BlogWhat Is SEO And How Much Does It Cost In Australia?

April 21, 2022
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SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is a long-term strategy that requires effort and the ability to be on your toes. It is the reason that certain businesses dominate their market and get the lion’s share of customers. Long-term, it is cost effective and provides all businesses with an opportunity to grow.

But what is SEO? And how can it work for your business?

Before you can understand SEO, you need to understand how search engines such as Google work. Considering that Google takes up about 80% of the market share when it comes to searches online, we’ll be using them as the main example throughout this article.

But what is the main objective of Google? Simple – they strive to provide the most relevant, accurate and timely content to their users. For example, if you want to know the live scores for your favourite footy team, you don’t want to have to sift through a bunch of sites about gardening.

In order to provide the user with the most relevant websites to their search query, Google spends millions of dollars every year hiring the most talented programming nerds from all over the world to create super-smart algorithms.

These algorithms are so smart they are able to distinguish a gardening website from a sports scoreboard page just like a normal human can. Hint: it even knows how to read your mind and show you what it expects you’ll be searching for next.

Just kidding about the reading your mind thing, you can put your tin foil hat back now…

So let’s get back to our original question – What is SEO? Now that we know about the Google algorithm, we can look at how to work with it. Our job as the search engine optimiser is to take your website and make it extremely easy for Google’s algorithm to understand what it is about.

Once Google better understands that your website is about plumbing, for example, then we use different strategies to tell the same algorithm that “Hey, we’re not just a plumbing company– we’re THE best plumbing company for your users”.

This is accomplished through a variety of different strategies. Those strategies include:

  1. Website content – This is the first area that we address. Would you expect to be taken seriously if you arrive at a business meeting dressed in your PJs? A similar approach goes for your website material. Professional companies need to present themselves with professionally written content.
  2. Brand Mentions – People engage, share and talk about good businesses that they have had a great experience with. Google is well aware of this. So we use different white-hat ethical tactics to increase your brand mentions via blogs, Australian directory listings and social media. This process is also known as “link building”.
  3. Website Optimisation – There are certain technical changes you can make on your website to help Google algorithms better understand your website. By making these tweaks in the code of your website, you can tell Google exactly what keywords you want your website to rank for. This process is also known as “on-page optimisation”.
  4. Social Media – With the evolving digital-era, social media has become an integral part of our lives. Smart business owners are taking advantage of this and Google values smart businesses. Make your business stand out by having a voice on social media.

One of the most important factors when it comes to maximising the potential of your SEO is to work on the “On-Page” side. If you master your On-Page SEO, you will improve organic traffic, convert more leads into sales and improve your rankings on Google. However, we do understand that there a lot of factors there to consider and you can be overwhelmed by all of it. This is why we recommend that you read our On-Page SEO Checklist:

Check Your Content:

Content is one of the tricky ones that you have to manage. The best way to go about it is this: make sure that it is not duplicated across your own site, as well as other sites. Secondly, ensure that the readability for your clients is simple, and finally, the quality of the content itself. You want the best for your website and while it can be hard to get, you can follow this guide to help you ensure that your content is up to standard:

  • Make sure that your content is 100% completely unique and fresh
  • Have a transparent and structured flow
  • Use headings, sub-headings, use bullets (like, right now!) and highlight key points
  • Don’t overkill it with the keywords. You don’t want the problem of keyword stuffing
  • Have a call to action sign to get users to act on your page (this can be a form, contact details, a checkout service or a sign up)
  • Keep your content thick (with large paragraphs and such) as this will keep your clients on your site longer

Keyword Your Website:

We are not only talking about keywords in your content. We are also talking about all the little bits that make up the big picture. Make sure that you add your keywords to titles, URLs, meta-tags, descriptions, anchor texts, images and videos and so forth. Optimise this all and you will get a larger range of traffic coming in.

User Engagement Is Vital:

This means not only having high-quality content on your web pages but also having Web 2.0 features to keep users engaged on your site. Videos, images, graphics. These are all vital to ensure that your users are staying on your website longer. The longer your users stay on, the more Google recognises there is something to stay on for and therefore, the higher rankings you’ll get. Get active to keep your users on your website.

The Social Media Factor:

Google loves social media. More so, it loves social media engagement. Getting a high amount of “shares” and “retweets” is all good and fine, but it won’t help your SEO. Google wants customers to get engaged with your content. That is why, we recommend including social share buttons on your website (especially for your blogs), so your clients can engage with your content – and engage with others in the process.

