What is an SEO Proposal?
An SEO proposal can best be thought of as a sales pitch to impress potential clients — one that aims to convince them to choose your marketing agency and work with you instead of with your competitors.
An SEO proposal defines how your SEO strategy will help prospects climb the Google ladder, drive search results, boost traffic, and get more business. Ultimately, it should demonstrate how your clients will achieve their business goals and get more clients.
A proposal comes earlier in the sales process than the SEO contract and is not legally binding — think of your SEO proposal template as your chance to convince new clients that your services and company are, by far, the best fit for them.
Note: To download your free, client-ready SEO proposal template, sign-up now to Bonsai and start your next big project.
The fundamental elements of an SEO proposal template
To succeed in pitching your search engine optimization service, you’ll need a great SEO proposal template. Your proposal should consist of multiple sections that can be added, removed, or customized depending on the unique needs of a potential client.
Try to include these sections in your SEO proposal template:
Cover page and introduction
This is the first page any prospective client sees, so ensure it’s polished, appealing, and informative. Include your name or SEO agency’s name, the name of the prospective client, and, of course, the title of your SEO proposal. You might also add a subtitle or an actionable call to action (CTA) phrase to capture the client’s attention and drive action.
Write an excellent executive summary
On the first or second page of your proposal template, it would be smart to include an executive summary. This section should aim to convince prospective clients that you understand their SEO needs and requirements, plus that you have the solution to their problems. Write about the customers' pain points and what they will gain by using your services. Try to keep everything short but enticing.
This is paramount, as prospects are busy, and don’t always have enough time to read an entire document. This is where the summary falls into place, giving them a concise overview of your proposal.
To create a powerful summary, you need to begin by addressing the prospect’s pain points. Convey that you understand how their business operates and that you know what goals they are trying to reach.
Describe the impact of a problem you’ve identified and how much it damages their operations (e.g., not enough traffic due to poorly SEO optimized content). Then describe the expected result — anything from increasing business reach to gaining more leads.
Now it’s time to fill in the specifics of your SEO campaigns and the strategy, but be brief. For instance, if your client’s goal is to increase organic traffic, mention how you intend to achieve this.
Likewise, if they want to improve their revenue, explain how you’re going to help them do that. You can mention things like content creation, SEO optimization, meta descriptions, backlinking, and more.
Again, give prospects an outline of the tactics you’re suggesting, and invite them for further discussion with a smart CTA phrase.
Explain how SEO works and why should you invest in it
If you think prospects are already aware of the power of SEO, feel free to omit this section or just give it a brief mention. For prospects who aren’t aware of how SEO works, this section will help them gain a basic understanding of SEO concepts.
The simpler you explain SEO basics, the more powerful and capable you will look as an SEO solution. Express your points in jargon-free language that even clients without previous experience with SEO will understand.
In this section, you discuss your agency and marketing services. Explain your expertise, strengths, and values, among others. Additionally, add testimonials from past clients and social proof to earn more credibility. By doing so, you bring confidence to the table, making your prospective clients feel safer in choosing your services instead of competitors’ offerings.
Finally, in the About Us section, introduce your digital marketing team and other partners, their SEO specializations, and strengths, as well as what their role will be throughout the SEO optimization process.
This section should reveal in more detail how your service will improve organic traffic and increase readership and visitors, as well as achieve better search engine results. Ideally, you should include the following in this section:
- SEO audit: Mention site audit, technical SEO audit, etc.
- SEO campaign plan: On-page-and-off-page SEO plan, link-building strategies, keyword research, SEO tools, content creation with target keywords, social media optimization, and so on.
- Competitor analysis: You need to conduct competition research to analyze how competitors in your prospect’s field of enterprise are performing for SEO implementation.
- Reporting: Informing your clients how you will share your SEO performance constantly is crucial. These reports should show conversion rate, organic search traffic, session time, and parameters that define how high your client’s website is climbing up the Google ladder.
Scope and deliverables
In the scope and deliverables section, you should provide a realistic timeframe to your clients — a timeframe that you know you can stick to. Don’t try to be overly optimistic, especially if you have lots of other projects running concurrently. Instead, give clarity to clients on each action item and strive to make it easy for them to track any SEO milestone.
Break down all your SEO services in an easy-to-read table format. State the price of each SEO component you offer, as well as the final all-in price. Mention each service in separate lines and perhaps add bullet points to make everything more reader-friendly.
While this isn’t the same as an invoice, which comes once you’ve closed the deal, everything must be clear, precise, and factual. Once the work is delivered, you cannot charge your clients differently from your quotation.
