In this day and age, companies need efficient strategies for their marketing. They have to find simple ways to generate leads to their website and translate those users into customers. Even if they provide great products or services, that may not be enough to maintain relevant traffic, at least not without methodical Search Engine Optimization

SEO makes it possible for essential customers to find you. Without it, you’re practically handing off your customers to your competitors. Implementing strong SEO will boost your engagement, your leads, and your sales. However, many people don’t know about the importance of SEO or the difference between “good” and “bad” SEO. So when approaching new clients about their website, you may have to break it down for them.

As a digital marketing specialist, it’s your job to inform the client on why they need your services. Even if you understand and harness the power of SEO, they may not. In order to make a compelling proposal, you have to educate them on what it is, why it’s important, how you’re going to do it, and the return they’ll see. 

It’s easier said than done, but there are tips and tricks to making your proposal a success. If you want a compelling, thorough, and client-catching proposal, I’ll show you how.

Also Read: How to Gain and Retain SEO Clients

How to Write a Successful SEO Proposal

A successful SEO proposal uses these pillars: a break down of the SEO process, a project timeline, a cost analysis, and a list of the terms and conditions. These pillars can be personalized and adjusted in order to fit your company's expertise and process. 

Below, I am sharing a summary breakdown of what to include in each of these 4 pillars.

1. SEO Break down 

The SEO break down is simple, list out each component of the process that you will be executing for your client. In many cases, it will look something like this. 

  1. Audit of their website and current SEO techniques (or lack thereof).
  2. Launching an SEO campaign.
  3. SEO campaign optimization for improved conversion.
  4. Comprehensive analytics report.
  5. Social Media Optimization.
  6. Personalized system setup.

When presenting this process to your client, be sure to include a brief summary for each bullet point to ensure their expectations are parallel to your delivery. Once you’ve adequately broken down the process, you can move on to the project timeless. 

Of these items, the audit probably helps the most. I always give potential clients a FREE audit of their website. Yes, it takes more work on the front end. Yes, it lowers the volume of proposals I can send out in a week. But none of that matters, because it sends my conversion rate through the roof. If I spend 10 hours on proposals each week, I will always end up with more leads at the end when I offer a free audit. Just something for you to think about.

2. Project Timeline 

When presenting your project timeline, explain that in order to complete X project, you’re going to need approximately Y amount of time. This timeline will look different for every project. In many cases, a visual representation may be the simplest way to present this.

Sample Project Timeline
Audit and Analysis [Number of Days]
Keyword Research [Number of Days]
Campaign  [Number of Days]
Ranking Results  [Number of Days]
Competitive Analysis [Number of Days]

If you don’t like to use visual representation, just be sure to communicate solid and pinpointable dates. Having concrete return dates is crucial for a successful proposal. I also like to give them a total number of days proposed at the end of the list, so they can keep track. Additionally, I keep the timeline open to their feedback.

Most importantly, I demonstrate that good things take time. That way, nobody feels off-put when they don’t see 10,000 new leads in under a week.

3. Cost Analysis 

Have set costs to keep your proposals cohesive, and your brain (or accountant) from going crazy. Prior to the proposal to clients, create a pricing sheet that breaks down all of your services. This can range from SEO research, to website optimization, to competitor research… you name it. Having set costs for each step of the process will help you better communicate your value and why you charge what you do.

You can also offer various packages at different price points to clients. This way, companies can afford whatever is in their price point. However, be sure to emphasize the importance of each step and why results may not be as successful without each component of the process. I tend to offer my clients 1-3 package options depending on the needs I see.

4. Terms and Conditions 

This certainly isn’t the most exciting part, it’s inarguably the most crucial. Having a signed terms and conditions (ToC) document keeps all parties accountable. This includes all details that regard payment plan, the warranty of your delivery, private rights, and the logistics if a termination is required. Trust me, you need this. It only takes one bad experience to make you regret overlooking ToC’s for the rest of your business.

You can also include any other tools or information you deem necessary for a continued relationship with your client. The terms and conditions are a vital component in order to ensure a smooth, successful, and safe transaction. 

Get to work!

Now that all of your paperwork is in line, it’s time to get to work. Once you have a system and template that best fits your company's strategy, you can use this proposal for all of your clients going forward. I use mine for outbound prospecting, and I respond with it when people find me online.

Further Reading: How Local Influencers Keep Clients Happy

Picture of Nick Ponte

Nick Ponte

Born and raised on Maui, Nick was employed as an automobile mechanic before founding his own local marketing agency. Nick naturally wrestled with the change from tradesman to marketer (not an easy transition) but, like Tom, he wouldn't give up. Through years of commitment, Nick has grown to be a highly skilled web developer and marketing expert with a specialized skill-sets in a variety of fields. He has developed many high-traffic, high-quality websites that incorporate the best practices for today's digital marketing. Today, Nick eagerly shares his experience and knowledge by helping others in cultivating their business.

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