(Slow) Speed Kills:

The longer your page takes to load, the longer your users have to wait, the more likely they won’t come back to your site. You have to keep your loading speed at its peak at all times. How do you do that? Simple really:

  • Reduce the server response time
  • Reduce redirects & plugin counts
  • Reduce the browser caching
  • Compress image sizes
  • Minimise CSS & JavaScript files

Use Internal Links (And Fix Them):

When it comes to internal links, make sure that you use it to link to prominent pages on your website to help boost its relevance. There are always pages that are worth more than others, so it vital that you provide that to your users (as well as Google itself). More importantly, broken links (both internal and off-site) can be damaging for your website. Make sure you take the time to repair them so you get a perfect flow. This leads to…

Navigation Flow:

You want to keep users happy on your site when it comes to finding out what they want to know. How do you go about that? Making navigation simple and easy. Use menus, search engines on your website and create a user sitemap, so if your clients want to find something, they can. This works well in tandem with the user experience point above.

Be Accessible and Indexed:

If your website is not indexed on Google, you won’t get any rankings whatsoever! So before anything else, make sure that you check your robots.txt file, XML sitemap and HTTP status codes. From there, look to guarantee that search engine crawlers are indexing all of your website’s pages. Without it, don’t expect to be found on Google soon!

Get Personal:

Want Google to know that you’re a legitimate business? Simple – be personal and provide your users with contact information, even if it’s just an email. Make sure that your users can see that you’re real and that Google knows that you’re here to make business.

Be Optimised For Mobiles:

Remember that this is 2017 – people use their mobile phones for searching more than their computers. You have to ensure that your website is optimised for mobiles (as well as tablets) and ensure it is a seamless responsive transition. Plus, you open up a new market by reaching out to people whenever and wherever.

How To Successfully Manage Long-Term SEO

SEO is a marketing strategy important for every business looking to improve their online visibility. The world of SEO changes continuously and to get success in the long term, it is very important to stay updated on all the changes happening in the field. SEO involves making use of the right keywords, carrying out on-page and off-page optimisation and publishing relevant content. More and more businesses in Melbourne are now adopting this marketing strategy for long-term business success.

But how do you manage to deliver and use SEO effectively?

SEO is a continuous process. Some techniques used today, may not be relevant tomorrow, but there are some processes which always stay relevant and effective. Here are some tips to successfully manage your long term SEO strategy for business in Melbourne:

Make a good website. It will deliver a high-quality experience to your audience – and that’s key.
Search engines always focus on delivering a high-quality experience to the users. Their main purpose is to promote sites that user will enjoy being on. To successfully manage your long term SEO strategy, it is important to build a website which can give an idea to the visitor about your business. Make your pages easy to find and let your brand be visible on all the main pages. Link your pages strategically for easy navigation. Don’t do keyword stuffing and focus on creating simple and accurate metadata for your pages.

Having a solid blog post can make the positive impact on your brand.
 Content is very important for long-term SEO success. Starting a blog with relevant categories will help in developing a brand. To reap long-term SEO benefits, focus on creating quality material regularly. Post at least 2 posts per week with a catchy and relevant title and informative article body and add images and videos. Search engines analyse search queries semantically and your site is likely to come up if your posts answer questions which customer searches.

What is a business with social media? Get on the networks and establish your brand.
Having active social media profiles on various platforms will send a ranking signal to search engines. Share your blog content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Actively engage with your followers and reply to their comments. Create a strong social media following to reap SEO benefits.

Get inbound links. They will ensure that your website is an authority online.
Getting inbound links and brand mentions from outside your own site is important to build a site’s authority. Guest blogging and Info-graphics are the most effective ways to acquire such links. It will help in creating credibility and brand awareness.

Nothing spells success like customers telling you so. Getting reviews are essential.
They can help in building a good brand name for a business and attract new customers. Positive reviews make a powerful tool to boost your visibility on the search engines. The search views and clicks can convert into new leads.

Adopting white hat techniques are very important for the long-term success of your Melbourne business’s SEO strategy. Remaining consistent with the above points will help you gain more visibility gradually.

By nailing these SEO techniques you will be able to successfully establish your website as a leader in your industry – and on Google. This will help make the difference for you and your Melbourne enterprise.

What Does This Mean For Businesses Likes Yours?

There was a time when businesses would get a majority of their sales by marketing in print media, TV commercials, radio, etc. Do you remember the Yellow Pages?

But today, your target audience is on the Internet browsing social media and using search engines for all of their information needs.

