At Seer, whenever we begin an engagement with a new client, we organize an in-depth, strategic planning session for the client team and their designated account team. The purpose of the Kickoff meeting is to help the account team determine what success will look like for this project and outline the steps they’ll need to take to get there, aligning with the client’s goals and expectations along the way. Moreover, Kickoff is about building rapport with your new client and instilling confidence in them that they chose the right agency for their needs.
Kickoff meetings are extremely valuable for Seer’s internal team, as it allows us to gain a comprehensive understanding of the client’s business, industry, and digital challenges. Below we outline 4 key questions to ask your new SEO client at Kickoff to help lay the groundwork for a successful engagement.
Success can take shape in many forms, so it’s important to understand what that looks like for your client. In SEO, we can assume that improving a site’s organic traffic and rankings will be factors of success for the project, but that may only scratch the surface for some clients’ needs. Is your client team held to hard goals internally? Are they looking to improve specific sections of their site? On the reverse, your client may be new to SEO and need guidance on metrics to measure.
Having this conversation helps set expectations up-front and allows the account team to proactively understand where the client’s priorities lie for the engagement. In addition, establishing a set of goals will allow the account team to formulate a strategy to hit those goals and identify a set KPIs to track performance along the way.
Learning about your client’s previous experiences with an SEO agency, if any, can help the account team unpack a few things. If the client has worked with an agency before, account teams will want to discern strategies that have been executed before and areas of the site that have been previously optimized to paint a clear picture of the environment they’ll be plugging in to. They’ll also want to uncover why the client is investing in SEO. Through this discussion, account teams will be able to uncover things the client liked about previous agencies, as well as any indications of where agencies may have fallen short.
In addition, this question can also reveal the client’s education as it relates to SEO. If they’ve worked with agencies before, you can expect that they are at least somewhat knowledgable about the relevance and value of SEO, as well as some of the processes that are involved. If a client is brand new to digital, the account team will want to spend time educating the client. This will build trust in the account team and allow the client to more easily see the value in their investment in SEO.
Limited resources, silos, industry evolutions, limited access to data, technical setbacks, internal organizational difficulties, prioritization of other marketing channels, and the list goes on.
Every client will be accompanied by a unique set of limitations. Having a discussion about those challenges will aid transparency between the account team and the client team, allowing the account team to build a strategy and project plan in accordance with their challenges.
An agency’s SEO efforts should aim to drive a business’s bottom-line. How are you going to measure it?
At the start of a new engagement, the account team should determine what metrics are available to help quantify the value they are contributing. If an account team cannot begin to prove the return on a client’s SEO investment, they may struggle to prove their worth to the client in the long-run. At Seer, we’ve streamlined a process to help us calculate the estimated ROI for SEO. However, a couple of metrics and formulas can get the job done. Having this discussion with your new SEO client will reveal the information readily available to help quantify the success of the project.