What's more, avoiding hidden or unexpected fees is essential to your business’s credibility and success. State clearly what clients are going to pay.
Terms and conditions
This section includes the terms, rules, and obligations between you (the SEO agency or contractor) and the client. Terms and conditions sections are there to avoid conflict, as both parties agree to a set of rules that defines payment terms, rights, warranties, contract termination, and contract renewal.
Next steps and signature
Describe the next steps in the process once your prospects have been successfully turned into actively paying consumers. End this section with a CTA that prompts clients to accept the proposal and move the process to the contract stage.
How to write an SEO proposal sample
Creating a compelling SEO proposal that prompts prospects to invest is hard. We know that, but there are ways to craft such an irresistible proposal. Here are a few tips:
Ask prospects questions
Sometimes, to showcase your expertise, all you have to do is ask prospects the right questions. The goal is to show that you understand what prospective customers need help with, plus demonstrate that you can address their requirements.
Some sample questions:
- What do you expect out of SEO?
- What’s your target audience, and what are the pain points related to your service?
- Who are your competitors?
- Is this the first time you have considered SEO?
- What are your chosen keywords, and what keywords should someone type into Google to discover your business?
You don’t have to be unique
This might sound counterintuitive, but you really don’t need to reinvent the wheel to find new clients. Writing an SEO proposal template can take hours, so creating a unique SEO proposal for each of your prospective clients from scratch is unrealistic. Instead, you should create a general high-end SEO proposal template and tailor it each time you approach a client’s unique needs and requirements.
Show clients you’re the one for the job
This is where you can showcase your experience and how it will fit your prospective client’s needs. Use customer testimonials, examples of past projects, as well as examples of how you have helped previous clients improve their sales process or increase their traffic with your SEO services.
Here is a simple outline you can follow to highlight your past projects:
- List some of your past clients. (Try to avoid mentioning a direct competitor, though, as it may confuse the prospect.)
- Next, describe some of the challenges and frustrations your previous clients have faced and how you helped them overcome them.
- Include a rundown of the SEO services you offered to solve the issue.
- Don’t forget to add a short analysis of the end result.
- Add a customer testimonial demonstrating how your SEO services helped past clients increase their revenue and website traffic.
Make an attractive offer
This section should grab as much attention as the executive summary. To make it more attractive, use terminology other than “pricing”. Use another term, such as “investment”.
You could even offer different packages to ensure clients can pick the service they need. As mentioned above, present this information in a table to make it easier for prospects to compare each package.
Finally, here are some examples of payment details:
- Terms of pay: per hour or per project
- Payment schedule: when and how consumers should pay
- Total pay: the full amount clients would have to pay for your SEO services
- Payment details: any further information related to payment
Creating an SEO proposal template is simple with Bonsai
Before sending your SEO proposal to clients, consider that it might be better to work with Bonsai, a leading proposal template solution for freelancers and marketing agencies, rather than creating and editing an SEO proposal template yourself.
Bonsai is an all-in-one product suite and solution with smart automation that lets professionals focus on working, not on paperwork. Thanks to it, anyone can deliver a winning SEO proposal, as Bonsai offers a free SEO proposal template.
Free SEO proposal templates are great, sure, but they aren’t edited to meet the unique demands of the clients you’re pitching to. You need to join Bonsai and integrate it with your workflow to edit a template.
Don’t miss out on your free SEO proposal template download — sign-up to Bonsai for an SEO proposal example. Hold tight and skyrocket your SEO proposals today.
Sample SEO proposal FAQs
1. How important is the Terms and Conditions section in an SEO services template?
It might mean trouble if you neglect or underestimate this section of your SEO proposal template. By having a “Terms and Conditions” section in place, you have your own back covered if a client refuses to pay, asks for unfair revisions, or wants to terminate the contract without notice.
Consumers cannot go back on their word when agreeing to a “Terms and Conditions” section because they are obliged to honor it.
2. How to list my deliverables in a practical and easy-to-understand way?
Laying out the search engine optimization services included in your proposal is super important. It shows prospects that you offer the whole package.
As always, try to keep everything streamlined and straightforward. Include in your SEO proposals for clients:
- Audit: keyword audit, content audit, link audit, and so on.
- Competitor analysis: Describe how you’re going to track what competitors do and how you’re going to analyze their SEO strategy.
- Keyword research: Mention the software you’re using to find relevant keywords.
- Link building: Explain what process you follow for link building. Mentioning the tools you use for extensive backlink analysis is smart, too.
- SEO reporting: Mention how often you’re going to send out SEO reports to prospects and if you will review them together.