It’s hard to write an SEO proposal. Clients are skeptical. You’re skeptical. Hell, everyone’s skeptical.
But there are some things that can help. These are a few of the components I put into any proposal – these avoid misunderstandings, set expectations and help me seal the deal.
- The price. Don’t hide the price. Do put it at the end. And include 2-3 levels. Clients like options, as long as you don’t present a menu with 60 choices on it.
- Your process. And I don’t mean a flow chart with cryptic stuff like ‘content analysis’. I mean a description of each major step: “We’ll use our crawler to analyze your site, checking for anything that might prevent search engines from completely crawling your content. Then…” etc.
- Your tools. Describe whatever technologies you use to help with SEO. Whether it’s yours or someone else’s, it demonstrates you know your stuff.
- What you’ll do for them. Don’t just prattle on about how cool you are. Write about your process and technology in the context of the client’s project. They’ll stay engaged.
- Relevant case studies. A few relevant examples of work you’ve done won’t hurt. Doesn’t have to be in the same industry, but if you can show a similar challenge, and how you overcame it, you’ll get a nice leg up on your competitors.
- Real results. Don’t show rankings in your case studies! At least, don’t stop there. Show changes in traffic and sales. Get permission from other clients before you do this.
- A message from the CEO. I still write most of our proposals, so I don’t often need to do this. But a message to the reader from the CEO, that’s clearly written for that potential client, will make it clear you’re a real company.
- Labor sources. Point out how you get your work done. If it’s all in-house, explain it to justify your cost. If it’s all offshore, explain it to justify the fact that everything will need to be done twice.
- No sales talk. Don’t promise you’ll get a top ranking. First, you can’t do that, and you know it. Second, any intelligent marketer will know you’re full of crap.
- Next steps. At the end, clearly point out the next step: “Call me to review this proposal”. You’d be amazed the difference that can make.
There you have it – my recipe for a successful SEO proposal.
If you want to see an example, check out this out-of-date but still relevant intro to one of our typical proposals:
By the way, if I see competitor proposals with rats, I’ll find you.