You might have read many articles on the internet on ‘questions you need to ask while hiring an SEO expert’. But, it’s not always that a client will only question for the sake of brand awareness and higher sales and profits. Obviously, it’s not a one way process, efforts are required for both the ends and you must stop believing such SEO myths and misconceptions.
It is really important for an SEO expert to ask a few questions while taking the projects of a client. This helps in gaining technical expertise to improve clients’ SEO ranking.
Here are the questions I used to ask my clients when they hire me. READ THEM, as it may help you too…
1) What are your main goals and KPIs for your business?
Although as an SEO expert you might have an idea in one visit that what are the goals and KPIs of a business should be. But, it’s always good to ask them so that no confusion takes place.
This information will help you so much and give a topic to start conversation and help the client understand better if their goals and KPIs are realistic and reachable. A few clients just demand for traffic to their website, some demands for goal conversion, and there are a few who demands both. So, clear that what the client actually demanding, and work accordingly.
2) Who is your targeted customer?
Once you’ve done with your research on the main goals or KPIs, you may ask your clients that which are the exact target audience of his/her business. Understanding who their target audience or their buyer personas are, will help you decide keyword sets, landing page content, and topics for your content marketing efforts.
For example, if a company is talking about digital marketing, SEO Tips; then, the target audience for your article will be those who are into the internet marketing world. Try to ask clients that which age group, or which field-specific people they need to focus.
3) Which is your Geographic Target Area?
Ask your potential client whether he is planning to cover the particular area or the whole world. Sometimes, your client is targeting one particular country only like the United Kingdom. So, make sure you ask your client about which geographical area is to be focused.
4) What is the USP of your company?
This question is one of the most important questions about a client’s business that you ought to ask. And, one should definitely not forget to ask this question. No matter you are an expert in your field, but the client knows his business the best, so it is important to hear in your client’s words what his business’s USP is.
You better ask the client about his company’s strong points as the client knows on what a focus is needed to achieve the target.
5) Who are your Top Competitors?
Ranking high in SERPs is the top wish for every client. If you aim to rank your client as number one, you need to ask the list of clients’ top competitors. Your client can help you improve by listing the key competitors. This question permits you to further test your client about why your client thinks these competitors are vital.
In order to be competitive, you should first anlyse what competitors are doing with the help of top competitors back-links analysis tools and then when you achieve Li’l ranking, try doing something more to stand unique.
6) What are your Targeted Search Engines?
Every day, millions of people around the world use search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing, which allows them a quick access to products, services, information and entertainment they want or need. All you need is to type in a query in the box and the results immediately pop up at the top of the page.
But, before you start on your own, ask for client preference that which search engine he/she wants to target.
7) Which are the Top Keywords to focus?
As an SEO expert, we depend on our clients for success, and they depend on us for results. Keywords are considered as a better way to connect with the customer and with the help of best Keyword research tool you can find the right keyword for the business. A few of the clients prefer long tail keywords and a few goes for sale-oriented.
As soon as an SEO expert gets the project, he starts working on keywords. But, it’s better to ask clients before researching on your own that what keywords he want you to work on based on the targeted audience.
8) Have you used any SEO company before?
If the answer to this question is “no” then proceed on to the next question. If your client had hired any SEO company before, then you must ask the below given questions:
- What services you had from the previous SEO company?
- What was the result of the services you took?
- Why the agreement was finished or not proceeded?
- Which company was it? And, based on this you can get an idea if there has been use of black hat tactics or not.
- Did you experience any downfall in the traffic after hiring the agency?
Ask for a document if they have so that you can work on a project in a right way.
9) Is there any other advertising activities you investing in?
SEO is not a standalone practice for a long while now. To get the most out of your SEO efforts it is imperative to identify and create synergies. Discover what other advertising activities your client embark on. Look for content marketing and online PR activities, as these two fields have a lot of overlap with SEO practices.
Seeing whether your customer does marketing through whatever other channels can open new roads also. Ask your client the following questions:
- Have you ever done any email advertising for your website?
- Have you ever done any online networking advertising?
- Are you marketing your product through display ads?
- Are you marketing your product through affiliates?
10) Had your website ever faced any Google penalty?
