seo contract

Closing and Legalizing Your SEO Services with a Free SEO Contract Template

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

It is very important for agencies to bag an SEO contract from clients to stay afloat. Most agencies see contracts as a secondary or tertiary requirement for their business. This approach is completely wrong and will not be fruitful in the future.

Until you have a signed SEO agency contract in your possession, the deal is never final.

You need to create contracts meticulously to minimize the chances of people finding loopholes in them. These free sample contract templates for SEO need concrete ideas and principles that cannot be wavered easily.

What Do You Mean by an SEO Contract?

Whether you join a new work or buy a property, in every case, there is a contract that you sign that acknowledges that you accept a company’s terms and conditions.

A contract for SEO is just the same, only that it is done between an SEO service provider and the client. It is a legal document that states all the guidelines, way of working, and other provisions related to an SEO project.

Having this contract is essential as it includes all the technical work and processes that will take place throughout the duration of the process.

This helps the service provider convey the strategies related to the SEO services they would be using and the expected duration the project might take. On the other hand, the client will know what to expect from their work and when to expect the project to be completed.

Apart from the duties involved, it also acts as a protective shield for both parties during any mishaps that may occur during the process.

A contract ensures that you, as a service provider, are working up to the best standards and that the clients are receiving professional SEO services from the best SEO consultant who complies with the search engines’ guidelines.

Why Have a Contract for SEO?

The main purpose of having an SEO service contract is to build a trustful relationship between an agency and a client. Apart from that, the agreement also acts as a security for the two parties (client and agency) to set their expectations. That way, both the parties involved know how to work without any confusion.

A contract defines the success metrics of a project and how the goals of a project can be met. Knowing this makes it easier for both parties to work seamlessly without any stress. 

When you don’t have a proper contract, you can’t back up any unexpected problems that may arise between the projects. These can be delayed payments, breach of rules, overpayments, etc.

Also, you never know when you might face a legal issue. In this case, having a contract handy can help you escape the situation safely. 

Before crafting this contract, make sure you always consult a legal professional who is well-versed in this field. They can suggest how to create an agreement, the legal implications, check whether it complies with the state law, and finally, if it is well structured.

They can also inform you about the possible risks that you may have to face in the project and help you negotiate with your client.

Essential Elements You Should Have In Your Contract

If you are building your SEO agreement template from scratch, here are the essential elements you should never forget to include:

1. Contract Definitions

This is the first and the most crucial part of your contract, where you’ll clarify all the doubts your clients may have. Definitions might not work the same way for everyone. For example, in general, if you are talking about “Apple,” you need to clarify whether you are talking about the fruit or the brand. 

In your definitions section of the contract, try to highlight all the important terms, concepts, and phrases and explain simply what they stand for so your clients have a clear idea on each elements of text throughout the contract.

2. Your Responsibilities

Here, you’ll have to mention the different responsibilities you will take up as an SEO contractor or service provider. These can be the services provided to the client, and how deeply you’ll be going to make sure their needs are fulfilled.

It can be anything from keyword research to technical search engine optimization or on-page optimization to off-page optimization. Explain what you’ll be doing so your clients have a better idea of what to expect.

Post_2_13.png

Refrain from mentioning that you’ll be helping them get the number one Domain Authority Ranking because no one knows how things might take turns during the process.

3. Client’s Responsibilities

Now that you’ve explained your duties, it is time to put some light on the responsibilities of your clients. 

You must mention the things you want your clients to give you access to so you can work seamlessly, as well as what is expected of them before beginning the entire process. 

Post_2_4.jpg

If you are planning to post any content on their website, they should give you access. Include the mode of communication, how and when they can contact you, and provide feedback for your work so you know whether you are heading in the right direction.

Access to the logos, images, and any other assets of their business should be provided to you. 

Most importantly, timely payments should be covered in this portion of the contract to reduce the hassle and confusion of getting paid for your work.

4. Duration

SEO work is not a one-time deal; instead, it is an ongoing process. Compared to any other strategy, SEO is a long strategy, and it may take time to see positive results. Therefore, you need to mention how long your partnership will last during the process. 

If you are preparing one, it is important that you properly plan out the course of this contract. This can include how long the strategies will take and the estimated process length. 

