A Quick List of Questions to Ask New SEO Clients

Posted by on Jan 15, 2013 in Featured, SEO Research | 6 comments

Understanding Your New Client for Awesome SEO

The Riddler from Batman asking a question

This is a very quick and ever expanding list of questions to ask new clients.

I won’t waste too much time explaining why each question is useful, as I assume if you need questions for clients you already know enough about SEO to understand them. In no particular order:


  1. Have you done any SEO before?
  2. It’s important to know how much work has been done on the site, whether there is anything that might have been a little on the dark side, or even whether the site has a very strong back link profile and simply requires some consolidation.

  3. Who is the target market?
  4. Understanding the target market can be useful for deciding the tone of language used in titles, descriptions and content, as well as figuring out which social media channels will be worth while.

  5. What do you sell and what is the sales process?
  6. Obviously understanding the product is important, but sometimes it isn’t obvious. Identifying how a client makes money from their website has an impact on conversion tracking, or even optimisation of descriptions.

  7. What action do you want users to take as a result of visiting the site?
  8. Again, this is something that people often overlook. Usually by the time a client has got to an SEO they have made their figured it out, however understanding this may help you shape their conversion funnel and set up proper tracking.

  9. What is your Unique Selling Point?
  10. This can help you write better titles, descriptions and content. It can also help you find news worth topics to promote them. If they have something that makes them different or unusual, it’s also likely something you can leverage for links and PR.

  11. Who are your major competitors?
  12. Often a client will look at the situation differently to you. Whilst you might consider the top three results for the chosen keyword term, the client might think his next door neighbour is. It’s worth finding some wins for the client that will make them happy, and taking their opinion on this is the best way to do that.

  13. Are your team able to make changes to the site?
  14. Do they have time in the budget, who will be responsible for what and when will this all get actioned by?

  15. Do you currently do any blogging or content creation / Do you have the ability to do this in house?
  16. How much can I give you to do or will I need to get a writer/artist/designer to do the work for you?

  17. Are you currently using social media?
  18. Is it working effectivley and do you need a plan of action, along with content schedule.

  19. Do you have good business relationships (suppliers, service providers, landlords, customers)?
  20. Are there some good link opportunities we can find with existing relationships?

    • How many staff do you have? Are they speaking at events, alumni?
    • Are there trade shows you attend or more generally in your industry?
    • Any industry publications?
    • Members of clubs – consider sponsorship or other support?


  21. Do you do any Charity work?
  22. Do you organize events, is it news worthy, which charities are you helping, do you have a strong relationship with them, do any other businesses work with you?

Suggestions in the Comments below

Any other questions you can think of. I’m 100% sure I’ve missed some good ones. High quality suggestions will earn a mention.

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Chris Butterworth

Chris isn't big in Japan, but you can catch him over on Google Plus

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  • Lucas Chang

    This was a great article. I work for Claims Direct -Personal Injury Specialists and we are looking to hire a SEO agency, but I wanted to get prepared for some of the questions they might ask me. I think question 5 is brilliant.

    • http://cbutterworth.com/ Chris Butterworth

      I’m sure Claims Direct would be delighted to see you dropping nofollow links using target anchor text on random blogs.

      Really though, what is your game, because nofollow comment spam won’t work and just gives SEOs a bad name?

      Most people would just delete the comment, but I’d like to leave it there as a reminder to everyone of the type of awefull blackhat linkbuilding you do. Or you can just delete it and make us both happy.

  • http://bloggersideas.com/ jitendra vaswani

    I love this article. Client’s expectations of SEO are often out of kilter, especially when they are desperate for profits or a quick win in SERPs. SEO is not a magic bullet. It is iterative. It is linked to content and site architecture. It is not a gimmick. Actually, it is much like traditional marketing, except for algorithms and networks.

  • Guest

    thanks for the information

  • Adibkarim

    Thanks For for the information. I will ask.

  • Jay Kapor

    Great
    Article. it’s Really Helpful and Enjoyable Post for Every Blogger. Thank you
    very much for Sharing with us us.