A Guide to Writing a Winning SEO Proposal

seo proposal templates

Here at byMarketers we aim to foster knowledge sharing and insights between digital marketers and the best way to get the ball rolling is by sharing some of our personal insights. In this (ultimate!) guide, we’ll outline everything you need to know to put together a successful SEO proposal for prospective clients.

The ABCs of an SEO Proposal

What is it?

An SEO proposal is basically a sales pitch used by digital marketers, SEO agencies and freelancers. If a potential client is interested in engaging your SEO services, your proposal is your opportunity to show them who you are and what you can do, and prove to them why they should choose you.

Why is an SEO proposal important?

Your proposal is a chance to impress a client or business. A winning proposal will convince them to partner with you and choose your SEO services. That’s why it’s important to not just put together an aesthetically impressive document, but also to include effective information regarding your proposed strategy.

Potential clients are interested in how SEO can help them drive search engine results, increase their online traffic and, ultimately, achieve their business goals.

Should you use a proposal template?

There’s a lot that goes into a winning proposal document, which is why the BYM community suggests using an SEO proposal template. That way you won’t miss any crucial items or information. If you’ve never put together an SEO proposal before, then a template is certainly the way to go. There are plenty of marketers looking to share and sell templates/proposals and they are always happy to create templates to support other industry peers. In fact, BYM has a range of SEO resources available for sale made by fellow marketers.

Benefits of using an SEO proposal template

  • Save time – Instead of starting from scratch, you can access a pre-designed template complete with real and helpful examples.
  • Ease – With a format and layout already done you can simply populate the data and import the information for the particular client with ease.
  • Look professional – The more professional and impressive your proposal looks, the more sales you are going to win. Simple. 
  • Comprehensive – Make sure you don’t forget an important detail or section by using a prepared and ready template.

What goes into an SEO proposal?

There are a number of crucial elements that should be included in your SEO proposal. Make sure to check off the list below when you’re preparing your document for a client. That way you can ensure your proposal has everything it needs.

1. Cover Page

Clients shouldn’t judge a proposal by its cover, but they do. A professional-looking cover page with your logo and branding is important for that crucial first impression.

2. Executive Summary

This summary will introduce the SEO proposal and outline what’s included in it and its purpose.

3. Introduction to SEO

Without being condescending or pandering, don’t assume the client knows anything about SEO (or even what it stands for). Take the time to outline what it is, how it works and why it’s important.

4. About Us

This page should introduce you (and your business) and outline your unique approach and services. Make sure to market yourself and focus on your unique selling point. 

Here are some pointers to help you out:

  • Introduce your business and/or agency.
  • Outline your role in the company (or outline that you’re an independent freelancer) and introduce the rest of your team so that the client knows who they will be working with.
  • Include your mission statement.
  • Outline your experience, qualifications, awards and other credentials to really cement your credibility.
  • Indicate what makes you different from your competitors. 
  • Include a case study or testimonials to back up your claims that you can deliver results.

5. Competitor Analysis

A comprehensive analysis of the SEO performance of the client’s competitors will highlight the necessity of your services. In this section you should include specific insights from your research into the industry of your client and juxtapose that against their current SEO performance.

6. Website Audit

Include a clear yet informative audit of their current website and search engine rankings to ensure they understand why they need your services. Make sure to highlight their current keyword rankings. The more personalised and specific you can make this section, the more impressed the client will be that you’ve done your due diligence into their industry and business.

7. SEO Campaign Plan

Plan

Break down your campaign plan step by step explaining what you will be doing and what results you expect. Expand on the specific tasks and projects that you’ll be undertaking and be very specific. The better you can outline your goals and KPIs, and justify why those are your metrics, the better your client will understand what you’re providing and why it’s important. 

Reporting

Part of your SEO campaign plan should include the ongoing reporting and analysis you will be providing. Talk about any SEO dashboards that you might be providing as well and highlight their ease of functionality. You can buy premade dashboard templates from byMarketers instead of making one from scratch. 

Timeline 

Another important component of this section is an accurate timeline of the SEO project/campaign. Clients want to know when they can expect to see results and feel confident that you’ll be delivering promised reports, content or links at an accountable time. 

8. Pricing

All SEO proposals should include a transparent breakdown of pricing. Many marketers also include details of how the costs are calculated to help clients understand the labour and hours that go into an effective SEO campaign.

Handy tip: Use the term ‘investment’ in your pricing outline. It will help highlight just how important SEO is and orient your client’s thinking. The price of your services isn’t an expenditure, it’s an investment. 

9. Terms and Conditions

This is the important legal mumbo jumbo that you need to include. If you’re not sure what to put here, reach out to our BYM community for templates to download, SOW templates, guides and other tools.

10. Call to Action

A CTA is vital. The last thing you need is a winning SEO proposal with a client ready to sign up but unsure how to do it. Make sure the next steps are laid out clearly with your call to action.

Also include your contact information–office number, mobile number, email, address and social media handles–so that any questions can be answered and clarified easily. 

11. Signature Space

Don’t forget to create a space for the client to sign and date their acceptance of your proposal. 

Find the Winning SEO Proposal Template at BYM

The byMarketers website is full of excellent SEO tools, templates, reporting dashboards and more to help you stand out more and land more clients.

For additional marketing resources across a range of topics check out our information hub or connect with our community and sell your own SEO resources today. 

SEO Proposal Templates FAQs

Why use a SEO proposal Template?

SEO proposal templates offer a readily made document that’s formatted and comprehensive so you look professional and don’t leave out crucial information. The better your proposal, the more likely clients are to sign.

How long should my SEO proposal be?

Ultimately, as long as you need to portray the necessary information without being any longer. Anything longer than 12 pages, however, is probably too long.

How much detail should I put in my SEO proposal?

The more detail the better, but don’t repeat yourself or waffle on. Showcase the benefits for your services and outline the research you conducted. Then give the client a realistic outlook of your plan and an understanding of how you can improve their SEO situation. 

Is there anything I should avoid putting in the SEO proposal?

Don’t make any guarantees you cannot 100% fulfill. Keep your plan detailed and realistic, including the timeline, and outline how the campaign will progress. Successful SEO proposals include references to specific KPIs, such as ratings, traffic, time-on-site, conversions, ROI, and many other factors.

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