Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But Sometimes It’s the Right Thing For Your Agency

  • Do you have a client that isn’t a good fit for your SEO agency? Columnist Janet Driscoll Miller has some tips to help you determine when it’s time to part ways.


    I’ve been running a search marketing agency for 10 years now, and during that time, I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons.

    The goal of most businesses is to stay profitable and grow revenue. There are times, however, when you, as the agency or consultant, may have to choose to part ways with a client.

    1. Can You Break Up With The Client?

    In order to have the power to break up with a client, you need the power to terminate a contract.

    So when you write your contracts, be sure that they have a termination clause and that it is clearly spelled out. Determine issues such as:

    • Under what circumstances can the contract be terminated early?
    • How much notice must be given by one party to the other when terminating?
    • What responsibilities does each party have after notice has been given?

    2. When Should You Break Up With The Client?

    It’s Best For The Client

    It’s not uncommon to find long-term SEO contracts throughout the industry — anywhere from six to 12 months — with no cancellation clause. But sometimes, clients have to cancel, and I’d rather not burn a bridge.

    In one case, I had a client that was having difficulty staying in business due to external market pressures. The client was laying off staff at a significant rate while trying to find a solution to stop the hemorrhaging. We discussed the client’s situation, and I agreed to terminate the contract early for them.

    Could I have pressured them and held them to the original contractual agreement? Absolutely. But it wasn’t the right thing to do.

    We left on good terms, and I know that this former client speaks highly of our firm and recommends us to others. It was the ethical course of action to take.


    [Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

    Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

    (Some images used under license from


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