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Steal Our Agency’s High Converting SEO Proposal


Ryan Stewart

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.

Is your agency struggling to close SEO leads?

There’s a good chance your SEO proposals are failing you.

In this post, I’ll cover:

  • Improving your SEO proposal acceptance rate through a simple pre qualification process
  • Examples of what to include in your proposals for SEO services (and why)
  • A link to the exact proposal template our agency has been using for years


The button below will take you to our training website to grab a copy of your FREE SEO proposal template.

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Putting together a proposal for search optimization services 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. Do light research to verify monthly 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. Have a detailed, informed conversation with the prospect

We insist on a phone call with all leads and won’t send a proposal unless we’ve done so.

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:

  1. Have an unrealistic timeframe for results. SEO takes at least 6 months to start seeing results, anyone who think they’re going to rank right away isn’t a good fit for services. They’ll be a major headache down the road.
  2. Talk only about “rankings”. Some keywords are flat out too competitive. We want to frame the conversation so the prospect understands we deliver qualified organic traffic, not “rankings”.
  3. Are “SEO experts” themselves. We know what we’re doing – we don’t need outside input. Working with micro-managers just kills campaigns.

Everything needs to be discussed before moving forward.



3. A verbal understanding of price before the proposal is built

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 button below will take you to our training website to grab a copy of your FREE SEO proposal template.

Powered by Capture and Convert


Cover page

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!



Executive summary

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.



Campaign goals

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.

WEBRIS example:

Goal: Increase targeted, qualified organic traffic for “bottom of the funnel” keywords.



Campaign deliverables

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.



Quote slides


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.  You can use a timeline maker for communicating  (on paper) how long the results will 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.

Read our detailed post on how to price your SEO services.

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.



Got questions?

Feel free to drop them in the comments, I’ll do my best answer them.



The button below will take you to our training website to grab a copy of your FREE SEO proposal template.

Powered by Capture and Convert

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  • Kimberly Says

    Hey Ryan, I’m late to the party here, and it’s no longer pinned to your Facebook group. Is there anywhere else I can download this, pretty please? It looks awesome. Thanks!


      • Ash Says

        I’m late to both facebook group link AND this dropbox link – any chance you could post again please? Much appreciated!


  • Janel Says

    Hey, thanks a lot for sticking that in a drop box! I just discovered this post and was also looking on facebook for it! cheers!

  • Patrick the Man Says


    Wanted to thank you for providing a really great resource that packs a wallop for prospective clients. I am going to be using this, modified of course, for my own proposals and will start using it once I have my site re-vamped and focusing on the clients I want to work with.

    Would you mind elaborating on that initial phone call that you have with a prospective client to qualify them?

    The content you have provided is really top-notch, and frankly, it has motivated me to re-vamp my site, processes and strategies for getting my services out there to the many businesses that need them. Keep bringing the great content.


  • AkDeepak Says


    Wanted to thank you for providing a really great resource apply own idea that packs a wallop for prospective clients. I am going to be using this Knowledge for my own proposals .

    God Bless you …


  • David Says

    Very nicely put together presentation! I’ll definately be using selected parts on my own I’m building.
    Thanks for the effort.

  • Ronaldo c Tumpang Says


  • Rod Says

    Hey Ryan, sorry just discovered this article, can’t seem to download the resource do you mind reposting link?

  • Donald Says

    Hi, it seems the file is no longer available in the dropbox. Can you upload it again and put a new link up?

  • John Says

    Ryan can you please share a updated link of drop box as this one is showing 404 and also approved my facebook group request.

  • Liz Says

    Hi Ryan,

    Nice article. The link is no longer working – can you please send me the seo proposal template? Trying to start my own thing now that I’ve been laid off. Any help appreciated.

  • vipin nayar Says

    Hi Ryan, Great Stuff very helpful really love what you doing.

  • Tode Says

    Nice article, I really enjoyed, sadly the link doesn’t work. Can you re-upload the proposal please.

  • Lavitechie Says

    Hi, Nice stuff but i am unable to find file on dropbox link. Please upload it again so that your new viewers can also download it. Thanks in advance..

  • Rikita Says

    Hi , Ryan i was looking for the post but i could not find it. Is there any other way to look your work?

  • Joe Harkins Says

    First of all, thank you for your openness. You are maintaining the fading tradition of how the web used to be.

    I sincerely hope that my next comment is not taken wrong. Many of us, myself included have stopped using Facebook. For my part, I think I have been contributing to a monster that has intentions of total control. I just can’t participate anymore.

    If you should ever again post your template to DropBox, I hope I learn about it.

    Thank you again for being generous in sharing your work.

  • Joe Says

    This rocks, thanks Ryan!

  • Thanh Says

    Hi Ryan,

    Can you share SEO Proposal again. Thank you so much!

  • joseph Says

    Hey Ryan, awesome stuff man, your content is really top notch. One question for you if you dont mind answering. With the proposal form, do you use it as a contract form where the customer has to sign it before you start your work. Thanks so much!

    • we have a separate contract that we send over after theyve accepted the proposal

  • Tyson Says

    This is awesome stuff man. I’m in the early stages of my own seo firm promoting local businesses and I love everything you do – you do it right. Not everybody does, so I appreciate the content you put out there. What is your facebook group – I want to jump in!

