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Have you ever experienced the situation where you spend hours of your valuable time preparing a proposal for your SEO agency only to find the client rejecting without a second thought? It can be pretty frustrating, isn’t it? Have you ever wondered what the reason could be for the rejection? We shall see them now and also look at the aspects that should go into drafting an effective proposal.

Remember the dialogue by Marlon Brando in the film, “The God Father”. “Make an offer that he cannot refuse”. Your proposal for your SEO agency should be on similar lines.

What NOT to include in your proposal

In order to achieve this objective, you should know the basic things one should NOT have in a proposal. You will find hundreds of websites guiding you how to draft a proposal. Remember that each client is different and has a unique identity.

  • Never make false promises: It is very easy to say that your SEO agency will take your client’s website to the top of the SERPs within no time. It does not happen like that so easily. Hence, be as realistic as possible without sounding too pessimistic or for that matter, optimistic. It takes time for a website to top the SERPs. It depends on many external and internal factors. Remember, you can take the horse to the water, but cannot make it drink.
  • Never beat your own trumpet: People suggest that you should market your brand aggressively. They are right, but it should not be at the cost of sounding egoistic. Your customers are there to judge you. Do your work sincerely and the rest will take care of itself. Having an attitude of conceit can be detrimental to your individual interests.

Do your homework right:

You know the basic things to avoid while drafting proposals for your local SEO agency. Now, we shall look at the best practices to follow while doing so.

  • Use text sparingly: It can become very tempting to overload your proposal with text. Refrain from doing so because ‘Pictures can always say it better than words’. It is better to be precise rather than be profuse. In addition, pictures can leave many things to the client’s imagination. It works better this way.
  • Make a strong first impression: Remember the Mike Tyson principle. Give your best while delivering the first punch. It should knock out the opponent within no time. Your opening statement should say it all.
  • Concentrate on the presentation: The famous English cricketer Geoff Boycott had once said, “Even if you are not a good cricketer, at least, look like one.” In saying so, he placed great emphasis on presentation skills. This is very important in drafting proposals for your SEO agency.
  • Add a personal touch: Computers, internet, and modern technology are great inventions, but they miss out on one vital aspect, the human touch. Your proposal should have the distinctive personal touch. It can do wonders to your business.
  • Pricing is essential: Remember you are not doing charity. You are offering your services for which it is necessary to receive remuneration. Hence, there should not be any qualms about including the pricing in your proposal. Your client will have a clear idea about the expenses he would incur when you include your pricing. This is the perfect example of being transparent in your dealings.

What does your client see in your proposal?

The main reason why many proposals fail to pass muster is that we think from our point of view and never from the client’s angle. You might think that you are doing the right thing, but the more important point is that the client should think on the same lines.

Let us look at what your client sees in your proposal.

  • They like to see whether your offer is useful to them or not. They look at things from a different angle. Concentrate on the points that are of use to the client.
  • The see how your proposal is different from that of the others. Hence, include certain innovative points that could entice them to go through the entire proposal.
  • They are more interested in the procedure and not the content. Action is more important than words.
  • Your price is an important factor. After all, they have to pay the same. If they cannot afford it, they can as well explore cheaper options instead of opting for something that they cannot afford.
  • The terms and conditions are essential. Be as simple as possible while being effective at the same time. Protect your interests as well as that of client.

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How to structure your proposal

We have seen various aspects of structuring proposals. Let us have a brief recap.
 – Remember what not to include in a proposal
 – Best practices to follow while drafting a proposal
 – See things from the client’s point of view

An effective SEO agency proposal should include the following headings.

Executive summary:

The first impression is very important. Remember, that most of the clients do not read through the entire proposal when they find executive summary not to their liking. This section of the proposal should be clear, concise, and well-written. It should include everything that the client looks for in a proposal.

Define the problem well:

You are submitting a proposal to your client inviting him to use the services of your SEO agency. Therefore, it becomes imperative for you to provide him solutions to all his problems. In order to do so, you should have a clear idea of what the client’s problems are.

How do you define the problem well? The best way is to ask questions to the client. Do not be hesitant to ask questions. The more you ask the better will be your understanding of the situation.

You can do a SEO audit of the client’s website to get a clear idea of the problems faced by the client. There are websites like Tribe Local that offer free SEO audit tools. The SEO audit of the client’s website can highlight the problems beautifully. You should highlight other problems like content and so on.

