How to write a Winning SEO Proposal to Get New Client

An SEO proposal is your chance to convince a new client that you are the perfect fit for them. A prospective client will send out feelers and reach out to multiple agencies, so it’s essential to have an actionable, clear plan and stand apart from the pack with something unique.

When crafting your SEO proposal, it’s essential to ask yourself many questions. What are the goals? Who is my audience? Why would they engage with me, and what do I have to make them want to work with me again? The more thorough you are in asking yourself these questions, the easier it will be to craft something that speaks to your prospective client’s needs. So check out our SEO Proposal Template and fill in all the blanks so you can get started on creating your winning SEO proposals!

Some Key Factors About an SEO Proposal

Key Factors

The SEO proposal is the key to winning over a prospective client. The SEO proposal should be the first impression you give potential clients, and it’s essential to stand out from the crowd with a professional SEO proposal template that presents your knowledge, experience, and expertise. SEO proposals are also an opportunity for experienced SEOs to review their SEO process, identify weaknesses or “robustness” of their offerings, and make necessary changes before presenting them to a new client.

1. What do you expect to get out of SEO?

It’s essential to understand who you are working for precisely and their priorities regarding SEO. Failure to explain your process in detail will show the client that you haven’t bothered to consider what they want from an SEO agency. Conversely, don’t go into too much depth or make your proposal too complex if your prospects do not have high technical knowledge.

If you know your target audience, you can ensure that everything in the proposal supports this audience and makes them feel they’re talking directly to a team member! Ensure they can relate to everything by targeting people who work at similar companies or have marketing goals identical to theirs.

The opportunity to show off your knowledge of practical, actionable SEO tactics is one of the best things you can do in an SEO proposal. That will give your clients the confidence to talk to experts who have a proven track record of success and don’t just tell them what they want to hear (like “getting their website on page 1 of Google”). Ensure that all your ideas, suggestions, and recommendations reflect experience with clients who have a similar audience size or business type as your prospects.

2. Write a headline that grabs attention!

It is the first thing potential clients will see on your proposal, and you must make them WANT to read more about you.

Your headline should convey all the benefits of working with you; these can be tangible results (more traffic, increased revenue, etc.) or intangible but desirable values like “creativity” or “expertise.” Think about what makes someone want to go over your shoulder and take a peek at your next idea for a website redesign? Does it inspire excitement? Will they toss their coffee down involuntarily as they scan through it because their eyes glue to this SEO proposal by this point? If so, then congratulations! You’ve won over another client who may have spent several months researching other agencies to find the right fit.

3. Explain the SEO services you offer

Your proposal should concisely explain your offering and take the time to spell out the details. Would you please consider this an opportunity to review all your SEO services and make sure they represent on paper in the best possible light?

White hat link building – we’ll build relevant links using industry best practices to help you rank higher and get you more authority backlinks.

Black hat link building – for those who want to rank faster, we can build many low-quality links (i.e., forum signatures) that are less likely to hurt rankings in the long run but may not give you as much authority as white hat links.

Before prospective clients look at your SEO proposal, they will review examples of your previous work to make sure it is easy to look great on the eyes and formatted.

4. Introduce your company and what you do

Demonstrate your expertise by telling clients the types of projects you have worked on in the past. It will show them that maybe they don’t fully understand SEO and answer many questions for both parties.

It’s essential to outline what to expect from both parties, so everyone knows where they stand. Do you expect regular communications? How often should they check-in? How much involvement do you expect them to have once project(s) are underway? Should there be any checkpoints or milestones where the primary services will begin and end even if a company does not use all of your services? These things can go either way, but it depends on how comfortable both parties are working together.

5. Explain the benefits of working with you, including why they should choose you over others

That is where you have the opportunity to stand out from the competition. Why should they choose your company? What are your specialties? Which clients are you most proud of working with? It is not a place for modesty or being too corporate. It’s an opportunity to spit some fire and let them know how great your company is.

Quote! Be sure to break these down into pricing per project/per month so that everyone knows what services cost and exactly how much things will cost them based on their requirements. Always make sure that each quote has something unique about it; this can be tangible benefits (such as “two free revisions”) or intangible (“we’re so good at SEO that we only need two weeks to complete this task”).

