Month-to-month SEO contracts are a bad deal for everyone, but it’s easy to understand why clients gravitate to them:
- Many clients have been burned by unscrupulous SEOs and are highly skeptical.
- Companies like to stay flexible and keep their options open. For this reason, they avoid being locked into long-term contracts for anything.
- Clients often don’t really understand SEO, and being unfamiliar with its workings and unsure whether SEO campaigns are producing results, they are even more reluctant than usual to enter into long-term deals.
The problem is, short-term SEO campaigns don’t work. They handcuff SEO agencies and cause disastrous short-term thinking.
- SEO is a long-term proposition. It takes months or sometimes over a year for campaign activities to be noticed and rewarded by Google.
- When SEO agencies are under pressure to produce immediate results, the temptation is strong to engage in “black hat” SEO techniques. These techniques can produce dramatic spikes in traffic for a while, but eventually backfire and can cause Google to penalize or even ban the company website!
- If SEO agencies don’t succumb to the pressure to produce immediate results, they may have nothing to show for their work after a handful of months and get fired. However, by firing the SEO agency early on, the client may well be shooting itself in the foot, giving up on a campaign that would have been a roaring success in driving traffic and conversions.
To avoid throwing money away, giving up too soon, and spinning wheels forever on month-to-month SEO deals, here is what you should do to get the results you’re looking for:
- Vet SEO agencies with extreme care prior to hiring one. Look for transparent reporting; a long-term track record of success; positive client reviews; a deep, experienced and full-time staff; and a team you think you would enjoy working with.
- View SEO as a 12- to 24-month campaign, and while monitoring results diligently from day one, be patient in passing judgment. Persuade all of the key players on your internal team to buy into this mindset.
- Establish clear objectives and timelines for your campaign; as a matter of fact, a competent SEO agency will force you to do this.
- In monthly reports and meetings with your SEO agency, make sure the agency is telling you specifically what tasks it accomplished, what successes occurred, and what adjustments are being made going forward. Gradually, this will help you gain a comfort level with the agency and augment your understanding of SEO — two things crucial for successful SEO.
Interested in learning more about the ins and outs of SEO contracts? Contact us now with your questions — we’re happy to lend a hand.