Of course we all want every single sales call to close. Who doesn’t? But That’s unfortunately not how it works. And sometimes not every single potential customer you talk to is a good fit for your company. And that’s ok. Every customer has specific needs, and sometimes they need to go other places in order for those needs to be met fully.

However, there are many questions you should ask your SEO prospects when talking with them on the phone to learn how you can best help their business and close the sale. 

Here’s our take on the 15 questions you need to ask your SEO prospects to help you ultimately win new clients and close the sale.


1. What are your goals from an SEO campaign?

This sets the tone for the conversation right out of the gate. If you want to understand what they want and expect from a campaign, you need to know their goal right from the beginning. This can also help set your expertise and knowledge of how to help them succeed. If they just want to grow their online presence, you can start to dive deeper to learn if they want more leads, more traffic, or just a greater presence in their community.

2. What are your KPIs for success?

This question helps you understand how their business measures success. If you know their key performance indicators, you know what parts of the website need improvement first and how you can help it grow. This can also help you understand your client better and gauge their success. 

3. How do you measure ROI?

While similar in nature to the one above, KPI and ROI are completely different. Learning how a company measures its returns on investment will also help you understand their overall goals. This also helps you understand how a potential SEO campaign measures their customer worth to the business.

4. Who is your target audience and your customer base?

These questions give you the best idea of how you can help their website grow. By understanding their target audience, you can use this knowledge to set the SEO strategy. This helps define keywords. They helps define the target region. And it helps you understand the kind of messaging you need to write about. This could be the most important question you ask. 

5. Who is your ideal customer?

Not far behind, their current audience and customer might not be who they really want for their business. This can also change the SEO strategy to help you target their campaign to the right audience. This will set the tone for the entire campaign.

6. Do you want a local or national audience?

In an age where just about every business is online, that means you can compete anywhere. Most small businesses want to compete locally. But sometimes they have a specialty that can compete on a national level. The SEO strategy can change depending on what you level you’re going to target. And it’s important to set that expectation right out of the gate.

7. What makes your business special? Do you have a unique selling point?

This could be the second most important question you ask a potential SEO client. This sets the tone for the campaign. It gives your prospect a chance to show why they’re really passionate about their business. This question lets their expertise shine through. It shows you why they want to improve their business and what kinds of products you need to focus your SEO efforts on. That unique selling point could be a game changer for any SEO campaign, but you need to know about it. 

8. Who is your competition?

This gives you a change to set a strong competitive analysis and paints of a picture of what the business is up against. By understanding the competition and seeing what they rank for, you can set an SEO strategy around your customer’s weak points. That will help them grow against the competition in their weak areas, and areas that might not need as much work. Overall, understanding the competition is a crucial step of setting up an SEO campaign.

9. Do you have an in house developer/marketing team?

It’s important to understand who you’ll be working with at a company. Often a marketing team is in charge of the messaging and can help craft the content and SEO strategy. Or a developer can help with the back end. Many small businesses don’t have these kinds of employees on their staff. And that’s ok. But you’ll need to understand the full picture of how a business operates in order for an SEO campaign to be the most successful. 

10. What platform or CMS is your site hosted on currently?

The most common platforms are WordPress or Wix for small businesses. But there are dozens more like Duda or Blogspot. Because many sites have templates, a lot of small businesses build their own site. That’s both a good and a bad thing. Good because they know how it works. Bad because many don’t know how to optimize the site. And that’s where SEO comes in. But you need to know which platform they use to best put an SEO strategy into place. 

11. Do you have a current understanding of SEO?

You may be surprised with this one. Some people have done a lot of research and really understand what goes into an SEO campaign. They understand the keyword research process, the need for link building, and creating good content. Knowing their current knowledge level will help you set the strategy and the right explanations for how you will help their site succeed. 

12. What are your goals for business growth over the next couple years?

This question also helps set the strategy. Some clients just want more customers. Others want to expand to multiple locations. And some want to add additional products. All these goals set the tone for what you will do with an SEO campaign to help them grow and succeed in these business goals.

13. What other marketing efforts have you tried? What marketing platforms do you currently use?

SEO works hand in hand with other marketing efforts like traditional advertising and PPC. They complement one another. By understanding which efforts have succeeded, you can plan your SEO better. 

14. Have you ever done SEO before? Do you use another digital marketing agency?

Some businesses have tried SEO before and haven’t succeeded for various reasons. Sometimes it’s a bad strategy. Sometimes it’s a company that didn’t fully understand their goals. A campaign failure could mean they’re distrustful of your tactics right out of the gate. That’s why it’s so important to understand all these questions fully so you can craft the right SEO strategy. Try to understand why a campaign failed, why they’re willing to try again, and if they’re using another agency for any other marketing services. 

15. What monthly budget can you spend on SEO?

Many SEO companies bill by hours. Their monthly budget also sets the tone for what type of campaign you can do and how many hours of SEO tasks to spend on it. The budget sets the tone and standard for the rest of the campaign. 


Don’t worry about pestering the client before you’ve even signed the deal. It’s important to be thorough to really understand their business and set them up for a successful SEO campaign. You can work these questions into the conversation with your client prospect, and it won’t feel like an interview, but more like a conversation. 

These questions help set the expectation for the client, and set up your business for the best chance of success for their SEO campaign.


Learn more about how Boostability can help your agency and your customers succeed with their SEO goals!



Kristine is the Director of Marketing at Boostability. She brings a decade's worth of communications strategy work to the company. Kristine has a Masters Degree in Leadership and Communications from Gonzaga University and graduated from BYU with her undergrad in Broadcast Journalism. She's worked in television news, public relations, communications strategy, and marketing for over 10 years. In addition to being a part of the marketing team, Kristine enjoys traveling, sports, and all things nerdy.