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?