SEO RFP: How to Find the Right Agency to Boost Your Rankings [+ Free Template]

SEO RFP: How to Find the Right Agency to Boost Your Rankings [+ Free Template]
Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: March 25, 2022
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53% of U.S. buyers research products using a search engine before making a purchase decision. Being found on Google and other popular search engines like Bing or Yahoo is vital for the success of your business.

To put your business on the map or, in this case, at the top of search results, drafting an SEO request for proposal (RFP) to outsource professional SEO services is your best chance to hit this goal.

Properly writing down your requirements, timeline, budget, etc., in a well-organized SEO RFP will allow your company to make a well-informed hiring decision.

If you’re new to RFPs, we discuss its meaning, process and response in previous articles. Now, we’re continuing our discussion with the request for proposal for SEO services.

We also provide a free, downloadable SEO RFP template that you can use for your project.

Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here
Agency description goes here

What Is an SEO RFP?

An SEO request for proposal (RFP) is an official document that a procuring firm has to draft in order to find the SEO vendor that can meet their unique project needs and business goals.

This elaborate solicitation includes every detail about an upcoming SEO project — the specific requests, timeline and deliverables, contact information and more (you will see the essential components of RFP for SEO below).

Potential SEO providers can then submit their bids and offerings based on the RFP. This enables the procuring company to objectively examine and evaluate each agency’s capabilities and expertise against its project needs.

Why Do You Need a Proposal for SEO Services?

An SEO RFP will help you eliminate the agencies that distance away from your demands and shortlist the ones that adjust their responses to your liking.

Allow us to elaborate on the reasons an RFP for SEO is truly important for the success of your online business:

Reason #1: Streamlines the Selection Process

Issuing an RFP for SEO streamlines the research for the search engine optimization agency and the selection process in general. It provides you with a head-to-head comparison of each vendor’s offerings, experience and abilities to deliver successful results.

A well-written proposal for SEO companies' services will improve the odds of receiving valid responses tailored to your particular needs. It also gives you an objective standpoint when comparing and evaluating how the various SEO strategies might fit your goals.

Reason #2: Refines Your SEO Needs

The rigorous structure of RFPs will help you clarify your SEO needs and provide you with the bigger picture of your digital marketing strategy. This way, you will understand how search engine optimization will align with your overall online business goals.

Clearly identifying the purpose of improving your SEO will steer your company towards an agency partner that comprehends your unique needs.

Reason #3: Saves Time With Onboarding an SEO Agency Partner

Thanks to the RFPs template and detailed project information, your future collaborator is not only well-briefed on your SEO needs but also your website, market, competitors, team and all the elements required for being up to date with your business.

What to Include When Creating a Search Engine Optimization Proposal?

These are the salient points to include when creating your SEO services request for proposal:

  • Company information
  • Business outlook
  • Industry and market
  • Competitive landscape
  • Website’s audience
  • Current SEO situation and online rankings
  • Focus on organic or paid search results
  • Project goals and KPIs
  • Project timeline and deadlines
  • Budget
  • Vendor questions

A good rule of thumb is to prepare in advance and understand as much as you possibly can about search engine optimization. This will help you better define your specific needs and infuse more clarity into your RFP.

Bear in mind that, especially in the case of a proposal for SEO services, your procurement in-house team needs to provide concise and clear-cut information, avoiding ambiguity at any point in the presentation.

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How to Draft an Effective SEO Services Proposal in 5 Steps

An effective SEO RFP that yields punctual and fitting proposals starts with supplying a coherent, concise and understandable summary of your SEO project and needs.

Following these key steps for drafting your proposal for SEO services will result in a successful outcome, i.e. finding the best agency for your business.

Step #1: Share Your Company Information and Project Overview

Provide a brief description of your company as a whole. Refer to things like:

  • Short company history
  • Location
  • Products/services
  • Business forecast
  • Market and vertical
  • List of competitors
  • Current business value
  • The size of your company
  • Main stakeholders
  • Links to your website and social media platforms
  • And more

In this first section, couple your business information with a high-level overview of your SEO project.

Try to clearly explain why your company needs to procure professional SEO services. Insert the core reasons for your request like a new product launch, loss in organic traffic, Google penalties, etc.

Step #2: Detail Your Existing SEO Performance

Discuss the current situation of your SEO, what off-page and on-page issues your website is experiencing and the other reasons you seek SEO assistance.

Your prospective SEO vendors need to understand the problems you are struggling with. List them based on their priority so that they know what needs to be fixed right away.

Aim to be as explanatory as you can in describing your current SEO strategy. Include details about:

  • The list of targeted and high-value keywords for your business
  • The target audience
  • The current SEO ranking
  • The organic and paid traffic - the breakdown of channels and sessions generating website traffic
  • The results of your SEO efforts so far
  • The existing content strategy
  • The state of your backlinking strategy
  • The SEO budget to date
  • And more

Step #3: Provide Your SEO Goals

By all means, specify once again why your company decided to procure third-party SEO services and how professional providers can help you achieve your goals.

