Things to Ask Potential SEO Agencies #1: Do I Need to Sign an Agency Contract?

This is the first in a series of posts titled “Things to ask potential SEO agencies.” Good search engine optimization services are difficult to find, and we want to highlight everything small business owners should know before committing to an agency. Boucher + Co. is proud to continually provide a wide variety of clients with top-notch, results-oriented SEO services that grow their business.

Today’s topic: do I need to sign a contract when choosing an SEO agency?

The biggest misconception about SEO is that it is a quick and easy process that will be over before you blink. That’s just not true. On the contrary, good SEO takes months to build, and years to perfect, and can be quite a frustrating process.

For those reasons, many SEO agencies will require you to sign a contract – usually for a minimum of six months, and sometimes for up to two years – before beginning major SEO work as part of your overall marketing strategy. This is a smart and necessary move on the part of agencies, mostly because many small business owners are unaware that SEO takes a long time to complete.

Why signing a contract with your SEO agency is GREAT for you

As a small business owner, you have a lot on your mind. The last thing you want to do is continually have to follow-up and ask your SEO agency what step they are at, how much work is left, etc.

By signing a contract with your SEO agency, you are committing to much more than just a financial commitment – you are committing to a viable timeline that works for both parties. This takes a lot of time-management burden off your hands, and places core responsibilities in the hands of your SEO agency. You can focus on what’s important to you.

How long should I commit to a contract with an SEO agency?

As someone who’s worked on many different SEO engagements for clients, I recommend signing a 12 to 18 month contract with an agency for SEO services. Why, you ask? First, in any time less than 12 months, you certainly won’t see the “killer results” or “instant placement” advertised by most agencies. You will see some improvement, but you’ll be far from perfecting the craft of SEO.

More importantly, a 12 to 18 month contract allows both parties to have realistic expectations, accurately time themselves, and measure results and/or return on investment more clearly than with a “rush project.”