How to Write Winning SEO Proposals: 5 Essential Tips

According to marketing research firm eConsultancy, 65% of businesses expect to increase their SEO spend in the coming year. If you’re an SEO agency, you still have to compete for that business and make prospects understand why you can get them better results and manage their risk more effectively than the competition. Having unique differentiators, and effectively wrapping them into a kick-butt SEO proposal, is mandatory.

There was a time not so long ago when SEOs were seen as magicians with mysterious methodologies. Back then, an SEO could mention “magic words” like “metadata” or “anchor text” and executives might exchange bedazzled glances and nod approvingly.

Brands in all industries are getting smarter about SEO and will be expecting more. Many executives at large companies realize that SEO has largely depended on reporting metrics that are unrelated to ROI. If you can prove that you can generate search traffic, C-level executives might be happy for a time. But unless you can prove ROI, you won’t have any level of job security. On a strategic level, your SEO proposals need to prove the value of your services. On a more granular level, you need to show how your methodologies will help a business achieve its long-term goals.

So how can you prove your worth to executives and differentiate yourself from all the other SEO providers out there? Read on.

Show How You’ll Prove ROI

Key decision makers want to know if the value of your services will outweigh their cost. If a potential client is using a CRM solution like Salesforce.com, a revenue-based SEO tool can calculate the keywords that are driving sales. You can therefore draw a direct line between SEO and revenue. Executives won’t have to wonder whether they are wasting money on your services. If your clients aren’t using a CRM, you can use their SEM data and Google Traffic Estimator to best predict the keywords that will create revenue.

Demonstrate Strategic Integration With Other Channels

SEO should be integrated into a brand’s content and social media strategies. It shouldn’t be seen as an afterthought. Address business strategy at the front of your proposal and show exactly what you can do for a business. You should estimate the hours that will be involved early on, and clearly communicate a pricing structure that includes integrated channels. Do your research to make sure that your pricing is competitive. Don’t promise anything that will be overly difficult or impossible to deliver. Set yourself and your client up for success.

Discuss On-Page Methodologies

Businesses will want to know, in some detail, how you plan to optimize pages (metadata, page content, links, etc.). It’s also best to let them know how you plan to handle any code changes. Decision makers will want to know what role their internal team will play in the optimization process and what role you or your agency will play. For example, will you handle code changes or will their internal programming team handle them?

Outline Reporting Metrics

Since SEO is a long-term strategy, businesses will want to know how you plan to measure results over time. It’s important that your reports focus on metrics that align with a businesses overall strategic goals. If, for example, a potential client has a revenue model that depends on click-through traffic, then key in on that metric when writing your proposal.

Provide References

Key decision makers are going to want to know that you can provide results. You might have to start out with small clients or even consider doing freebie jobs for friends. If you can prove that your SEO services have helped businesses create revenue, you can leverage small successes into more lucrative opportunities. Treat every client as a potential evangelist for your brand.

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About Jesse Davis

Jesse Davis is a content marketing copywriter at DemandResults. He graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in history. In his free time, he blogs, writes fiction, plays guitar and spends far too much time on social media sites.

3 Responses to “How to Write Winning SEO Proposals: 5 Essential Tips”

  1. 5 Essential Tips for Writing Winning SEO Proposals http://t.co/N4eAtNTY

  2. v Sklyarevski (@aspectwi) October 9, 2011 7:16 pm #

    How to Write Winning SEO Proposals: 5 Essential Tips http://t.co/JFfswtMu via @demandresults

  3. How to Write Winning SEO Proposals http://t.co/kCkEheHf #li #seo

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