Sample SEO Contract Template


This post is in conjunction with SEO Contract Guide for Smarter SEOs, How to write a SEO Contract?and Disclaimers that can give you nine lives as a SEO. I would strongly suggest you to read the aforesaid articles before you can really appreciate the greatness of the blog post below ;)

Before I start, let me remind you that I am not a lawyer and what I say here is just personal knowledge, research and experience. I Himanshu make no warranty/guarantee of accuracy, legality, completeness and timeliness of the information provided below.

My post should not be considered as a substitute for legal advice. Use your own discretion and customize this contract to suit your specific needs.


SEO Contract Template

Page 1 of 5

[Insert your Company Name]

[Insert your complete Physical Address; Your Phone ; Your e-mail]

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Service Agreement


1. Details of the parties entering into the contract

This agreement is hereby entered into between [Your Company Name](hereinafter referred to as “we”, “us”, “SEO”, “our”) and [Your Client Name] hereinafter referred to as “Client”, “you”, “him”, “his”) on the [Insert Date and Time] with offices at:  [Insert your complete Physical Address] and [Insert the complete Physical Address of your client]


2. Representations and Warranties

[Your Company Name] agrees to provide Client with Search Engine Optimization and Reporting Services (hereinafter referred to as “SEO”) as described in this agreement for the period of [Insert duration of the whole project in months] which starts on the [Insert the date of the start of the work].

We are authorized to use the specific keywords and/or phrases for developing and improving the ranking of the Client’s site(s), [Insert Client’s website address here] in the search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing).


3. Definitions

To bring clarity into this contract, we are going to define some SEO terms/jargons which we have used in the contract. Our goal is to develop a contract in plain English which is mutually understood by all the parties entering into the contract and which minimizes erroneous beliefs.

However we make no warranty/guarantee of accuracy and completeness of the SEO terms described below. Our definitions should not be considered as be all and end all of SEO terminology.

For the purposes of this agreement:

Deliverable“- It is a term used in project management to describe a tangible or intangible object produced as a result of the project that is intended to be delivered to a customer (either internal or external). A deliverable could be a report, a document, a server upgrade or any other building block of an overall project [source:]

SEO” –Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results as opposed to search engine marketing (SEM) which deals with paid inclusion. [source:]

Social Media Optimization” - It is set of methods which are used to generate publicity through social media.

Search Engines” – It is a computer program which is used to retrieve documents from a computer network. Three popular search engines are Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Client’s Competitor” – It is an individual or a company which is in the same exact niche as the client and is targeting same/identical keywords in same/near by geographic location(s).

Keyword” – Keyword or keyword phrase is a search term(s) which is used to retrieve information through search engines.

Keyword Research” – It is a practice used by search engine optimization professionals to find and research actual search terms people enter into the search engines when conducting a search.

Keyword Stuffing” – It is considered to be an unethical search engine optimization (SEO) technique. Keyword stuffing occurs when a web page is loaded with keywords in the meta tags or in content. [source:]

“keywords cannibalization” – Several web pages targeting same keyword(s)

URL”- It is the address of the web page on the Internet.

URL Canonicalization” – It is the process of picking the best url when there are several choices, and it usually refers to home pages.  [source:]

Link Building” – It is a Search Engine Optimization technique which is used to get backlinks (or votes) for a website.

Link Bait” -Link bait is any content or feature within a website that somehow baits viewers to place links to it from other websites. Matt Cutts defines link bait as anything “interesting enough to catch people’s attention. [source:]

Website Usability”- It means how easy it is for visitors to use your website.

Website Accessibility”- It means how accessible your web pages are to your visitors and search engines.

User Engagement”- It refers to the degree to which a visitor has been positively influenced by the website and is engaged to it.

Conversions”- Also known as goals. They can be orders, leads, downloads, page views, sign ups, traffic etc.

Conversion Rate”- It is the percentage of visits which result in goal conversions.

KPI”- KPI or Key Performance Indicator is used to measure how well an organization or individual is accomplishing its goals and objectives.

Link popularity”- It is the measure of the quantity and quality of inbound links (back links) to your website.