Post_2_14.png

Since every SEO expert will work according to their skills and different approaches, you should consider everyone and then customize this section properly to outline the duration of the contract.

Specify if you work on a fixed schedule to provide optimal results or on a monthly basis. Clearly state the tenure end of the contract and whether or not the contract can be renewed if needed.

5. Payment

Regarding payment, this section won’t just focus on how much you’ll be getting paid for your work. It should also contain other guidelines such as the payment methods, fine amount if failed to pay on time or what should happen when not a single payment has been made, and any additional fees. 

You should outline the consequences that the clients can face if they delay any payment along with the late fees or amount of interest they should pay.

SEO

Have a clause for that, too, if you and your client ever get into a dispute or disagreement that involves negotiation, arbitration, or mediation before any litigation.

6. Termination

The termination part of any contract is also one of the most important parts, as it offers a legal foundation to end any partnership mutually and understandably. Here, you should clearly and fairly describe the termination point so you and your client can work together with a clear and open mind.

This section can include:

  • The consequences faced due to breach of contract which could happen when either you or your client fails to fulfill your duties, deliver results or violate any term of this agreement.
  • You can include the cost that will be charged if the client fails to cooperate.
  • If any party decides to end the contract before the set period, what is the fine they should pay, or what should they do before early terminating the contract.
  • When the client fails to make any payment, the contract can automatically be terminated.

7. Warranties

In the meeting with your client, you will undoubtedly promise to improve their SEO campaign. A client will choose your services only if you promise to reach those goals. This section in the contract allows clients to expect quality and achievable results.

Clause Template

The warranties section is a crucial component of the agreement, embodying a formal commitment from both parties to uphold their respective obligations and adhere to essential guidelines. It essentially outlines the standards of conduct that you agree to follow, safeguarding you against any unethical practices.

This section outlines the core commitments that you and your clients must collectively undertake. However, it’s essential to recognize that the specifics of these promises may vary depending on the region or country in which the contract is being enforced. 

8. Liability

It is essential that you have this section in your agreement to protect yourself from instances when your client faces any expected loss. You may try every strategy to help your client’s website rank higher or improve the visibility of their content. But you never know when Google or any other search engine might change their algorithm, which could negatively impact your overall SEO efforts. 

This section should convey that whatever loss your clients face that is not under your control, such as low search engine ranking or the leads that you choose did not convert, you will not be held responsible for it. 

You can only be held responsible if you are unable to work towards the goals and deliverables that you mentioned in the contract at the very beginning. 

Keeping this in mind, managing liability is paramount to ensure you and your clients are safe from financial loss. 

Furthermore, this section also helps in placing a clear understanding between both parties and creating a boundary when it comes to liability. This also helps in setting realistic expectations as to what can show results and what can fluctuate.

It is like a safety note that can prevent future hassles, misunderstandings, and possible disputes.

9. Indemnification

The indemnification clause can also be known as a Hold Harmless Clause, and as it is named, its primary purpose is to create a safety net so none of the parties blame each other for any losses faced. Here, one of the parties should agree to cover or compensate for any damages and costs that may arise in a legal dispute.

So, let’s see an example for you to understand its idea better.

You are an SEO services provider, and your client asked you to optimize their website. You made the required modifications and made it to the first page of SERP on Google. But after some time, the website got hit by a lawsuit as it did not comply with Google Webmaster Guidelines, or maybe the search engine caught an SEO strategy used in surplus. This penalty can lead to the clients facing a decline in the reputation of their website and financial loss. 

In this situation, you wouldn’t want the client to knock at your door and blame you for it. When you don’t have this condition present, there’s a hundred percent chance that you may have to pay the compensation from your pockets.

But if you include it, you can be free from this worry. Having an indemnification clause will make sure that you will not bear the charges in cases like this, and if there’s any penalty that your clients may face, you will not be held responsible.

10. Force Majeure

Whether it is physical work or digital one, some situations cannot be controlled, and that could hinder the speed of the work. These situations can be any natural events like cyclones, hurricanes, pandemics, wars, floods, earthquakes, etc. If you are an SEO service provider, you are most exposed to internet outages that could disrupt your work. 

