Write a successful SEO Proposal in 9 Steps

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Just getting started as an SEO freelancer? Yeah, been there, done that. I remember how daunting it was to create a killer SEO proposal that would make potential customers go: “Yes, you’re the guy for us, let’s get started!”.

Fear not, when I first got started, I was still new to freelance work and had close to no experience directly dealing with customers, but it doesn’t have to be the same for you.

So, how can you create a killer SEO proposal that will get your prospects to buy from you?

Here, I detail 10 steps for you to build the successful proposal that you need.

Step 1: Get to know the business

Yes, your proposal can’t be a one fit for all types of businesses. The whole point of this step is to understand who your prospect is and what they need.

Here’s a list of questions you should ask:

#1: What are your goals?

Now, this is logical, isn’t it? We should of course understand why they’re looking to conduct an SEO campaign, right? To get started, it’s common to hear something along the lines of:

  1. Increase digital ROI
  2. Higher quality traffic
  3. Increase our leads
  4. Get more sales

Once you know their goals, you can start to think about how this can be achieved. Though, more often than not, you could hear something like “I just want to rank”. If that’s the case, then your prospects might need a bit of education on the matter.

#2: Who are your customers?

Here, you’ll most probably be provided with information like the key demographics of their target market.

Make sure to request details like a persona if your prospect actually bothered building one. More often than not, businesses will not have actually worked on one, therefore brainstorming a persona with your team and sharing it with the client might be a good idea.

The last point to focus on here is getting and understanding the audiences’ pain points. Knowing their pain points will help understand the type of approach you will need.

#3: Who are your top 3 competitors?

Spying on the competition should ALWAYS be part of your strategy. Here, your prospect will probably provide a list of websites that you’ll be able to check, to understand the type of competition you’re up against. Getting 3 websites to look at, or even more, is good enough for you to gather all the information you need.

#4: What are the keywords that your audience might use to look for you?

Your prospects will provide you with a list of keywords that they believe their audience would most likely use to search for their products/services.

Step 2: A template is your best option

It just doesn’t make sense for you to sit for hours on end and write a proposal from scratch for every prospect. Just forget about this, reinventing the wheel is not the way to go, it’s simply a waste of time.

Instead, think templates! Create an SEO template that you can edit, shrink, or expand, depending on the prospect you’re sending the proposal to.

Step 3: Write an irresistible executive summary

If you don’t have a great executive summary, your proposal will never even be read. This is the part that gets people hooked and makes them want to learn more about what you have to offer.

Make sure it’s exciting, clear, and concise – no need for fluff here.

You may follow the following structure to ensure that you have the killer executive summary that you need.

Pain Points > Needs > Goals

Start by highlighting exactly what your prospect is suffering from, what are their pain points? It’s a perfect opportunity to show your prospects that you’ve done your research and you understand their business.

Expected results

State clearly how your solutions, detailed within your proposal, will help solve your prospects problems. Remember, you’re just starting your proposal, so don’t go into great detail.

Step 4: List all activities

I always love to state each and every activity I’ll be performing. Don’t just list them out and expect your prospects to understand what’s going on. Provide a description and the stakeholders for each and every activity.

A list for services could include:

  1. SEO Audits
  2. Keyword Research
  3. SEO Copywriting
  4. Link Building

Step 5: Provide a timeline

We’ve already provided our prospect with a list of activities, descriptions, and stakeholders for each and every deliverable. So, what did we miss?

A timeline, of course!

SEO is not a one-month type of campaign, in fact, it can take a few months before you start seeing any result. This is exactly why your proposal should provide a realistic timeline for each deliverable. Of course, some deliverables are one-time activities, while others would recur monthly.

Step 6: Let’s build trust

The best way to show your prospects that you know what you’re speaking of and that you’re ready to deliver a kick-a$$ campaign is to actually show them what you’ve achieved for your other clients.

Create a small template that details the following:

  1. An intro of each client. Who are they? What industry do they operate in?
  2. What are their pain points?
  3. SEO activities conducted
  4. End results

Step 7: It’s time for the offer

I know, we’ve already given our prospect a list of services that we’re offering them. But this isn’t enough; it doesn’t help them figure out anything!

Let’s list all the services you’re offering, again, along with their prices. Don’t forget to state if the pricing is a one-time payment or a recurring monthly payment.

Try to provide some of the services you’re offering in the form of packages, allowing your prospects the possibility of picking and choosing the services that they need.

Step 8: Time for all the legalities

Yes.. Yes… we’re down to the boring bits and pieces, but there’s no avoiding them.

Go ahead and list your terms and conditions, this would allow you to rest confidently knowing that your clients won’t be able to go back on their words.

Make sure you have a section on cancellations, as well. This is often forgotten and can lead to headaches down the road.

Step 9: What’s next?

Is a down payment required? Do they need to sign the proposal and send it back? Do you require a call to explain the details of the proposal further?

Don’t keep them guessing, state clearly what is needed next.

That’s about it, yes! Your proposal is now ready and should be sent out.

If you need help with your SEO activities, then feel free to contact us, and we’ll send you a proposal right away. 😉

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