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What do you hope to achieve with SEO? What are your main goals and KPIs

Here’s the harsh truth – A few of your prospects will have extravagant ideas as to what they hope to achieve with SEO. So it’s your job to set realistic expectations right from the start.

This information will reveal how realistic and achievable your client’s goals and KPIs are.

Who is your target audience? (Age, gender, education level, etc.)

This information will reveal the key demographics your client is targeting. This will help you understand how competitive or untapped the market is and the level of difficulty the project entails.

Identifying the customer persona of your client is an important step for all your SEO activities, so ensure that you get a clear answer from your client.

Which countries are you targeting

Do they have a global audience or are they just targeting one country? Once again, it’s important to know which country is your main target and how challenging the market is.

Pro Tip: If they are targeting just one country, make sure this reflects in their Google Search Console.

Do you have any other offices around the world?

The answer to this question will reveal whether you need to invest your time and energy on local SEO. If they operate out of multiple locations, find out whether each of their office has its own Google My Business (GMB) listing.

Who was your previous SEO agency/consultant

Knowing who was managing their SEO may give you insights into the work that has been done so far and the challenges that you’ll be facing in the future.

What is your level of understanding when it comes to SEO

Knowing how much your client knows about SEO will allow you to communicate with them more effectively.

Not all of them will know the importance of elements such as domain authority, robots.txt file, and canonical URLs. As such, it’s important to gauge their understanding of SEO so they know the difficulty that the project involves.

Who are your main competitors

While you can easily find who the organic competitors of your client are using SEO tools such as SEMrush and Ahrefs, it’s always good to know who your client considers to be their competitors.

Do you have an in-house developer

You will no doubt be fixing technical SEO issues with your client’s website. If you have absolute control over the changes, then there’s no problem. But if they do have an in-house developer who you’ll need to interact with regularly to implement the technical changes, then it’ll open doors for the next question in this list.

9. What level of support will we have from the in-house developer

If they have an in-house developer, then it’s important to know the frequency with which the changes that you’ve suggested will be implemented.

10. What CMS are you currently using

Is your client’s website run on WordPress, Drupal or others. Getting an answer to this will reveal how user-friendly the CMS is and how familiar your team is with it. If you have more experience with WordPress over any other CMS, it’s important to know in advance.

11. What is your budget for SEO

An all-important question. There are clients who have ambitious goals with SEO, but may not necessarily have the budget. In these cases, stay away. Make sure the client you’re working with has sufficient budget for the goals they have in mind.

Always look for businesses that truly the know importance of SEO and are willing to invest a decent amount on a monthly basis.

12. Will I be given access to the following items

  • CMS
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console

You may need to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to get access to their items, but it’s important you know in advance if they are willing to give you access. If they’re reluctant, you need to tell them why it’s so important that you have access to these items. As I said, suggest signing an NDA with them. That always does the trick!

13. What is your Unique Selling Point (USP) And What is the key differentiator between your product/service from that of your competitors

Once they have revealed their competitors, it’s time to learn what differentiates their offering from that of their competitors. You need to ensure that this USP is communicated effectively throughout the website with all the appropriate keywords.

14. Are you working with a PR agency

SEO and PR activities often compliment each other. If your client already has a PR agency for you, then you can be assured that they’ll help them generate high-quality backlinks. To get more results, your agency and PR agency can work together to achieve greater results for your clients.

15. Do you have plans to redesign your website

Is their website mobile-responsive Is it conversion-friendly? If the answers to these questions are no, then it’s highly unlikely you’ll optimise their conversions, no matter how much effort you put towards improving their SEO.

If you offer website redesign services, make it a part of your pitch.

16. Do you have any brand guidelines

Businesses often have strict brand guidelines which agencies must adhere to. If your prospect has specific brand guidelines, get to know them and share them with your team.

17. Are there any websites/forums/subreddits that are frequently visited by your target audience

This information can come in handy when you’re researching potential keywords and trending topics to create content on.

18. Who would you identify as influencers or thought leaders in your space

These are the people who your target audience are likely to trust while making a buying decision. Influencers can help spread the word about your client’s products or services and can be potential targets for authoritative backlinks.

19. Do you have any design assets we can have access

Get access to design assets such as logos, color palette, fonts, images, etc. Save these assets in a folder on Google Drive and share them with people in your team who will be involved in this project.

20. Do changes you make to the website have to go through an internal approval process

There’s nothing more frustrating than suggesting a few crucial changes to the website from SEO perspective and waiting for days before the client approves it. So it’s important to determine the level of autonomy you’ll have when it comes to making changes to the website.