Search engine optimisation has always been a critical ingredient for all businesses to grow online. Doing SEO the right way involves following Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines. You could think of these guidelines as best practices that all SEOs and brands should follow that aim to deliver a better online experience for everyone.
But, with Google’s ever-changing algorithm, it can be pretty daunting for businesses to keep up-to-date with all of Google’s changes. To complicate matters further, it’s even more challenging for businesses to find a really awesome SEO consultant.
That’s because no two SEO consultants are created the same. Every SEO consultant has their own inherent strengths and weaknesses. One SEO consultant might excel at strategy.
While another SEO consultant might work better in specific niches, and a different consultant might have more expertise in technical SEO. Or other things like creating helpful and link-worthy content and having more specialisation with specific elements of off-page SEO like creating link building strategies and digital PR.
As the founder of Aperitif Agency, an Australian digital marketing agency specialising in designing, creating, and executing powerful SEO strategies for 100s of brands, I’ll walk you through everything I’ve learned with my 8+ years of experience working in the SEO industry.
Let’s explore the benefits of SEO consulting, its potential downsides, and how to choose the right consultant for your business.
What is SEO consulting?
SEO consulting is a service conducted by an SEO professional that helps businesses improve their visibility on search engines. This involves various elements, including technical SEO, content creation, conducting digital PR campaigns, building high-quality links, and creating effective SEO strategies.
An SEO consultant completes various tasks, including keyword research, competitor analysis, and optimising your website to improve its Google ranking.
When a business chooses to hire an SEO consultant, they essentially invest in an SEO professional’s expertise and experience. These professionals have spent years honing their skills and understanding the intricate details of search engine algorithms.
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For instance, in the past few months, Google recently rolled out several major core algorithm iteration updates to its E-E-A-T knowledge graph, which heavily focuses on brands demonstrating elements of expertise, experience, authoritativeness and trustworthiness online.
Then, right after that, Google updated its Helpful Content algorithm. Early next year, it is expected that Google will roll out another major upgrade to its Core Web Vitals algorithm, adding improvements to Interaction to Next Paint (INP).
Even though these Google changes might seem overwhelming — for an experienced SEO professional, it comes with the job. Every good SEO consultant has to stay up-to-date with all new changes that Google makes to its algorithm to help its clients better navigate the digital landscape and achieve better search results.
Not all SEO consultants are created equal. Some excel in specific areas, while others may lack experience in other areas. This is where hiring an experienced SEO consultant can make all the difference.
For instance, suppose you’re a small business owner in Melbourne. In that case, a local Melbourne SEO expert like Aperitif Agency can provide tailored strategies that target your specific audience throughout different local areas of Melbourne, giving you an edge over your competitors.
Experienced consultants can provide practical SEO examples from past projects and showcase their ability to drive tangible SEO results. They’ll understand the importance of SEO planning and implementing effective SEO strategies to improve your brand’s online presence.
Whether working independently or as part of an agency, SEO specialists use various SEO techniques to optimise websites. This could involve things like ensuring the title tags are within the recommended meta description title character length and, at the same time, creating click-worthy titles that meet a user’s search intent and actually make someone want to click and read an article.
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SEO optimisation can involve other aspects, such as using latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords. You could think of these as individual short-tail keywords that are related to a specific topic. But the key to this is using it wisely so that a topic has been covered in depth and not over-optimising content so that it negatively impacts a user’s experience.
What does SEO consulting generally cover?
SEO consulting helps brands grow their businesses online and typically covers a wide range of areas, such as:
1. Technical SEO involves optimising your website for crawling and indexing by search engines. It includes aspects such as improving site speed and ensuring a website is mobile-friendly.
Other complex tasks can be involved, such as keyword research and mapping out a website’s site architecture. Or other things like website migrations, for example, moving a website from WordPress to Shopify.
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Understanding Google algorithms is key here; these complex systems determine how well your website ranks in Google search results.
2. Content optimisation revolves around creating high-quality, keyword-rich content that resonates with your audience and aligns with Google’s SEO guidelines. This includes on-page SEO techniques, such as using relevant keywords in titles, headings, and meta descriptions.
3. Digital PR is another crucial element of SEO consulting. SEO consultants can help you gain high-quality backlinks and improve your website’s authority and reputation by building relationships with online influencers and journalists and helping with content brainstorming to create linkable assets.
You could think of a linkable asset as something that contains something unique and interesting that other websites might want to link to or talk about. For example, an infographic, a unique piece of research like a survey, or a piece of content that is timely, sensitive and slightly controversial (called reactive media) can also generate brand mentions and quality digital PR links.
4. Link building involves acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A link from an authoritative website can significantly improve your Google ranking. However, not all links are the same; some are much better than others. But the key is to know what to look for and why a link is better.
Here, a crucial aspect is creating content that brands want to link to and enforcing strict quality control processes for every link building campaign. One thing that I’ve constantly seen and experienced is that a lot of SEO agencies and brands struggle with link building and often opt to buy links.
Buying links is against Google’s Search Rater Guidelines and should be avoided at all costs because links like this could do more harm than good — or worse, a company could waste thousands of dollars on backlinks with zero to no impact.