Confidential Information”- It includes but is not limited to, any and all fees, services, documents, recommendations, reports, e-mails, postal mail, courier or phone/skype consultation for the purpose of reporting, recommending or educating the client by [Insert you Company Name] for carrying out search engine optimization services.

Client Signature ___________________________________


Page 2 of 5

4. Deliverables

[Insert your Company Name] is committed to provide following deliverables:

1. Website Audit Report

It provides (but it not limited to):

1. Review of the competitiveness of the client’s industry and the targeted keywords.

2. Review of the current ranking potential of the client’s site and back link profile analysis.

3. Review of issues related to website usability, website credibility, websites accessibility, user engagement, legal issues and suggestions regarding how to fix them.

4. Recommendations for avoiding/fixing negative SEO issues (keyword stuffing, duplicate contents, URL canonicalization, hidden text, hidden links, sneaky redirects, keywords cannibalization etc)

5. Recommendations regarding content development. What type of contents and contents categories can attract additional traffic and links and can help in improving conversions (goals).

6. Suggestions regarding link building- From where and how you can acquire/request/buy links.

7. Review of the client’s site traffic – how visitors find your website, where they come from and how they use it. How keywords and advertising campaigns are performing. How the site is performing in comparison to hundreds of other sites in the comparable industries.


2. Competitive Analysis Report

It provides vital information regarding competitors like who are your competitors, which keywords they are targeting, what are they doing to attract traffic and links. From where they have got their back links. We also determine the current ranking potential of your competitors in search engines and help in establishing KPIs.


3. Keyword Research Report

It provides list of keywords that can bring highest volume of relevant traffic to the website along with their search volume. It also provides suggestions regarding how keywords should be used on site to attract additional traffic.  


4. Website Optimization

We try to fix all the issues we have identified during website audit, so that the website works for the client’s business and is able to convert relevant traffic into sales or leads.


5. On-page optimization

We modify the title tags, meta tags, contents, HTML code, naming conventions and other on-page factors of client’s website to make it relevant to search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) for targeted keywords. We do keywords positioning/placement to attract additional traffic to the site.


6. Link Building

We acquire/request/buy links from vast array of websites to improve the ranking potential of your website in search engines and to rank for targeted keyword phrases.


7. Link Bait/Viral Content Development

We develop and promote contents (press releases, articles, blogs, link baits etc) which help in getting additional traffic and links to your site and also helps in improving the conversion rate.


8. Social Media Optimization

We develop methods to generate publicity through social media like blogs, forums, social networking sites (facebook, linked-in, orkut etc), meet-up groups, industry events etc.


9. SEO Analysis

We continuously monitor the effectiveness of our SEO campaign and send you traffic and rankings reports on regular basis.


10. SEO Training

We provide seo training through phone/online consultation or on-site consultation (visiting client’s premises) or both.  In this training you will learn the basics of search engine optimization, how search engine works, what are Google webmaster guidelines and why they are important.

You will also learn how to interpret the Google analytics data, how to conduct usability test, how to attract links, traffic and many more things.


5. Payment Terms

The Total Price of this SEO Campaign would be US$________
Fees upon Contract Signing US$________
Fees upon the receipt of Website Audit Report US$________
Fees upon the receipt of Competitive analysis and keyword Research Reports US$________
Fees per month there after US$________

Client agrees to pay us a fee as stated in “agreement.” Fee must be received prior to the start of any services provided.  All payments shall be made in USD (United States Dollar) and by Pay Pal, unless otherwise agreed by [Insert your Company Name].

Any incidental cost related to the SEO Services provided to the client like long distance telephone calls, shipping, postage, courier and travel will be reimbursed to  [Insert your Company Name] by the client.

If the client decides to end the project for lack of funds, change in focus or for any other reason other than which violates any term of this agreement, then the client is required to pay for all the work [Insert your Company Name] has done up to the time that client notifies [Insert your Company Name] not to continue with the project at hourly rate of US$______.

If the client doesn’t want [Insert your Company Name] to work for any of the client’s competitor (as defined in the ‘definitions’ section above) for a period of ________ months, then the client has to pay an additional fees of US$________/month.


