Transparent SEO reporting for business using BI systems

Reading time: 8 minutes

Tags: Optimization, SEO

What is the article about?

  • Business and SEO professionals are moving to a new level of working with data – with more sophisticated analyzes, improved visualization and the ability to make decisions based on reporting.

  • What is the value of BI systems for SEO professionals and businesses?

  • What capabilities do BI systems and basic software products provide?

Who is this article useful to?

  • SEO specialists who are faced with the problem of visual presentation of the accumulated data to the customer. We give a basic background for working with a data warehouse and BI systems with examples and SEO logic.

  • To the client side: from top management, executives to data analysts and marketers. We will see how advanced data analysis and visualization tools can help improve the main indicators of project progress.

How to present the business with responsive and updatable dashboards / charts by bringing data from different sources in one place? Is it possible to satisfy the need for high-quality analytics and automate reporting, moving away from routine tasks and an abundance of resources? There is a way out: we are moving from heavy tables and unloading to custom development of reports that covers the needs of all business niches for assessing SEO metrics.

Expert opinion

Pavel Mosin, Ashmanov & Partners:

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“Each business has an individual set of data requirements. There are companies that want to see the demand for certain categories that generate the most profit. Other companies are interested in the demand for mobile delivery and desktop. Some people want it all. Even large platforms cannot accommodate all requests and individual business data requirements. BI systems provide the ability for custom data visualization. The main goal is accessible and understandable data not only for SEO-specialists, but also for the client / managers ”

To account for dozens of search engine ranking factors and test hypotheses, you need to know how to work with data. Knowledge of individual analytics systems does not exempt from the need to understand the approaches that operate with logic, work through all data layers and convert knowledge to the user level of the business. Customers demand the most capacious indicators in SEO reports, which incorporate a complete understanding of audience behavior patterns, technical characteristics of the web, data about competitors, and market factors. BI systems will help you collect all the data in one place and work out the key SEO parameters for visual demonstration of the results in the desired form.

when is BI usefulWhy are BI systems needed? 5 business benefits

-> Analytics for decision making… A specific business can use a unique set of target metrics, accumulate data and receive BI reporting, thoroughly focusing on analytics for decision making. The upper level of data needs to be carefully worked out and enriched, so there is always an interest in improving the final parameters in the reports to obtain the most complete and reliable analytics. BI tools allow you to maximize the use of existing demand data, assess visibility by important categories, occupied shares and dynamics, connect individual metrics to advanced data analytics.

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-> Analytics of competitors. You can collect all the information about competitors from different sources and conduct an analytical snapshot of targeted SEO metrics.

-> Transparent relationship with the contractor. BI systems bring communication between business and agency to a new level – more technological and transparent. Information sharing and contractor control will become simpler and easier to understand, and data analytics will become faster.

-> Flexible reporting. The interactive possibilities of presenting the results allow you to select the categories of interest, change the parameters of the issue, relying on completeness and advanced features. Key SEO metrics will be displayed in a user-friendly format.

-> Unlimited business opportunities. In fact, the possibilities of using BI systems are limited only by the imagination. Imagine this problem (and a possible solution): You have at your fingertips data on five periods in different years when online sales of services were at their best. What makes these periods different from the rest and from each other? How can you apply the gained experience and stimulate further sales? The answers to these questions can be obtained using BI systems.

BI benefits

Which BI systems are the most popular?

The main distribution among analysts and specialists was received by two software products – a solution from Microsoft Power BI and a product Google Data Studio. Both BI systems are online and are free to use.

Power BI has many built-in connectors to various services and databases, with which you can load the required set of data from various sources, link them together and build analytics. Due to its advanced capabilities and the presence of its own formula language, DAX has the highest complexity threshold in comparison with other BI systems.

Google Data Studio supports dozens of its own sources (Google connectors) and more than a hundred partner connectors, including Google Analytics, Yandex. Metrica, CSV files and others.


Since 2019, Ashmanov & Partners has been actively cooperating with the platform for analytics and control of search engine optimization SEOWORK. At the moment, we are one of two companies that received a PRO certificate on the platform, having passed a fairly strict selection.


