SEO Process

How to Write an Irresistible SEO Proposal (Free Template)

Nick Eubanks
Last Updated: Apr. 26, 2024
SEO Proposal

An SEO proposal is a sales pitch that outlines how you will help your potential clients achieve their SEO goals. It’s like a map showing them what needs to be done to rank their websites higher in organic search results. 

In this article, I’ll share my tips and strategies for crafting SEO proposals that convert. You’ll also discover the techniques that helped me scale my SEO business to a 7 Figure Agency.

Let’s dive into how to create SEO proposals for clients, demonstrate your SEO expertise, set realistic expectations, and ultimately close deals!

The Strategic Value of an SEO Proposal

An SEO proposal goes beyond simply presenting a price tag. A good proposal aims to accomplish several goals.

First, it educates a potential client on how SEO can benefit their business. It shows that better search rankings lead to more free traffic, which means more potential customers.

Second, it lays out a clear and actionable strategy for website improvement. An SEO proposal usually includes recommendations on keyword research and competitor analysis. It also covers backlink audits, link building, on-site SEO, and off-page SEO.

Ultimately, an SEO proposal can be viewed as a win-win agency pitch deck. Seeing concrete numbers can help your clients understand the potential return on their SEO investment. It can also help you secure new clients and establish a long-lasting partnership.

Here’s what you should include in your SEO offer.

What to Include in Your SEO Proposal for Clients

Your clients are busy, and complex SEO proposals aren’t the best use of their time. After all, you probably want to work together without overwhelming them!

Therefore, focus on creating a concise and clear SEO offer. Here are some key elements to consider:

1. Introduce Your Company 

Introducing your company sets the stage for a trustworthy partnership. It is your chance to demonstrate your experience and make a positive first impression.

Here are ways to establish credibility:

  • Include past success stories with similar clients
  • Highlight any awards or recognition you’ve received
  • Mention what differentiates your company from competitors
  • Showcase the talented team members who might be working on the client’s project
  • Include positive testimonials from happy clients

Make your company introduction short and highlight the essential information you want your potential client to notice. 

Here’s an example from Jon Nastor in his TTT post about how to get more SEO clients. Digital Commerce Partners, Jon’s content marketing and SEO agency, highlights its mission and approach to SEO:

DCP Who Are We

This type of introduction helps position them as a qualified SEO provider and lays the foundation for SEO collaboration.

2. Share SEO Insights 

Don’t just tell your potential clients what you can do – show them!

When you present data about their website’s strengths and weaknesses, you establish yourself as a knowledgeable SEO consultant. Besides, your proactive approach will help you outperform generic proposals!

For example, you can use all-in-one digital marketing tools, like Semrush, to quickly assess any website’s current state and provide actionable recommendations. 

Semrush Site Audit can help you crawl your client’s website, identify broken links, and discover slow pages. These technical SEO issues could impact your client’s rankings and might be worth including in the roadmap.

What’s great about Semrush is that it automatically prioritizes issues so you know what should be fixed first. You can learn more about its features in this Semrush review

Remember, clients appreciate data-driven insights. They see you’ve done your homework and are prepared to tackle their SEO challenges. 

Semrush Site Audit

3. Propose SEO Goals 

Once you identify areas of improvement on a client’s website, you can suggest SEO opportunities to help them achieve their business goals. 

Think of SEO goals as the compass that guides your entire SEO strategy. 

When you collaboratively define measurable, achievable, and relevant goals (aka SMART goals), you establish a clear path toward success.

Let’s say your client is a SaaS company that wants to generate more qualified leads directly through organic search. In this case, capturing high-value leads should become the cornerstone of your SaaS SEO strategy

To measure the success and demonstrate the tangible impact of your efforts, here are some key SEO KPIs worth tracking:

  • Organic traffic growth. A steady increase in organic traffic indicates improved website visibility and potentially a wider pool of SEO leads.
  • Keyword rankings for target search terms. Focus on monitoring ranking positions of relevant keywords to attract qualified leads.
  • Conversion rates. Track how many visitors convert into leads when submitting forms, signing up for free trials, or requesting demos.
  • Drop rate. Measure how many users drop at each stage of the conversion funnel.

With clear SEO goals in place, your clients see the “why” behind your actions and the connection between your SEO efforts and their desired results. 

4. Outline a High-Level SEO Offer

A high-level SEO plan is a big picture that outlines the key areas you want to achieve with SEO. 

It focuses on what you want to accomplish, such as increasing organic traffic or improving brand awareness, but doesn’t delve into technical details.

To create a high-level SEO plan, you should know the following:

  1. The current state of your client’s website
  2. Client’s business goals

Think of it like planning a road trip. You don’t set off without a starting point (a basic website audit) and a final destination (the client’s business goals). 

Note that a high-level SEO plan isn’t a step-by-step roadmap. Instead, it’s a sneak peek that could later turn into an extensive SEO roadmap if you win an SEO client. 

Here’s an example of a one-page high-level SEO plan. The concise format ensures potential clients can quickly review the document and understand the key recommendations. 

High-level SEO Plan

5. Provide a Realistic Timeline

A high-level SEO plan will never be complete without a realistic project timeline. It explains better than words what you or your SEO team will do and when.

When you outline a clear timeframe, you help your potential client visualize the entire project and understand the investment involved. As you delve deeper into the project, you can adjust the timeline, ensuring clear communication and maintaining relationships with your client. 

Here is how you can plan a short-term project:

  • Week 1. A discovery call to gather insights from stakeholders and managers. 
  • Week 2. SEO roadmap creation.
  • Week 3. Technical SEO audit.
  • Week 4. SEO report creation with findings and actionable recommendations.
  • Week 5. A handover call presenting the SEO report and discussing the next steps.

