HOW TO DRAFT A PROPOSAL FOR YOUR LOCAL SEO AGENCY
Acquire brands faster than your competition using this guide
Acquire more clients for your agency
This is a competitive world. You are not the only local SEO agency in town. There are others in the business. Hence, any prospective customer has a variety of options to choose. He needs the best because he is going to pay for it. Therefore, asking for submission of proposals is the norm. You need to put in your pitch to win the contract. This is where your proposal comes into the picture.
Ingredients of a good proposal:
A proposal should be like a story that your client would like to read. It should have a proper plot, flow, objective, climax, and moral. One chapter should automatically lead to the next one. The more interesting your storyline is, the stronger is your proposal.
You should take care of the following aspects while drafting a winning proposal
Before we go into the aspects of writing a winning proposal, let us look at some things you should not do. Sometimes, the things that you are not supposed to do are more important than the things you should. Being aware of this aspect is essential while preparing a proposal.
- Never jump straight into the pricing aspect of a proposal.
- Do not give recommendations without being able to justify the need and why you choose to give the specific recommendation.
How do you build up your SEO story?
A proposal is a document that allows you to present your ideas clearly to a prospective client. You use it to explain your understanding of his requirements and lists out how you would be able to help him achieve the objective. Based on your proposal, the client gets a fair idea about your capabilities to carry out the assignment. Usually, the decision of awarding a project is not in the hands of a single person. It has to pass through various layers before you get the sanction. Hence, your proposal should cater to various requirements. Queries can come from anywhere.
There are six aspects of building up the right proposal. Following them in the right order is imperative for the drafting of a successful proposal.
- Know your client, his requirements, his strengths and weaknesses
- Identify the objectives that your client needs to achieve
- Make your entry about how your local SEO agency can solve the problems
- Provide your recommendations that can prove useful to the client
- Offer the right kind of SEO package where you provide the pricing
- Close your proposal effectively
Sticking to your storyline can keep the client engaged. Building up rapport with your clients is important. Showing a genuine interest in the client and his needs and suggesting ways to achieve them is one way to ensure they continue the conversation.
Let us now go into the details of preparing the perfect proposal for your local SEO agency.
1. Know your client
How will you know your client? You can do so by asking the right questions. Let us delve into the questionnaire part that will give you the right insights about the client and his activities.
What business does your client do?
This is the basic question that needs answering. The easiest way to understand the business of your client is to glance through the website of the client. You need to supplement it through your answers. It can differ from what the customer has in his mind. The key is to find the common points and go ahead.
Which market do they target?
The target market is important because the right product should reach the right client. We shall take the simple example. Selling fairness creams to people who are already fair is of no use. Such creams should target those who need to improve their complexion. Is your SEO strategy good enough to overcome the problems your client faces? You need to address these issues in your proposal.
What is their present digital state?
The best way to get information about the present digital state is to do the SEO audit of the website. There are several SEO audit tools available in the market. Some of them include SEMRush and Ahrefs. This will help you to do a backlink analysis.
What is the level of competition?
The level of competition the client faces will decide the type of SEO package you offer. The more the competition, the bigger and stronger should be your SEO package. The same tools that you use for backlink research are used to determine the level of competition.
What efforts the clients had taken in the past?
This is an important aspect because it will give you an insight into the previous strategies of the clients. You will be able to understand the mistakes he was doing in the past. Rectifying these mistakes should form an important part of your proposal. Your new suggestions should be an improvement on the earlier efforts.
What is the budget of the client?
Knowing the budget of the client is important. It should not happen that you prepare an exhaustive proposal and find that the client is not in a position to pay for the same. There cannot be an more embarrassing situation for both of you.
2. Identify the objectives of the client
What are the objectives of the client?
Who wins in a game of soccer? The team that scores the higher number of goals is the winner. Hence, it is important for the client to have goals. It is more important for you to know them because you need this information to prepare the proposal.
Some of the normal goals are as follows.
– Increase revenue by a certain proportion, say 50%
– Rank at the top of the SERPs
– Increase the number of footfall to their physical stores
We have only listed out some goals. Each client will have his specific goals. Understanding them is of prime importance.
Identify the pain points / areas of concern
What are the attributes of a good film? Every film should have a story that one can easily connect to. Such stories usually revolve around a problem. The good film is that which identifies the problem and suggests ways to solve them. Similarly, you should know where your client’s strengths and weaknesses lie. Your SEO agency should solve these problems. Listing out the SEO opportunities that can strengthen the weaknesses of the client is essential. Your proposal should address all these concerns and many more.
3. Where do you come in?
Every story has a hero who has to make his entry into the film at some point. A lot of thought process goes into how to maximize the effect of his entry. Similarly, your SEO agency has to make an entry at the opportune moment. Identify the moment correctly to make the right pitch.
When you know the goals you have to achieve, you will know the challenges that lie in the way too. This section should highlight each challenge you expect to face and explain how you will overcome the same. You should have a fair idea about the time it will take for you to complete the assignment. Stating this fact in your proposal can help your client manage his responsibilities better.
