You never want to go into anything blind. You need to know everything – what’s what and what’s not. The same is true for starting an SEO project. That`s why it is right to have an appropriate SEO client questionnaire.
Actually, the same is especially true for starting any SEO project because there are so many moving parts influencing each other, and you need to account for every single one if you actually want to drive traffic to your website.
For example, what are their goals? Who are their competitors? Have they tried their hand at SEO before? Asking questions like these is important because, like I just said, you never want to fly blind.
SEO Client Questionnaire – Top 10 SEO Questions and Answers
So whether you do it over the phone, email, Skype or an in-person meeting (these are preferred), here are 10 questions to ask before saying yes.
1. What are Your Top Goals?
Embarking on an SEO project involves knowing the lay of the land, and this includes knowing what you’re going to be working toward.
Once you know these things, you can begin planning and strategizing.
2. Who Makes Up Your Current Target Audience?
Apart from knowing their goals, you also need to know who they’ve been targeting in the past. This is important for a variety of reasons.
First, they may have been targeting a completely wrong audience, so you’ll want to set them straight right then and there. Second, you may or may not have experience with that specific audience, and depending on that you may have to do some additional audience research.
Additionally, knowing who the other players in the game are can help you improve your own strategy because of the insights you can glean from them. For example:
What keywords are they targeting?
Who are they targeting?
Where is their traffic coming from?
How often are they churning out content?
4. Can We Take a Look at a Couple of Things?
Like we covered in the beginning, part of not flying blind is knowing what’s been going on in the past and background. To this part of SEO client questionnaire, you’ll need to:
See any SEO documents they may have;
Know which web CMS/DAM they’re using;
Gain access to Google Analytics and Search Console accounts (Bing and Yahoo as well).
5. What’s Your Current (and Target) ROI?
Knowing their current ROI is important because it gives you a good understanding of how they’ve been doing so far, and how much improvement you can bring in. As for their target ROI, this tells you what they’re going for, and how feasible it is to accomplish. If it is, excellent; if it’s not, you can show them something that’s more attainable.
6. Are There Any Brand Guidelines That Need to Be Followed?
Seeing as how you’ll be working with them, you need to know if there are any existing brand guidelines to follow, such as their tone of voice (ToV), writing style, etc. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to tailor content according to what they want, which leads to fewer revisions and rewrites down the line.
7. Have You Worked with an SEO Agency Before?
It’s important to know if they’ve worked with an SEO agency in the past because it gives you an idea on what’s already been done prior to your arrival and what they’ve come to expect in terms of results AND what you’re bringing to the table.
8. How Involved Would You Like to Be?
Coming out of whether or not they’ve already worked with an SEO agency, you want to know what they expect in terms of their own input.
For example, some agencies offer copywriting and design services as well as best practice/guidelines strategy, depending on whether their clients already have a writing or design team in place. Once you know how involved they want to be, you can begin laying out the campaign’s groundwork.
9. Have You Been Penalized Before?
You want to know the good and the bad, and whether Google has penalized them in the past is part of the bad you definitely want to know. So, it is better to include it to the SEO client questionnaire.
Why? Because it tells you more about them and how they work. For example, you may want to veer away if they’ve been penalized for spammy behavior, as this tells you they don’t exactly work within the right lines. This knowledge will also give you a measure of how much work is ahead of you; the more penalties they’ve incurred, the more you’ll have to work.
10. What’s Your SEO Budget?
Last but not least, all SEO projects take time (usually a couple of months), and you need to make sure they have the budget to keep the campaign running for actual results to materialize.
Can you take their money, do your work, and leave after the contract is up, even if they’re in the same place they started? Yes. Is it ethical? No. Like I said, results take time, and knowing you won’t be bringing any and still taking their money is not a good practice.
Final Thoughts on SEO Client Questionnaire Discovery
Just like you need to know more about your customers before you begin working, you and they need to know more about what to expect based on their current position. In other words, how your efforts can help them and to what extent based on where they are now.
As part of this process, you’ll need to conduct an SEO audit, talk with different members on their team (especially if you’ll be working with them), go over their website and its blog, take a look at their social channels, find their competitors, and perform similar tasks that feed you information.
With that in mind, let’s take a second look at the SEO client questionnaire and the questions you should be asking:
What are Your Top Goals?
Who Makes Up Your Current Target Audience?
Who are Your Competitors?
Can We Take a Look at These Things?
What’s Your Current (and Target) ROI?
Are There Any Brand Guidelines That Need to Be Followed?