How to Get SEO Contract

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How to Get SEO Contract

An SEO specialist often has to work in a team and actively communicate with clients. Therefore, it’s essential to understand how to manage such work, consider the nuances, and build long-term mutually beneficial cooperation.

Even if you are well-versed in promoting websites and getting them to the top of search engine rankings, this alone may not be enough to attract a potential client to your candidacy. It’s important to know how companies select contractors and what you can do to make your offer the most attractive to future clients.

If you want to offer your services as an SEO specialist to website owners, you need to be prepared for the fact that potential clients will have their own views on choosing a contractor. Many of them may have a limited understanding of the current realities of an SEO-specialist’s work. Some clients might have previously encountered unqualified or dishonest performers, so they could be biased.

Nevertheless, certain patterns should be considered when seeking clients and responding to job postings. To understand these patterns, let’s see how companies search for SEO specialists and choose contractors.

Analysis of Proposals 

Companies often conduct market research to find out what services SEO contractors offer and their qualifications. They may use the following methods to search and hire:

  • Search Engines: A simple search in Google or  other search engines can direct a client to SEO specialists.
  • Specialized Communities and Forums: Where SEO experts can interact and share their experiences.
  • Specialized Job Sites: Such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and others
  • Freelance Platforms: Like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, and others.
  • Social Networks: Particularly LinkedIn, where many SEO specialists present their profiles and resumes.
  • Recommendations from Acquaintances.
  • SEO Conferences, Seminars, and Events: Where one can meet experts in person and learn about new trends and optimization methods.

Recommendations for Specialists 

The higher your online presence, the more likely potential employers will notice you. However, it’s not enough to just post your resume on popular resources like LinkedIn or freelance platforms and wait for clients to queue up.

Your resume should immediately set you apart from other specialists, and words alone might not be enough. You should not only tell but also show potential clients that you understand SEO and can promote projects. This can only be done by publishing successful cases. Therefore, examples of successfully promoted resources are essential.

A portfolio in SEO is as important as nowhere else — having successful cases is the best proof of your professional suitability. A link to it should be prominently displayed on all your social media pages.

Remember the importance of recommendations, especially when working in foreign markets. For example, if you want to promote websites in the USA, it’s almost impossible to find a good client without recommendations. However, just 1-2 satisfied clients can provide you with a good reputation and a competitive advantage.

Consider participating in various SEO events. Treat them not only as opportunities to gain new knowledge and make useful acquaintances but also as an additional chance to assert yourself and demonstrate your skills. Participate in SEO case contests — even if you don’t win, your work can gain widespread publicity.

Assessing Competence 

Before signing a contract, companies assess the contractor’s competence. They may use various criteria for evaluation and typically apply the following methods:

  • Portfolio Review: The company may request examples of the contractor’s previous SEO work to assess the quality of work and experience.
  • Recommendations and Reviews: The company may contact the contractor’s previous clients for information from those who have already used their services.
  • Analysis of the Contractor’s Website: The company may analyze the contractor’s site to assess its ranking, content quality, and other SEO metrics.
  • Test Assignment: The company may offer the contractor a test task to evaluate their SEO knowledge and skills.
  • Interview: The company may conduct an interview with the contractor to understand their approach to work, SEO knowledge, and experience.

The specific methods of verification a client uses largely depend on their own SEO competence. If the company’s specialists can make conclusions about a contractor’s skills by inspecting their site or talking to them personally, they will likely do so. The same applies to a test assignment – to devise and check such an assignment, appropriate qualifications are required.

In general, if a company conducts an assessment of a contractor’s SEO competence, it will likely be comprehensive. In this case, the company is unlikely to limit itself to a single method to make the most informed choice.

Thus, ideally, an SEO specialist who meets the requirements of most clients should have the following competencies:

  • Technical Knowledge: Ability to work with web development, knowledge of programming languages, understanding of technical aspects of site optimization.
  • Semantic Core Work: Ability to conduct keyword research and understand which words and phrases are best used for site optimization.
  • Content Optimization: Ability to optimize site content, including using keywords, unique titles, meta descriptions, and header tags.
  • Analytical Skills: Ability to analyze data, track performance metrics, and SEO campaign results.
  • Understanding of Search Engine Principles: Understanding of search engine algorithms and their changes.
  • Content Marketing: Ability to create unique and attractive content that can attract the target audience.
  • Social Media: Knowledge of the basics of social networks and ways to use them in site promotion.
  • Communication Skills: Ability to communicate with clients, understand their needs and requirements.

Recommendations for Specialists 

Not every company has the resources and opportunities to conduct a thorough step-by-step verification of your competencies. However, many clients have encountered unscrupulous performers, so even without high expertise, they are unlikely to be convinced by baseless statements unsupported by practice.

Therefore, arguments that will impress any potential client become especially important. Again, your best reputation tool becomes high-quality cases and recommendations.

That’s why, at the beginning, SEO-specialists strive not so much to earn money but to acquire a reputation. The first projects can even be promoted for free, provided that you get a good case that will allow you to get new orders in the future.

Assessment of Cost 

Cost assessment is an important aspect of choosing a contractor, as contracting companies offer SEO services at different prices. (i.e., the company compares the costs of the services offered by the contractor with the prices of other market participants). The company must ensure that the cost of the services matches its budget and expected results. When choosing a contractor, the company may pay attention to the following factors affecting the cost of services:

  • Level of Complexity of the SEO Task.
  • Amount of Work Required to Achieve Desired Results.
  • Qualification and Experience of the Contractor.
  • Contractor’s Reputation in the Market.
  • Features of the Services Provided by the Contractor.
  • Deadlines for Completing the Work.

Recommendations for Specialists 

It’s difficult to give a definitive recommendation on what price to set to make a positive impression on the client. Prices that are too high from the client’s point of view, or, conversely, too low, can be equally suspicious and raise doubts.

However, there is a universal recommendation suitable for any situation. You should be ready to justify to the potential employer exactly what they will be spending each rupee and dollar on: what specifically you will do with the allocated budget and what benefits they will receive. Not all clients understand SEO, but most know how to count money and do not like to invest in dubious activities.

Therefore, try to think in advance about this part of the communication. Perhaps some part of your program should be mentioned in advance in your resume or in the cover letter, so the client can immediately assess this.

Checking Results 

The company checks the results of the contractor’s work and ensures they meet expectations. If the results do not meet expectations, the company may decide to terminate the contract and find another contractor.

Ideally, the specialist should aim for long-term cooperation with the client. If the contractor’s work results are satisfactory, the company may sign a long-term contract for SEO services. Such cooperation provides stability and reliability in work and helps reduce costs in finding new contractors.

Recommendations for Specialists 

Your key task at the very first stage of relations with a potential employer will be to establish a transparent system for checking results. You must explain to the client what and how they should track to understand that their SEO budget is being used beneficially and that work is progressing according to your stated plan.

Immediately agree on the system and terms of reporting, as well as the tools and indicators by which you will monitor progress. Do not try to follow the client’s lead and better not promise them what you cannot deliver – when this circumstance becomes known, they are unlikely to be pleased.

  • Sergey Pankov

    Sergey is a seasoned SEO expert with 20+ years of experience, global link building opinion leader, he is a regular speaker at various SEO conferences and webinars dedicated to website optimization. As a CEO at, Sergey is responsible for strategic & operational management of business areas, business scaling, building first-class customer service, innovation & technology management, hiring & management of teams of talents. Sergey's Linkedin
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