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Our SEO Client Onboarding Questionnaire

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For new SEO clients at MWI part of our onboarding process is to send a questionnaire or ask these questions via phone or in person. We customize the questions depending on the client, so what any individual client gets is generally trimmed down to a third of this list, and perhaps less if the questions have already been answered in other discussions. The point is that this is some of the information required to get things kicked off the right way.

Sample SEO Client Onboarding Questionnaire

  1. What other marketing channels do you currently use – online and offline?
  2. Are you currently engaged with any other vendors for any other Internet marketing services (email, social, PPC, content marketing, etc.)?
  3. Are you currently performing any Internet marketing in-house? Please provide details.
  4. What are some of your top competitors?
  5. Who are your target audiences or buyer personas?
  6. How does your sales cycle work?
  7. What are your overall business goals in the coming year? What are you doing to reach them?
  8. How will you be judging the success of the partnership with MWI? What specific metrics will you use to define success?
    1. (e.g.- we’d like to see organic conversions rise X% over the next 6-12 months)
    2. (e.g. – we’d like to see X% growth in visits to the website…)
  9. What are your expectations for how the MWI partnership will impact the website over the next 3 months, 6 months, 12 months?
  10. How do you measure objectives (i.e. KPIs?)
    • Please include micro measurements too (e.g. download whitepaper, subscribe to email list, etc.)
  11. What have been your biggest hurdles in marketing?
  12. What’s your brand’s unique story?
  13. How are you different from your competitors?
  14. What keywords would prospects use to find your website? Please attach a list if you have one already.
  15. What verticals or markets are your customers in?
  16. What are the biggest selling points for your services?
  17. What non-geographic markets do you serve? Which do you plan to serve and when?
  18. What geographic markets do you serve? Which do you plan to serve and when?
  19. How many sales/leads do you get on average per day, week, month?
  20. What is your monthly new gross revenue from online sales?
  21. What is your current cost per lead? Cost per sale?
  22. What is the average size of a sale?
  23. What is the sales closing rate with online leads?
  24. What is the average lifetime value of a customer?
  25. What is your retention rate?
  26. Why do people discontinue using your service?
  27. Are there any seasonality trends we should know of?
  28. Are you planning to offer any specials/promotions within the next 12 months?
  29. Do you have a content team to create content?
  30. What is your process for approving and publishing content?
  31. As soon as you are able:
  • Can you grant full access at the account level in Google Analytics to [MWI email address]?
  • Can you grant full access to your Google Search Console account to [MWI email address]?
  • Can you grant full access to your Google AdWords account to [MWI email address]?
  • Can you grant full access to your Bing Webmaster Tools account to [MWI email address]?

Room For Improvement

Here are some ways we’re looking to improve our questionnaire.

1. Eliminate. Remove questions the answers to which aren’t really that helpful.

2. Separate. Breaking it up into separate chunks. For example, requesting technical info/website and GA access could be a separate message.

3. Customize. We try to not just copy and paste the same thing every time. We want to make sure each client gets a unique questionnaire that is custom made just for them. This might eliminate several questions each time we send it out if it’s information we already have and don’t need clarification on.

4. Make it easy. Sometimes we say “Please answer first those questions that are easy to respond to and feel free to return later to answer the others.” That takes some pressure off of what can be an overwhelming list. Clients can get part of the work done which makes the whole list less overwhelming, and we get helpful information faster.

5. Empathize. Recognize challenges up front: “If necessary, we are happy to sign an NDA to get access to answers these questions. We also understand your company policy may not allow certain information requested here to be shared with third party vendors. The more information we can get, the better able we’ll be to work closely with you to generate results in line with your objectives, but we will be satisfied with whatever information we can get if it’s not possible to get everything we would like to.”

If you’re a potential client or another SEO firm, what do you think of this list? Is there anything we’re missing that you think we should be asking? If you’re another SEO firm feel free to copy this, add to it, improve it, etc. for your own use.

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Written by

Hi! I'm Josh Steimle, and I started MWI from my apartment while a college student in 1999. I'm based in Shenzhen, China and responsible for MWI's overall strategy and marketing. I've written over 200 articles for publications like Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, and Time, and I'm the author of Chief Marketing Officers at Work. I love speaking to corporations and at marketing industry events. I was recently recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as one of 50 Online Marketing Influencers To Watch in 2016. Read more of what I'm writing on my blog.