6. Outline the process for working together to achieve their goals

That is where you convince a new client that you are the perfect fit for them. It would help if you outlined how your process works in terms of communications, what precisely you will do, and when each task can expect to complete. It can also include estimated prices for all services you provide (as well as examples of work if they’re interested), but it’s best to focus on benefits rather than numbers.

Prospective clients don’t want a project to crash and burn after they have spent thousands on your services, so spell out precisely what can happen, how it happens, and why it’s not their fault (or specifically their fault).

This section is also an opportunity for you to include information about third-party risk (i.e., If Google changes its algorithm, does this affect the marketing campaign? If yes, by how much?) It will help protect you from blameless clientele should things go wrong and show the prospective client that you’ve thought about all possible outcomes and are prepared to handle everything accordingly.

7. List out your Pricing rates, including what include in each package

A prospective client will reach out to multiple agencies, so it’s essential to have an actionable, clear plan and stand apart from the pack with something unique. For example, you may offer more variety than other companies in terms of additional services (i.e., web design, PPC management) or more experience in your particular field of expertise (such as link-building).

In some cases, this could even mean a lower price point – if your company is small and therefore doesn’t have the overhead that larger companies do, you can pass those savings on to clients. Regardless of what makes your company special, focus on how it will benefit them rather than yourself and ensure accuracy.

8. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes!

That is pretty self-explanatory; we don’t want to earn a reputation for shoddy work because of something silly like an incorrectly spelled word or punctuation! If you’re submitting your SEO proposal electronically, all text must be completely free of typos and grammatical errors. It doesn’t matter how many years of experience you have if your expertise isn’t reflected in your professionalism in presentation.

9. Keep things clear and concise

When talking about SEO, make sure you use simple but precise language to avoid misunderstandings between you and prospective clients. It may seem obvious, but some novice copywriters can overuse jargon or technical terms that will only confuse your prospects and may even lose them.

Your proposal aims to give your client the confidence that you know what you’re doing so they don’t have to probe for answers or ask too many questions during the onboarding stage of working with a news agency. Also, provide supporting evidence whenever possible and state facts as facts rather than opinions; there are no doubts about the validity of what you’re saying. You should also make sure an example backs up every statement from past projects.

10. Find out everything about their business!

There’s nothing worse than spending time writing a proposal for someone who doesn’t understand SEO well enough to answer some of the questions in your document. However, it’s essential to know that you want the client to be able to answer most of these questions as part of their onboarding process, so don’t waste time on things like “What is SEO?” or “How are we going to use social media?”

The internet has no shortage of resources about SEO, so if you’re struggling with this, then take a look at some past posts on this blog or some other highly-cited content from more significant sites like Moz, Search Engine Land, and Search Engine Roundtable. You’ll also want to understand the competitive landscape for your prospect’s industry for apparent reasons; knowing who is out there trying to get rankings will give valuable insight into what you can do to differentiate your SEO services from the competition.

11. Suggest at least 3-4 potential solutions!

It is where you get to show off your expertise in all areas of Search Engine Optimization. Showing how many ideas you have for a project will demonstrate that you’ve been paying attention and give the client confidence that they’re hiring the right agency for their business.

It’s also important to note here that an SEO campaign isn’t one size fits all; what works best for one prospect might not work as well, or even be viable, if used on another client with different goals and problems to solve. So make sure each idea has a specific purpose associated with it (page 1 rankings by next quarter vs. 10% increase in organic revenue by year’s end). Also, include a time frame for each goal and tie it back to the potential client’s primary business goals.

12. Acknowledge your competitors!

We know you’re probably sick of hearing about the competition by now, but they can be an essential reference point for both you and your prospect when it comes to SEO proposals. In some cases, we work with clients who have already worked with one of our competitors on a previous campaign.

In these cases, showing off firsthand knowledge of what their competitor did well (and maybe not-so-well) can be invaluable in distinguishing us from other agencies competing for that same customer. In addition, writing up a comprehensive summary of how your competitor went about tackling problem X gives the client insight into the effectiveness of your competitor’s proposed solutions without taking up any extra time.