You must ask your client that had they ever faced any Google penalty on their websites. By asking the details of previous penalties, you can audit your website on the right parameters.
11) Which address they want to use for local Listings?
The core work of any local search marketing campaign is the creation of local business listings. A local business listing is an online profile that contains your business name, address, phone number, and other details. So, make sure you ask your clients for the same.
12) Do you have any other offices around the world?
Ask them that how many office address they have around the world, out of which, which one is the main headquarter, and where they are mostly available.
13) How many domains or sub-domains you possess?
Before starting your work on any website, do ask clients, whether they own any domain or sub domain. If they say yes, ask them whether they want us to work on them or not. So that you can plan your strategies accordingly.
14) Working Hours of their Company?
Do ask your clients that what are the working hours of the company. Whether they work for 24 hours and 7 days, or its 12 hours with week days off.
15) What payment method do they prefer?
Do ask your clients that which payment method is more convenient for them, whether they accept the payment through cash, check, credit card, etc. By knowing their payment methods, it is easier to maintain business listing.
16) Which method of Contact do they prefer?
You must ask your client on which communication mode like E-mails or phone calls, and during what time they are available so that you can contact them whenever required.
17) Any team member they want to be kept in the loop during reporting?
While reporting the status of your work on the clients project weekly or bi-weekly; make sure you ask your client that while emailing, who all should be kept in a loop. So that you don’t face any problem in the future, and a proper data is maintained.
18) Is there any special accreditation or affiliation for the company?
Don’t forget to ask your client that have they ever achieved any special accreditation or affiliation. If yes, ask for the details so that you can use them in business promotion.
19) Don’t forget to ask the website access details
You, as an SEO expert, should definitely bring up in the conversation and ask for the access
- To the client’s Google Webmaster Tools account
- To the client’s Google Analytics account
- To the admin details of the website
- To a company’s email address
So that you can without any trouble analyze the traffic and work on the website accordingly.
20) Ask the client for login details of the all social media accounts
As we all know social media is highly in trend, so do ask your client to give you the access of social media accounts. If he handovers, well and good, but if he says that he has his own social media management team, then choose to coordinate with them to enhance business visibility or offer to take up social media as an additional responsibility.
21) Is there any specific offers you provide?
Also, ask clients that whether he is offering any specific offer for their products or services. If so, ask for the full details so that you can use it very well to enhance the business.
22) Ask them if they have their client testimonials?
Ask the clients that if they have a few genuine customers using their products and services for quite a long time. If he says yes, then ask them to request your customers to post genuine testimonials. Testimonials are a great way to build trust on the brand and create awareness among other users. Testimonials can be of two types- either text or video.
23) Do changes need to be approved by legal before they go live?
The very first thing you need to ask your client is before making any change or changes to their live website, do they need to take permission or not. Clear everything with your clients that while making changes on the website, we can do three things;
- The client will tell the changes to make, and we will make the changes
- We will rectify changes, tell the client, and after his approval changes will be made.
- Or, we will do the needful changes and then let the client know in detail.
Remember to take action after client’s legal approval before going live.
24) Do you have any design assets or tools which we can have access to?
Ask clients whether they have their own designing tools or assets which we can access. As there are myriad online marketing tools available, you may ask client’s preference that which tool they want us to use to build up their website.
25) Who will take care of design and development part?
Then comes the deigning and development part, where you need to be focused. You must ask your client that, do they have a team of designers and developers. If yes, get in touch with them to coordinate in a better way.
And, if they don’t have a team, then introduce your own designers and developers with the client who will work on their project. So that, they can work according to the client’s need.
26) Do you have any partners who can be linked to your website?
Last, but not the least, don’t forget to ask your client about any partners who can be linked to your website. There are companies who have built good relations with other business partners. So, if your client, too, has a few established partners, ask them to share their website links. So that they can use their websites in link building.
You can also read: Top 10 Digital Marketing Experts And Keynote Speakers To Follow In 2017
Thus, these were the 26 questions I used to ask my SEO clients before signing of the project. And, if you too are dealing with SEO projects as an SEO expert, then you must follow this questionnaire.
After following them, do let us know were they beneficial to you or not?