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Ever had a potential customer request an SEO proposal before ever getting on a call?
SEO Proposals take time to create, but they are a critical sales asset because a well-written one can bolster credibility if used correctly. Unfortunately, new SEO professionals often work harder than necessary on their proposals.
That’s why many complain about prospects ghosting, which has also been my experience on several occasions.
It always felt like the prospect took my detailed proposal and hired much cheaper labor to do the work. Of course, cheap labor rarely works out, but it might when there’s a high-level direction from someone with expertise.
While the discussion here is directed at SEO professionals, we can apply some of these principles to any business that sends proposals.
Here’s a better way to approach or use SEO proposals that won’t take too much time.
Typically, whenever prospects ghost me, it’s because I made the error of sending the proposal without getting on a call first.
Ideally, we should schedule a call first and provide the potential customer with a copy of the proposal after the call. The entire call should center around discussing the proposal or what the marketer could do for the business.
Pro Tip: The best salespeople focus on what the customer wants to accomplish and then tie the offer in as a solution. Likewise, SEO pros should use the same approach when on a call with potential SEO clients.
Keep the SEO proposal mostly evergreen. That way, there’s no need to rewrite much whenever drafting a proposal.
An SEO proposal should include the following as a minimum:
- A strong value proposition – what is the promise of value to the customer?
- Company information/overview – a brief overview of your brand
- Why the prospect should pick the brand – give the customer a reason(s) to care
- Social proof – past client reviews, awards won, certifications, etc.
- The process – is there an established SEO process for solving the problem? Describe it in the proposal
- A comprehensive list of recommendations – things to implement that should solve the prospect’s problem
- The next step – what’s next from here?
- Contact information – how can the customer reach the brand?
With the above structure, the only thing that needs to change within the proposal is the recommendations and any specific areas that mention the prospect’s company.
Can I Send The SEO Proposal To The Potential Customer A Few Minutes Before Our Call?
Yes, but there’s a caveat.
If we send the proposal a few minutes before the call, the potential customer might still ghost. So instead, send the proposal, but save actionable recommendations for the call.
It may also be good to separate the recommendations (as a separate document) from the main proposal because everything else is essentially evergreen.
That is what I started doing a while back. I exclude my recommendations from the proposal if I’ve not spoken with the prospect. I then inform the prospect that I’ll share my suggestions during our call.
That way, the only time I prepare recommendations is when I have to attend a call, saving me tons of time in the long run.
This process also increases the likelihood that the potential client will become a paying customer.
However, if we’ve already spoken to the prospect before the request for an SEO proposal, it’s ok to include detailed recommendations. That’s because we already have rapport.
This is quite obvious but worth mentioning.
Always back up every recommendation with data or research.
It’s one of the mistakes I see people making. They provide a list of recommendations to solve the customer’s problem but forget to note why everything is necessary.
Think of an SEO proposal as a job application – we want the prospect to come out of the call feeling confident about working with the company.
It will be tough to generate income if we spend a tremendous amount of time drafting proposals for prospects that never become customers. So work more efficiently by using the process shared here – it’ll ensure we’re making the most of our time. But keep in mind that even adopting this process doesn’t guarantee that any lead will become a paying client. Finally, the above structure is just a simple example. Write and design the SEO proposal to work for the particular brand situation.