Steal Our High Converting SEO Proposal
I have an unhealthy obsession with being considered the world's BEST internet marketer. I'm highly active on social media and love a good debate.
Are you struggling to close leads?
There’s a good chance your proposals are failing you.
In this post, I’ll cover:
- Improving proposal acceptance rate through a pre qualification process.
- Step by step, what to include in your proposals (and why).
- A link to the proposal template we’ve been using for years.
To get the proposal template please visit our Facebook Group:
The proposal is pinned to the “Files” section at the top of Group [SEO Proposal Template].
Putting together a proposal the right way takes a lot of work. A lot of “leads” are tire kickers – meaning they’re not qualified to be a client.
To save ourselves a ton of time, we need to prequalify leads before sending a proposal. With this process in place, our success rate for outbound proposals has skyrocketed to 70% success rate.
1. Research to estimate budget
We don’t want to waste time with proposals if a company can’t afford our services. You can learn a lot about a prospects budget with a few simple checks.
A few things I check:
- Social profiles. Checking to see size of their audience and fans.
- LinkedIn company search. Checking how many employees work there.
- Link check in Ahrefs. Checking to see the quality and quantity of their links. PR links always mean bigger budget.
- SEMRush traffic check. Checking to see how much traffic they’re getting to get a high level idea of sales.
2. Conversation (phone / in person).
We insist on a phone call and won’t send a proposal unless we’ve connected.
Everyone has a different idea of “SEO”, it’s critically important to get on the same page with prospects. For example, we don’t work with prospects who:
- Have an unrealistic timeframe for results. SEO takes at least 6 months to start seeing results.
- Talk only about “rankings”. Some keywords are flat out too competitive. We deliver qualified organic traffic, not “rankings”.
- Are “SEO experts”. We know what we’re doing – we don’t need any outside input. Working with micro-managers just kills campaigns.
Everything needs to be discussed before moving forward.
3. A verbal understanding of price.
The conversation needs to end with a pricing estimate. The other party needs to acknowledge they can commit to pay that estimate for 6 months, minimum.
Until you get their consent, don’t send a proposal.
Before using this proposal, please make sure to review the following thoroughly!
The proposal is built in Google Sheets, not Word- this allows us to dress up the proposal with branding. Good design adds a lot of “perceived value” to your service – design is key!
Enter a few paragraphs here about your company morals, beliefs and practices. Use this space to tell the prospect more things about your agency that they don’t already know.
This should a space that you sell yourself, give them good reason to dig further through the proposal and choose you. Write as much as you can but don’t go overboard. Keep it short and to the point. SELL THEM!
Pitch specific insights
The key to a good proposal is identifying issues and detailing how you’ll solve them. The first few slides in your proposal should identify issues on their site and how you can help fix them. We generally try and find at least 5 issues on their site to add into our proposals.
In my opinion, this is the most important part of the proposal – it shows initiative on your part. Also, it allows you to setup your deliverables.
It’s incredibly important to let your prospect know what the goal of your efforts are. Use this slide to clearly lay them out and explain them in detail.
Goal: Increase targeted, qualified organic traffic for “bottom of the funnel” keywords.
The purpose of the goals slide is to let the prospect know what we’re trying to accomplish. These “deliverable” slides should lay out the work required to achieve those goals.
We generally have between 12 – 18 of these slides, depending on the scope of the pitch. Our proposals focus on the big buckets (i.e. link outreach, technical audit, content creation, etc). Feel free to get granular here and blow it out.
Below is a sample deliverable that we put into every proposal. You can have slides for items like keyword research, audience profiling, technical audits – everything you do for clients should be added here.
We like to add supporting information that helps sell the prospect. If you have a team, display them – it’s a huge trust factor when a prospect can associate names and faces.
Adding client logos is another great way to give a quick sales pitch.
Timeline for results is also important here. This generally remains the same for us, but it still communicates (on paper) how long results take. We generally estimate traffic increases on past client history.
I’m not going to tell you how to price your agreements, that’s on you.
We work on a per hour basis – each person that is in our agency has an assigned hourly rate.
Total Hours x Hourly Rate = Total Cost
We work on 6 month agreements, so to get the monthly total, I do:
Total Cost / 6 = Monthly Cost
Finally, add your contact information at the end.
Feel free to drop them in the comments, I’ll do my best answer them.