Client Signature ___________________________________


Page 3 of 5

6. Project Timeline

The total time for this project is __________months. We will work _____hours/ week on the client’s project.


7. Assignment of Specific Rights

For the purposes of receiving professional SEO services, Client agrees to provide the following:

1. Give [Insert your Company Name] FTP and other back-end access to the web site for uploading new web pages, and making changes on the web pages for the purpose of on-page optimization.

2. Permission to communicate directly with any third parties, e.g., your web designer, web developer etc if necessary.

3. Full access to existing website traffic statistics for analysis and tracking purposes like access to Google Analytics, Omniture etc.

4. Permission to use client official email address for the purposes of requesting links (something like

5. Client authorizes [Insert your Company Name] use of all client’s logos, trademarks, Web site images, content etc., for use in creating informational pages and any other uses as deemed necessary by [Insert your Company Name] for search engine optimization and social media optimization.

6. If Client’s site is lacking in textual content, Client will provide additional text content in electronic format for the purpose of creating additional or richer web pages. [Insert your Company Name] can create site content at additional cost to the Client. If Client is interested in purchasing content from [Insert your Company Name], it can be provided at additional cost of US$_______/300 words/page.


8. Non Disclosure Agreement

At any time during or subsequent to contract period, client agrees to keep in strictest confidence and trust all of the [Insert your Company Name] confidential information to which the client has access. The client will not use or disclose the [Insert your Company Name] confidential information without the written consent of [Insert your Company Name].

Client agree not to attack/criticize  [Insert your Company Name] and any of its employee, associate or partner publicly (on public forums, blogs, social networks etc) at any time during or subsequent to contract period.

Similarly client agrees not to seek for SEO advice on seo forums, blogs, community groups or any social media in a way which brings bad name to the company or any of its employee, associate or partner. In case of breach of non-disclosure agreement, client agrees to pay US$_______ to [Insert your Company Name] as damages.


Client Signature ___________________________________


Page 4 of 5

9. Disclaimers

Client acknowledges the following with respect to SEO services from [Insert your Company Name] :

1. All fees are non-refundable.

2. [Insert your Company Name] has no control over the policies and ranking algorithms of search engines with respect to the type of sites and/or content that they accept now or in the future. Client’s web site may be excluded from any search engine or directory at any time at the sole discretion of the search engine or directory.

3. Due to the competitiveness of some keywords/phrases, ongoing changes in search engine ranking algorithms, and other competitive factors, [Insert your Company Name] does not guarantee No.1 positions or consistent top 10 positions for any particular keyword, phrase, or search term.

4. Google has been known to hinder the rankings of new websites (or pages) until they have proven their viability to exist for more than “x” amount of time or have enough back link strength. [Insert your Company Name] assumes no liability for ranking, traffic, indexing issues related to such penalties. Consequently client understands that ranking new websites is much more difficult than ranking old and established sites and he should not have unrealistic expectations about rankings, traffic and revenues.

5. New website may get temporary boost in ranking for some targeted keywords for few days but then it settles down to its real place.  This is known as ‘new site boost effect’ and it is quite common to happen. Consequently client understands that his new site has not really got top rankings within a month and soon it will go down to its actual position.

6. Occasionally, search engines will drop listings for no apparent reason. Often, the listing will reappear without any additional SEO efforts.

7. A website search engine ranking can fluctuate any day, any time because of on-going changes in the ranking algorithm, seo efforts made by the competitors or both.

8. [Insert your Company Name] makes no guarantee/warranty of project timeline or added expenses (like charging additional fees etc) if the SEO work is destroyed either wholly or in parts, either knowingly or unknowingly by any party other than [Insert your Company Name] or without the prior consultation of [Insert your Company Name] . SEO work is considered to be destroyed either wholly or in parts if following changes (but are not limited to) are made to a website by any party other than [Insert your Company Name] or without first consulting [Insert your Company Name] :

i. Changes in the file(s) or folder(s) name

ii. Putting a file in a different folder or putting a folder in another folder or sub domain

iii. Making changes in the head section of a document like changing the text in the title tag, removing certain HTML tags required for site authentication.

iv. Deleting a link, folder, file, web document or sub domain.

v. Modifying text on a web document like changing the formatting of the text or repositioning the text.

