Shimon Sandler

How Much Work Should You Giveaway in a SEO Proposal

Proposal Have you ever received an RFP (Request For Proposal) for SEO Consulting? If you have, then you know they’re usually detailed and well-thought out. For a SEO Consultant not familiar with responding to an RFP, this process can be slightly challenging. Where do you start? How much site analysis should you do for free?

Within an RFP for SEO Consulting is usually a section where the prospective client asks about a Site Analysis.

A full-blown Technical Site Analysis consists of:

  • Analysis of information architecture.
  • Analysis of source code, and page layout.
  • Site Navigation.
  • Analysis of Flash & Javascript.
  • Keyword usage.
  • URL structure.
  • Content siloing.
  • Internal linking structure.
  • Dynamic strategy.
  • Robots.txt exclusions.
  • Sitemaps (website & XML).

Once you land the consulting gig, there should be a deep dive into each of the Analysis factors above, and a detailed SEO recommendation and implementation.

But, for the purpose of an RFP, it’s certainly okay to provide an overview, or a brief abridged Site Analysis to demonstrate that you put in the time to understand their site & their needs. It also shows you know what you’re doing, and instills confidence in your ability.

The “abridged” Site Analysis can consist of a summarized statement for each of these:

  • Sitewide TITLE tags.
  • Sitewide META tags.
  • Navigation.
  • Site Architecture.
  • Flash usage.
  • Overview of Department, Category, Sub-category, and Product pages.
  • Indexibility.
  • Is there duplicate content?
  • Canonicalization.

Remember, you’re just doing a quick analysis, and providing a summary statement on each of the above factors for the abridged site analysis.

It’s often helpful to also do an abridged Keyword Analysis consisting of:

  • Keywords to be Targeted
  • Keyword ranking.
  • Keyword traffic.
  • keyword revenue.

You will also want to examine their inbound link profile, and their internal linking structure.

As you can see, you don’t need to give away the milk for free. This is just part of the work involved to win the business.

Photo credit: sugadeaux

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  1. I agree. I’ve learned (the hard way) that a response should include a broad, but shallow review of things. In a few cases, when I was insecure and produced a full “audit” as a part of my proposal, they just took my information and used it – or provided it to a “cheaper” SEO.

    I also think that any proposal should include multiple ways for the customer to say “yes.” Different project scopes, for example, which address issues you’ve found in a strategic manner….so that high value objectives (to the customer) correspond with your own project/financial goals for the job. In other words, a “level 1” project would definitely do a lot of good, but “level 2” hits customers critical issues and is worth the extra money.

    (follow me @ twitter @scottclark)

  2. Winooski says:

    Nice, practical advice for folks starting out in the SEO biz. Cheers!

  3. Hi Shimon,

    I agree, don’t give away too much info but demonstrate knowledge at the same time. I use the “hubspot” approach where I take basically what you said and provide an overview of what each topic can do for them. I also mention how their site could be improved briefly but I definitely feel that you can’t give too much away… otherwise they’ll do it themselves! Anyway, good post.


  4. We had consulted a company for SEO of our website and we got good results as well. So as for as my experience is concerned It was great!

  5. Lately I have had prospective clients just take my Consultation and implement the changes themselves. For instance the changed the Page Title, did a 301 redirect, and built backlinks.

    And that’s all well and good they did the work themselves, but I feel taken advantage of!

  6. Again budy, you have post something better then other… and again hearty thanks for this great sharing dude.

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