So you have that prospective client and are getting ready to put together a proposal. But you don’t even know where to begin because you don’t exactly know what their goals and objectives are. Here’s something that I’ve put together to help you. Start with asking your clients these questions to make sure you understand their overall marketing goals.
1) What type of SEO work has been done on your site?
Having a clear and better understanding of what type of SEO work will ensure not only a good start of their SEO initiatives but will provide for a successful overall project.
2) Are you currently using social media?
Get specifics as to what social media networks they currently have, how are they using them, and are they successful. Will they continue doing this or are they looking for you to guide them or take over for them? Make sure to get their usernames.
3) Are you doing any content marketing (blogging)?
Find out if and how they’re implementing blogging on their site. Are they using targeted keywords?
4) What other marketing strategy (online/offline) are you currently implementing?
Good information to know so you can leverage on what’s being done and know who they may be already working with.
5) Has your site every been penalized?
If it has find out when and specifics and how they’ve resolved it. If it hasn’t been resolved, let your client be aware that this can affect your timeline as this may be a long process, not to mention expensive, to fix.
6) Are there other sites that you currently own?
This information should come up in your audit, but have your clients tell you before hand to help you save some time and address issues such as duplicate content.
7) What key performance indicators are you currently tracking? Going forward, what type of conversions are you looking to achieve?
This will allow you to have a baseline of what is currently being measured to determine the overall success of the marketing initiatives going forward. Make sure you help your client come up with specific, measurable goals that will be crucial for their own success, ex: newsletter signups, filling up contact form, following you on social media, calling you, etc. Make sure you gain access to their Google Analytics so you can properly set up what needs to be tracked and measure your success rate.
8) How will you determine if this campaign will be successful?
Important to get your clients to tell you what goals they’re looking to achieve. Remember goals must be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound.
9) Who are your competitors and why do you consider them your competitors? Why are you better than your competitors?
This will help you understand your client’s value proposition compared to their competitors and will help you get to know your clients more. Have them list at least three competitor’s websites.
10) Who is your target audience?
Understanding who their target audience and their buying habits will help you determine keywords, landing page content and content used for online marketing initiatives.
11) What resources do you have available?
Find out if they have a marketing team, IT team, etc. that will help with this initiative during the discovery, design, development and deployment stages.
12) Why do you deserve to dominate the search engines?
BAM! A very important question to ask so you can filter who are really serious about their online marketing success! They ought to know why they should rank number 1 for certain keywords.
13) What is your budget?
This will give you an idea whether or not you need to spend hours working on that proposal.
Well, there you have it. There’s quite a bit of information gathering here. But believe it or not, there are more questions out there. It’s really important to have answers to these questions so 1) you know exactly what the clients are looking for, 2) what resources they currently have and 3) you deliver exactly what the client’s wants and needs are and therefore, will make it a WIN/WIN for both you and your client.
So what do you think? Do you have other questions you ask your clients to help you put together a proposal for SEO or other online marketing initiatives?
‘Til next time….
Jocelyn Wilhelm, JW Social Media CEO
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net