We’ve established from the pre-consultation session that we can work together. The next stage in our search engine optimisation process is the consultation, where we establish the objectives for the project and set some key performance indicators (KPIs), so we can measure any successes.
The SEO consultation is arguably the most crucial part of the whole process as it will determine the goals and means by which movement towards those goals is measured. Therefore the questions we pose, our client’s responses and our understanding of those responses are key. That’s why we suggest tea and biscuits. But they’re not always pink.
Just to reiterate, we haven’t charged you anything for our time to date. Other SEO consultants probably would have by now. We don’t charge for our time until you agree to go ahead with an SEO Audit, which is the stage after this.
The objectives we set are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART). This is crucial because if they are not, it’s very difficult to assess whether the project has been successful. If your business manufactures and sells beanbags for example, then you may think your objective is to sell more! Well of course that’s true, but for an SEO project we’ll drill down to something more like the objective below:
To attract 10,000 unique visitors to the key sales page on your e-commerce website, assuming a conversion rate of 5%, to sell 500 beanbags, before the end of the year
We will set as many objectives as are necessary for each project.
What are KPIs?
Key performance indicators are the means for establishing whether the objectives have been met. They should be taken before the project starts, throughout (to assess progress), and at the end of course. The KPIs are based on the objectives we’ve agreed. For the beanbag example, the KPIs would be number of unique visitors to the sales page and the number of visits that convert to sales. For other projects they may be significantly different.
What questions do we ask?
The questions will vary depending on the project but the following are likely to come up for all.
- What exactly are you looking to achieve through this project?
- How exactly do you think we’ll be able to measure successes? (In other words, what do you want people to do when they reach your website?)
- When are you looking for these successes to be achieved by?
- What search terms do you think people are using to find your website?
- What do the products or services you provide offer searchers that your competitors don’t?
- Who do you think might ‘amplify’ any messages we create about your products and services to your market?
- What processes are in place to turn visitors to your website into customers?
What’s your unique selling point?
The key question here is the most challenging one to answer. We want to know what your unique selling point is. You may not know what this is – but once we have established it the project can get underway. SEO is about connecting searchers with the content they’re looking for. If this project is to be successful then you need to stand out from the crowd, and as such you need to have a unique appeal which we can promote.
After we walk away from the consultation/put the phone down/turn off Skype we will soak up your immediate responses and give you time to consider them further. We’ll then invite you to feedback again. We’ll then takeaway all this information, turn it into a written proposal, which will include the objectives and KPIs we have generated through this process. You can then decide whether you want to go ahead with the SEO Audit – which is the next stage.
Why not contact us now to discuss your SEO project?