10 must-ask questions to include in your client SEO questionnaire

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đź“… Last update: January 19, 2021

People are getting lazier by the minute. Most don’t make it past the first page of search engine results when they’re looking something up. So businesses understand just how important it is for their websites to rank well. That’s where you come in as the SEO agency that can get your clients’ websites ranking, get them more traffic, get those leads, and make more sales.

Developing an SEO strategy is obviously not something you do blindly. You’ll need to dig deep to understand your clients’ business, what KPIs they’re after, what brand guidelines they have in place, and what results they’re expecting to see from you. Creating an SEO questionnaire to ask potential clients is the easiest way to collect all of this information upfront, save valuable time, and make sure you deliver what is asked of you.

In this post, we’ll help you understand how to create an SEO client questionnaire, what questions to include in your SEO survey, and what tools you can use to send your clients your questions.  

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What is an SEO client questionnaire?

An SEO questionnaire is a series of questions you ask your SEO clients (or prospects) to better understand their business and their goals before you develop their SEO strategy and SEO campaigns. You can take the answers to these questions to develop your creative brief. 

In an SEO client questionnaire, you might ask them questions about their:

  • Business background
  • Technical information
  • Content management
  • Budget and expectations
  • Design and maintenance

If you’re looking for ideas for questions to include in your SEO questionnaire, we’ll cover some in a bit, or you can also start your Content Snare trial to get our SEO questions template.

But first, let’s talk about why creating a client questionnaire is so important for an SEO agency.

Why should you create a client SEO questionnaire?

To save time

You might need to spend a bit of time creating your SEO questionnaire initially, but once you do it you’ll end up saving yourself heaps of time that you’d usually spend setting up calls, conducting in-person interviews, and sending out emails to your clients to get all the information you need.

So you don’t totally miss the mark

When you ask your SEO clients all the questions you have right from the beginning, you avoid spending ages on a project only to end up with a dissatisfied client. You get everyone on the same page so that you’re way less likely to screw up.

To leave a good impression

It always goes over well when you make your clients’ lives easier. When you have a client SEO survey ready to go, it looks good on your agency and improves your onboarding process. If all they have to do is fill out their answers to your questions, you help them save on time spent in lengthy meetings. Nobody likes meetings.

To communicate your value

A sneaky little thing your SEO questionnaire can do for you is show your potential SEO client just how valuable you are to them. When you show our clients that you’ve taken the time to ask detailed questions, you’re indirectly showing them your expertise as a marketer. This will help you sell your services more easily.

To filter out bad clients

Agencies can tell right off the bat over email or in-person if a client is going to be a pleasure or a pain to work with. You can use your questionnaire to gauge that too. If your contact doesn’t bother to fill it in or leaves one-word answers that don’t help you at all, that says a lot. Use your SEO questionnaire to pick out those red flags that a prospect might not be a great fit as an SEO client.  

What are some questions to ask in a client SEO questionnaire?

Here’s a list of 10 recommended questions to ask clients in an SEO questionnaire and why we like to ask them.

1. Geographically, what is the scope of your business?

Some SEO clients will have global or regional audiences, and others will have local audiences. It’s important to understand how saturated their market is, who their competitors are, and what location-specific challenges you might have.

2. Do you have an idea of any potential keywords you’d like to target?

Clients often have an idea of what they want to rank for, like “restaurants in Yaletown”, for example. Get a list of their ideas and do your own keyword research from there to help them refine their ideas when you have some data to show them.

3. Do you know of any websites or publications frequently read by your target audience?

This is a great one. Knowing where else your clients’ target audience spend their time can give you ideas on the content they enjoy reading so you can position their website in much the same way when it comes to online marketing and content marketing. Always good to have a benchmark.

4. To your knowledge, has your website ever been penalised by Google? And have you worked with an SEO agency or freelance before?

Google penalizes websites that use manipulative methods to increase site rankings or websites that provide a poor experience for visitors. If this is something that’s happened to your client before, then you definitely want to find out. You might uncover that they previously worked with people who don’t really know what they’re doing. You may have some damage control to do, or you’ll need to spend some time educating your client on why that happened and what to avoid in the future.

5. Do you already work with a designer or developer?

This is a question that will help you know who you’ll be working with or who you need to call. You’ll clarify what skillsets are available on your SEO clients team, and what freelancers or contractors you might need to bring on board to make the project a success.

6. Do you have a preferred tone or writing style when it comes to content?

Your client may have spent ages building out their brand guidelines and style guidelines. To be consistent and respect the work they’ve done, you’ll want to match this style when you do any SEO work.

