When you are taking on a new client, you need to know what you are getting yourself into. By using these 10 questions you can plan a good SEO strategy. This will help keep both you and your client happy.
With more emphasis on the importance of good SEO strategy techniques, more and more small businesses are looking for SEO companies who can deliver a better service for a competitive price. I can be tempting to take on any kind of client who is willing to pay for the service. However you, as an SEO consultant, need to know what kind of client you are taking on.
When talking about SEO strategy much emphasis it placed on what kind of competitor we up against. That is why we spend much time researching keywords, building backlinks and creating wide social media exposure. But, it’s good to keep in mind how is the fitness of your client. Is ‘he’ in a good bill of health, or is he ‘down and out’ and already ‘battered’?
With this in mind we have prepared for you 10 questions that you should ask potential clients. This can affect the price that you charge potential clients.
1. How has the website been structured?
There are a great many ways that websites have been structured. Some have been well designed from the start, some have evolved over time. Some use HTML pages and others use CMS platforms like WordPress. With doing SEO for any kind of website you will need to alter some of the website design. So make sure that you can handle the type of website structure that your client has.
2. What has been the SEO strategy up to now?
You will come across clients who have been engaging in do-it-yourself SEO, or how have been investing in some dodgy SEO companies. What has happened is that the site will be full of bad content and spam links. Sometimes the damage has been so great that it is probably best to advise the client to either start again, or to invest in some long-term online reputation improvement. The more you know before hand, the better. This will keep your client’s expectations reasonable.
3. What has been you link building strategy?
It’s good to gauge a client’s SEO knowledge is. This can help you as an SEO consultant to guide them through the process and realise if a potential client will have reasonable expectations. For example, in answer to the above question, there is a big difference if the clients answers, “We have focused on building high authority in-bound links from experts in our speciality” or if he says, “We paid our SEO guy $20 a month to build those link things”.
4. Are you targeting any specific keywords?
Again, this question will help determine how much the client knows about SEO and how much he can expect from you SEO strategy. If there has been no SEO strategy in the past, then the client will have to understand that some hours will be charged for when you will carry out keyword research. It’s also reasonable that the client can expect that he will get some first page rankings, but at the start these will be for long-tailed keywords. There is no point him thinking that for a few $100s he will be able to get a top 3 ranking for “insurance quotes”!
5. What separates your business from your competitors?
If you are going to help you clients succeed, then you will have to know more about their industries and what are their goals. Any small business owner will be able to talk a lot about his business, and why his is the best. If they are unsure, then part of your SEO strategy will be to help them find a niche in the market.
6. Who is your target audience?
This can be a major factor in getting targeted customers to the website. The more targeted the audience, the more potential there will be for a good ROI.
For example, if your potential client is targeting a younger audience, then we know that social media marketing will be a major par in the SEO strategy. Knowing the audience and then working out the best SEO strategy will help you to plan well.
7. What is your target area?
This is an essential question to let you know how to develop your SEO strategy. After all, if you are working with a small business who is operating in a local area, then there is no point going for dominance in multiple Google countries. If he is, for example, a plumber – does he really want jobs that are 400 miles away? On the other hand, if the business is providing online services then you will want to target the worldwide audience.
8. Are you using social media marketing in conjunction with your website?
Social media has become the hottest topic in SEO over the past few months. Surprisingly, there are still many small business owners who will rubbish the effect of Facebook, Twitter and Google+, thinking that this is just something for ‘youngsters to share pictures’. So your first step could be to convince the person of the need to have social media marketing strategy. Of course, if your client already has this, then this can be developed more and more.
9. Has your website been penalized in the past?
The difficulty in helping a site to recover from being penalized can range from being fairly difficult to almost impossible. Of course it doesn’t mean a ‘no-no’ if the site as suffered a penalty in the past, it just means that it’s another factor that you need to take into consideration when planning the SEO strategy.
10. What are your expectations from this SEO strategy campaign?
This is probably the most important question that you can ask. The last thing that you want is disgruntled clients who can’t understand why they aren’t in the top 3 ranking results in Google after a month. Clients should be aware that a good campaign will take a couple months to show some results. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. So keep expectations reasonable and then both sides will be happy.
This is what we use to find out from potential customers. Of course this isn’t all the questions that we ask, because each client is different and there are some nuances for each market.
The best thing for planning any SEO strategy is to have open discussions right from the start as to what the client can expect for your SEO marketing plan.