Import to BI via the repository via API:

To connect to the data store via API, you will need:

Developer resources… Working with the API requires some technical background to compose a get request and set up automatic data updates.

Own storage. You will also need your own data storage, where data will be imported from SEO systems and where it will be stored in the future.

Thoughtful business logic. Before visualizing data in BI, you need to think over the business logic of the dashboard:

A) What metrics and slices to display on one dashboard

B) What visual elements will most clearly reflect the selected metrics and slices,

C) What will give the business and your department, in particular, analytics based on the built dashboard.

Benefits of BI systems

Import directly to Google BigQuery using SEOWORK:

Google BigQuery (BQ) allows you to process data without creating an infrastructure yourself, store and analyze huge amounts of data in the cloud.

Each user can connect to the BQ platform and get their data from SEOWORK (SW) in tabular format to the database.

Benefits when working with BQ directly without diving into the API:

  • No developer resources required. If you do not have enough technical background to compose a get-request and set up automatic data import, then SEOWORK will provide you with updated data in the BQ platform.
  • Overwriting irrelevant data in the past. When you delete part of the data from the data import source, they are duplicated in BQ.
  • No additional storage needed. All data is stored in BQ SEOWORK (or your BQ) and is available to the user.
  • Help with business logic. Experts will tell you what data and how to visualize before importing into BQ.
  • You can automate the import of data into your BQ.

what reports are available from BQ SEOWORK

Case on the example of the client “DomClick”

We will tell you more about the results of the joint project “Ashmanov & Partners” and SEOWORK for the DomClick client. What has been done with BI systems?

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In interactive dashboards presented to the customer, you can filter by date, type of search engine, region and see the categories of queries of interest. Also a graph of demand distribution by category is presented depending on the selected regions. Column charts show metrics% TOP5,% TOP3,% TOP10 by category with filtering options.

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For competitors, there is an opportunity to choose dates and search engine, look at the metrics% TOP10,% Ptraf and “WS” 10 by region: such a dashboard provides data variability, a non-trivial approach and the possibility of convenient combinations of indicators.

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Moreover, it is automated, takes away a huge part of the manual work, reduces the time for providing ready-made information, allowing you to change the settings and parameters of the results. An opportunity arises for leaders fully control the progress of the project, track changes and promptly make the necessary decisions.

End of article

Audience questions:

– For BI-reports to be more representative, certain complete semantics are needed. What is the minimum threshold for completeness?

Anna Khryapina, SEOWORK: “It depends on your project. If you have a large e-commerce business, then, of course, you need to cover all categories with semantics, all pages that meet demand and for which there is traffic with semantics. You need to go to the analytics system and understand which pages and categories have traffic. First of all, cover traffic pages with semantics. Then do the semantics of those pages that have no traffic, but you would like to promote them. I recommend linking at least three requests per page within our platform to see the most reliable information on the current situation in organic. ”

– What percentage of large companies already use BI systems?

Pavel Mosin, Ashmanov & Partners: “The problem is still in the specialists who will be able to work with BI systems. Most large companies have been building dashboards for a long time, doing data science. Our large clients often have a request, BI-systems are already commonplace. ”

Anna Khryapina, SEOWORK: “We receive requests from companies to build dashboards in a specific BI-system, and we supplement the already tracked indicators with our data.”

Denis Shubenok, Ashmanov & Partners: “For many large companies and specialists, this has really become commonplace. Many performance projects have been working with BI reporting for a long time, but for SEO promotion, data is often not included in general BI reporting. Until now, they are measured by upper-level indicators, for example, only by positions and visibility, and they do not go anywhere further. Even large clients do not have debugged reporting, especially BI. There may be a trend in SEO if there is a convenient customization tool. Projects will use BI, including organic traffic. ”

Author - Matvey DemchukThe article was prepared by Matvey Demchuk. Graduate of the Higher School of Economics (Faculty of Communications, Media and Design). Interested in marketing, technology and science. He is fond of sports, reading and nature.

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