There are multiple reasons as of why brands around the world are looking to partner with agencies for digital marketing. Search Engine Optimization used to be a myth, but Google’s algorithms have helped people understand this myth and turn it into a reality. This opened up a window of opportunity for digital marketing agencies around the world. With opportunities comes new challenges, this time it is in the form of a deal winning SEO proposal for client.
This blog is not about how to create the best SEO proposal to acquire a client, but rather what kind of proposal needs to be churned out in the fastest time to acquire a client. While I was churning out SEO proposal for clients based out of Canada (Toronto), I had to access multiple tools, to pull out SEO related data of the prospect and their competitors. Then benchmark one against the other and put a solution into the paper. Time consumed per personalized proposal was close to 24 working hours, and was it worth it? If the deal went through then a yes, if it didn’t then a big “NO” was on my face.
“Valuable time and manual effort was lost if the SEO proposal didn’t land a face to face meeting”
Let’s first look at the benefits of Automated SEO proposal for client before getting into the basics of it.
Benefits of automated SEO proposal for client – Agency
1) Save on resource costs
- Automation will require only one qualified pre-sales manager/head to give the final recommendations. This means you do not need to hire entry-level executives or interns to do the tedious work.
- Automation can help create design templates, so feel free to fire some of the designers to keep the costs down.
- The content team can work more on existing client and less on communication in the proposals.
2) Save proposal creation tool costs and time
You will require at least 5-7 digital marketing tools to create a proposal. Time consumed and cost incurred will be high. Automation tools will replace these 5-7 tools with one solution/interface.
3) More Leads
Cold emails become personalized by using automation in emailing. But still, this is not enough to get a conversation started. With proposal automation, you can send a personalized proposal and an audit report with every cold mail. Your click-through rates and engagement rates will improve by a great margin.
4) Lower conversion time
Turnaround time to create a proposal reduces by a huge percentage of time, allowing sales to close deals faster or move on to new deals if the prospect is not interested. From my past pre-sales experience, it took us 3-7 days to create a personalized SEO proposal, and another 30 days to get an update from the prospect. With automation the 7 days of creating a proposal will reduce to few hours, thereby sales will have to spend 7 days less on converting a prospect.
5) More proposals in lesser time
With automation in place, you can produce more prospect proposals, thereby keeping your sales team always engaged on conversions.
6) Increase in prospect engagement
Automation can produce 10x or more personalized proposals which in turn will be used by sales to create a stronger case to “seal the deal”.
Benefits of automated SEO proposal – For Brands
- Brands will receive a proposal in the shortest time, which will allow enough time to consider it. They can also ask for multiple iterations of the proposal and still receive the revised proposal in a jiffy.
- Proposal automation can also provide website SEO audit proposals, which brands can use to evaluate their existing SEO human resources efficiency.
- Brands will receive accurate data in proposal since automation is involved.
Let’s automate creation of SEO proposal for client
SEO proposal template consists of three parts, the first part is about your credentials, second part consists of the current SEO status of the brand when compared to their competition, and the third part is what are you offering to do and how soon can they see these results. If the first two parts of the SEO proposal is automated, then time take to churn out SEO proposals can be reduced by 1/10th or even lesser than that. Imagine the number of SEO proposals can be churned out. First let’s talk about how a typical SEO proposal will look like, and what points need to be added to an SEO proposal.
SEO Proposal Template – Introduction
Give an introduction to your organization, since the brand/prospect would want to know the team that sent the proposal. Write about all the services you provide. An SEO proposal should have all the service you provide in the space of digital since this could be used as an indirect method of cross-selling services. Further talk about your services, so that the brand can pick and choose a custom service if required. Below is an example.
SEO Proposal Template – SEO audit
This is the part where the prospect/brand’s website is tested for SEO score. A couple of parameters need to be defined before this audit is done.
1. SEO Audit tools required
This is an expensive affair if you want to give the best SEO results. You need tools for analyzing
- Keyword positioning
- Backlink analysis
- Website onsite audit
- Keyword research
- Website speed test
Based on your budget in hand go ahead and purchase/subscribe for tools that will help you for the above aspects. I personally suggest SEMRUSH for keyword position, AHREFS for backlink analysis, MOZ for onsite audit, Keywords.io for new keyword research, and finally GTM Metrics for site speed. I know using all their tools for analysis is time-consuming, but there is a solution that I will talk about it at the end of this blog.
2. SEO Audit competition websites
You can ask the brand/prospect about their competition, but this is not a good practice unless your prospect is open to give out information before the proposal submission. If you don’t know the competition, use tools like AHREFs, or SEMrush to know what other websites are ranking for similar keywords. You could also use Google Adwords keyword planner to pull up a list of all the keywords that the prospect is ranking for. If you want to know the keywords for which the prospect is bidding in PPC network, use SPYFU. This tool is light on the pocket and it is full of surprises. Well, there is another tool that can replace all the above tools, but let’s talk about that in the later part of this blog.
3. SEO Audit keywords
Now we need keywords that the prospect should rank for. Use any of the above tools to pull out keywords. But what cannot be done through a tool is human logic and human intent. Scan through the prospect’s website and come up with keywords that it should rank for. Categorize them based on high, medium, and low buying intent. Check their volume in SERP’s and keep these keywords ready.
Once you are ready with the parameters. Use tools and input all the necessary details into multiple tools to churn out results. Now use all the SEO results and create an SEO Audit document.