vi. Removing analytics code from the web page which is used to track website traffic.

vii. Linking out to any website without prior consultation of the [Your Company Name] .

viii. Adding a file, folder, web document, widget or any functionality.

ix. Renaming URLs of existing web documents.

x. Taking down the website or part of the website.

xi. Renaming, re-locating, adding or removing any file, folder or sub domain on a web server including web documents, robots.txt, .htacess file, sitemap.xml, rss.xml etc

xii. Changes in the site architecture

xiii. Changes in the anchor text

xiv. Making any changes on an optimized web page


9. [Insert your Company Name] makes no guarantee/warranty of project timeline or added expenses (like charging additional fees etc) if:

i. The client fails to resolve [Your Company Name]  queries on time.

ii. Make delays in providing required access, documents, permissions or any support for Search Engine Optimization purpose

iii. Fail to make necessary changes on the website as and when advised by [Your Company Name]  for carrying out the Search Engine Optimization services.

iv. There is  a server outage for prolonged time on client’s site.


10. [Insert your Company Name] is not responsible for the Client overwriting SEO work. The Client will be charged an additional fee for re-constructing, re-optimizing content/web pages, based on the hourly rate of US$_______ per hour.

11. Client guarantees any elements of text, graphics, photos, designs, trademarks, or other artwork provided to [Insert your Company Name] for inclusion on the website above are owned by Client, or that Client has received permission from the rightful owner(s) to use each of the elements, and will hold harmless, protect, and defend [Insert your Company Name] and its subcontractors from any liability or suit arising from the use of such elements.


Client Signature ___________________________________


Page 5 of 5

10. When this contract comes to an end

This contract comes to an end when everything specified in the contract has been done. It can also end if there is a breach of contract and either party decides to cancel it.

The contract can also be ended by mutual agreement of the parties involved in contract or when it becomes impossible to carry out the obligations specified in the contract like due to man-made calamities (riots, acts of terrorism, war etc) or natural calamities (like flood, hurricane, earthquake, volcanic erruption etc)


11. Governing Law and Jurisdiction

Governing law means which country’s rule of interpretation and legal remedies apply in case of any dispute arising out of the contract. Jurisdiction means the place where your dispute will be heard.

This Agreement (Contract) shall be governed by the laws of UK and the parties submit to the exclusive Jurisdiction of the courts of Southampton, England in respect of any dispute or difference between the client and [Insert your Company Name] arising out of this Agreement (Contract).

Any dispute or difference can also be resolved outside the court by appointing an independent third party (also known as arbitrator) on mutual agreement of the client and [Insert your Company Name]. However in this case arbitrator’s decision is considered to be final and cannot be disputed or appealed in the court of law.


This contract is all inclusive and no other oral or written contract exists between the two parties stated in this agreement. By signing this contract you agree that you fully understand this contract, you are legally competent and authorized to enter into the contract and you sign this contract on your ‘own free will’ without any undue influence, misrepresentation of facts or by mistake.

You also represent and warrant to [Insert your Company Name] that you have no interest or obligation which is inconsistent with or in conflict with this agreement or which would prevent, limit, or impair [Your Company Name] performance of any part of this agreement. You agree to notify [Insert your Company Name] immediately if any such interest or obligation arises.

Client Name: ________________________________________

Client Address: ______________________________________

Client Phone: _________________________________________

Client E-Mail: _______________________________________


Client Signature ___________________________________

Date: _______________


[Your Company Name] Signature ________________________

Date: _______________



It took me several months to research and gather information to safeguard your and mine interests as a SEO consultant/company. So I request you to link out to this blog post and help it go viral. That’s the least you can do. After all you have just come across the Best SEO Contract in the world :)



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    Thats a very thorough and useful contract, thanks for putting it together and sharing. Presumably this covers US jurisdiction only? SEO Contracts are always difficult principly because clients typically have very little understanding of the techqnieus or requirements of performing SEO.

    • seo himanshu

      Thanks. This contract is for all the SEOs regardless of their location. You just need to change the ‘place of jurisdiction’ to US in case of any dispute :)

    • Gfiorelli1

      ciao himanshu! great and so so useful.
      what about a version for when the client has its own webmaster, seo in house and devs (pure consultancy)?

