Hello hustlers, I hope you all are doing well. If you are an SEO professional, it’s pretty common for you to create and share SEO proposals with clients on regular basis. But many of us fall for some mistakes which causes the clients to set wrong expectations with SEO and thus leads to conflicts post-sales. Hence in this blog, we will discuss the best SEO proposal format which you can make easily, which also proves to be effective in project retention & upselling.
Before moving on to “how to make an SEO proposal for a client?” or “what’s the best SEO proposal format?”, it is essential to have a checklist which you follow whenever you start preparing for a proposal no matter who the client is.
SEO Proposal Checklist
As discussed above, now let’s brainstorm some of the key points which you should consider before working on the actual proposal.
Understand Clients Business & Industry
You know this coming right? Understanding your prospect’s business and brand is essential for you strategizing for their SEO.
As to whether a website will rank on top of searches or how much time it will take to rank, all these questions vastly depend on which industry you are working on for SEO.
Understand the market, how the business operates in that particular industry, and what are the factors which can affect the SEO both positive and negative manner.
If you go through this step first, I can say for sure that it will make your life easy while preparing an SEO proposal.
Understand Clients Expectations
All the major causes of conflicts with the client come due to your lack of understanding of the client’s expectations from your SEO services.
Either prospect’s business is new or well established, it is vital to discuss with what expectation they are coming for SEO and to you. Understanding this will help you in long run.
It is also to be noted that the sole goal of SEO is not just ranking the keywords in search results but also to build authority for the brand, product/service promotion, generating leads, etc.
Hence as an SEO professional, it is your duty to ask such questions and try to understand the client’s perspectives on these.
Do Website Audit
As with time search engines, like Google are inclining more and more towards how good a website and its content is from the time when they used to prioritize no of backlinks. It becomes essential for you to sneak onto their website before working on the proposal itself.
Nowadays websites are having a weightage of 70% when it comes to whether a keyword will rank on top of searches or not. As you can see with every Google’s core algorithm update like web vitals, mobile-first indexing, etc, Google is now giving more and more priority to user experience, thus a website plays a lead role in this.
Now the question comes, “what all to check when doing a website audit for SEO?”, then this next section is dedicated to this only.
Website SEO Audit Checklist
This website SEO audit will come in handy when we will start preparing the SEO proposal. Hence note down all the important and relevant data from this audit somewhere.
Website Structure Audit
First thing first, website structures matter a lot when it comes to SEO. Check whether the site is having clear navigation, category pages are well structured as per products and services. Also, check if there are clear sections made onto pages or not and the URL structure related to these pages.
After structure, you have to check out how that website opens on different-different devices. Whether the site is responsive for every device or not.
Mobile Friendliness Audit
After Google’s mobile-first indexing, Google will choose a website for rankings based on how good it is made for the mobile device. Hence in your website SEO audit, look for how good a website is on the mobile devices, either its structure, navigation, UI, etc.
Website Content Audit
As said content is the king, it is no doubt if the content of the website is not good and not well optimized for the keywords, it will never rank in the Google searches.
Hence look for how good content is written on the site. Check for its plagiarism, readability, word count, etc.
Website Technical SEO Audit
Within the website SEO audit comes the website technical SEO audit. In the technical SEO audit checklist, we look for:
- Meta tags
- Canonical tags
- Schema data
- Web Vitals
- Broken Links
- Orphan pages
Website Load Speed & Core Web Vitals Audit
I had separated this from the technical SEO audit because this is very important when it comes to ranking on Google.
Use different tools like GTmetrix, Page Speed Insights By Google, Think With Google (Test my site tool), Pingdom, etc, to check for Core Web Vitals and overall website load speed for desktop as well as mobile.
Website Backlink Structure Audit
As we are focusing mainly on on-page and website technical aspects, it doesn’t mean that we totally forget the off-page part, which is the website backlink profile.
Check whether the website is having spammy backlinks or not.
Backlinks, as shown above, are not a good fit for a website and may even harm the site authority.
What’s the ratio of no of backlinks to the no of referring domains.
After doing the website SEO audit, it’s time for you to do competitor research. This section is somewhat similar to ‘Understand Clients Business & Industry’ but here we do in-depth research of the potential competitor. Why those competitors are ranking on top of Google and for what all keywords. This gives us an idea regarding how we can strategies for the client SEO and what all to mention in the SEO proposal.
After picking some potential SEO competitors, we have to do a website SEO audit, as we did for our client’s site. Study their backlink profile and how much time and effort will be needed to compete with those competitors.