Highlight these problems and suggest remedies for the same. While doing so, you should not open all your cards on the table. You should hold all the trumps and aces. In this way, you ensure that the client avails the services of your SEO agency.

Benefits of SEO:

SEO is the byword in the online market today. Your proposal should have solutions for each problem faced by the client. There are various aspects of SEO. Your agency should cater to the on-page as well as off-page SEO services.

The off-page SEO services include claiming the GMB listing, managing citations, including of business in various online directories, backlinking, and so on.

The on-page SEO services include website designing, content writing, internal linking and external linking. These are major aspects of a SEO agency proposal.

You need a combination of off-page and on-page SEO strategies to enable the websites to rank high on the SERPs.

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Identifying the problem is one aspect of your proposal. Providing the solutions to the problems is more important. List out the solutions you provide. They should include the following.

  • Creating a blog: Your content is very important. High-quality and original content is necessary for ranking high on the SERPs.
  • Link building: External links and internal links are very important. An effective campaign is necessary for ensuring a high rank on the SERP.
  • A/B testing: This is one of the most important aspects of SEO. Include this solution in your proposal.
  • Optimizing the website: Any website has to be optimized for it to be effective. Suggesting the right solutions can be of great use to the client.
  • Keyword research: This aspect of SEO is the most important of all. Keywords play an essential role in any SEO campaign.

About Us:

If you remember, we had said that blowing your own trumpet is not advisable at all. However, every proposal should include a short bio about you. This is necessary to build an excellent rapport with the client.

This section should include a description of your firm, its history and the present situation. You should also include the reasons why your proposal should suit the client the most.


This is the best place to include the positive customer reviews and testimonials. Customers like to read reviews. However, you should note to include the reviews received from customers in the particular niche. Therefore, every proposal is different from the other.

This section is a kind of a self-promotion, but one should not overdo it. One aspect to note here is the trust factor. You should trust your client and at the same time, your client should reciprocate your feelings.


Your pricing is very important. The customer should have an idea about the price he has to pay. The services of SEO agencies are continuous. You need constant upgrading of the strategies. SEO is always changing. You see something new almost on an everyday basis. Your pricing structure should include these aspects too.

The reason for including the pricing aspect in the proposal is that it solves a lot of headaches for both the parties concerned. Your client has the liberty of rejecting the proposal outright if he finds the price to be too high to afford. At the same time, you have the option of demanding the right price for your services. You are the one providing the services. Hence, you have the right to demand the right kind of remuneration.

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Close your proposal well:

It is important to have a great introduction to your proposal. Similarly, it is also important to end in style. Your conclusion should be equally impressive.

This section of the proposal should clearly define the roles of the individuals in your organization who will be handling various aspects. There are technical as well as accounting aspects. Both these aspects are different and hence, they need dedicated personnel to handle them. Defining their roles clearly in the proposal is beneficial to avoid any misunderstanding. It will give the client a clear picture as who to contact in an emergency.

The concluding section should also include the deadlines and timelines of each assignment. This is good because you have a responsibility to cater to.

Your proposal should have the stamp of your individuality. It should be different from that of your competitors.

Terms and Conditions:

This is a legal aspect of your proposal. A lawyer will be the best person to handle such issues. The terms could include every aspect of your services in detail. This includes deliverables, payment terms, timelines, deadlines, and so on.

Some websites advise not to include a long list of terms and conditions. However, it is always better to incorporate all details in the terms and conditions. You should ensure to protect your interests as well as that of the clients. Your clients should not have any problems working under your terms and conditions.

Including this aspect in the proposal is necessary to avoid any ambiguities and misunderstandings arising in the future. Clearing out these aspects at the proposal stage is always beneficial. These are the causes of many a dispute at a later stage. Sometimes, these disputes take a legal turn. Having a well-defined terms and conditions is always beneficial.


You have just seen some of the aspects of drafting an effective SEO agency proposal. There are hundreds of websites offering templates for drafting a SEO agency proposal. It is good to look at these templates for inspiration, but always better to have your own proposal. This is because every client is different. They are not robots that a template working for one sector works for all.

Each client will have his individual problems. The solutions will also be unique. Hence, it is better to have different proposals for different clients. The horses for courses policy is the best one for such assignments.

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