As per research, the #1 organic result for a search query is 10x more likely to get a click than the 10th position on the first page of Google. Thus, you need to top the Googe SERPs to attract web traffic and generate organic leads. To achieve this, you need to follow the best SEO content optimization practices and prepare a set of SEO questions to ask your client during onboarding.
SEO questionnaire refers to a series of questions you ask a client or prospect during onboarding. The main aim is to understand your client’s business and marketing goals and create an SEO strategy. SEO is a vast project that will take several months to optimize your website for search engines.
When onboarding new SEO clients, you need to ask the right questions to inform you more about their website, even beyond what they say. These questions will help you get vital information about the client, save time, and ensure you deliver what is asked for. In this article, we will help you create 21 potential SEO questions to ask client before onboarding the project:
1. What are your business objectives and marketing goals?
This is the first question you should ask your client to understand what the client hopes to accomplish. Most of your SEO strategy should be aligned in a way that the client’s business and marketing goals. Try to ask for specifics like traffic numbers, conversions, revenue, rankings, engagement metrics, etc.
2. Who is your target audience?
It is one of the most common SEO questions asked for new clients. You cannot make products that satisfy everyone’s needs. The target audience is the people who need/are interested in your products. Before you even think of creating an SEO strategy, you should know which group of people will likely benefit from your product. You can also ask them about your client’s customer profiles and ideal personas.
3. What parts of your website are the most important?
HomePage, Landing Pages, etc., are more critical than others for search engine rankings. Include this question in your SEO client questionnaire to know what matters most to your clients and make sure you deliver what they asked for.
4. Tell us about your most important keywords
Google’s Search Engine Algorithm scans your website for keywords and recommends the matched websites to the users. As an SEO agency, you may conduct keyword research and generate multiple variations of head and long-tail keywords. But, asking your client for keywords they think are important is essential. You have yet to learn about them thoroughly. Thus, you may need to know what they sell and how their target audience searches for certain products and services.
Therefore, asking your client for essential keywords is always necessary. Iterate on the keywords list and come up with a list of keywords and keyword variations that you want to target. This is one of the moct crucial SEO questions to ask your client.
5. What is your company’s current ROI and goal ROI?
Learning about your client’s current ROI will help you understand how well they perform with their current setup and how you can improve it. When you know their expected ROI to be reached, you can create strategies to help them accomplish their goals.
6. What are your target countries?
If your client plans to expand their business globally, you must learn about their priority geolocations. If your client is targeting one specific country, make sure you set the target country in the Google Search Console.
7. What are your company’s key performance indicators?
Key performance indicators refer to the measurable quantifiers to track the performance of the business over time for a specific objective. The KPIs help to level each area of business at a strategic level. Ask your clients about their key performance indicators and the main conversion points (brochure downloads, free trials, newsletter sign-ups, or something else).
8. How do you want to be communicated?
Ask them about their preferred means of communication. Is it through Slack, phone calls, emails, or in-person meetings? Also, inform them how often you want to have meetings.
9. What is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?
USP or unique selling proposition refers to what value a company offers and the problem they solve in the market. It helps you get valuable insights about the industry to develop the strategy.
10. Who are your competitors?
If you want to know where the client’s business could be improved, visit their top competitor’s business. Perform a thorough analysis of competitor websites, web visibility, links, social presence, other SEO parameters, etc. This helps you learn where the competitors are outperforming your client. You can also get deeper insights into other tactics that made them successful. If these tactics benefit your client, you can implement them into your client’s business.
11. Do you have any Google Penalties?
If your client’s business website is penalized by Google, all your efforts and investment may be unsuccessful. Search engines never rank their website. So, how do you know if your client’s website has been penalized? One way is to ask them directly if they had any Google penalties. Most of the time, they will know when they are sentenced.
You can find out if you have access to the client’s Google Search Console account. You should pay close attention if you have discovered a penalty they need to know. If they have mentioned “algorithm penalty,” you must address that in your strategy. Never miss this SEO question to ask client while onboarding.
12. Do you hold ownership of any other domains or subdomains?
It is always better to know if your client has any other web assets and if they expect you to work on them. Otherwise, they might ask you to work on additional domains as part of the original retainer. Knowing what’s out there from the start is better to avoid awkward conversations with your client.
13. Do you work with a PR agency?
If your client is working with a PR agency, that’s good news for you. You can closely work with the PR agency and guide them in providing their service with SEO in mind.
14. How many times have you altered your site’s CMS?
They started with a CSS site and switched between multiple platforms before settling on WordPress. It can seriously affect the URL structure, file architecture, and other things. Knowing the client’s history might help you learn why the content is arranged the way it is.
15. Can you provide access to your Google Analytics, Search Console, and Ads accounts?
Ask your clients to provide access to the tools they use, such as website CMS, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Google Ads. You can use all these tools to get the best sight of the client’s business and construct a better strategy for organic lead generation. Some clients may be reluctant to offer you access to all these accounts. But, you can explain to them how these tools can help you provide better service. You can also offer them to sign an NDA to ensure their data protection.
16. Do you have any partners to link to your website?
Ask your client if they have any partners to establish links to their website. Look for businesses in and around their niche to find incredible link-building opportunities. It would be a great start if you get into their network and acquire some instant links back to the client’s domain.
17. What are your brand guidelines? (If any)
Brand guidelines are the rules an organization implements to maintain brand consistency across multiple channels. Inlcude this question in your list of SEO questionnaire and get to know if they have any brand guidelines. Detail your team about the guidelines and ensure everyone involved in the project knows about the company’s quirks. This helps you refrain your team from committing any mistakes in representing the brand when you are not present.
18. Who will be working with us? What are their roles and responsibilities?
Learn about the team you are working with. Knowing the prominent team members and their roles and responsibilities will help you understand who to inform when there are any issues.
19. Who is the point of contact?
There should be one central point of contact who can communicate with us on behalf of your company. The owner is the perfect point of contact if it is a small business. If you are a large organization, the head of the SEO or marketing department is a better option. A person who is in an authoritative position can make the job easier for you. A single point of contact helps you streamline communication and increase the efficiency of the work.
20. Where do you want us to store the documents?
When working with an organization, you may have to share many files, images, and other documents. Sharing them through multiple emails can be incompatible and prevent things from falling through the cracks. Having a centralized location to store documents and all the related files will keep things organized and help your team find any information quickly.
21. Do you have original photos and visuals for commercial purposes? Or should you budget for custom photography?
Several online tools provide stock images (both free and paid) for almost any topic. While you can use them for business purposes, creating original images will offer an extra edge over the competition. Ask your client if they have made any authentic images and visuals of their business. Otherwise, ask them if they have enough budget for custom photography.
Asking too many questions may seem like you are turning off the client. But asking the right questions will help you get crucial information about your client. It sends a message that you have good expertise in the field and are worth collaborating with your company. This article helped you with the SEO questions to ask client before starting a new project. Being an SEO agency, expect from clients a list of questions to ask SEO experts.