7. What are your primary objectives and KPIs when it comes to SEO?

Huge thing to discuss right from the start is what success looks like to the SEO client. As far as KPIs go, there are tons that you can measure, but find out what the most important ones are to your client.

Their goals might be to:

  • Increase traffic
  • Decrease bounce rates
  • Increase conversions
  • Increase organic sessions

Get as specific as you can to understand their goals or maybe give them some ideas of what they can achieve by working with you.

8. Ideally, within what timeframe are you looking to see SEO results?

Could be within weeks, months, or years. Find out what they’re looking for and make sure it’s realistic. If matters are going to take longer than what they have in mind, you’ll need to let them know.

9. What is your monthly SEO budget?

SEO services can cost clients as low as $500 and as high as $5000. Find out right away what they’re looking to spend. If the number is stupidly low and undoable, then there’s your opportunity to filter out that SEO client.  

When you ask about their SEO budget, it’s not a bad idea to throw in these additional questions too as a chance to upsell them to more of your services:

  • Is website redesign something you’re open to? If so, what would your budget be for such a project?

  • Would you require website maintenance and updating from us? If so, how often and what would your budget be for maintenance?

10. What kind of reports would you like to see from us and how often?

Some SEO clients are happy with monthly Google Analytics reports of what you’ve done and others might want weekly check-ins. Find out what they expect early so you can schedule time to create Google Analytics reports and deliver them on time.

Like these questions? To get our SEO template loaded with more of these questions, start your Content Snare trial.

What tools can you use to create SEO client questionnaires?

There are a few tools you can use to create your client questionnaire.

1. Google Forms

Google forms are free and easy to use if you have a Google account.

To create a Google form, head to your Google Drive and hit “New” and then “Google Form”.

Google Form questionnaire

From there, you can customize your questions, your theme, and add in more optional settings like a confirmation message.

2. Gravity Forms

If you use a WordPress-powered website, Gravity Forms is an advanced tool for creating many different types of forms. It’s available at three different pricing plans and can integrate with tools like Hubspot and Mailchimp.

Gravity Forms screenshot

Important considerations for using online forms

If you’re going to use online forms like Google forms or Gravity forms to build your questionnaire, keep these drawbacks in mind:

1. Clients have to finish forms in one go

You always want to make life easy for your clients, but when they use forms they have to submit their information all in one go. If they need to exit out of the form for any reason, they’ll have to re-do all their work again when they come back to it. Pain in the a**.

When you put these inconveniences in front of your client, it only means there will be delays in getting content back from them.

2. You still need to use email regularly  

When you use online forms to create your questionnaires, you’ll still need to do the manual work of sharing it with a client over email, reminding them to complete it, and sending follow up emails if anything they’ve answered is unclear. This can be a huge time suck.

What’s the easiest way to create a client SEO questionnaire?

If you’re worried about any of the limitations above making things complicated for your client or for your agency, then you’ll want to take a look at Content Snare and why our platform is (pretty much) the greatest.

web design brief template

1. Clients can fill out their questionnaire in their own time

When your client gets their questionnaire through Content Snare, they can answer as much of it as they want to, and come back to it later. Super handy.

With an auto-save feature built into the forms, all information is saved and your clients can complete the form over multiple sessions, picking up where they left off last.

2. You don’t need to use email separately

Content Snare cuts out the need for you to send email reminders. You can choose how often you want the platform to send your clients reminders then sit back and let it do the work for you. Content Snare will remind your clients to complete the questionnaire till all the information is complete and received.

Next steps for creating your SEO questionnaire

  1. If you don’t have a client SEO questionnaire prepared yet, get started on one.

  2. If you already have one, read through it again and see if there are any questions worth adding or removing.

  3. Use our provided questions, or SEO question template as inspiration to add into your existing or brand new questionnaire.

  4. Tweak, tweak, and continue to tweak your questions as time goes on. If you end up getting lots of general (or unhelpful) answers back, it might be time to get more specific with your questions.

Create your questionnaire

When you build your SEO questionnaire with Content Snare, you’ll make life easy for your clients and receive the information you need much faster. Get ready to wrap up your projects sooner than you have before.

Start your trial here

We hope this post helped you understand the importance of SEO client questionnaires and what questions to include as you onboard new SEO clients. Drop us a comment and let us know if you’ve come up with some good questions yourself.

Sylva Sivz

Sylva Sivz is a seasoned copywriter here at Content Snare, based out of Vancouver, Canada. She has spent years working in agency environments and moonlights as a touring house DJ!

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