August 22, 2022

From understanding exactly what your client hopes to achieve to agreeing on timelines, these must-ask SEO questions for clients will ensure a smooth onboarding process.


How do we know? Here at Liaison, we have a proven track record of helping our clients in the 3D and technology industries reach their desired audience with well-thought-out SEO writing and strategy. We’ve learned that if you ask a new client the right questions before getting started, you’ll be on the same page about KPIs and waste no time in conquering the search results of their target audience.


Read on to discover our handy guide to the ten essential questions to ask clients before you start work on their SEO, and don’t forget to get in touch for tailored advice on your website, social, and SEO strategy.

1) What do you hope to achieve with SEO?

First things first, you need to understand exactly what your client hopes to achieve with their SEO so that you know if you’re best equipped to help them. From the desired traffic numbers to rankings and revenue, it’s important to know how they will gauge success so that you can create a winning strategy. You can also use your expertise to offer suggestions on how you might be able to help them. After all, how can you achieve success if you don’t know what it looks like?


2) When do you expect results?

While you’re discussing what exactly your client wishes to achieve through SEO, it’s crucial that you ask when exactly they hope to achieve it. SEO strategies can unfold over a period of weeks, months, or even a year. Knowing your client’s expected timeframe can help you to establish if it’s realistic or not. If achieving success is likely to take longer, or could be done quicker, it’s important to let your client know.


3) What areas of focus do you want to target with SEO?

This question is key to establishing what topics your client wants to rank for, who their target audience is, and potential keywords or phrases they will look to incorporate into their SEO. At Liaison, for example, our clients might want to rank for keywords like ‘virtual production’ or ‘the metaverse’. Once you know this you can establish the kind of audience they are targeting and the competition they’re facing out there in the search results, all of which can help you to form a successful SEO strategy. After discussing your client’s areas of focus, do some keyword research to gather data and streamline a plan for success.

4) What’s your SEO budget?

The answer to this question can vary wildly, so it’s important to get it out of the way early on. Huge ambitions for SEO don’t always come with a huge budget. Ideally, you’ll work with a client that understands the importance of SEO and how much they need to invest in it. While you’re discussing budgets, it might be worth asking if they have the budget for special projects (like a website redesign) and technical maintenance.


5) Will I be given access to your CMS and your Google Analytics?

It’s going to be difficult to lead your client to SEO success if you don’t have access to their CMS or Google Analytics. Find out if they’re willing to grant you access and, if not, explain that you need these platforms and the data they provide to help them achieve their goals. Perhaps signing an NDA would calm their nerves. You may have your own internal tools (like keyword analyzers) to help or get access to other platforms used by the client. However, CMS and Google Analytics are the minimum you’ll need to execute an effective SEO strategy. While you’re discussing this, establish what CMS your client is using. You’ll want to know how user-friendly it is and what capabilities it has before you start.


6) How do you want to communicate/report and how often?

Knowing how your client wants to communicate, what kind of reports they’d like to see, and how often, is going to ensure that things get off to a smooth start. From Slack channels to a chat over coffee, different businesses have different preferences when it comes to communication, so make sure you’re ready to do what works best for them. While some clients might want yearly reports on analytics and data, others might expect you to update them every Friday afternoon. Get to know their expectations at the beginning of your relationship so you can deliver your reports on time and communicate efficiently.

7) Who are your main competitors?

Getting to know your client’s main competitors will help your SEO strategy immensely. You can use any number of SEO tools to find competitors in your client’s area of focus, but it’s worth asking them who they consider to be their main competitors as well. Take a look at competitors’ websites to find out what’s working for them and incorporate that into your SEO strategy. It’s also worth discussing what makes your client unique from the competition and using that to drive even more traffic to their website.


8) Where are you targeting?

In addition to who your client is targeting, you’ll also want to ask them where they are targeting. Does your client have their sights set on world domination or just their native country? It’s important to know this before you get started so that you can do some research around market saturation, the audience size, competitors, and anything else relevant to the chosen location. Knowing the scope of your client’s goals will help you to achieve them.


9) What’s the history of your site?

It’s crucial to an effective SEO strategy that you’re aware of the history of your client’s website. Google penalizes websites that don’t meet its standards of reliability, performance, or trustworthiness. Sometimes this happens unexpectedly when the tech giant updates its algorithm. Find out if your client has worked with another agency in the past, if the website has ever been penalized, or if they’ve got any paid links. This will help you to establish if anything needs fixing before you start and what kind of challenges you’re likely to face along the way.


10) What are your brand guidelines?

Chances are that your client has worked hard to build a set of brand guidelines and cultivate a unique writing style. If you’re going to help them achieve success, then you need to ensure that your SEO work is consistent with their existing work. Ask the client to share their brand guidelines so that you can spend time getting up to speed with them before you start writing.


Want to learn more? Read our seven beginner tips on SEO writing.