SEO Proposal Template – The SEO Proposal
In this part quickly jump into what are all the deliverable you are ready to commit to. This will help brand analyze your offerings vs other received proposals. It will also act as a Unique Selling Point. You can also mention the best SEO practices so that the client can compare your deliverable with this. Next Jump into the all the SEO opportunities you see that needs your assistance. This part is very crucial, it will help the brand/prospect judge your domain knowledge. Now it’s time to commit to timelines. Give a detailed explanation of timeliness of all the suggested activities to achieve SEO goals. Finally, place a client testimonial to show your present client’s review of your agency. The most important part, i.e. the pricing should be placed at the end of the proposal.
Automate SEO proposal document
Now we know that 90% of the elements in the proposal can be automated using a software. There are few software proposals making software if you Google the term “Proposal Software” but they help with a fancy design template and data needs to be inputted manually. What if there was a software or a tool that can automate 95% of proposal making? Yes, ReportGarden is launching their new feature called PROPOSALS. This module/feature is created to help Ad agencies around the world to overcome the time consuming manual proposal making process.
ReportGarden’s proposals feature
ReportGarden has released its new feature “SEO Proposal“. Let’s take a sneak peek into what kind of proposals can this platform churn out. Brands around the world are obsessed with SEO since it generates a free audience to their website. Let see how to create an SEO proposal doc for an e-commerce client. For this example, we are considering an e-commerce portal based out of USA, that has visitor traffic in millions. Below is the screenshot of proposal
How to use ReportGarden to automate SEO proposal for client
Let’s look at the step by step process of how to use the SEO proposal software by ReportGarden.
Step 1) Select a template. You can choose from:
- Sample templates: Tailored templates for digital marketing agencies. Templates will contain generic content blocks such as introduction, about us, services offered etc with relevant information.
- Custom templates: pre-defined templates made by the with the content that the agency generally uses.
- Blank template
Step 2) Select your Client for whom you want to make the Proposal
Step 3) You will be taken to the Proposal creation page. A proposal will be created with the template that you selected. There are 4 widgets that you can use to add content to the proposal:
- Pricing table
- Cover page
Step 4) You can drag and drop a new widget or edit an existing widget:
You can use the multi-functional editor to add content smoothly.
Step 5) Generate an SEO audit on the client’s website using the ReportGarden SEO module and add content to the proposal based on the observations.
Step 6) When you are done with adding content, you can preview the proposal and download it. You can export the proposal as a template so that you can reuse it while making another proposal.
Step 7) Send the Proposal and SEO audit to the client or publish the proposal to the client’s portal. In the client portal, the client can add comments, select pricing plans and sign off.
Step 8) Monitor the Proposal after it is sent.
Step 9) Waiting time – You will receive a notification when the Client views or approves the proposal.
ReportGarden’s intelligent engine will churn out two documents that you can use to pitch SEO services to a prospect. Document 1 is an SEO proposal sample doc, that can be used as a door opener. Document 2 is an SEO audit proposal that can be sent to your prospect.
SEO proposal sample document by ReportGarden
The automated tool will have a couple of formats which Digital Marketing Agencies or Ad agencies can select from. In this case, let’s consider the default template. First Page or the cover page of the proposal has details of whom this proposal is made for, and a cover image. The next page consists of
You can give a brief on how SEO is changing the industry, and why businesses need SEO for promoting businesses. You can later add how your agency will abreast with the brand/prospect to reach the digital marketing goals using SEO. This is a set format that can be used for all proposals. Dynamic placements could be added if required by the agency.
– About the Agency
Your agencies’ details such as founding team, goals, values, and experience can be added in this section. This is a fixed field and the same information can be placed in every proposal.
– Agency services
ReportGarden platform will allow agencies to add their services in this section. The information could be inputted in the form of text, or an image can also be added. This is also a fixed field and the same can be added to all the proposals, irrespective of what the prospected wants. Agencies can further drill down point wise into all the activities they do under a particular service.
– Deliverables Opportunities and Timelines
This section will require some manual work since the deliverables will change from prospect to prospect. But to make this simple, ReportGarden will generate a full fledged SEO audit report on the prospect which will help an agency to write this section as fast as possible. The SEO audit report will also help the agency to create a personalized offering to the prospect.
– Testimonials and Pricing
These can be added at the end of every proposal that goes out.
The above-mentioned blocks can be edited, rearranged since you have an option of creating multiple templates.
SEO audit by ReportGarden
Based on the SEO proposal the client knows what opportunities in SEO you have discovered and how you plan on fixing it. In addition to this, we are also helping agencies to send their prospect an SEO audit report. The report will show the SEO flaws in the prospect and why the agency recommends the mentioned actions ASAP. This document is more like a proof of explanation or this is a supporting document to the SEO proposal document. Below is a sample SEO audit document.
The SEO audit report has details of existing keyword rankings along with average keyword position when compared to the immediate competitors.
This section has details on website load speed of the prospect. Any issues with all the web pages such as loading errors, metadata errors, and content issues.
This section shows all the backlinks (Includes referring IPs and domains, and indexed pages) that the prospect has acquired. Individual backlink details so that actions can be taken on any spam backlinks. Follow vs no-follow backlink details are given to understand the backlink profile of the prospect. Finally details on the placed anchor texts.
–Competitor SEO audit
For the prospect to understand this SEO audit, there is a section that gives details on the competitions SEO audit too for benchmarking purpose.
Transformation of Automated SEO proposals
Automated proposal making will transform the way agencies pitch to brands. Brands can send timely proposals and can track if the prospect or brand has opened the proposal. They will also be ready to iterate the proposals a number of times till it talks the prospect’s language. Currently, there are not many providers for this software, but with time you will see competition. This healthy competition will only increase the quality of the software, which in turn will benefit the user, in this case, the agency using it.