So you’d like towin some new clients?
I recently wrote a post on Moz called ’34 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring an SEO Agency’. That got me thinking it would be great to have a similar resource which SEOs could use with potential or new clients.
So here it is.
This post will help you focus on only taking on new business that’s right for you, and getting all the information you need to devise the best possible strategy for your potential clients.
Not only that, the questions will showpotential clients that you mean business, are willing to go the extra mile, and are more thorough than other agencies who may also be pitching.
The key here is making things as easy as possible for the client. So if there is anything from this list you can find out yourself without asking them, go for it!
Collecting the Information
There is a tendency to hold back from asking too many questions for fear of ticking the client off before you’ve even had a chance to get your hands dirty. The problem is, if you don’t ask enough questions at the beginning, chances are you’ll be embarking on a journey of unknown.
Ask now and avoid sticking points in the future.
Some of these things can be asked in a face to face meeting, over the phone or on Skype/Google Hangouts. Others can be sent to the client via email so they can offer feedback at their convenience.
There are many ways to gather this kind of info. You could try Typeform, Google Forms, or Survey Monkey.
To keep it quick and simple as possible for the client, I like to use Google Sheets.
It’s easy to share via the link
You can link to it from other documents (like your proposal, for example)
Updates are saved in real-time
Multiple people can edit at the same time with no conflict
No need to download, open, and save as you do with Excel
Once you’ve prepped your information gathering vessel, you’re ready to set sail on a voyage of discovery.
The first round of questions is for potential clients. Lower down I’ve listed some more Qs to ask when the client has signed on the dotted line.
1. May I Have Access to the Following Items?
I always like to gain access to these tools as soon as possible.
Google Search Console
‘Adwords?’, I hear you say, ‘That’s got nothing to do with SEO?!’. Maybe not, but there’s a lot of useful data in there which could help you understand what kind of search queries perform best.
Using that information you can better construct a strategy for the organic side of things.
Potential clients might be reluctant to give you access to all of those accounts from the outset. But if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
If they are reluctant, I try to explain why it’s important. Something along the lines of “Putting an SEO strategy together without data is like trying to pin the tail on a donkey while blindfolded.” should do the trick!
You could also suggest you sign an NDA for their peace of mind.
2. What are Your Main Goals and KPIs?
You will likely have a good idea of what their goals and KPIs should be, but it’s always good to hear from the horse’s mouth.
This information will give you the talking points needed to help the client understand if their goals and KPIs are realistic and achievable.
3. What is Your Current ROI and Goal ROI?
No doubt some businesses won’t know how to answer this.
But if they do, it will give you a good understanding of how well they are doing with their current set up, and how much you could improve it.
Try to find out their average customer acquisition cost and, ideally, have it broken down by marketing channel.
This might uncover the need for a conversion tracking review and audit which you might want to build into your proposal.
Tip:As well as all the standard conversion tracking, make sure they are tracking phone calls, too.
4. Who is Your Ideal Customer?
Get to know the key demographics and psychographics.
Once you get your hands dirty with your research, you may discover a whole new target customer in an untapped market.
Then they’ll welcome you into the team with open arms!
5. Which Countries are You Targeting?
If the potential client is planning on world domination, you’ll want to drill down on their priority geolocations.
This could open up talking points on your agency providing multilingual SEO (if that’s something you do).
Tip:If your client is targeting one particular country, like the United Kingdom, for example, make sure you suggest they reflect that in Google Search Console.
Go to: Search Traffic > International Targeting > Country > Target users in United Kingdom.
Giving a little helping hand at this stage goes a long way to building trust and ensuring the client picks you over your competitors.