Use this example of a 12-month project timeline as a benchmark for creating a long-term SEO proposal:

Potential Timeline

6. Offer Pricing Plans 

While securing a preliminary “yes” is exciting, remember the project begins with a signed contract. It ensures everyone’s on the same page and sets the stage for a successful SEO partnership. 

You should also acknowledge that your potential clients choose what’s best for them. After reviewing your proposal, they might decide to pursue a different path. In the worst-case scenario, they’ll simply disappear after reviewing your proposal, leaving you puzzled. That’s why a one-size-fits-all approach to pricing doesn’t work!

Some businesses might be at the beginning of their SEO journey and require a foundational package to build a strong base. Others may be seasoned veterans seeking a fully outsourced solution. 

These clients have different SEO needs and budgets, but you can serve both with tiered pricing options. 

Transparency is key! Prospects want to know exactly what they get for their budget. It’s your chance to foster a sense of control and partnership.

Here’s an example of a well-crafted pricing page. These pricing packages prioritize value and set clear expectations, ensuring a smooth and successful SEO partnership from the very beginning. 

Pricing Options

7. Encourage Moving Forward (with a CTA)

A compelling CTA in your SEO proposal can turn a client’s “maybe” into a “let’s do this!” and set the stage for a thriving SEO collaboration.

Your well-crafted CTA should be clear, concise, and irresistible.

For example, “Let’s schedule a meeting to discuss the next steps” is far more effective than a generic “contact us.”

Follow These 3 Tips to Create Better SEO Proposals

While understanding the core elements of a strong proposal is a good start, attracting more SEO clients requires more effort. 

Let me give you a few tips for creating winning SEO proposals that vividly demonstrate your expertise and resonate with potential clients:

1. Start with a Discovery Call 

A discovery call is a pre-proposal conversation with a potential client. It’s your chance to actively listen, understand their unique SEO goals, and gather information to help you personalize your proposal.

Think of it as the foundation upon which you’ll build your winning proposal.

During the call, you can learn about your prospect’s SEO efforts, understand their target audience, and identify their key business goals. 

These insights will help you craft a proposal that speaks directly to their pain points and demonstrates a clear path toward achieving their desired results. 

Besides, it’s also your chance to showcase your expertise by asking insightful questions and demonstrating a genuine understanding of their SEO challenges.

During a discovery call, I typically ask the following questions to understand prospects’ business and SEO goals better:

  • Have you done any SEO work in the past? If so, what were the results?
  • Are you happy with your website’s overall performance and user experience? 
  • What are your biggest challenges when it comes to attracting new customers online? 
  • What are your top three business goals for SEO? 
  • Do you have a content marketing strategy in place? 
  • What are your timelines for achieving SEO success?
  • Do you have a budget allocated for SEO services? 

2. Manage Expectations 

Crafting a winning SEO proposal takes a lot of time. Ideally, you’d want to convert a prospect into a client and get a project signed. 

However, the reality is that only some proposals turn into a project. 

Clients may find a seemingly “better deal” elsewhere, or their priorities might shift entirely at the last minute.

These missed opportunities can leave you feeling like your valuable time and resources haven’t paid off. That’s why setting expectations upfront is crucial.

Here’s what I recommend doing during a discovery or follow-up call before creating a proposal:

  • Openly discuss project timelines
  • ​​Explain to your client when they can realistically expect to see SEO results
  • Communicate the deliverables your client can expect at different stages
  • Explain resource allocation
  • Explain what level of ongoing support they can expect from you
  • Mention your rates and your minimum project budget

This will help you avoid misunderstandings and ensure you and your client are on the same page.

Don’t shy away from discussing your pricing structure and minimum project budget. It will help determine whether your services align with their budget and ensure a good fit for both parties.

SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, and managing expectations is crucial to a successful partnership.

3. Focus on Meaningful Results

Your clients are always interested in the final result – how SEO will help them achieve their business goals.

Therefore, I recommend focusing on the positive impact of your work when creating an SEO proposal. 

In particular, show your clients what they can achieve by implementing the recommendations from your SEO proposal. Use clear and concise language to explain how SEO will improve their website traffic, lead generation, and, ultimately, business. 

If you have permission, consider including case studies from similar projects to demonstrate the positive impact of your work. 

I also recommend presenting the “before and after” SEO data, which shows how your client’s website performance will improve after implementing your SEO recommendations. 

Here’s how you can elevate your SEO proposal by showing the transformative power of your work. It’s a wise move that explains the value of your efforts better than any words. 

Steal Our Free SEO Proposal Template

Creating new SEO proposals from scratch takes a lot of time. Instead, you can use a customizable SEO proposal template to streamline your process.

Simply download our free SEO proposal template and fill out the details specific to each client. It will free up your valuable time to focus on what truly matters – developing a winning SEO strategy tailored to each client’s unique needs.

Remember, personalization is critical. Even though a template provides a solid foundation, take the extra step to tailor your proposal to each client’s unique needs and goals.

SEO Strategy Proposal

Ready to Scale Your SEO Business?

If you want to know how to build your SEO business from scratch and scale it to seven figures with irresistible SEO proposals, check out my 7 Figure Agency course. 

In this 12-month training program, I’ll give you a blueprint for growing a profitable agency. Moreover, I’ll show you how I scaled my consulting to a $1+ million revenue agency business step-by-step.

This course is designed to accelerate your career whether you’re a solo freelancer or a growing agency. Learn how to create a powerful brand, streamline your operations for maximum efficiency, and price your services to attract ideal clients.

Stop wasting valuable time trying to figure it all out on your own. I’ve mapped out the roadmap to success within TTT Academy — join the course and fast-track your SEO journey!