There’s an undisclosed confession in digital marketing – SEO is tough. No one can really guarantee that you’re on Google’s front page or that you’re all in the same place. There are too many variables to get the equation correct on the ranking.
Besides, you need to keep up to date with the new tweaks in search engine algorithms and that’s just part of the hard work. The other part is actually going to have to justify it to your client!
Organic traffic is a rather heavily loaded term. Customers automatically assume that Organic is free by calling other types of traffic “paid.” Technically, it’s not if you’re (and should be) paying an SEO professional to get and retain rankings for you.
While in a proposal you cannot overdramatize and undertake to get intensified x-time traffic, nor can you guarantee “Page 1 rankings,” you can still use examples to help consumers understand how things can look in the near future.
SEO is a long-term investment and the proposal needs to persuade the clients that you’re going to be around to get the results they’re looking for. It will show you as an agency or freelancer that is up-to – date in SEO and can be agile enough to manage potential search engine updates as well.
Keep reading to learn what you need to include in an SEO proposal that will help you win more clients.
This list offers a general breakdown of the details that your SEO proposal should include. Using it as a starting point rather than a collection of hard-and-fast rules.
As you customize your plans, you may want to add additional parts or remove others, depending on your prospective client.
How to Craft the Best SEO Proposal to Win Clients
The Proposal Template
If you work on a client’s on-page SEO, you’re possibly using a template to help you with the process. Likewise, you also have templates for contacting targets when you do link building and outreach. So why would you write every idea from scratch if you could just use a template?
Rather than writing SEO business proposals from scratch every time, write a decent proposal. Take your time with the copy, the layout of the sections and the design. When you have the perfect proposal, save it and use it as a template for all future proposals.
The trick to nailing a template is to know which elements to change. If you create a template that works, you can re-use it as much as you want, just modify one of the elements that we’re going to discuss. In a word processor, you can create templates yourself, but that would be too time-consuming.
Instead, use a decent proposal software (such as Better Proposals, or another alternative) that will help you automate the bulk of your proposal writing processes.
Introduction & Summary
First of all, initiate your proposal by introducing your company. Let your client know what makes your agency the best fit!
Remember: a proposal is a sales pitch in nature. Here’s where you’re going to sell your agency and build your credibility. Later on, in the SEO proposal, you will dive more into the exact deliverables and pricing.
A brilliant introduction should include:
What makes your agency different: what services do you offer? What’s your mission statement about? Why should the client pick you?
Highlight the expertise of your agency: show your clients that you have what it takes to achieve results. Mention past clients or refer to any case studies or testimonials.
If you have won awards or certifications, mention them in the proposal.
Introduce the team: let the clients know who they are going to work with and what makes them a qualified account manager.
The introduction should only take a couple of slides. Although it’s one of the key sections of the proposal, you don’t want to steal the emphasis. Finally, the client needs to know how you are going to help their business grow.
Pitch Specific SEO Insights
This section includes the majority of your personalization and potentially the most time you spend on your proposal.
Here you want to show some of the specific insights you’ve learned about their current SEO results. This develops a lot of initial trust and trust with the client as they see you’ve taken the time to:
- Understand their business challenges and objectives
- Researched their website
- Personalize your proposal
It doesn’t take a lot of time to gather a few SEO insights into the proposal.
Two insights that need to be included in your keyword research are:
- Current keyword rankings of the client
- Site audit of the website of the client
Quickly enter a few target keywords in the rank tracker and show where the website currently ranks and the organic search volume. Include this information in your SEO proposal, as well as insights on which keywords you intend to target.
In addition , consider including keywords that their competitors rank in search engines, but the prospect is not. This will add insight into the opportunities they’re missing and recognize your agency’s plan to address them.
You should also evaluate their technical SEO by running a website audit on your client’s website to identify opportunities for on-site improvement. Are the meta descriptions missing? Does their website load at a crawl? Or do they suffer from duplicate content?
Include a high-level summary of current issues and the agency’s strategies to solve them. With AgencyAnalytics’ free trial, you can run a site audit.
Solutions & Deliverables
In this portion of your proposal, you will dive into what tasks and projects you will actually do as part of the SEO campaign.
Are you providing link building services? How many links are you going to build in a month? Are you going to build a marketing plan for their website? Are you going to handle their ads on social media? I’m sure you’re getting the idea.
