How to choose an SEO agency

SEO Contracts - What To Look For?
Choosing an agency is one thing, but it's also worth reading SEO contracts carefully. Honest agencies, regardless of their size, will not include loops and provisions securing only one page. So what should you pay attention to? Which records should make the red light come on?

1. Method of settlement
The vast majority of agencies settle in the subscription / flat-rate or hybrid model, where in addition to the fixed fee, the company fights for the so-called success fee. This is due to the fact that positioning takes more and more time, many projects require a minimum of 3 people (SEO specialist, programmer, copywriter), the performance of the service involves the purchase of at least a few expensive tools, and the action is always at risk of lack of results, as even the best SEO specialist has no influence on the Google algorithm updates, difficulties in communicating with the client or the actions of the competition. Therefore, an SEO agency that takes its work and clients' money seriously will never settle only for positions achieved, just as a lawyer will not settle for winning a difficult case in court, and a doctor for curing a patient from a serious disease.
Therefore, all companies that only pay for the effects are a relic of the era in the history of SEO, which ended around 2012-2013 with the first big updates of the algorithm, which completely changed the rules of the game at that time. And we especially recommend that you beware of companies that similarly evaluate the positioning of very difficult and very easy phrases in one contract, which with a frequent 24- or 36-month contract means that after achieving only a small part of the results with simple phrases, no one will use your finger afterwards I don't care to keep working on the health of the page in the search results.

2. Duration of the contract
We should be able to terminate the SEO contract at any time. In this case, a minimum period of cooperation is acceptable, provided that it is short - a maximum of several months. This type of provision is most sensible and results from two issues. First of all - these few months are the minimum time needed by the agency to prove itself; secondly - it is a matter of know-how, which is most visible in the first quarter of cooperation in the form of website audit / optimization and work methodology.
A completely indefinite contract, possible to be completed after a month, would be a water mill for competitors and crooks who, under the pretext of longer cooperation, would extract audits from the agency, often worth several times more than the amount of a one-month lump sum. While the contract for 6 months or a year will pass (everything will depend on other provisions), we avoid strictly long-term contracts.
If a given company is confident in its skills and focuses on partner relations with the client, this type of security is not needed. An indefinite contract is an honest relationship - since the client, when dissatisfied with the results or service, can terminate the cooperation at any time, the SEO agency has no choice but to work regularly and fight for the best results and satisfaction of the other party.

3. Contractual penalties
You should also avoid SEO contracts with contractual penalties, which - of course - usually only apply to the client.
Such provisions are also most often found in long-term contracts - 24 or 36 months. If a company tempts us with a low fee and a long contract that includes high penalties for breaking it early, something is clearly not right. After all, we are talking about positioning and considerable money, and not an internet or telephone contract for several dozen zlotys a month. SEO collaboration should be a partnership relationship in which both parties respect each other and are willing to make some concessions.
This was clearly shown by the example of the coronavirus. Many honest SEO agencies decided to keep their most vulnerable clients by granting temporary discounts or deferring payments for several months. And this is what we think it should look like. Therefore, we emphasize - if the contract for positioning includes high contractual penalties (for breaking it, but not only) concerning mainly the party ordering the service, 99% of it is not worth signing such a document.

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