13. Back up EVERYTHING with facts!

There’s nothing worse than a poorly-researched proposal full of opinions, or worst yet, baseless statements that have no basis in reality whatsoever. It’s important to know that a client wants to see that you’ve done your homework and are knowledgeable about the topic; if they are not convinced of your expertise, they won’t be sold on working with you. So don’t just say something; back it up with data or reference information. It can include rankings for specific keywords SEMRush / SimilarWeb / Google Analytics account data Proof of a particular SEO campaign or project that you undertook What other clients are saying about your work; testimonials, case studies, etc.

Some Important Points of an SEO proposal

SEO proposal Important Points

As a proposal reviewer, I’ve noticed some common factors that you should look out for. First, of course, any proposal must stand out and appeal to the company’s needs to be considered seriously. Our SEO Toolkit also includes an extra template with ten essential tips on how your proposals can get more attention from potential clients – discover these secrets today!

1. Internal audit

It would help if you tried to go through all the content and structure of your site with an internal audit. Consider whether or not it meets SEO best practices requirements. It’s also good to identify any internally internal causing rankings problems hindering growth; this will give clients insight into the issues they’re facing and show them how they are likely to receive additional support from you promptly fashion.

2. Keyword research

Keyword research can be a crucial part of any SEO program. It gives you insight into the potential rankings for targeted terms and the competition on Google. Keywords are also vital to any local campaign, so it’s essential to consider top-level and localized keywords. If possible, include keyword opportunities from your competitor analysis with this section; it shows that you’ve been paying attention and are familiar with their work.

3. Competitor research

It’s essential to pay attention to your competitors as they can give you a lot of insight into what works and what doesn’t in terms of SEO techniques; don’t limit yourself solely to their website. I suggest that you also look at social accounts, review sites like Yelp or Tripadvisor, and other industry verticals such as your local yellow pages ( in the UK).

4. Technical SEO audit

You should include any technical SEO best practices that your audit has shown to be necessary. Make sure it’s clear what is needed and how long this will take.

6. Project plan/timeline

Depending on the size of the project, including an outline of what steps are involved as part of the solution being proposed, along with their estimated timeframes (Example: “On-site optimizations – 1 month” or “Keyword research – 3 days”). It’s also wise to include things like KPI targets at the end of each phase and when you’ll be able to start reporting progress.

7. Previous SEO proposal example

I’ve included some images in this post (click to enlarge) from a previous search engine optimization proposal I wrote for one of my clients, including KPI targets and an outline of our solution. You can see how this information is laid out: The document is broken up into sections including a general overview, keyword research, competitor analysis, and report recommendations; I also hired a third-party technology partner to help with the technical audit section, so it’s broken off separately and referenced in the main report.

8. Backlink audit

Backlink analysis is undoubtedly one of the essential parts of any SEO campaign, so it’s a must for including in your proposal. I’ve broken down the metrics into separate sections, like anchor text distribution and domain authority/page authority scores, and included an overall analysis at the end.

9. Content quality audit

It’s essential to consider the content quality on the site. If it’s thin, outdated, or inaccurate, you might recommend content audits instead of other campaigns like link building or local search. Include data such as keyword density, length, formatting for essential pages, and any suggestions for improvements.

10. Strategy and direction

What are your primary goals for this client? What keywords do you want to be ranked for, and your overall strategy? How will you put together a comprehensive plan to attract new customers to the area if it’s a local campaign?

It’s also essential to show that you’ve thought out all of these points instead of just randomly throwing together ideas for a presentation. The logic and flow behind each issue should be clear so that the prospective client can follow through from start to finish based on their unique needs. You would rather have an opportunity like this pass than lose out due to a lack of preparedness.

11. Costs and resources

It’s essential to be honest about your pricing and any financial requirements for the project. In addition, it should be clear how much work is involved in each phase, along with if you will need any resources to help out.

12. Measuring success

You should always have a plan of action ready that includes your KPI targets and what you’ll need from the client to report back on progress throughout the campaign and prove ROI. Sometimes it might also be helpful to include a list of things that won’t (or shouldn’t) happen, like SEO spam or black hat ranking methods; make sure no questions surround these issues before agreeing to take on a client!

How to Write and What Must Include in Your SEO Proposal?

How to Write SEO Proposal

This list provides a general breakdown of the information your SEO proposal should contain. Use it as more of a starting point than hard-and-fast rules, and be sure to customize accordingly based on future client needs, goals, business size, etc.

