Overall the BL dashboards look pretty good to me.

They would be if they were reliably accurate. I hope they's get 'em fixed pretty soon.
They would be if they were reliably accurate. I hope they's get 'em fixed pretty soon.

As do I. Especially the external search ranking reports. I send my clients email with links to their reports. Before I could link to a report with the date range selected. Now the reports automatically just show the last two date ranges the reports were run. Mentioned this to them and they said the engineers are on it. We shall see.
In reflecting upon what I wrote above, I think I was too curmudgeonly about this topic.

Right now I'm satisfied, but only minimally or moderately.

In general I really, really like the BrightLocal ranking reports, and if they can just make their other tools work correctly I will be very satisfied.
"Would be nice to be able to access the ogranic search traffic by landing page."

You can now if you use Google Sheets and an add-on called Search Analytics for Sheets. Essentially you tap into GSC and it can retrieve landing page and query for up to 90 days. I then create a pivot table after I have "themed" the keywords :)
I'm also not super impressed with BL ranking reporting. I get too many emails from clients that don't understand how to read the report. It is confusing to anyone that isn't a Local SEO agency. They need to be simplified.

The worst part is I get emails from clients asking about the ranking report thinking they've dropped significantly because of the way the report is structured only for us to have to take our time to explain to them it's a double ranking they lost or something to that effect.

it's frustrating and I've told them multiple times they need a new report interface. They updated the look, just not the way the information is represented.

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