If you're in the SEO industry, the last thing you want to do when signing a new SEO client is to mess up the onboarding procedure. If this happens, there's a strong possibility you'll have to work hard over the next few weeks or months to win back that client's trust and respect. One of the best ways to ensure a smooth onboarding process and set yourself up for success is by implementing an SEO questionnaire for clients in the initial stages of the relationship.
This set of questions will allow you to get a clear understanding about your customer's business and associated goals in a professional and convenient way. It is an excellent tool to qualify potential SEO clients, save time and ensure you can deliver the results they are looking for. All you need to do is make sure you're asking the right questions.
To help you create the perfect SEO client questionnaire we will go over the most important aspects you must cover and dig deeper into the reasons why you should be using one in the first place.
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Why Your SEO Agency Needs a Client Onboarding Questionnaire
A well-designed onboarding questionnaire can significantly shorten the time it takes to get to know new clients and build a stronger foundation for your partnership from the start. Additionally, this questionnaire will provide you with vital information so you can develop a strong plan for your new client and position yourself as an SEO expert.
It also gives you the opportunity to discover any problems that might slow down your job or red flags that indicate you're not a good fit for the potential SEO client. This way you can either reject the client or make the necessary adjustments before you even sign an SEO contract. This initial questionnaire can be used as a guide during the kickoff call with the client although some send it ahead of time in order to prepare follow-up questions if needed.
Essential Aspects to Cover When Taking on New SEO Clients
When creating your own SEO client questionnaire, keep in mind the main goal is to better understand the client's business and its current state so you can set goals, create targeted tactics, and manage expectations. While the specific questions you ask may vary depending on your business goals, there are certainly some vital aspects you must not miss if you want to make the most out of this initial questionnaire.
Let's quickly go over each of these aspects including some example questions to ask in order to get a head start in your SEO work.
You want to fully understand your client's business, their history, what they sell, their current and ideal customers, and other relevant information you need to build a better SEO strategy. This also includes learning about their competitors which will allow you their websites, links, social media presence, page speed, etc. to determine why rivals might be outperforming your customer.
Here are some questions you can include in this section of your SEO client onboarding questionnaire.
- What's the name of your business?
- What does your business do?
- Who are your top competitors?
- What differentiates you from other businesses?
- Who is your ideal consumer and target market?
- Is all of your business done online?
- Do you deal with local clients?
- Do you operate in multiple locations?
- What values does your brand stand for?
- What are a few newspapers, websites, or forums that your target audience frequents?
- What are your key offerings in terms of goods and services, as well as your value proposition?
Content Requirements and Strategy
This section should give you a basic understanding of any potential content issues and how much work you will have to do in this area. Potential clients may already have some images and copy on their website, as well as a specific content calendar or other guidelines to follow. Additionally, you can request basic information to help you do your own keyword research, process optimizations and begin to build the perfect SEO strategy.
Try including the following questions to get this useful information.
- What content do you have for the website?
- Has your material been SEO-optimized?
- Do you have a dedicated team to create content?
- Do you have a team of copywriters at your disposal?
- Do you have a preferred writing style?
- Do you have any brand guidelines for your business?
- What processes do you now use that you would like to keep up with, and which would you like to modify?
- Do you anticipate us to rank for any specific keyword(s) you have in mind?
Budget and Expectations
Setting the client's expectations and being aware of what they hope to accomplish by using your services (increasing conversion rates, driving more traffic, etc...) can help you avoid disagreements and disappointments in the future. It's also important to find out whether they have worked with an SEO agency before since this will give you a sense of what has already been done, and what you may do differently.
Don't forget to inquire about their budget as you must make sure they will allow enough resources for your SEO services to deliver the desired results.
Include the following inquiries in your SEO client questionnaires.
- What is your estimated monthly SEO budget?
- What degree of knowledge do you have about SEO?
- What budget do you have for site maintenance?
- What are your desired Key Performance Indicators and SEO results?
- How quickly are SEO results expected?
- Have you ever collaborated with another SEO firm or independent contractor? If so, what prompted you to leave them?
- What do you consider to be an SEO consultant or agency's success factors?
- What objectives do you have for this SEO project? What value does that objective have?
Current SEO Strategies and Available Resources
Gathering historical data is extremely helpful for demonstrating the success of all of your marketing activities. It is crucial to ensure that your potential client has the tools necessary to implement the SEO strategies you propose. During the implementation phase, resources will also determine the project's timeline and order of importance.
Here are some example questions to include in your SEO onboarding questionnaire.
- How long has your website been active?
- Do you own any further domains?
- Do you support your website using social media?
- Are you open to a website redesign?
- Are you currently running any SEO campaigns or other related activities?
- Do you currently run Pay-Per-Click advertisements?
- What are the conversion rates at the moment?
- Do you have in-house web designers?
- Do you intend to make any major website adjustments in the upcoming 12 months?
- Are you engaged in offline marketing? If so, what do you do exactly?
- Can we gain access to your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts?
- Are you able to grant access to a business email account?
This is the time to set clear expectations regarding the relationship during the SEO project. This includes communication preferences, reporting, success criteria and main points of contact. You'll want to ensure the client's demands are realistic and you can actually deliver what they are asking for (and how they are asking for it), otherwise you may want to try and reach an agreement before moving on.
The following questions will help solidify the business relationship with your new SEO client.
- Who will be our primary point of contact?
- Where would you like us to keep project-related documents?
- What level of engagement would you like to have during the project?
- What is your preferred method of communication? (phone calls, in-person meetings, video conferences, etc...)
- How often would you like to have update meetings?
- What reports, and how often, would you like to see?
- What metrics do you monitor?
Create Your Own SEO Client Questionnaire With Bonsai
Ready to draft your own SEO client questionnaire? Bonsai's client form builder is your best bet to create professional and branded online documents that you can easily share with your clients via email or URL link. If you want to collect even more leads, you can also have your questionnaire embedded into your business website and streamline the onboarding process.
Our forms are fully customizable so you can add as many questions as you need, select your preferred answer format, change the layout as well as incorporate your own branding elements to make it unique and easily recognizable. Plus, Bonsai's all-in-one product suite gives you access to many more administrative tools to help you with document creation, invoicing, payment processing, taxes, accounting and more!
Sign up for a 14-day free trial and take your SEO business to the next level!