So by now, we are done with our SEO proposal checklist (I hope you had noted down key details from your website SEO audit and from the overall SEO proposal checklist). Now it’s time to work on preparing the actual SEO proposal.
SEO Proposal Format
First, let’s see what structure one must follow while making SEO proposals for their clients.
- Scope Of Work
- Approach & Implementations
- Website SEO Audit
- Competitor Overview
- Keywords Suggestions
- Timeframe To Achieve
- Terms Of Agreement
This is a standard SEO proposal format and if you utilize these for preparing proposals, there will be a guaranteed chance for you to get closer and also to retain long-term relationships with your client.
Now you may ask, “which file format to use for preparing SEO proposal?”
And for this, my answer is, use ppt format.
A proposal is like a presentation, in which you are presenting in front of your prospect regarding why they should choose you in place of any other SEO professional or SEO agency.
Now let’s dive into each of these points and try understanding what to mention in these.
Introduce Your Company/Agency/Team
This is a good opener to start your proposal with. Start your proposal with “who you are”, “what you do”, “what are your strengths”, and “why that client must trust you”.
Other than that you can also answer, why they (client) should prefer your Company/Agency/Team over any other.
In this section, we set the objective of the SEO which we will be doing for the client and what he/she can expect from your service, in terms of traffic, ROI, leads, etc.
As we had already covered the client’s expectations regarding SEO, hence it will gonna be easy for you to define and set SEO objectives.
Scope Of Work
After setting up the objectives, it’s essential to dedicate a section of the proposal to your scope of work.
Pretty clear from the name itself, in this, you just have to mention all the activities and services that you gonna do for a client in terms of SEO.
There are a wast variety of services which can be given under SEO services, such as:
- Website maintenance
- Content Writing
- Outreach Services
- Technical & On-page SEO
- Backlink/Authority Building
- Media Buying
- Organic Product Promotion
- Organic Lead Generation
- Lead Nurturing
- Online Reputation Management
As we had already understood the client expectation (as mentioned in SEO Proposal Checklist), hence set your scope of work accordingly.
Your Approach & Implementations Process
Now comes how you will start this SEO journey?, what will be your or your agency’s approach?
Whether first, you want your client to revamp their website or how you will distribute the work between you and the client?
What will be your dependencies on clients and vice versa?
Secondly, how you will gonna implement all these which we had discussed above?
What will be your SEO strategy?
All these questions will be answered in this ‘Your Approach & Implementations Process’ section.
Client’s Website Potential (Site Audit)
It is essential to measure the current website potential and what all improvement it requires to rank in Google searches. As we had already done the website SEO audit, we just have to put those points here in the SEO proposal.
It is necessary to introduce your clients, with whom they are going to compete. This will make your life easy on a huge scale in the longer run.
As we had already done our competitor research part, hence we just have to put those data here in such a way, that it becomes easy for your prospect to understand the nuances.
It’s always a good practice to do some keyword research prior to your client. This will bring a clear picture for you as well as for your prospect regarding SEO.
In this section of the proposal, you just have to loosely do keyword research based on client industry and competitors, and can present these as projected or suggested keywords.
Timeframe To Achieve
Clients are impatient, and when it’s come to SEO we all know that it takes time for a website to rank in Google searches.
Hence this section we will suggest to the client the time frame in which they can expect some results and also what to expect and what not in that given frame of time.
Quotation Or Costing Of Your SEO Services
Adding quotation to your SEO proposal solely depends on how you want to present you or your agency and whats your sales procedure is. I personally prefer introducing your costing in the proposal itself, so that you don’t fall into the loop of, document sharing, followups, and setting up several meetings, just share every detail once and proceed with that.
Terms of Agreement
At last, it’s very necessary to add the terms of the agreement in your proposal. Keep this section of your proposal very clear cut and short. Mention your terms of service, and what all you are agreeing to and not agreeing to.
The clear teams of agreement section will keep you away from any future disputes.
Put all these details in a ppt in an attractive way (based on your brand design) and present it to your prospect in a confident way.
I can assure you, that you will definitely get the closer, if you follow all the procedures and SEO proposal format which we discussed here in this blog.
I hope learned something new here.
Until then, just keep learning…..
Suraj Mishra is a Digital Marketer, Brand Consultant, Blogger, founder of Genrk, and owner of this website. He always has a motive for sharing what he knows. Through these blogs he tries to help entrepreneurs, letting them know all the things that are needed to grow business online in this digital era.