As a digital agency or SEO freelancer, when providing the service of SEO you will nearly always have to hold a meeting with your new potential client to discuss their needs and the service that you can provide. I work for a small agency and regularly attend meetings like this and it is vital that I don’t go in empty handed and look unprofessional. So the key is to spend roughly just 30 minutes or so preparing for a meeting and I use a variety of tools to do so.
Here are my top 5 SEO Research Methods to Use Before a Potential New Client Meeting:
1. AdWords Keyword Tool
First things first, I need to look into what keywords the client needs to target to attract relevant traffic to their website. By understanding the basics of what they’re selling and using a little common sense I can use the AdWords keyword tool to discover a few key terms and their monthly traffic to see what we would likely target in their campaign. Usually I pick 3-4 as examples. I’ll do full in depth keyword research if we get the job!
2. Open Site Explorer
After discovering relevant keywords that could attract traffic I search for these in Google. Based on what results come up I pick 4 of their biggest competitors at the top of the rankings to compare their site to. We’re going to need a benchmark after all! I then put the client’s site and 4 competitors into Open Site Explorer to see how they compare for a number of metrics. I’ll explain a few of the key ones like domain authority and linked root domains to the customer during the meeting to help them understand why their competition’s sites are superior to their own.
3. On Page Gradings
I use on page grading’s to see how well their site is optimized for the keywords that I have discovered to see the changes that need to be done on the site. I can then show the customer if their on site optimization is set out in a manner to indicate to the search engines that their pages are relevant to the keywords when people use them as a search term. I tell them in advance that we want the grading’s to be an A to be fully optimized, people always like an A in reports rather than an F so if the rankings come up F’s then they will know work needs to be done!
4. Keyword Difficulty Scores
Using SEOMOz’s Keyword difficulty and SERP analysis isn’t so much for the customer’s benefit; it simply allows me to see how difficult it is going to be to break into the top 10 results for each keyword. This gives me an idea of how competitive the industry is and how much work will need to be carried out, allowing me to give an idea of the price we would charge for the project!
5. Current Rankings Check
There are a number of tools out there to check rankings but I still find one of the quickest ways is to do it myself. By using Firefox and changing the search result settings to show 100 rather than 10 I simply search each keyword I discovered earlier and use the Control Find function to search for their website in the results. I can then show them how they are performing in the rankings for the keywords that attract traffic to a site in their industry.
OK so like me you need to be a member of Moz to use most of these tools but there are plenty of similar alternative tools out there, Moz just happen to be the best in my opinion.
Using these 5 tools and having the tabs open on my laptop browser before arriving set me up for the meeting. I look professional, having done my research and at the same time have all the information in front of me to walk them through the key points and show why they need SEO work carried out. Following on from that I just need to discuss the work we do and hope they choose to go ahead with the project!
About the author: Ross Dempsey is the Head of Marketing for Glasgoweb, offering online marketing in Glasgow and across the UK. Ross’ particular expertise lies in SEO, PPC, Social Media and Analytics.
How are you implementing the 5 SEO Research Methods to Use Before a Potential New Client Meeting? Please share by leaving your comment below.
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