Seo content

10 questions to ask when onboarding an SEO content client

As an SEO content writer, I interact with tons of companies that have varying degrees of experience and preparation when it comes to their SEO content strategy.

Some brands have well-researched buyers and a mountain of keyword research at their fingertips, while others have no blogging strategy and no clear idea of ​​who their target audience is.

Not that those in the latter category are wrong – as SEO professionals it is our job to dig into the data and create optimized content that will speak to their target audience.

This means that our work is facilitated by a clear customer onboarding process that helps us better understand their business and the types of people they are trying to reach.

Here are 10 questions I ask when onboarding SEO content clients to help me write SEO friendly, audience-focused content that’s right for every brand.

1. “How do you describe the business to someone who doesn’t know the business? “

This question gives customers the opportunity to explain, in their own words, what their business does.

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For some brands, this answer can be straightforward.

For others, it is more complicated and deserves an explanation in “layman terms”.

Consider that a brand’s target audience typically approaches brand content at a lower level of experience and understanding.

Using “marketing-ese” or “industry-ese” to explain what a business does can leave many potential customers in awe.

This question helps you and your customer define what the business does in the simplest terms.

2. “What is your brand’s mission? “

Some brands may have a well thought out mission statement while others may have none.

It’s worth asking this question because if they have a mission statement, you’ll likely end up listing it at some point in their SEO content.

It also gives the client the opportunity to think about creating a mission statement, which can be a beneficial asset for their brand in terms of defining what makes them unique.

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This helps the brand – and its content – stand out from the competition.

3. “What slogans, key words or expressions are used and associated with this brand? “

Each brand has its own “isms” which make them different from other brands. There may be words or phrases they use that add character to their content.

As an SEO content creator, you’ll want to know what these “isms” are so that you can use them throughout their content.

4. “What are the things you don’t say about your business? “

Likewise, there will be phrases that your client won’t say.

Often it’s because they don’t want to be associated with certain terms (like “cheap” or “affordable”), try to stand out from the competition (“marketing consultants” vs. “marketing agency”), or want to eliminate a certain type of audience (general web development vs “WordPress web development”).

At the same time, there may be certain terms that you as a marketer are unfamiliar with and do not want to use incorrectly in their content.

Since you want your client to be seen as an authority in their niche, you need to trust your client to tell you which terms to use and which to avoid.

5. “What is the purpose of this content? “

The answer to this question may seem obvious (“Higher rankings and more traffic, of course!”) But it’s not always the case.

Never assume what your client’s goals are as they may surprise you, and it can certainly influence your content strategy.

For example, I might assume that my clients want higher Google rankings, but after polling my target audience, I realized that what they wanted was “consistent” and “catchy” content that “generated of prospects ”for their business.

If I had focused on rankings, I would have missed the mark when it comes to what my clients are really trying to accomplish with their content.

6. “What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? What sets you apart from your competition? “

You would be surprised how many companies do not have an answer to this question.

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This is why asking for it is so important.

If a brand can’t define what sets it apart from its competition, it will be difficult for you as an SEO content specialist to create content that sells potential customers on what your customer brings to the table.

Many brands will respond with statements such as “We have over 10 years of experience” or “We are a family business”, but these are not particularly convincing.

See if you can find out what makes your customer truly unique and how that relates to what their target audience is looking for.

7. “What products / services do you offer? Please provide a description of each. ‘

Many SEO copywriters and content specialists are guilty of writing out of the blue without fully understanding what a brand has to offer or what their products are.

Not only can this be frustrating for the customer, it can be confusing for their potential customers.

By asking this question, you are again giving your customers the opportunity to explain their offer in their own words.

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  • This will help you know:
  • What keywords to target in relation to their offer (s).
  • How to write in a way that highlights their advantages and unique characteristics to their audience.

8. “Who is the target audience and what do they look like? “

Again, don’t assume who their target audience is.

Always ask them.

Their ideal customer may be very different than what you have in mind or even what their content on their website seems to indicate.

More often than not, customers are looking for you because they want to improve their content, so their existing content may not be a good indication of what their business is doing or who they are targeting.

So be sure to ask your client who they want to reach, asking them to be as descriptive as possible.

9. “What is the problem the audience is facing and how does this content present a solution to this problem?”

Just as your customer has goals for their content, their own audience has goals for finding that content.

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Although you can focus on improving rankings, traffic, etc. of your customer, you should try to find out what their target audience intends to find when researching and reading that content.

Your client should be able to tell you what their audience’s main weaknesses and goals are so that you can incorporate them into SEO content.

This will help you write user-friendly content (think search intent) and provide information that will compel a visitor to convert to a customer.

10. “What kinds of conversions are we trying to do through content (eg ‘free consultation’, contact form, visit to a product page, etc.)? “

A lot of SEO content creators get lazy with this and just assume they need to direct users to the main contact page or schedule a free consultation, but that’s not always the case either.

Your customer may have in mind a certain conversion point, a main magnet, a product or a service.

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When you know what the end goal is, you’ll be better prepared to incorporate it into the content.

So if, for example, they want readers to be directed to their ’10 Secrets of Digital Marketing’ ebook, you can ‘warm up’ readers by hinting at unknown digital marketing strategies and why they need them. , rather than just logging into the customer’s Contact page.

Additional questions to ask when onboarding a new content client

As an SEO Content Writer myself, I have an SEO Content Client Quiz that includes over 20 questions that help me better understand my client’s brand, audience, and goals.

If you are considering creating an onboarding process for your own business, I recommend that you add these questions over time, tailoring them to the needs of your unique customers.

That said, here are a few additional questions you may want to include in your onboarding process:

  • “What keywords would you like your business to rank for?” “
  • “What is 1 story that serves as a good representation of your brand? “
  • “Who are your 3 main competitors? “
  • “In a perfect world, what would your ideal client / client / reader look like? “

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If you really want to create branded, audience-focused content for your customers, you need to know their brand and understand their target audience.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to incorporate these questions into your onboarding process so that you can create their best SEO content.

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