Content marketing is a multi-disciplinary skill and involves a tonne of different things that help to ensure content is strong from an SEO perspective and, ultimately, readable. One of these things is information gathering, an oft-neglected part of the process, but something that is absolutely essential to the creation of memorable copy, that performs well.
In today’s blog, I’m going to break down the essential questions that you need to ask new clients before you even type one word on their behalf. This fact-finding mission will make your life easier, and guarantee a happier client, it’ll also free you up to showcase your flair, be more expressive, and create better copy because you’ll have all the important information, the things the reader needs to know, right in front of your eyes.
The 5 Questions I Always Ask Clients That Help To Create Great Content
Question 1 – What is the point?
No, this isn’t an existential question about our existence! The ‘point’ refers to the point of the page, website, or blogs that I’ll be writing. Without knowing what the goal of the project is, it’s hard, nay impossible, to create convincing, compelling content because you have no north star to point toward. Also, by understanding what the goal of page or website is, be it a form that they want customers to fill in, or they want to direct people to a product page, phone number, or email address so that the sales team can do their magic, you can tailor your content to that and ensure that it’s sufficiently mentioned throughout the copy.
Question 2 – What locations are you targeting?
From an SEO perspective, in particular, this is a really important Q. Knowing what key locations a business is looking to target allows you to explicitly mention them in the copy, allowing Google to understand the context of the page (a key part of its algorithm). Once you have the main locations established, for example, Manchester, you can enhance the locational nature of the content by mentioning smaller towns that are located within the main target area, this shows to search engines that you’re knowledgeable of the area and are aware of the local geography. Further to this, you can also start planning potential location-based pages for that client’s website (if there is sufficient keyword evidence to warrant it) which will add value, and show you’re being proactive.
Question 3 – Are there any main products or services you want to focus on?
This question will help you plan accordingly and inform you about whether or not you need to focus more of your time on one particular product page. The last thing you want to do is spend the same amount of time on separate pages only to find out that one of the products you wrote about is no longer relevant and is being removed. Finding the key products, and knowing where to focus your time, will help sustain SEO performance and keyword reach for the pages that matter.
Question 4 – Are there any key terms/abbreviations that I should be aware of that are commonly used in your industry?
If you can showcase to search engines that the content you’ve written is knowledgeable, you’re going to get a good ranking – simple. One of the ways to appear knowledgeable is by writing in relevant ontology, and industry-specific key terms and abbreviations. Not only will this impress search engines but, by using common terms in the industry, it will also show the client’s customer base that they are knowledgeable about the industry and are worthy of their time and money.
Question 5 -What makes you different from competitors? Are there any USPs that you’d like to get across?
Convincing someone to take action after reading website copy is quite the feat, and hard to do, on paper at least (no pun intended). This is why it is so important to ask clients what makes them different to other people in their industry. These USPs help you when writing the copy, to create an edge, on top of the good SEO practices that you’ll be following. All of that will set your content apart from the competitor page that is currently ranking number one for the keyword you’re targeting. From a customer POV, it also helps because you can use these USPs to convince them to speak to YOUR company, not someone else’s.
Did I Forget Any Questions? Let Me Know!
These are just five of the most important questions I ask, among many others, if you think I’ve missed any, let me know. What are the most important questions you think you should ask a client? I’d love to hear from you.