It is understandable, if as an SEO practitioner, you are nervous ahead of your first meeting with an SEO client – even if you’ve done this many times before. You need to go in there and spout deep SEO wisdom with a kind of confidence that you probably don’t really feel. How exactly do you achieve all this? There are a number ways. A few deep and well-placed questions of the client about getting the right kind of SEO keyword research to do on a project could really put you ahead, for instance.

As you get into your first meeting with your client, realize one thing – it’s entirely about the client and the success of his project. Focus on this like a laser beam and you’ll probably appear to the client to have all the aura you could ever want.

Focusing on the client achieves a lot more than to merely lend you confidence. It can actually help in some seriously insightful SEO keyword research, too. Over the first couple of meetings, all you want to do is to talk to the client about his business, about his plans for his business and anything else that you can think of. As he talks, you want to take notes to do with the phrases, the ideas and the abbreviations that he uses the most. While these aren’t the very keyword phrases that you need to use, they’ll help you when you do your SEO keyword research later on.

Short of ideas for the questions you’ll ask your client the first time?

As your opener, tell the client that you’ve gone over this excellent website and you’ve learned everything about his business that you ever could from what’s on it. At this point, you need ask the client to describe his website and his vision in his own words.

Usually, you’ll hear the client use the same language as in the brochures and other literature from the company. Your client probably had a hand in how those came about, after all. When you see anything that you don’t really understand – industry terms, for instance – you’ll need to actually bring them up and ask questions. After all, if you don’t understand these things as a layperson, chances are slim that anybody else would either.

Job applicants always get this dreaded question when they head into an interview: Why do you wish to work for us?

This is your chance to try this old saw out yourself – ask the client why he believes his product is better than what the competition offers. It can be a very important part of your SEO keyword research to actually understand the kind of advantage this company has over the competition. You need to hear the owner of the business talk. Once you know, you can look the website over another time to check to see if they’ve made it adequately clear to visiting customers why exactly they should be considered the superior choice.

For instance, let’s say that this isn’t a company that deals with customers on the budget end of the market. If so, you need to make sure that the website sends out the signals to track the right class of customer. You’ll be able to help your client find better organic traffic this way.

Who’s the competition and who isn’t?

You need ask your client about whom he considers the competition. When your client talks about the competition, you need to pay attention to the words he uses.  These could provide you with valuable SEO keyword research fodder. 

There are some words that can look very relevant to the outsider that to the insider, can seem to mean something completely different. You can learn about these niceties talking to your client about the competition.

What products is the client most interested in promoting?

It can be very informative to your SEO keyword research to learn about the specific products in your client’s product line-up that he considers his most profitable and the products that he wishes to promote the hardest. You need to learn about his reasons. This will help you refine the focus of your SEO keyword research. If the client seems to not be interested in promoting a particular product that he feels he’s good with anyway, you could completely drop it from your SEO efforts.

For the client’s best SEO keyword research ideas

You don’t really need the client to give you the very words that you need to work towards. Often, though, talking about this can help.  The client will come up with keywords that he wishes to rank for that are unattainable. Talking about the keywords that he does wish to rank for, though, can help you set him straight about what can be attained, what is advisable and what makes sense.

These questions help you set off on the right foot. The right questions, starting off, can really help you and your client gain confidence in each other.