It doesn’t matter which line of work you happen to be involved in, generally speaking, all contracts tend to mean the same thing, such as: “If I agree to do this work for you, you agree to pay me X in return.” Of course, they’re more complex than that, but you get a general idea. Well, SEO contracts are no different from any other contract, and to illustrate this point, here’s a look at six key clauses that every SEO contract needs to have.
Definitions of SEO
SEO contracts should also include sections that clearly define some common terms and phrases used in SEO. This is beneficial because it helps to avoid confusion over terminology that the client may not have been aware of beforehand. For example: “link bait” that is defined as being content that has been created for the sole purpose of encouraging users to link from their websites back to the original content.
Ranking and algorithm Disclaimer
This is one of the most vital clauses to include in any SEO contract as it is a disclaimer over what are known as uncontrollable alterations. For example, your strategy may indeed get a client’s website onto page one of Google’s search results, yet a few weeks later thanks to changes made to Google, they may be bumped down to, say, page three, through no fault of your own. This clause lets clients know that, in these instances, you aren’t liable or to blame.
This clause talks about what the client of the SEO vendor can expect from purchasing their services. As an example, some deliverables may include: keyword research reports, link building, website optimization, competitor analysis reports, SEO analysis, SEO copy, and more… Put simply, the contract should clearly state which services the SEO vendor is providing.
Ownership of Content and Copyright
Remember, any content provided to you that has been created by your SEO company, is legally theirs. For that reason, to help ensure that you avoid any potential legal issues/copyright issues further down the line, if the client does indeed wish to own full copyright and ownership of content that has been provided by an SEO company, this will need to be included in the contract beforehand. This is especially relevant because, hypothetically speaking, if a contract were to come to an end, legally, the SEO providers could remove any content from the client’s website that they provided beforehand. To ensure everybody knows exactly where they stand, make this clear beforehand.
Tracking and reporting specifics
In this next clause, the SEO vendor/company should clearly state which analyzes and reports they will be sending to the client. Whether it is Google analytics, analysis reports from competitors, or anything else for that matter, all of the tracking and reporting specifics will need to be covered.
Payment dates and terms
This is arguably the most important clause of all, so it’s important that all SEO contracts are clear and concise in regards to payment dates and terms. SEO is not an easy job, and it takes a great deal of time and skill. SEO providers will communicate with their clients and will let them know when they can expect various tasks to be completed by. There are many different payment plans, which will be discussed in advance. The decided upon the plan, however, should be included in the contract.