1. Introduction & Summary

First, write an introduction that briefly explains why you’re approaching this particular client. That will help orient them in the document and let them know what’s to follow. Next, please summarize the proposal to get information about all the different sections without reading through everything.

Next, go into more detail about how you came up with your recommendations by including an analysis of your prospective clients’ situation or business goals; this should also include any market research results (like keyword difficulty scores) and demographic data (if relevant).

2. SEO Insights Reports

Give them detailed SEO Insights Reports. This should be broken down into sections and include keyword rankings, engagement rate percentages, links to the site, etc. Include a few graphs or charts to help illustrate your point if needed but don’t go overboard—you want this report to be read, not admired for its graphics.

The third section of your SEO proposal is the Technical Analysis Report. This can be more in-depth than a regular audit but still needs to have an easy-to-read format and layout, so it’s easily digested by anyone reading through it (not just other SEO professionals). Again, you’ll benefit from including analytics tracking and recommendations for any fixes that need to happen on the backend or work on pages/tags/links that can optimize performance.

Your fourth section is your Content Strategy & Execution Report. Please include at least two paragraphs about each content type that will need to be produced for this project (along with what it will take to do the work) and a sample of how you would handle writing for the client’s site using their voice tone. Again, we suggest using metrics (like on-page impressions, engagement statistics) and any other data relevant to illustrating how much value can gain from each piece of new content.

3. What Your Solutions & Deliverables

An idea of your deliverables and solutions is a vital section to include in your proposal. If you have any special software, processes, or requests, list them here; also, make it clear how the client can access their finished report (through an online portal or email).

Include some information about what’s involved in working with you and the onboarding process you have clients go through before they start seeing actual results. That way, prospective clients know that they aren’t left without support if they hire you and know ahead of time about whatever extra info/resources will need for this campaign.

4. What is Your Goals

Your Goals section can be near the beginning (as in the sample proposal below) or towards the end; either way, make sure it’s prominent and eye-catching. This gives you another chance to layout your plan for success with a client without relying on them reading through all your data points.

The next section of your SEO proposal should outline how you’ll measure success and what will happen if/when certain milestones are achieved. Make clear who gets paid when and how often—mainly if different SEO services are being provided versus one lump sum payment at the start (usually preferred by clients).

4. How Much Time You Take

How much time you take to finish their project is significant when writing an SEO proposal. Since you are not a magic man, you can’t do everything in one day. So your proposal should include the period for completing the SEO project.

It takes time to build backlinks and content. So your SEO proposal should include the estimated time needed for the completion of a project.

Break each of your proposed solutions down into specific, measurable milestones. That way, the client will be able to keep tabs on your progress, even if it takes a while for traffic and other metrics to improve.

Clients are often eager to start with new SEO projects because these changes can have immediate effects like higher rankings or more inbound links, but this doesn’t mean you don’t need an effective plan of attack! Setting clear deadlines is essential so everyone knows what’s expected from them and how long specific goals should take before others come next.

5. How Much Should They Invest

Once you’ve made your case for how you can help the client, they will be grateful and want to know what it’ll cost them. Be prepared with a breakdown of all fees, including any necessary licenses or permits required by law, before presenting an itemized list highlighting everything from start-up costs to monthly maintenance expenses.

It can be challenging when you have to charge a client for your SEO service. They might even think they don’t need the services or are not worth what’s being accused of and refuse to work with us if we make them sign up for an ongoing monthly payment plan.

To avoid this kind of experience, offer clients several different pricing options to get better control over their buying process while still paying too much than expected at once in one go.

6. Call to Action

End your proposal with a solid call to action that lets the clients know what they need to do next. Include contact information and steps in the process for clientele’s ease of understanding so that you can get started on their project right away!


The final section should give a brief overview of everything you presented and recap steps to move forward.

If it’s an in-person pitch, this is where you close the sale, but if you’re emailing your proposal, you can make this into a separate call to action email. Because having an SEO proposal template prepared well in advance increases our chances of winning more clients’ business.

We hope this blog post has helped you understand what a winning SEO proposal looks like and how to create one. We’re here for you if you’d like help with your next project. Contact us today!

Shajahan Sajal
Shajahan Sajal

I am Sajal. A Freelancer, a blogger, a Freelance Content Writer, and a geek when it comes to anything related to online marketing. Stay connected to me. Leave a comment if you like my articles.

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