An SEO’s Bill of Rights
In an effort to provide clarity between SEOs and their clients, I created a bill of rights for SEO clients. This post covers the bill of rights for the SEOs.
Receive payment from the client for entire amount contracted.
Collect payment from the client on-time.
Not to allow the client to place a “hold” on their account.
Charge the client for services that fall outside the scope of the contract.
Expect their recommendations get implemented in a timely manner.
Not justify every minute spent. (Unless client pays hourly.)
Not spend too much time “reporting” to the client.
Revoke deliverable work performed due to client’s non-payment.
Suspend client’s account if needed.
Cancel client services.
If clients and SEOs agree on these expectations, there should never be a dissatisfied client! You can also read the historical documents from which this post originated.
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you’d like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
The differentiation you’ve made between SEOs’ and clients’ bills of rights is admirable. And so are the parallels. I especially like the voluntary termination of contract clause (#10) empowering both sides seeking other options.
You hit the nail on the head with number 5. I know that some clients are reluctant to implement changes, but isn’t that why you hired my firm? If you are going to fight me on every point, then you’re just wasting your money and my time!
Awesome post Stoney. I’m thinking I need to print this off and give to each one of my clients….lol.
It definitely makes sense to make sure each one of these points is integrated into your contracts, if you offer SEO services.
Some excellent points Stoney! I have most of these covered in the my contract though, very clearly spelled out along with early termination fees.
This is some great information though, thanks for sharing.
Contract are very important but sadly allot of people either ignore them just to get the work or have something thats as 30 pages long and put the client off.
This is a really great list. I’ve personally encountered 90% of these issues. If all SEO’s would abide by this “Bill of Rights” we could maintain our margins for some time to come.
Great list Stoney! How about 99% Ryan?:-)
Great post Soney. So true. Hard to find a real good company or team. David yes i will agree with you 99% 🙂
Didnt know an SEO company has so many rights.
Many times when the customer delay our payment, it is really tough on SEO company. I think the late payment charge imposed can have a great impact on how we got our money back.
Great article as usual!
I find the most difficult part is managing the expectations of a client. They think their rankings and traffic should automatically improve every month otherwise you are doing something wron. No matter how much we try to educate clients, they somehow expect us to control the search engines? How do others manage client expectations, anyone have any tips?
Sure just provide them estimates you know you can beat. If it will take 1 month say it will take 3. Then you amaze them when it’s done in 1. Over deliver by setting the right expectations from the start. Don’t promise unrealistic stuff just to win jobs.
You can avoid almost all these issues by charging SEO clients upfront. Because it is an intangible service that many business owners don’t understand many people get reluctant when it comes time to whip out the check book. Charge upfront and avoid these issues.
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