Step #1: Get to know the client

The first thing you need to do once you & the clients agrees to beginning work is to get to know why their brand exists and what makes them unique. Here are the types of questions you should be asking:

  • What purpose does your brand serve?
  • How do you differentiate your brand from the competition?
  • What is your unique Value Proposition?

Step #2: Understand the Client Business

  • What actions can visitors take on your website?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What are your main business goals?
  • What is the average customer life time?
  • What does the sales cycle look like?
  • What are the current conversion rates?
  • Is your business or any of your products seasonal?
  • How much revenue are you currently generating from organic search on a monthly basis?
  • Are you currently doing any Pay Per Click advertising, Facebook, or Google Ads etc.?

Step #3: Understand SEO/Marketing background & expectations

  • What are the basic keywords you want to rank for?
  • What are a few of your main competitors you want to beat?
  • Describe your previous experience with SEOs.
    • Was it good/bad? Why?
    • What’s making you change SEO vendors now?
    • What do you wish your old SEO did for you?
  • Define exactly what your expectations are for us from an SEO perspective.
  • Have you or a past SEO vendor done anything, to your knowledge, that is, or could be, considered against Google’s Webmaster guidelines? Define exactly what and be as detailed as possible.
  • What are some of the previous marketing & PR initiatives you’ve done? Are there any that you or a separate department is currently working on?
  • Do you do any offline marketing? If so, please define exactly what you’re doing.

Step #4: Understand the community

  • Does your brand have a voice?
  • What is your community like?
  • Do you have a blog, forum, or newsletter? How much interaction do you see from them?
  • Is there anything else we should know about your community or the community of this vertical as a whole?

Step #5: Define the resources

  • Can we have access to a company email address?
  • Can we have access to Google Analytics?
  • Do you have any in-house or contracted web developers? Designers?
  • Are you in the process of making any changes to the website?
  • Can we have access to executives for questions & interviews?
  • Do you have any available budget for linking initiatives such as sponsorships & content assets (i.e. graphics, videos, white papers, etc.)?
  • What organizations or associations are you a part of?
  • What businesses/consultants have you contracted with in the past?
  • Define every business you currently have a working relationship with. (i.e. suppliers, manufacturers, partners, etc.)
  • Is your company involved with in anyway any charities or non-profits?
  • Are you working with a PR agency?

Step #6: Client-specific questions

  • If there’s a blog: what is your blog’s editorial plan?
  • If they’re eCommerce: can I know your margins or have access to your daily/weekly financials?
  • If they recently launched a new product: What do you wish to achieve from this new product? How does it compare to your competitor’s?

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