In order to be successful, every Internet marketing consultant or online marketing consultant needs to have a clear understanding of what exactly it is that his or her clients are expecting to be delivered. Never assume that you can read a client’s mind. Instead, develop a comprehensive SEO questionnaire to develop a clear understanding of your clients’ current strategy, their needs, and their expectations. When it comes to asking SEO questions for clients, the right questions are a surefire way to produce a highly effective strategy that will produce the results your clients are looking for. So, what questions should you be asking a new client? Let’s take a look.
- How would you describe your business? First and foremost, you need a comprehensive understanding of your client’s business. What kind of products and/or services does it sell? How long has it been in business? Is it primarily online? Does your client have brick-and-mortar stores? Where are they located? What locations do they target? The more information you have about a client’s business, the better.
- What is your target consumer like? As an Internet marketing consultant, you probably already know that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all marketing. That’s because all good marketing is tailored to the unique wants, needs, and preferences of a specific target market. You can’t deliver effective Internet marketing consulting services unless you have a clear understanding of who your client’s target consumer is and how you can successfully tailor a marketing message to this target consumer.
- What is your main marketing message? For Internet marketing consultants, it is key that you have a firm grasp of your client’s main marketing message. The answer to this question will help you to establish what is your client wants consumers to know about his or her organization, and it will allow you to tailor your services accordingly.
- Who are your competitors, and what differentiates your brand from competing brands? An effective Internet marketing strategy means helping your client to distinguish their brand from competitors’ brands. As part of this, you should be identifying unique keywords for your client.
- How is your website structured? There are tons of different coding languages and an array of different CMS solutions. To develop an effective Internet marketing or SEO strategy, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of how your client’s website is structured. Furthermore, it will give you a better idea of how long it will take you to optimize a client’s site. For example, optimizing a WordPress-powered site that runs on a Linux server is much easier and much less time consuming than optimizing a site coded in Cold Fusion that is running on a Windows server.
- Have you previously engaged in any SEO activities? The answer to this question will help you to get an idea of how much work needs to be done and will help you audit the client’s website more effectively. If your client is a total newbie to the world of SEO and the site has never been optimized, then you will have a bigger job on your hands. A website that has never been optimized will probably have less compelling, more generic content and a weaker back-link profile. You will need a broader optimization strategy to bring things up to par. However, if your client has already engaged in SEO activities, then you can work on targets that are more specific.
- Has your site ever been penalized? A crucial component of Internet marketing and SEO consultancy is effectively dealing with penalties. That means helping your client mitigate the risk of incurring some kind of penalty, as well as helping your client repair the damage of any penalties to his or her rankings.
- Is your brand active on any social media? As the relationship between good SEO and social media becomes more important, social media is quickly becoming a key component of effective SEO consultancy. While it is true that social signals (such as Twitter followers or Facebook likes) don’t directly affect search engine rankings, this is no reason to all-out dismiss the impact of social on SEO. A brand’s social media strategy will have an impact on the efficacy of its SEO strategy. For example, social links (links that direct to a brand’s website from a social media platform) can have a significant impact on ranking. Although social signals may not influence the ranking of a brand’s website, a brand’s social media pages can and will be indexed by search engine crawlers and, therefore, will show up in search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher a brand’s social media sites show up in SERPs, the better. The bottom line here is that when you are providing SEO consultancy services for a client, it is key to have a clear understanding of his or her social media strategy so that you can shore up any weaknesses.
- How will you judge the success of this campaign? You and your client might have a different definition of success when it comes to judging an Internet marketing or SEO campaign. If you’ve developed a campaign that is all about driving more traffic to your client’s site but your client really only cares about increasing conversion rates, then you two simply aren’t on the same page, and your client will end up disappointed even if you do significantly boost traffic to the site. That’s why before you get to work, you need to understand how your client will be judging the success of the campaign. What key performance indicators (KPIs) does your client value most? What goals does he or she want to meet? Make sure to have a clear conversation with the client and set reasonable, meaningful goals that will allow him or her to ascertain the success of the campaign.
In conclusion, the key to meeting your client’s expectations is asking the right questions from the get-go. Investing time into a high-quality SEO questionnaire means that you will save yourself the time, hassle, and expenses of dealing with an unhappy client down the line. Remember, the happiest clients tend to be the best clients.