    • Blondy

      These tpocis are so confusing but this helped me get the job done.

  • Amit

    Thanks himanshu. You are in the wrong profession. You should be a lawyer.

  • sundeep

    Thanks for sharing. How much one should charge for seo training?

    • seo himanshu

      Your fees depends upon your market value. If you are someone like Bruce Clay, you can get away with US$ 3000 per session.

    • Joni

      A bit surpreisd it seems to simple and yet useful.

  • stacey

    How can you make no gaurantee of project timelines if the client doesn’t want to learn seo. May be he doesn’t ve time and that’s why he gave you the project. Otherwise he would have done it by himself.

    • seo himanshu

      This is something which you have to make him understand. Client’s seo’s understanding is very important for his involvement in the project. If he doesn’t know how -ve seo issues like ‘keyword cannibalization’ can affect the site traffic, then he may never really appreciate your suggestion of not targeting same keywords through multiple pages.

  • Nelson

    A very thorough post Himanshu. Thanks. What should be the penalty in case of contract breach? You have mentioned penalty only for ‘non-disclosure’ agreement.

    • seo himanshu

      This is something which you have to decide. Also make sure that you get a consent from your client on this.

  • Jade

    Thanks for the wonderful post. It is indeed the best contract so far. You can add this line to your non-disclosure aggrement if you like:
    “client agrees not to post anything which brings bad name to the company or any of its employee, associate or partner on forums, blogs, online communities, review sites, social networking sites or any other social media :)

    • seo himanshu

      Thanks. Please re-read the post. I have already mentioned that :)

  • Smith

    This is awesome. Lot of SEOs rely on verbal agreements which make them vulnerable of being wrongly accused by the clients in case of a dispute. Contract can be a great life saver.

  • Arnold

    Great Job himanshu! This post could really help a lot of seo professionals.

  • Tim

    No one should take on client without a contract. Your contract is clearly very comprehensive. Thanks for sharing.

  • Holly

    All good points. worth incorporating.

  • Joshua

    Very good post.This makes me reconsider my own contract.

  • lee

    Great post. I’m sure most will completely agree that a strong contract is important in virtually any industry.

  • cna training

    nice post. thanks.

  • Tilak

    Good points and well defined. I will surely incorporate few good points in my existing contract.

    Thanks for wonderful post.

  • TomPier

    great post as usual!

  • Rebekah

    I just found your blog. An SEO genius that also knows legal contracts AND posts them for people to use! swoon thank you! Following ya on twitter too.

  • Wilfred

    Thank you for the awesome job you’ve done here. This contract is quite complete, though it will have to modified/customized for each account. then make sure it is OK by your attorney.

  • http://Website Jane

    thanks for taking out the time to write such an awesome post.

  • http://Website Kerellane

    great blog , how are you doing now eeh?

  • Jeff

    I just wanted to say thanks for this incredibly useful post! Just had a client request a contract to be written up, and he probably wondered what was wrong, because I was probably looking at him like he’d just shot my cat….!

    I found a few other versions online (including one from SEOmoz), but this is by far the most complete one I’ve come across. Thanks for sharing!

    • seo himanshu

      Thanks for stopping by Jeff. Look forward to see you here more often :)

  • http://Website Matt

    Just what I was looking for!

    Thank you for taking the time to set this up and distribute it!!

    I dont have a blog yet but how about a re-tweet:)

  • posizionamento siti web

    Have you ever going in client compliant ?

    • seo himanshu

      Sorry i didn’t get your question.

  • M.Padmavati Pillai

    It’s really wonderful. Seems as if you haven’t forgotten to detail anything that is required to be included in the agreement. One can really guess your experience from the points you have included. It’s really a great resource. Thanks for sharing.

  • WebsiteTranslation Services

    Excellent post. I think I need to tweak it somewhat for International SEO, but it is a very good starting point. Thanks!

  • Buffy

    A million thanks for posting this informiaton.

  • Mike

    Thank you so much for this, it has helped me tremendously.

