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Should I sign a 12-month SEO contract?


Why SEO is a long-term investment


If your website isn’t getting as much traffic as you’d like, you know that an investment in SEO services can help increase your website traffic and sales. But outsourcing SEO is a big financial commitment, so you’re wondering if you should sign a 12-month SEO contract.


Done well, SEO campaigns make your website rank better in search results, and increase your conversion rate. In as little as 6 months, you could be fully booked months in advance, or achieving your lofty sales goals.


But of course, SEO is a long-term investment, so it needs just the right mix of an expert SEO consultant and plenty of patience on your part.


Pros and Cons of SEO contracts


As with any business commitment, there are pros and cons to consider for SEO contracts.



  • You’re busy running your business, so by outsourcing your SEO efforts to an expert, you know your SEO campaign will receive consistent attention.
  • SEO consultants will look at your entire website’s user experience as part of the process, do thorough keyword research, and understand your target customers to produce results.
  • Organic SEO campaigns are often cheaper and produce better ROI in the long term than paid Ad Words campaigns.



  • SEO is a long game, so you might have to front up 6 months or more of monthly SEO costs before you start to see a return on your investment.
  • There are no guarantees with SEO. Your website might never get to position 1, or even page 1, if your niche is highly competitive.
  • If you choose the wrong SEO provider, you could be stuck in an expensive contract that’s not producing results. Or worse, a dodgy SEO provider who gets your website penalised for poor tactics.


How long does it take to see SEO results?


It depends a lot on the structure and usability of your website, the quality of your content and how good your SEO consultant is.


It’s important to get the structure and user journey of your website right first. The first couple of months of your SEO contract might involve fixing errors and laying the foundations for good SEO to build on.


If all the groundwork is solid, it’ll probably take 3 to 6 months to start seeing improvements in your rankings. A lot of campaigns excel at about 8 months, so you need to give it time.


Clearly define your business goals


Consider what you want to achieve with your SEO campaign, and tell your SEO consultant what success looks like to you, such as:

  • Enough incoming sales leads that you’re booked out 3 months in advance
  • A certain value of eCommerce sales per month
  • Enough traffic on your blog to make a set income from affiliate advertising revenue

This information will help your SEO consultant to structure your campaign to suit your business goals.


The best SEO providers will assess your customers’ experience on your website to determine:

  • Can visitors navigate your site and find what they need to know?
  • Is your website mobile friendly and fast to load?
  • What are you asking the customer to do on each page? Is the call to action (CTA) clear?
  • Is your eCommerce checkout process easy?

You see, ranking in the No. 1 spot is useless if customers land on your website, can’t find what they need, and exit straight away. That means you’re not converting visits into sales. In order to make sales or conversions, your website might need groundwork before the real SEO campaign can begin.


With a few simple changes, your website’s user experience (UX) can go from ho-hum to “take my money”!


When thinking about using SEO to increase your rankings and traffic, would you rather:

  • Website traffic of 500 visitors with 5 sales conversions each day, or
  • Website traffic of 50 visitors with 15 sales each day.

Of course you’d prefer 15 sales each day. It’s the conversions that matter most to your business goals. Clearly define your conversion goals to start working towards them.


Be consistent, and be patient


Choose your SEO provider carefully, then stick with your SEO contract for at least 6 months. Organic rankings take time to build, so be patient. If your business is in a highly competitive field, it can take longer to see results.


Invest in high quality content and publish blogs or articles regularly. Well-written, useful articles are helpful for SEO because they give you lots of different keywords and phrases you can rank for. Blog content is a great way to answer your customer’s questions, showcase your expertise and give examples of your previous work.


Consider engaging a professional copywriter if you don’t have the time or skills to write the articles yourself. It’s hard to find time to produce high quality content when you’re busy running your business, and sometimes it’s best to outsource to keep up with a regular publishing schedule. A good SEO provider will have tried-and-tested SEO copywriters they can recommend.


What to look for in an SEO provider


Local account manager


You don’t want to get handballed to an offshore SEO consultant once you’re on the hook for 12 months. A good SEO provider will assign a local account manager who you can contact during business hours if you have any questions.


Ethical practices


Back in the wild-west days of search engines in the early 2000s, websites could rank well for keywords using techniques like keyword stuffing. That’s when they’d type the same words over and over again (usually in white text on a white background, so search bots could read it but customers couldn’t) because all that mattered was keyword frequency.


How times have changed! These days, Google is fully aware of the dodgy practices of yesteryear and doesn’t stand for it any more. In fact, if your SEO provider recommends keyword stuffing, run for the hills. They’re going to do your rankings more harm than good.


What’s more, dodgy SEO companies say they’ll build lots of backlinks to your site, but if they’re toxic links from spammy sites, Google knows it, and you’ll be penalised.


The best way to avoid getting stung by an unethical SEO company is to ask your potential SEO provider about their plan for your campaign before you commit. If they make huge promises that sound too good to be true, that’s a red flag.


Good SEO companies know that ethical SEO is challenging, and it’s a long game, in which they can’t promise big results quickly. Getting to the top spot for your chosen keywords – the ethical way – can take years because every business in your niche is competing for the same result.


Read lots of reviews, ask questions and make sure you’re comfortable with your choice of SEO company before you sign.


So, should you sign a 12-month SEO contract?


As long as you’ve done your due diligence and you’re convinced that your chosen SEO consultant understands your business and will offer ethical, transparent SEO services, then yes, you should.


But not every SEO company makes you sign a 12-month contract. Many SEO companies offer a 6-month contract to get you started, and then a rolling month-by-month contract after that.


Done right, it’ll be worth the investment in the long term.


Get started with an ethical, high-ROI SEO campaign


If you’re ready to invest in SEO for the long term, get in touch with our expert SEO team on 1300 367 009.


Check out Havealook clients’ SEO success:


Just Jeeps SEO case study

  • Reduced SEO monthly cost by 40%
  • Increased website traffic by over 104%
  • SEO generates more enquiries than paid ads
  • Removed penalty inducing spam content


Premier Picket Fencing SEO case study

  • Increased SEO results without increasing marketing budget
  • Organic (SEO) traffic shows weekly increases of 80%
  • SEO generates the most amount of website enquires at over 70%
  • Customer has mentioned they do not have time to check our reports as they are too busy with the increased amount of work!