Formulating an Internet Marketing Strategy: Asking the Right Questions?

Posted by Mark Thompson - July 21, 2008 - Analytics, SEM, SEO - 1 Comment

It doesn’t matter if you are building a new website, conducting search engine optimization, PPC advertising, or a social media strategy, there are always going to be important questions that need to be answered by the client. Having detailed answers to these questions will help you formulate a much better strategy.

I broke up the questions in different sections. The first four sections of questions are broad questions that you could ask any client to get a better understanding of what they do, who they are targeting and what their goals are. Then there are project specific questions, depending on what service you are providing the client. Some of these questions roll into one another, so I did the best I could to organize them appropriately.

Feel free to add any questions that I may have missed. I will do my best to keep adding to the list.


Introductory Questions

  1. What are you trying to accomplish with this project?
    1. What are your goals for this project?
  2. What type of marketing programs have you carried out in the past?
    1. Which has worked for you?
    2. Which has not?
    3. Which are you currently still doing
  3. Are there any budget constraints for this project?
  4. Who are some of your biggest competitors?
  5. What differentiates you from your competition?
  6. Have you ever used an internet marketing firm before?
    1. If so, what have they done for you?
  7. How often will you be able to meet to discuss our progress?
    1. How involved would you like to be?
  8. What are the major problems you have currently with your marketing strategy?
  9. What do you expect out of an internet marketing firm?

Target Market Questions

  1. Do you target B2B or B2C, or both?
    1. If B2B, what types of businesses do you cater to?
  2. What is your target demographic?
    1. Age? Sex? Income Bracket? Ethnicity?
  3. What geo-locations do you target?
    1. Worldwide? Nationwide? State? City? Mile Radius?
  4. Where does your target market go on the web?
    1. Websites? Industry Blogs? Forums? Discussion Boards? Social Groups?

Content & Offer Questions

  1. Do you have a breakdown of each of the product and services you offer?
    1. Do you have product or service details for each?
    2. Do you have features and benefits for each?
  2. Is your website easy to navigate to find the products they are looking for?
  3. Do you need search functionality on your site?
  4. Is your website easy to read?
    1. Do you use multiple elements (text, video, audio, images, photos)
    2. How do people consume information in your industry?
  5. Is your content interesting?
    1. Does it provide value to the user?
  6. What offers or promotions have you done in the past?
    1. Have they had success?
  7. Could we add a coupon or discount code to stimulate interest?
    1. Have you testing different offers to see which get better responses?
  8. How are your prices compared to similar competitors prices?

Goals & Analytics Questions

  1. What type of analytics do you have in place currently?
    1. Do you use more than one analytics package?
    2. Can we use that data to use as a benchmark?
  2. Are you satisfied with your analytics provider?
    1. If not, what type of data are you looking to collect, that you are currently not collecting?
    2. Do you need a professional web analytics solution?
  3. Which KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are important to you?
    1. What is the most important action on your site?
  4. What goals would you like to track on the site?
    1. Sign-ups? Downloads? Specific Pages? Sales?
  5. Do you use any type of phone tracking system to identify where the calls originate from?
  6. Do you use a CMS do track your leads, opportunities, and accounts?
  7. What is your average margin per sale?
    1. What is your average sale price?

Project Specific

Web Design Specific Questions

  1. Do you have your logo in a high resolution format?
  2. What type of design style would you like? (traditional, contemporary, technical, playful)
  3. Pick 3-5 websites that are similar to what you would like your site to look like.
    1. Specify which elements of the site you liked and disliked
  4. What color schemes would you like?
    1. Do you have the RGB colors?
  5. What pages would you like to have on your site? (Rough draft of a Site Map)
  6. Do you have any marketing collateral we can look at?

Search Engine Optimization Specific Questions

  1. Have you done any SEO before?
    1. What type of SEO campaigns have you done?
    2. On-site? Off-site? Testing? Social Media?
  2. How important is it that you are on the first page of the major search engines for competitive keywords/phrases?
  3. How important is SEO compared to your overall marketing strategy?
  4. What type of resources do you have within the company to work on SEO?
  5. What is a reasonable timeline to reach your SEO goals?

Search Engine Marketing Specific Questions

  1. Provide an initial keyword list of how you think people would find your business.
  2. Do specific products sell better than others?
  3. Are there any niche or technical terms that people use in the industry?
  4. Are there any words that people would search where you would not want your ad to show up? (Negative Keywords)
  5. Should price be included in your ad copy?
  6. Should an 800 number be used in the ad copy?
  7. What incentives or offers can you give the user to entice them to click your ad?
  8. Have you noticed that people visit your site at certain times during the day? The week?
  9. Do you have specific landing pages for each offers, products or services?
  10. Does your business have any seasonal growth?
    1. Are there certain products that sell better during certain times of the year?

About the Author

Mark Thompson

Mark is the creator of StayOnSearch and president of Search Creatively, a full-service Internet Marketing Company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also contributes to many industry related blogs including Search Engine Journal and is active on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on Twitter