    Thanks again for all the free stuff you’re putting out.

  • Felipe Says

    Hello Ryan,
    i recently started to follow you on IG, FB, and snapchat. any other area where i can download the proposal? it would be great! thanks!

  • Guys Says

    Hey Ryan,

    This simply awesome, this what i am expecting, Could you please share the download link?

  • Rickey Says

    Hi Ryan

    Thanks for the post. It was indeed a great post. I wanted to download the template but the dropbox link to the template seems to be not working. Can you please give me the link to download.


  • Nicole Hanusek Says

    I can’t believe you share this with everyone. You rock Ryan!!!!

  • Petar Says

    Hi Ryan, I have just finished reading your proposal which is awesome! I will steal some bits and incorporate them within mine. However, I noticed a small typo on slide 17 – One of our amazing… Thought you would like to fix it.


  • Petar Says

    Hi Ryan, you have shared an awesome proposal. I will steal some bits and pieces. I was reading through and noticed a small type on slide 17 – One of our amazing staff… Thought you might want to fix it if you still send it to clients.


  • gabriel dare Says

    Hi Ryan,thanks for the post but ive been to your fbk page and the download link is missing,please tell me where i can have full access to it

  • Andre Says

    Awesome proposal template! Thank you very much for sharing. I noticed its not pinned to the top of the facebook page, any other place I can download it from?

  • Abraham Motsoane Says

    I am unable to find the SEO proposal template download in Dropbox, where else can I get it?

  • Just Wicked. Saved me a bunch of time when rejigging my old versions. It’s greatly appreciated Ryan.

  • Faheem Says

    Hi Ryan

    i really like your post i also join your group and bookmark your site.

    kindly send me PPT file link coz your dropbox link is not working im waiting your update

  • This is really good, thaks for making available, but any idea how I can get my hands on this powerpoint template please?


  • Dave Spigen Says

    Hi Ryan,

    It would be great if you can post the updated link again. Thanks for sharing such valuable details 🙂

  • Sheryl Says

    Hi Ryan,
    Just requested to join your FB group and found an amazing community there. I will look for the template/pinned post if I’m accepted. Thanks for making your tools, training and wisdom available!

  • Dylan Says

    Thank you for making this available for everyone. This is surely one of the best proposal template; Please can you upload a ppt version for us.

  • Manish Satija Says

    Amazing, Well thoughtful, Helpful, Presentable article written for Advertisers, Agencies, Digital Marketing Service Provider, Students and list goes on. Thanks a ton for sharing Mr. Ryan Stewart, It really helps. All the best. Best Regards,

  • This is so helpful! Do you send this over to them as a PowerPoint or as a PDF?

    • we actually migrated to google slides, much more effective we just send them a link

  • Jani Quentin Says

    Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. However think of if you added some great pictures or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this site could definitely be one of the best in its niche. Great blog!

    • i have – this template is actually pretty old and is no longer what we use.

  • Santiago Adkins Says

    May I simply say what a relief to uncover an individual who truly knows what they are talking about over the internet. You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people should look at this and understand this side of your story. I can’t believe you aren’t more popular because you certainly possess the gift.

  • Edward Holtzman Says

    This looks awesome! Is there an actual working link anywhere!

  • Yos William Says

    Great information Ryan. I’ve started using Power Point as my client proposal since few months ago and somehow the conversion rate seems to be better even though there are more pages to read (30+ pages). I must admit that my new proposal looks more polished with great design and clients seem to like it and trust it more. Last time, I only used Microsoft Word (10 pages) and a bit wordy.

  • Hafis Says

    Thanks, Ryan! 🙂

  • Steven Jones Says

    So helpful, as always – thank you!

  • Jon Says

    I would love to gt this proposal. I tried joining group and can not. also tried dropbox and nothing either. any direction here?

  • Michael A. Peterson Says

    I have to say I really enjoyed your article and got some solid nuggets out of it. However, one part really bothered me; and since YOU gave ME some solid nuggets, maybe I can give you one. Maybe not. It’s worth a try anyway!
    You mention you don’t work with clients that are SEO experts. I think this is either short-sighted, or, more likely, just an easy pigeon-hole for the article. If the latter, then I assume you mean that you don’t work with self-styled experts who really don’t know what they are doing?
    I am comfortable calling myself an expert writer. I am also comfortable saying there is probably a grammatical or spelling error in this comment. I hire a copy-editor for EVERY piece I publish, because other eyes will catch my mistakes (and man do I make mistakes).
    I am fairly strong @ SEO, though far from an expert. When hiring an SEO company (which I do) I will ask hard questions. I WILL test you. Why? Because there is no degree in SEO. Additionally, SEO, SEM, and marketing in general is super-hard to measure, so I question both good and bad references. If I ask you about cluster-content, how NAP affects local, or what you think the right long-tails are for my site, its because I don’t have any other way to really measure you. It’s also because, frankly, I don’t’ have time to babysit (micromanage) so I need to know I am forming a partnership with someone that I trust. I have no doubt you agree with the last 13 words of that sentence and you still might say I am not the type of client you like, and that’s totally understandable, but hopefully you at least know that it might mean that I am the OPPOSITE of a micro-manager.

    Anyway, that’s for a great article. Good stuff that I will be using (specifically the ‘check, then check again’ type advice)

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