How will you know about the company’s goals and objectives? The answer is simple enough. You should ask questions to your client before preparing your marketing proposal.
- The revenue goals for the company for the forthcoming year
- The metrics on which they are personally measured on
- Did the company achieve their targets for the previous quarter / year?
- In case they did, what are the factors that helped them achieve their targets?
- Discuss about the resources available to the customer that would enable them to meet their current targets
- The challenges faced by the company while achieving their goals the previous year
The priority activities of the company
- In the event of the company not being able to achieve their goals this year, will the company be in a position to revise them or will they extend the timeline?
- It is also pertinent to discuss why the client wants to make the changes now.
- This would also prompt you to ascertain the cost to the company in case it took no action on this score.
The financial aspects are very important to discuss. Would the company indulge in drastic cost-cutting measures to offset the loss?
What is your objective in asking these questions? As a digital marketing agency, your proposal should not leave anything to imagination. There should not be anything secretive in a proposal. It will also help you find a better way to solve the problem. You will not make the same mistakes that the earlier company did. Hence, it is always better to record whatever conversations you had with the client.
4. The solutions on offer
This should be the most elaborate part of your proposal. You have taken time to understand the problems of the client. You have also seen the mistakes he has made in the past. These mistakes need corrective action. Use this section of the proposal to pitch in your recommendations about how to address the issues of the client.
The solutions you offer should cater to the on-page SEO and off-page SEO strategies separately. Let us look at the off-page strategies you can offer.
GMB listing: This is a very important aspect of any business. The local SEO strategies should always start with claiming the GMB listing because this is the easiest way to attract local customers.
Managing citations: Announcing your presence in the local market is important. One way of doing so is to have a listing in all local directories in your niche. Maintaining consistency and accuracy of the citations is essential.
Backlinking: You can suggest an excellent backlinking strategy to improve the ranking of the client’s website on the SERPs. At this point, you should take care to note to offer a teaser. Never open up all your cards in your proposal. Keep some aces up your sleeve.
Social media engagement: Any SEO campaign without involving the presence of social media is unthinkable. This should have prime importance in your proposal as well.
We have seen some of the off-page SEO strategies you can offer. There will be many more depending on the client’s requirements. Let us look at some of the common on-page SEO strategies.
Optimize the website: Your proposal is about enhancing SEO. Hence, optimizing the client’s website is essential for directing more traffic towards the website. Some ways of optimizing the website include keyword research, incorporating quality content, suggesting a strong internal and external linking strategy, and so on.
Title and Meta description tags: Making a strong and commendable first impression is of great importance. The title and Meta description tags are the first pieces of information seen by customers. Concentrate on providing compelling descriptions. Similarly, images play a great role in attracting traffic. Your proposal should speak about including relevant images at strategic locations.
5. The right SEO package and pricing
Your SEO package should depend on the requirements of the clients. This can require submission of reports for analysis. Your package should include suggesting tools for preparing such reports. Keep the following three things in mind while providing the right kind of package to your client.
Site Audit: The client needs to know how the metrics of his website are working. The SEO audit tool is of great use in this regard. It provides you with an opportunity to identify the mistakes and suggest ways to rectifying them. The SEO Audit tool should form an important aspect of every local SEO agency proposal.
On-page SEO Analysis reports: Once you do the SEO audit, you will have to analyze the reports and provide the right kind of strategies to overcome the problems listed out in the report. This can include points like suggesting a string backlinking strategy, etc. This checklist is of great importance in providing the right kind of roadmap to success.
Digital proposals: The preliminary site audits and analyzing of various reports are over. Your next plan of action is to pitch all these findings together. This should form a part of your digital proposal. It should include recommendations and strategies to overcome the issues faced by the client.
Pricing: There are various aspects of pricing. The most important one is the cost of the initial package. The budget of your client plays a role in deciding the services you provide. You should set aside some portion of the budget towards regular maintenance and upgrading. SEO is a vastly changing field. Hence, regular upgrades are very important. Your pricing should include the charges for providing these updates on a regular basis.
6. Close out the deal:
You have understood the needs and requirements of the client. You know his strengths and weaknesses. Any proposal will take effect if there is a good rapport with your client. Hence, it is important for your client to know your strengths and capabilities. This is the right time for you to make the pitch. Use this section of the proposal to introduce yourself. This is necessary for ensuring a good rapport.
Any proposal should have its terms and conditions. These terms are binding on your clients as well as on you. Adherence to these conditions is necessary. You have your responsibilities. Similarly, the client has his. Your proposal should be very clear in this regard. This will not only prevent any ambiguity but also ensure there are no misunderstandings at a later stage. After all, no one is doing any charity. You are providing valuable services and the client is paying for it.
A well-drafted proposal is a window to display your abilities. Use this opportunity well to impress your clients. Remember you have to beat your nearest competitors to be ahead in the race. Use these points to your benefit and prepare a viable and effective proposal for your local SEO agency.