List your SEO objectives, including:

  • Your primary desired outcome, followed by secondary/tertiary goals. These may be:
    • Increasing website traffic by X%
    • Maximizing your page speed
    • Optimizing your internal linking structure
    • Improving your local SEO
    • Boosting your domain authority
    • And more
  • Your specific KPIs — the metrics used to measure the success of SEO campaigns

Of course, your future agency partner will perform a thorough SEO audit and devise a strategy based on their findings and your goals. However, if you have a deep understanding of SEO basics, you may also include the following deliverables which give your prospective service provider a better grasp of the project scope:

  • In-depth keyword research
  • Mapping for on-page SEO
  • Exhaustive keyword ranking analysis
  • Link cleanup
  • Duplicate content removal
  • And more

Step #4: Add Your Project and RFP Timeline

One of the key components of any other RFP is including your project timelines.

This means you should include the dates for:

  • The ideal start date of your search engine optimization project
  • The set project milestones
  • The duration of your SEO project
  • The date of your RFP distribution to potential agencies
  • The period in which you accept qualified proposals
  • The date when you decide on the most qualified providers
  • The date when you pick and announce the winning vendor

Step #5: Submit Your Budget

To submit an accurate budget in your RFP, you first need to determine how much you are willing to invest in SEO based on your business goals.

Sending a realistic view of your budget will help competing vendors submit proposals that best fit the allotted resources.

Moreover, don’t be shy in outlining your financial concerns or constraints. This way, you will ensure that you receive useful proposals.

10 Questions to Pose in Your RFP for SEO

Aside from drafting each section of your SEO RFP in detail, you should pose punctual questions to prospective specialized agencies. This will be yet another factor in deciding which SEO agency you should start a partnership with.

  1. What are our missed SEO opportunities?
  2. What SEO tactics do you suggest that will be the most helpful for us and why?
  3. What does your keyword research process entail?
  4. What type of tools do you use for competitive analysis, keyword research and audience targeting?
  5. How will you tailor your strategy to our brand and niche?
  6. Do you include content marketing services in your SEO package?
  7. Can you run us through your link-building process and strategies?
  8. How do you track the success of your SEO campaigns?
  9. How can our in-house team contribute to the campaigns?
  10. How does your team stay abreast of the latest SEO and digital marketing trends?

SEO RFP Template

SEO RFP template is useful for creating your own request for proposal from scratch, because it already contains all the essential fields and questions that just need filling out by the agency.

You can also download your copy of a free SEO RFP template to the right on this page.

Here is an example of what a well-rounded SEO RFP template should contain

Overview & SEO RFP Process

Company Overview

  • When was your company founded and what is its mission and values
  • What products/ services do you provide
  • USPs that differentiate you from competitors

RFP Purpose

State what you want the SEO provider to do and why: what is the main pain point your company has?

RFP Objective

What do you hope the SEO vendor to accomplish for you? Do you have any metrics that will help, such as increased sales or more newsletter subscribers or better-qualified leads? 

Scope of Work

  • Technical SEO Audit
  • Keyword Research, Strategy and Optimization
  • Competitor Analysis
  • On-Page SEO
  • Local SEO/Google My Business Set-up and Maintenance
  • Content analysis and development
  • Link Building
  • Monthly Reporting & Analysis
  • Quarterly Review Sessions
  • Etc.

Conditions/Selection Criteria

Budget

Timeline Decision

  • RFP issued: 
  • Proposals due:
  • Selection announced:
  • Presentations:
  • Agency selected:
  • Work starts:

RFP Person Contat Info

Agency Information

Overview & Background

  • Full Company Name
  • Company Location
  • RFP Contact Info
  • Company Website URL
  • How many years have you been in business?

Agency's SEO Approach

  • Provide a market assessment of SEO and any market trends we should be aware of
  • Describe your SEO strategy process
  • Describe the top four best practices your agency follows as it relates to SEO
  • What is your typical workflow?
  • What SEO tactics do you view as most effective on our market?
  • Describe your approach to conducting keyword research. 
  • Indicate how important you view site content and what capabilities you have to guide the creation of content and/or provide SEO-optimized content where needed.
  • How do you manage mobile SEO?
  • What is your approach for local optimization of SEO?
  • How do you incorporate marketing attribution into your SEO management and strategy?
  • Do you typically make the SEO changes or have the client make the changes you are recommending?
  • Have you manage website replatforms and if so, please provide an example of one and your approach.

Pricing

  • Submit project cost
  • What is the expected ROi we can expect?
  • The average annual SEO budget of your current clients

Best Agencies To Send SEO RFPs to in 2022

You’ve just started working on your company’s SEO strategy and have decided to outsource the work to an agency.

Now you need to figure out which agency to hire, but where do you start? Which agencies have the necessary experience to succeed with your project? Which will have better ideas about tackling any challenges that might arise?

