Formulate an SEO Contract the right way

An SEO contract agreement is a legal agreement explaining the rights and responsibilities of parties involved in a certain SEO service provision. For a contract to be legally binding, it has to include a clear description of offers available under certain conditions. The information allows you to know that your SEO contract is important as it protects your business, your relationship with the service provider as well as your expectations.

Elements of a good SEO contract

You should know the major elements of an SEO contract if you have to make one, before you're even hunting for leads. Making a good contract means that you should adhere to the following elements. These include: 

Must contain the basic information about the parties involved

It includes the introductory section where you outline titles, relationships, and the addresses of the involved parties.

 Must clarify the contract duration

A good SEO contract must show when the contract takes effect when the terms agreed on in the agreement will be enforced and when the contract will be reviewed. You must include the duration of the contract and deadlines for any services during this period. To determine your contract duration, you will have to consider the following;

  • If the contract is meant for a single project or ongoing efforts. In cases where the contract is for a single project thing then you will choose the contracts with the start and end date.
  • The number of times you would like your contract renewed. Some businesses prefer renewing their contracts either monthly, quarterly, or annually depending on their interests and demands.

  Specific deliverables

The most crucial section of the contract is where agencies and freelancers show and outline the services they will deliver to the business owner. It is where promises are made and results outlined. The following are usually showcased in a contract agreement;

  • An analysis of the client’s website and its design
  • Competitive analysis for certain specific keywords
  • Research and analysis of target keywords and phrases
  • Modifications and recommendations in order to optimize certain aspects of the web content, page titles, page texts, external links to the site and meta tags.

Before signing the agreement contract, ensure you get to know the timings for the deliverables to avoid further inconveniences.

Outline the established roles

Clients should know the party delivering their work and how they intend to deliver it. This is most important where an agency utilizes outsourcing. In cases where a client does not get clarity, then it is their right to get written information from an SEO agency stating;

  • The parties responsible to handle the campaign tasks and their professionality
  • Clarity on oversight procedures put in place for the campaign to avoid liability
  • Whether the agency can withhold strict confidentiality clauses and agreement
  • Whether the agency is an outsource.

 Outline the responsibilities of the client

These responsibilities include;

  • Giving access to your site and your online property for analysis and tracking.
  • Giving you up-to-date and high-quality logos used on your website
  • Give authority over your client’s trademarks, photos, logos, and other content.
  • Offering access to your website analysis and optimization
  • Once a client is sure to partake in their responsibility, the SEO service provider agency will continue with the agreement.

Reveal the owner of the assets

The involved parties discuss transferring the deliverables after they have been created and state the ownership. When signing an SEO contract on asset ownership, you will have to seek clarity on the following;

  • The process which will be used to transfer ownership
  • Which party will be permitted to use and share the assets, and whether the rights will be exclusive
  • The party which will hold the aspects of the assets in case it will not be exclusively held
  • Which party acquires the liability for the assets in case of a liability case?

    Fee Agreement

Although this is usually settled before signing the contract between the client and the agency right when the lead was warm, you will have to go through the agreement to avoid the small details within the SEO contract, which could trip you in the future and cost you more than you anticipated. The terms of payment include the following;

  •  The type of billing method to be used to collect the fee from you
  •  The payment date and the total amount to be paid
  •  The nature of billing
  •  The proportion of the amount to be paid upfront
  •  Any additional payments or terms which include late payment penalties, advance payments.

  Include early termination and pausing

Your contract should state the conditions which can lead to pausing and early cases of pausing, your agency will state the reasons for pausing the contract, clarify what contract pausing entails and state the pausing process. 

In contract termination, you have to outline any termination rules. Normally, a contract is usually terminated within a mutual agreement or in a breach of contract. The following reasons can cause contract termination. These include;

  • Poor execution of the contract by one or both parties 
  • Unpleasant results
  • Poor work relationships
  • Unmet financial obligations
  • A dramatic shift in circumstances

  Include further agreements

This is where each party is allowed to raise any issue concerning the contract agreement or business, despite being a real estate agency or something else, mostly confidentiality. It is an opportunity for the client to discuss with the agency the small and unique issues that matter to them and be able to draw solutions to the issues. Once you both agree, then you should put it into the contract agreement.

  Dispute Resolution

The final element involves the legal stuff, where both parties discuss terms to solve their disputes in case of any during the contract period. It is always advisable to seek the help of a solicitor to avoid recurring liabilities.

You should always take your time and opportunity to discuss and negotiate contract terms. Note that every business is different, and it needs different services and strategies. Therefore, one size fits are not possible for every company. Always research the services you need to argue from a side of strength, not weakness. If things do not go well as per the signed terms of the contract, you should always consider dispute resolution. 

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