  • Sample Contracts

    I was totally impressed with the info here, i am newbie trying to set up a seo service and this was best info i have ever got online. keep up the helpful work!@bose

  • kelenpc

    Great Contract, going to use it as a guide and add our specifics to it. Thanks for sharing such a great project!

  • Laure

    Thank you very much for putting this together! It’s even helping me figure some things out about how to deal with a client for improving SEO with backlinking… We really need access to most of their website and other tools!
    I really appreciate it, good work!

  • Contract Templates

    Thank you for your treatment of this wonderful subject.Thank you so much for your professional and effective help. @chandu

  • Naveen

    This is a good piece. We all need it for entering into SEO contracts. thanks for sharing.

  • Jerome Lantheaume

    Very useful stuff, thanks !!!! Will use this 4 sure.

  • Jerome Lantheaume

    This is a great article, not just about SEO but how to sell and inform your clients.
    I will review our current seo contract and this will be very useful.

  • Gordon Jablonski

    I feel the contract is too involved. What you state in your contract is what I tell my clients (either verabally or in a quote). The actual contract is much shorter, but covers the legal side of “hiring a contractor”, rather than educating them on terms etc.

    No. 5 on your list – about new website boost – this is to be frowned upon as Google sees it as unnatural and will penalise the site if it sees “spikes” in backlinks.

    No. 8 vii – Linking to other sites without your companies approval – not a good idea. Clients will think that you are “controlling” them too much. If he wishes to link to a site that is relevant to him, then he should be allowed to do so.

    9 v – Client Educating Himself. Why do you think the client is hiring you?. If he educates himself, he will have no need to continue hiring your services. By all means explain the basic principles to him, but insisting he obtains training is a bit harsh.

    Just my view on the contract. Way too long and I feel it would discourage some clients rather than encouraging them to use your services. Also some of the legal jargon may not be acceptable in a court of law. Get a good lawyer to check out your phrasing and add meanings etc.

    • Himanshu

      Hi Gordon! This contract is not all inclusive. I have clearly mentioned at the top of the blog post to customize this contract to meet your needs. Regarding the court of law, anything you have agreed upon in writing can be disputed but it is perfectly acceptable.


    A very nice post and helpful for SEO service providers like us. Have bookmarked the page. Thanks.

  • vito

    Articolo interessante. Se non ti dispiace, ho fatto un link dal mio sito ( In effetti spesso l’aspetto contrattuale con il Cliente viene trascurato. Mettere le cose per iscritto definisce diritti e doveri di entrambe le parti. Grazie.
    ——————– Traslate with Google: —————————-
    Interesting article. If you do not mind, I made ??a link from my site ( It is often the contractual aspect is overlooked by the customer. Putting things in writing setting out the rights and obligations of both parties. Thank you.

    • Himanshu

      Hi Vitio! Thanks for the mention.

  • Burhanuddin

    Very good post, i’m looking for this sample. i just started seo service for local company.


  • Ruth Cheesley

    Thanks for the useful post, good points although some are worded a bit too colloquially for a contract (in my humble opinion) – but then it’s a fine line between keeping the lawyers happy and making sure the client understands it! The structure is really helpful though, and there are some good points that you raise!


  • Seo Freelancer

    really interesting!!! , do u have pdf/doc of this? thanks

  • Joel

    Great! Thank You!

  • Saikrishna

    Thanks a ton for sharing this, Himanshu, that’s a pretty valuable source for many of us here :)

    • seohimanshu

      glad you like it.

  • A

    This is not a good contract. There are several provisions that are simply unenforceable in any jurisidiction, incoherent over broad, vague, or mischaracterized. (your representations and warranties section are not representations or warranties of anything whatsoever). If anybody out there wants to draft a SEO contract I consider hiring an attorney rather than wasting your time with this.

    – This is not meant to be legal advice just an opinion of a user.

  • Mathieu Powell

    Hi Himanshu Sharma. I was creating a more all-encompassing contract for SEO services and I came across yours. I find it excellent because it honours our clients. I’m sharing this with my social circles. Well done, sir!

  • Faisal Jamal

    Thanks Sharma …. This is really awesome and helpful for other SEO businesses as well.

  • Mooks

    thank you :)