DesignRush has put together this list of the top 5 agencies to send an RFP to in 2022. Take a look:

1. Deyo Digital

  • Location: 37 Chief Esan Way Lagos, Lagos, 102101, Nigeria
  • Average Hourly Rate: $100/hr
  • Expertise: B2B Digital Marketing, Small Business Digital Marketing, SEO, PPC, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing

Deyo Digital was founded in 2021 in Lagos, Nigeria.

While relatively new in the field, this agency has proven to have the ability to rank each page and build links that will boost your website's domain authority score.

And they don't stop there: they also implement paid ads to drive even more sales.

Deyo Digital has worked with Adunnis, Alabastore, Beckyani, Soofootball, and Oparah Realty. They continue to provide exceptional services through practical strategies that help their clients grow.

2. Section 5 Media

  • Location: 2 N Central Ave Suite 1800, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
  • Expertise: Digital Strategy, Advertising Agency Services, Web Design, WordPress Development, WordPress Website Design, Shopify, Inbound Marketing, SEO, IT Services

Section 5 Media is a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in SEO.

This agency has the experience and reputation for helping you grow your business, having worked with clients like LPA Software Solutions, Revvo AI, Avalanche Technology, Bluefox Group, Stewart Transport, RFP Response Builder, and Steel City Ammo.

They can provide top-quality results because they understand how to build an effective strategy based on each client's unique needs.

Section 5 Media offers affordable rates for both small businesses and large enterprises alike.

3. ZAMMETH

  • Location: Wollongong, Wollongong, 2500, Australia
  • Average Hourly Rate: Inquire
  • Expertise: Responsive Website Design, Website Development, SEO, eCommerce SEO

ZAMMETH prides itself on its extensive knowledge of SEO best practices and how to implement them successfully into its designs.

Founded in 2020 by a young couple with a shared passion for website development, ZAMMETH has developed a reputation as one of Australia's most trusted web design and SEO agencies.

They'll get to know you and your business so they can create something tailor-made just for you.

ZAMMETH has partnered with clients like Illawarra Multicultural Services, Sydney Multicultural Community Services, and Concept Beautie to help them develop an efficient SEO strategy and implement it successfully.

4. Spearhead Multimedia

  • Location: 7050 West Palmetto Park Blvd, Suite 15, Unit 227, Boca Raton, Florida 33433, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $135/hr
  • Expertise: Web Design, Website Development, SEO

If you're looking for an agency dedicated to providing clients with tailored marketing packages based on their expectations and budget, then Spearhead Multimedia is your best bet.

Based in Florida, U.S.A., they have been in the business for over 27 years. They have an impressive portfolio of reputable clients, including Rise Sushi - Creative Asian Cuisine & Bar, Townsend River Breeze Inn, Collaborative Culinary Consultants, and Longevity Centers of America.

Their average hourly rate is $135 per hour, which is on the higher end of the scale but well worth it if you want to ensure your website will be secure and fast.

5. Momentic

  • Location: 318 N. Milwaukee St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $150/hr
  • Expertise: Big Data Analytics, Content Marketing, Local SEO, eCommerce SEO, Enterprise SEO, SEO Consultants, Small Business SEO etc.

Momentic is a Milwaukee-based SEO agency founded in 2018.

It has proven itself a reliable partner with a portfolio of notable clients, including Signos, Fleet Farm, ADVENT, GE Healthcare, and Marquette University.

For Momentic, SEO is the name of the game. They specialize in many niches, from small business SEO to law firm SEO.

The agency's average hourly rate is $150 per hour— much higher than other agencies in its market, which might seem like a gamble for some clients.

But rest assured that the agency's clients are getting what they pay for: experienced experts who will not waste their time, money, or resources on frivolous tasks that don't add value to your business.

6. Komdigit

  • Location: 30-41 47th St, New York City, New York 11103, United States
  • Average Hourly Rate: $100/hr
  • Expertise: Commerce Development, Mobile App Development, Website Development, SEO, PPC, Content Marketing, Java Developers, Software Development, Digital Marketing, Web Design

Komdigit Agency is a sales-ready digital product development firm that combines user experience and brand storytelling.

It's experienced in web development and brand storytelling, meaning it can create anything from an app to a website to a robust content marketing strategy.

The Komdigit team works closely with clients to develop a strategy to deliver long-term results. They're dedicated to reducing risk and project costs while improving your business' value and quality.

This New York-based agency has worked with the world's top companies, including Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, Inc., 69News, and Street Insider.

Takeaways on SEO RFP

When seeking to procure a third-party provider to perform search engine optimization for your website, you draft a request for proposal for SEO services and distribute it to specialized vendors.

A well-structured SEO RFP will help you connect with the SEO agency that:

  • Meets your project needs, business goals and budget
  • Demonstrates transparency in terms of deadlines, planning and costs
  • Shares the same values, company culture and motivation
  • Brings you the highest ROI

The above template may as well be used for drafting RFPs requiring other types of services and industries, such as:

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