Outline the deliverables so your customer knows on a monthly basis what to expect from you. These should be quantifiable and specific.
For starters, let them know how many pages or blog posts they can expect per month if you’re going to create fresh content for their website.
Also include what kind of SEO reporting they can expect every month. If you will be giving them access to a live SEO dashboard to monitor the results, kindly share this in the deliverable section of your proposal.
Social Media Review
This will involve an audit of how social media is currently being used and will show any gaps or benefits that are not being used.
Since many social media channels are key platforms for the distribution and sharing of content (both paid and organic), the SEO agency should be able to advise on where the client should invest in the social space.
Set SMART objectives that your organization will strive to accomplish. Some examples of objectives that you can include in your SEO strategy are:
- Increase organic traffic by 40%
- Create 30 organic signups per month
- Build 30 new backlinks over a period of 3 months
To set these kinds of goals, you’re going to want to have a general idea of what you know you can achieve based on past clients you’ve worked with. Don’t just take the numbers and the goals out of thin air!
It is also helpful to have access to their Google Analytics account or to have a rough estimate of their current traffic before submitting a proposal.
This will provide you with a benchmark to set guidelines.
SEO takes time, but that’s unknown to many people. Include in the proposal a timeline so that the consumer knows when they can expect results to be seen.
Break down each of the proposals you suggested into clear , measurable milestones. That way, even though it takes a while for traffic and other metrics to change, the client would be able to keep track on your growth.
Some consumers demand instantly a lot of work completed upfront. It will save a lot of problems down the road and help you avoid having to terminate a customer relationship by setting a reasonable timeline.
It’s time to talk about money after you’ve made your case on how you can assist the client.
Your proposal ‘s investment section contains all pricing for your services.
I still like to refer to the pricing section as a “investment.” Your SEO services would allow their business to improve and generate more profits. It’s important to remind the client of this.
The fees you charge should be seen as an investment in their business.
You may choose to give the client a number of pricing options to choose from. This reduces the impact of the sticker by giving the customer a sense of control over the payment process.
Introduce your standard package, which covers all the services you mentioned in your proposal. Then give the customer two other choices to choose from: a pared-down, less costly package, and a deluxe package that includes a few additional services.
Call to Action
This is one of the most important sections of your SEO proposal, which is too often forgotten!
End your proposal with a powerful call to action that will let customers understand the next steps to get started. This should include your contact information and the next steps in the process.
General Tips for Writing a SEO Proposal
- First and foremost, customize all your SEO proposals.
- For the overall layout of the proposal, it is okay to use a template, but the material in each section of the proposal should be customized for every customer. When a plan has been copied-and-pasted, it’s typically obvious, and while that approach might save you some time, it won’t impress clients.
- Remember, other agencies besides your own are potentially considered by your potential customers, and tailoring your proposals is an effective tool to stand out from the competition.
- Terms & Conditions are included in several proposal templates out there for your client to sign. While you can include this, I would suggest to avoid that in a proposal.
- It’s a sales pitch tool. Give the invoice and Terms & Conditions to get signed once the client has agreed to come aboard. Inclusion in the initial proposal is not necessary.
- Appearances matter, so take care of your formatting carefully. If your proposal looks cheap, clients will get a bad opinion of your agency, regardless of how well written the proposal itself is.
- Aim for an organized, elegant layout, and add a lot of white space to each page — this will help you avoid the “wall of text” effect.
- Finally, your client may not be an SEO expert, so make writing as clear and easy as possible. Use a professional but down-to – earth tone and avoid using too much technical language to avoid it.
- If you get stuck, think about how to explain something to the client in person.
At the end of your SEO proposal, include a section on the terms and conditions that can be easily revised for each new client. As they relate to the following, this field should contain the following headings.
- Fees: clearly set out the cost of each package offering and the ongoing maintenance charges.
- Payment Structure: List the timeline and payment options
- Terms: Address any conditions relating to the scope of the work, ownership of the properties and responsibilities of each party.
- Schedule: Provide a timetable for when tasks will be provided to the client (one-time tasks and ongoing reporting)
- Signature: Seal the agreement with signature lines that allow the client to sign the proposal off.
You should spend your time working on SEO while you provide SEO services, not creating proposals and developing project plans. You can do exactly that by using this outline.
You can create a simple SEO proposal template that lets you fill out the blanks and design a full, ready-to-go client plan.