What to look for in an SEO Proposal

Search RFQAs an SEO consultant, I am frequently asked to analyize a website’s searchability and potential for rankings on Google, Bing and other search portals.  When I do this, my first task is to go through each and every page of a web site to locate potential problems.  Following that, I generate a report for the client, that is very detailed.

I recently read a great article on Search Engine Watch, by Chris Boggs, that details the approach to enterprise level SEO projects.  Below is an excerpt from that story that I believe will help those who are searching for the right Search engine optimization company or consultant.

The SEO Task Line Items

The following list describes the major elements of the estimator sheet. Of course, we cannot describe every single line item, and should we, some people would undoubtedly say we missed something.

  1. Client Communications – Time is usually allotted for the kick-off call and ongoing calls with the client teams.
  2. Team Communications – Time is allotted for meetings held weekly or even at a greater frequency, depending on the project and the SAM.
  3. Baseline Reporting – At the onset of every engagement, baseline saturation, ranking, and inbound linking reports are prepared for the client.
  4. Competitive Analyses – Depending on the industry, these can take significantly more time than one would expect, but they will be very valuable in helping craft SEO strategy, as well as in monitoring future ranking shifts revealing whether the competitors are new or old enemies.
  5. Tactical: Engineer-Level – Issues that exist with site structure that can lead to anything from duplicate content problems to the inability to get pages indexed, as well as URL format considerations. Often, time must be specified for communication with engineers and developers working with the client or as separate vendors.
  6. Tactical: Content/Analyst-Level – Issues with META, ALT, and on-page content, both text and image or video/audio.
  7. Tactical: Linking – Includes time for link analysis beyond information derived from the baseline and competitor analysis reports.
  8. Reporting – Ongoing reporting offered at different tiers.
  9. Management – The SAM time that does not fall into one of the above categories.

Note that each task is usually accompanied with notes specific to the project for use by the client when completing the sale.  The client does not see the estimator, but instead gets a formal proposal that incorporates many of these notes supporting the projected hours required to “fix the problem.”


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