10 Questions to Ask When Onboarding an SEO Content Client

As an SEO content material author, I work together with tons of companies which have various levels of expertise and preparation when it comes to their SEO content material technique.

Some manufacturers have well-researched purchaser personas and a mountain of key phrase analysis on the prepared whereas others don’t have any running a blog technique in any respect and no clear thought of who their audience is.

Not that these within the latter class are “wrong” – as SEO professionals, it’s our job to dig into the info and create optimized content material that can communicate to their audience.

That means our job is made simpler by having a transparent shopper onboarding course of that helps us achieve a greater understanding of their enterprise and the varieties of individuals they’re making an attempt to attain.

What follows are 10 questions I ask whereas onboarding SEO content material shoppers to assist me write SEO-friendly and audience-focused content material tailor-made to every model.

1. ‘How Do You Describe the Business to Someone Unfamiliar With the Company?’

This query provides shoppers an opportunity to clarify, in their very own phrases, what their enterprise does.



For some manufacturers, this reply could also be easy.

For others, that is extra difficult and warrants an clarification in “layman terms”.

Consider that a model’s audience is often approaching the model’s content material at a decrease stage of expertise and understanding.

Using “marketing-ese” or “industry-ese” to clarify what a enterprise does can go away many potential clients confused.

This query helps you and your shopper outline what the enterprise does within the easiest of phrases.

2. ‘What Is Your Brand’s Mission?’

Some manufacturers might need a effectively thought out mission assertion whereas others could don’t have any mission assertion in any respect.

It’s value asking this query as a result of in the event that they do have a mission assertion, you’ll probably find yourself referencing this sooner or later of their SEO content material.

It additionally provides the shopper an opportunity to take into consideration making a mission assertion, which could be a helpful asset to their model when it comes to defining what makes them distinctive.



This works to assist the model – and their content material – stand out from the competitors.

three. ‘What Key Taglines, Words, or Phrases Are Used and Associated With This Brand?’

Every model has its personal “isms” that make them completely different from different manufacturers. There could also be phrases or phrases they use that add character to their content material.

As an SEO content material creator, you’ll need to be taught what these “isms” are so you need to use them all through their content material.

four. ‘What Are Some Things You Don’t Say in Your Company?’

Similarly, there will likely be some phrases that your shopper doesn’t say.

Often occasions, it’s because they don’t need to be related to sure phrases (like “cheap” or “affordable”), are attempting to set themselves aside from the competitors (“marketing consultants” vs. “marketing agency”), or need to weed out a sure kind of viewers (common net improvement vs. “WordPress web development”).

At the identical time, there could also be some phrases that you just, as a marketer, are unfamiliar with and don’t need to use incorrectly of their content material.

Since you need your shopper to be seen as an authority of their area of interest, you need to depend on your shopper to inform you which phrases to use and which of them to keep away from.

5. ‘What Is the Purpose of This Content?’

The reply to this query could seem apparent (“Higher rankings and more traffic, of course!”) however this isn’t all the time the case.

Never assume what your shopper’s objectives are as a result of they might shock you, and this may definitely affect your content material technique.

For instance, I may assume that my shoppers need increased Google rankings, however after surveying my audience, I spotted that what they needed was “consistent” and “engaging” content material that “generated leads” for his or her enterprise.

If I had targeted on rankings, I’d have missed the mark when it comes to what my shoppers are actually making an attempt to obtain with their content material.

6. ‘What Is Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? What Sets You Apart From Your Competitors?’

You’d be stunned what number of companies don’t have an reply to this query.



Which is why asking it’s so necessary.

If a model can’t outline what makes them stand out from their competitors, it is going to be laborious for you, as an SEO content material specialist, to create content material that sells potential clients on what your shopper brings to the desk.

Many manufacturers will reply with statements like “We have 10+ years of experience” or “We are a family-owned company” however these aren’t notably compelling.

See in case you can uncover what makes your shopper actually distinctive and the way that relates to what their audience is in search of.

7. ‘What Products/Services Do You Offer? Please Provide a Description of Each.’

Many SEO content material writers and specialists are responsible of writing off-the-cuff with out totally understanding what a model has to provide or what their merchandise are.

Not solely can this be irritating to the shopper however it may be complicated to their potential clients.

In asking this query, you once more give your shoppers an opportunity to clarify their provide in their very own phrases.



  • This will assist you recognize:
  • What key phrases to goal in relation to their provide(s).
  • How to write in a approach that highlights their distinctive advantages and options for his or her viewers.

eight. ‘Who Is the Focus Audience and What Are They Like?’

Again, don’t assume to know who their audience is.

Always ask them.

Their ultimate buyer could also be very completely different from what you bear in mind and even from what their content material appears to point out on their web site.

Most usually, shoppers are looking for you out as a result of they need to enhance their content material, so their present content material will not be a superb indication of what their enterprise does or who they’re concentrating on.

So, make sure to ask your shopper who they need to attain, asking them to be as descriptive as potential.

9. ‘What Is the Problem the Audience Is Facing and How Does This Content Present a Solution to This Problem?

Just as your shopper has objectives when it comes to their content material, their very own viewers has objectives when it comes to looking for out that content material.



While you could be specializing in bettering your shopper’s rankings, site visitors, and so forth., you need to strive to uncover what it’s that their audience intends to discover when looking for and studying that content material.

Your shopper ought to find a way to inform you what their viewers’s main ache factors and objectives are so you possibly can work these into the SEO content material.

This will make it easier to write content material that’s suited to the person (suppose: search intent) and offers data that’s going to compel a customer to convert right into a buyer.

10. ‘What Kinds of Conversions Are We Trying to Make Through the Content (e.g., ‘Free Consultation’, Contact Form, Visit a Product Page, Etc.)?’

Many SEO content material creators get lazy with this and simply assume that they need to direct customers to the principle Contact web page or to schedule a free session, however that’s not all the time the case both.

Your shopper could have a sure conversion level, lead magnet, product, or service in thoughts.



When you recognize what the tip objective is, you’ll be higher ready to work this into the content material.

So, if for instance, they need readers to be directed to their “10 Secrets of Digital Marketing” e-book, you possibly can “warm” readers up by alluding to the unknown digital advertising methods and why they want them, slightly than merely linking to the shopper’s Contact web page.

Additional Questions to Ask When Onboarding a New Content Client

As an SEO content material author myself, I’ve an SEO content material shopper questionnaire which incorporates over 20 questions which assist me get a greater understanding of my shopper’s model, viewers, and objectives.

If you propose on creating an onboarding course of to your personal firm, I like to recommend including to these questions over time, tailoring them to the wants of your distinctive shoppers.

That stated, listed here are just a few further questions you may want to embrace in your onboarding course of:

  • “What keywords would you like for your company to rank for?”
  • “What’s 1 story that serves as a good representation of your brand?”
  • “Who are your top 3 competitors?”
  • “In an ideal world, what would your ultimate shopper/buyer/reader be like?“



If you actually need to create on-brand, audience-focused content material to your shoppers, you want to know their model and perceive their audience.

One of the best methods to do that is to work these questions into your onboarding course of so you possibly can create their finest SEO content material ever.

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