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How To Pitch a Killer SEO Proposal

How To Pitch a Killer SEO Proposal

How to Pitch a Killer Proposal

A guide to researching, creating and delivering the perfect SEO proposal, whether you are in-house, agency side or an SEO consultant or freelancer.

From researching your audience, to how much research you should put in at proposal stage this presentation looks to give tips and advice gathered over 14 years of receiving and delivering SEO proposals.

- Decide on the narrative
- Select key categories
- Establish the size of the SEO opportunity
- Avoid SEO jargon
- Consider the RICE framework
- Don't get lazy with screenshots, analyse and present your data elegantly
- Show off your process and ways of working
- Less is more, be concise
- Minimise the waffle

Whitworth SEO

April 12, 2024

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  1. Boring stuff about me Brands I've helped grow HOW TO

    PREPARE A KILLER SEO PROPOSAL Experienced SEO with 14 years of experience at 4 agencies across the north west, covering a wide range of industries, platforms and campaign types. Previously Head of SEO at Missguided, now running a consultancy here in Ancoats. I run campaigns, training days, white label for agencies and speak at BrightonSEO, Barbados SEO, Digital Bites, Missing Link, SASCon, SEODay and now, MancSEO (finally). Areas of expertise are technical SEO, content strategy, developer liaison, forecasting, reporting on ROI from the organic channel and training & mentorship.
  2. My Grandad, Frank Minor HOW TO PREPARE A KILLER SEO

    PROPOSAL I’ve seen, sent and received a lot of proposals
  3. Get a detailed brief • Big agency tenders will tend

    to provide a detailed brief, these are often nonsense • Smaller prospects may not have one and may not know what they need • You may establish the brief isn’t what is going to drive performance - but be diplomatic HOW TO PREPARE A KILLER SEO PROPOSAL
  4. Research your audience Head of Marketing Managing Director Head of

    SEO • Broad knowledge of digital • May or may not be SEO savvy • Time and efficiency will be key • Could have no SEO knowledge • Will be very interested in efficiency and ROI • Layman's terms usually (not always) required • Likely to be SEO savvy • May be looking for support and will be open to recommendations • Could be some friction if not agreed on strategy HOW TO PREPARE A KILLER SEO PROPOSAL
  5. My Grandad, Frank Minor • Tell a story, rather than

    compiling a list of stuff • Base this on the brief but don’t be confined by it • This could be the size of the opportunity and where the brand is currently • Or a significant keyword category they may not have considered • Always tie back to the proposal brief but show insight others won’t be Decide on the narrative HOW TO PREPARE A KILLER SEO PROPOSAL
  6. My Grandad, Frank Minor For large sites, focus on a

  7. My Grandad, Frank Minor HOW TO PREPARE A KILLER SEO

    PROPOSAL Size of the opportunity Most prospects will want to know: • The size of the opportunity, and where they currently sit • How much work (and budget) will be needed to gain market share • Perhaps a view of this via an SEO roadmap • The split between technical, content and offsite • Internal resource required • How long will it take (without “it depends”)
  8. My Grandad, Frank Minor SEO jargon is the enemy •

    Unless you’ve established from your research and chemistry calls that you are speaking to someone super technical • This is what many prospects hear when we start spitting out SEO jargon and buzz words • These topics are important, but often not at proposal stage with various stakeholders • Decide on the story and tell it in Layman’s terms, if your audience won’t understand all the terminology
  9. My Grandad, Frank Minor There are issues with hreflang mismatches

    Canonicalisation is flawed Duplicate title tags are creating dupe content issues 1,402 images are missing alt tags Sitebulb’s favourite of URL contains a form with a GET Method Jargon & negative terminology The prospect may not understand or have sat through the same stuff repeatedly It also creates a negative narrative or story HOW TO PREPARE A KILLER SEO PROPOSAL
  10. My Grandad, Frank Minor By ensuring all hreflang tags are

    returned, we can ensure international indexing is optimal Fixing errors with canonical tags will help ensure all content is indexed efficiently Title tag rewrites will remove any ambiguity for search engines Adding alt tags to all image references will boost accessibility and give additional context to search engines Crawl efficiency can be improved by switching form method to POST Layman’s terms & positive terminology HOW TO PREPARE A KILLER SEO PROPOSAL
  11. My Grandad, Frank Minor RICE framework • If the requirement

    is to go into detail on SEO roadmap, then the RICE methodology can be a great way to show client impact and efforts vs reward • Nice article here on how it works HOW TO PREPARE A KILLER SEO PROPOSAL
  12. My Grandad, Frank Minor Contextless screenshots can look lazy There

    is obviously nothing wrong with using 3rd party data, but exporting and presenting yourself can indicate you’ve done analysis and not just screenshotting tools N.B. *I’m a massive hypocrite
  13. My Grandad, Frank Minor Process and ways of working •

    Prospects will presume from the fact they have asked you to pitch that SEO fundamentals are a given • Although advanced tactics will impress, a separator can often be alignment with your process and ways of working • Anything you can do to showcase what makes you different as an agency, freelancer or consultant could be the tie breaker • Particularly if the technical recommendations are inevitably samey across multiple pitches, show how you’re more efficient and pleasant to work with HOW TO PREPARE A KILLER SEO PROPOSAL
  14. My Grandad, Frank Minor Less is more at proposal stage

    • But make the less impactful and concise • We’ve all seen potential clients glaze over, we want to avoid that • A war and peace proposal deck with tonnes of actions, could be daunting, and seem like a lot of work for the prospect • Most efficient way of working as possible, without endless Monday, Asana and Trello notifications • Ultimately, your job will be to get results, make them look good and via a path of least resistance HOW TO PREPARE A KILLER SEO PROPOSAL
  15. My Grandad, Frank Minor Minimise the waffle • This could

    be the 4th or 5th SEO proposal the prospect has sat through • They’ve heard all the jargon • They’ve heard all the agency creds • They’ve met the office dog and love the fact you love to nerd out with data • Tell your story succinctly, try to stand out with your approach and end with a differentiator
  16. My Grandad, Frank Minor Dead obvious stuff • Case Studies

    – sessions are vanity, revenue is sanity • How long will it take – either via forecast or anecdotally from previous campaign experience • Direct testimonials - again talking specifically about the success and how/why it occurred • Costs – I tend to leave these out of the proposal as it can be a tricky end to a nice story. Engage the client first • Meet the team – Ideally at the meeting, clients like to know who they’ll be working with • Smile – Make sure everyone on the call/meeting looks like they want to be there HOW TO PREPARE A KILLER SEO PROPOSAL