Be aware that many SEO agencies will say they don’t buy links, but many do. That’s why doing due diligence is crucial for any SEO agency you want to engage services with.
5. Strategy development is the backbone of SEO consulting. A good SEO consultant will identify your business’s pain points, set achievable goals, and create a tailored SEO strategy that aligns with your business objectives.
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They’ll use tools like Google Analytics, Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz to monitor your website’s performance and adjust the strategy when needed to ensure you’re on track to achieving your SEO goals.
6. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is another area where SEO consultants can add value. Making minor tweaks to your website and content can increase the likelihood of visitors taking desired actions (like making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter), thus improving your conversion rate.
One key thing to point out here is that if a particular piece of blog content ranks well on the search engine results page (SERPs), it does not necessarily mean that a particular page will convert traffic into sales.
There are additional things that can be done, for example, if a website sells physical products, these could be embedded into areas of the page or other things like creating downloadable assets to capture email addresses.
7. Competitor analysis is another crucial aspect of SEO consulting. By analysing what your competitors are doing well (or don’t do so well), you can identify opportunities to improve your SEO strategy and outrank them on search results pages.
In addition to organic SEO strategies, SEO consultancy agencies like Apertify Agency can help with paid search strategies, such as Google Ads and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and creating YouTube and Facebook Ads.
Organic SEO focuses on improving your website’s natural ranking in search results, whereas paid strategies involve bidding on keywords to appear in the paid ads section of Google’s search results. Both strategies can drive traffic to your site but serve different purposes.
Why is SEO consulting important?
Businesses can’t afford to ignore SEO. As any experienced SEO consultant would tell you, it’s not just about driving traffic to your website but the right kind of traffic. SEO consulting helps businesses drive targeted traffic – visitors likely to convert into customers.
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This is where content marketing comes into play. An expert SEO consultant understands that high-quality, relevant content is key to attracting and retaining users.
They can help you develop effective content strategies and assist with content writing that resonates with your target audience and aligns with search engine guidelines.
SEO consulting isn’t just for small businesses. Large corporations can benefit from enterprise SEO services, which involve optimising large, complex websites to improve online visibility. For eCommerce websites, eCommerce SEO can help improve product visibility and drive more sales.
What are the main goals for SEO consulting?
The main goals of SEO consulting are to increase website traffic, improve search engine rankings, and drive business growth through effective SEO techniques.
SEO consulting offers numerous benefits, including improved online presence, increased organic traffic, and higher conversion rates. This also usually involves conducting thorough SEO audits to identify areas for improvement and develop tailored SEO strategies.
Another critical goal of SEO consulting is enhancing the quality of your backlink profile. Backlinks are a significant factor in how search engines rank websites.
Our team of Melbourne SEO experts can help you earn high-quality backlinks from reputable sites, strengthen your domain authority (DA) and help you rank higher in search results. This involves understanding your audience’s needs and preferences and creating content that resonates with them.
How much do SEO consultants cost?
The cost of SEO consultants varies greatly, depending on the scope of the project, the consultant’s expertise, and the business’s specific needs. You could expect to pay anywhere between $2,000 to $20,000+ per month or more, depending on the size of a business and its goals.
Is there any downside to SEO consulting?
One of the main challenges of SEO is that results often take time to manifest. Unlike Google Ads or Facebook marketing campaigns, SEO is a long-term strategy that can yield immediate results.
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An increase in organic traffic is usually gradual, and it may take months to see significant improvements in your website’s search engine rankings.
Another downside is the ever-changing nature of search engine algorithms. These constant updates can impact your SEO strategies and results, making staying up-to-date with the latest changes crucial.
High competition for keywords can also pose a challenge, and multiple strategies can be used to rank for high-value keywords. For instance, let’s say a new brand or startup has just launched a new website — then it would be better to target long-tail keywords first and then begin targeting more competitive search queries later.
Implementing SEO changes can also be complex and time-consuming, particularly for large websites.
SEO takes time to see results. From experience, any SEO work usually lags by around 3 months, meaning that the full impact might not be seen until at least 3 months for any work done today.
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One of the most significant risks associated with SEO consulting is the potential use of black-hat SEO techniques, which could result in a Google penalty and a massive drop in search traffic.
That’s why it’s critical to research any SEO provider you are considering using and ensure they use white-hat SEO strategies that adhere to Google’s best practices.
Even if a page or website ranks well, it does not guarantee conversions. Other elements, like user experience and lead generation strategies, are crucial in converting visitors into customers and can directly or indirectly impact an SEO campaign.
SEO should be part of a broader digital marketing strategy that includes conversion rate optimisation and other tactics to improve your website and drive business growth.
SEO consulting is a valuable investment for any business looking to improve its online presence and drive more traffic to its website. While there can be challenges in navigating the world of SEO consulting, with the right SEO consultant, the benefits can far outweigh the costs.
At Aperitif Agency, we offer comprehensive SEO consulting services to boost your online business’s performance. Our experienced team of Melbourne SEOs leverage proven strategies and techniques to optimise your website’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Are you looking for an SEO consultant? Then get in touch with our team of SEO experts today, as we’d be more than happy to help your business grow and thrive online.