Having this condition in the contract will protect both you and your clients during this situation. So, if your area is prone to any natural disasters or regular internet outages, make sure to include that in your agreement so neither of the parties is held responsible for delayed work or interruptions during the process.

This will make the client aware of what they may expect and then further decide whether or not to take the services from you. You can only work with a client that can understand how you work, even in unnatural situations.

11. Jurisdiction and Interpretation

This is also a major element you must consider while creating your agreement. The jurisdiction clause allows the local court to become involved in any future conflicts that might arise. 

Having your local law and jurisdiction involved can reduce the hassle of traveling far to a different state to resolve any disputes. But before you include them, it is best to contact an attorney and check with them if all the legal needs align with the chosen jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction

The interpretation clause, on the other hand, secures all the meaning stated in the definition section of the contract. This ensures that the meaning you’ve stated is true and cannot be interpreted further by either party.

12. Confidentiality

Confidentiality, even in layman’s language, refers to the privacy of any personal information. By having a confidentiality clause, you and your client are both protecting yourself from any misuse of personal or sensitive information.

This is also known as a non-disclosure clause that encourages you and your clients to keep all information confidential. This will instill trust between you, and both will have a clear understanding of what data is being used.

When you and your client agree on this, both are encouraged to protect confidential information and take preventive measures not to leak it. This information can include anything from phone numbers to bank account details, among other sensitive data.

Accepting this clause builds the foundation of trust and promises to keep information safe and secure.

13. Signature

Signature is the final part of any contract. By signing the contract, it proves that both parties have accepted the terms and conditions by carefully reading and understanding them.

Upon contract signing, make sure to provide a proper space where you both can sign and also mention the name and date, making it easier to know when you closed the deal.

signature

Try to make the process uncomplicated and seamless. You can send a hard copy of the contract to your client by post. They can easily sign it, make copies, and send it back to you. You can even call them to your office to get it signed.

However, if you prefer to do it digitally, you can email the contract to your client and ask them to sign it digitally. 

If they are unaware of digital signatures, you can guide them through the process, as there is a wide variety of e-signature software and applications available online. 

One option is Signaturely, which is free and very simple to use. Users just have to upload the document and add their names and signatures.

This will be time-saving both for you and your clients.

Endnotes

Now that you know how important these agreements related to SEO are, you should prioritize them in your business functions, too. Make sure you customize all the contracts you send to different clients and learn everything about them. You need to know the rules inside and out to play by them and avoid any potential legal problems that come with running an SEO agency.

To have a trustful relationship and get the SEO project done seamlessly, it is important to have one. If you are new to the field and do not know how exactly to create an SEO agreement, you can follow our guide and include the elements we’ve suggested. Include the services provided to your clients as a part of this agreement to set realistic expectations so you don’t face any problems later.

Remember to get some legal advice, and you’ll be well on your way to crafting a perfect contract template for your future SEO service deals.

FAQ

What is an SEO contract template?

It is an outline of a contract that you can use to create an agreement related to SEO. These include important elements that are customizable, so you can have your own clauses or slightly change the content according to your conditions.

What happens if you don’t have one?

If you don’t have a written contract, it can disrupt trust between both parties, lead to legal battles, and prevent a proper way of working. Clients or service providers may even take advantage of this and blame each other for any technical or financial losses.

Can I get an it for free?

Yes, you can definitely get it for free. You just have to look for it online and check the ones that you feel are easy to use. Once you find one that you can customize, you can start working on it according to your terms.

Gaby Alexander

Gaby Alexander

Gaby is a search marketing enthusiast with a passion for helping agencies improve their ROI through effective link-building strategies. With expertise in Google Campaign Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and SEMrush, Gaby provides valuable insights and guidance to optimize search marketing campaigns.

Gaby Alexander

Gaby Alexander

Gaby is a search marketing enthusiast with a passion for helping agencies improve their ROI through effective link-building strategies. With expertise in Google Campaign Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and SEMrush, Gaby provides valuable insights and guidance to optimize search marketing campaigns.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Table of Contents

5x’d Traffic + MRR doubled!

Join 100+ Agencies using SERPninja

100+ Agencies and 2500+ Customers use SERPninja.io for their link building needs. Signup now for actionable content & GREAT deals. We won’t SPAM we promise!