If you’re a business owner who needs more local visibility, you want to make sure the person helping you has all he/she needs to deliver the goods.
Or, if you’re a local-SEO pro, you want to make sure you have all you need to deliver the goods.
The questionnaire I send to potential clients helps do both of those things. It tells me what I need to know in order to be able to help, and to be able to say up-front how I can help. Oh, and it helps me avoid mistakes.
I’ve refined my questionnaire over several years. My experiences – smooth and rough – have taught me what info I need before I can or should do any work.
In 2010 I didn’t have a questionnaire (tsk, tsk…bad idea, Phil). In 2011 it had maybe 10 questions. In 2012 it had 14-19. Now…well, I’ll let you count ‘em if you want to.
Below are all the questions (I can think of) that the person working on your local SEO – even if that person is you – will need the answers to before any work is done:
(You can also download the questionnaire on Google Drive.)
1. Best email address and phone number at which to reach you:
2. Official / legal name of your business:
3. Business name you plan to use for your Google Places page:
4. Your business address. Please specify what type of address it is: office, store, home, virtual office, PO Box, etc.
5. Do you share this street address with any other businesses (including any other businesses you own)?
6. Is that the only location of your business? If not, please list the addresses of your other locations and what types of addresses they are (office, storefront, etc.).
7. Where do you do business with your customers: at your address or at theirs?
8. Roughly how long has your business been located at that address?
9. Office phone number:
10. Do you use this phone number for any other locations or other businesses?
11. Please list all former / alternate business names, addresses, and phone numbers for the location(s) you’d like my help on.
12. Your website URL:
13. Is this the only website you use for this business? If not, please list your other sites.
14. Do you have the ability to make changes to your website whenever you’d like?
15. Who bought your website hosting and domain name?
16. Have you ever experienced sudden and steep drops in traffic or rankings in Google? If so, please describe.
17. Do you have any plans to redesign your site, rename your website, rebrand your business, or move to a new business address in the foreseeable future?
18. Has your Google Places page ever “disappeared” or taken a severe hit in rankings, to your knowledge?
19. Do you have access to your Google Places page? (In other words, could you make edits to your page right now?)
20. What are 1-10 keywords for which you’d most like to rank in Google?
21. If you had to pick ONE most-important service or search term to get visible for, what would it be?
22. What is the specific city / geographical area you’d like to be visible in, ideally?
23. How do you currently attract most of your customers / clients / patients? (E.g. word-of-mouth, AdWords ads, etc.)
24. Do you have any notable rankings in Google? If so, please list at least a few keywords you currently rank for.
25. Have you listed your business on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.? If so, who has the login info for those listings?
26. If I said that you should ask some of your customers / clients / patients to write reviews for you, how willing would you be to ask them? (Let’s use a scale of 1-10: 1 meaning you refuse to ask, 10 meaning you’re totally motivated.)
27. If I suggested that you write a few pages of info about your services, would you or someone in your company be willing to write those pages (with my guidance)?
28. Have you ever tried to “build links” to your website, or paid someone else to do so?
29. Have you worked with any SEO companies in the past? If so, what was your experience?
30. What keeps you up at night? What’s been your biggest marketing challenge?
31. How urgently do you feel you need more customers / clients / patients? (Let’s use a scale from 1-10: 1 being fairly comfortable, 10 being desperate.)
32. What made you want to contact me, and contact me today?
If the questions seem like a lot of work to answer – even though they’re not, and should take maybe 15 minutes to fill out – think of each one as hours, dollars, and heartache you’re saving.
Any questions on the questions? Any you’d add to the list? Leave a comment!