If your business is not online yet, OR if it is, but it’s hidden in the deep dark depths of Google’s page 2 – 10, then no one will ever know about you (no matter how well you serve your customers.)

Businesses need to adapt to the changing landscape and take on a different approach to getting in front of their target customers. So that’s where SEO Melbourne can help YOUR business. Contact us to find out how?

Your competitors are already taking the lead and it’s a first come, first serve sort of game. So if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, then get in touch with our team. We’ll go through your business and draft a complete strategy on how to dominate YOUR industry.

How much does SEO in Australia?

This is one of the most common questions that we get from businesses looking to invest in digital marketing. And it’s understandable, seeing as SEO pricing and the quality of work can vary so widely.

For those who aren’t as familiar with the world of digital marketing (most business owners), this can make it quite difficult to decide who to go with and how to best invest their time and money. And unfortunately, this means that countless clients come to us with horror stories about being charged exorbitant prices for pitiful results or even being penalised by Google and having to start all over again.

This brings us to the question: how can you tell if you’re paying too much (or not enough), and how can you make sure you’re actually getting the best value for your investment?

We’ve compiled a guide of everything you need to know to understand why SEO costs what it does and how to choose a reliable SEO company to help with your strategy.

How is SEO priced?

There are three types of SEO pricing: hourly SEO rates, monthly SEO rates, and per-project SEO. Monthly retainers are the most common, as it takes time for you to see results from your SEO efforts and you’ll want someone capable of tweaking and finetuning your campaign to optimise your performance.

According to a worldwide study conducted by Ahrefs, monthly rates commonly vary between $250 a month to $5000. This is also reflected by the Australian/NZ data, as seen below.



What affects SEO pricing?

There are a few important factors that will affect how much you pay for SEO:

  • Whether any previous work has been done to lay the groundwork for on-site SEO
  • How competitive your industry and keywords are
  • The ranking you want to achieve
  • Whether you’re implementing a local campaign or national/global
  • The amount of new content/pages that need to be created
  • The experience level of the SEO specialists

Some companies will develop different SEO pricing tiers based on the amount of SEO needed and the type of business (for example, small business SEO vs. Enterprise SEO), allowing you to find an SEO package that suits your budget.

How much should eCommerce SEO cost?

With the eCommerce market booming in Australia and worldwide, there’s never been a better time to start selling online. Unfortunately, this is exactly what your competitors are thinking and if you don’t have a solid SEO strategy, you’ll get lost in the crowd.

Ecommerce SEO will be more expensive than other types of SEO, simply because of the sheer amount of product pages necessary. That being said, there are a few factors that will impact how much you pay:

  • How big your business and eCommerce store is
  • The number of products you sell
  • The expertise of the SEO company you choose

Like with other types of SEO, you may pay an hourly, monthly, or per-project fee, though a majority of agencies will charge a monthly retainer for their eCommerce SEO services.

What’s included in SEO?

What’s included in your SEO package will depend on a few factors, including your business goals, your budget, and the expertise of the SEO company you’re working with.

You’ll want to make sure that your SEO package includes both on-page and off-page SEO, as both are vital to the success of your campaign. Content marketing is also something you should consider, as creating highly relevant content that users and search engines love is an essential part of SEO.

At Search Marketing Group, for example, we develop a data-driven SEO plan to target the most valuable keywords for your business that provide you with the best return. We also conduct a website and competitor analysis, allowing us to identify any areas of opportunity, and offer web design and content writing services to ensure that your website is populated with converting pages.

We look at over 500 ranking factors that may be affecting your website, including:

  • Duplicate and missing content
  • URLs
  • Meta tags
  • Sitemaps
  • Internap linking
  • Internal linking
  • 404 errors
  • Heading tags
  • Alt tags
  • Word count
  • Backlinks
  • Nofollow / Dofollow
  • and much more

It’s important to note that all SEO takes time to work and there are no (good) shortcuts as some companies can do black hat seo; any company promising instant results is selling something unrealistic. Our clients generally start to see results after 3–6 months as a minimum.

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    Why are some companies more expensive than others?

    When comparing SEO pricing, you’ll find some extremely cheap and extremely expensive options.

    Offshore SEO companies can be cheaper but often compromise in terms of quality. The same goes for so-called ‘experts’ on platforms like Airtasker or Fiverr – while you may see some early success, you won’t see the long-term benefits you would if you were working with a professional. In fact, cheap SEO can end up costing your business far more than a properly planned strategy.

    Following this line of logic, you would think that the more expensive SEO companies would do a better job, right? Unfortunately, there is a fine balance between paying for the expertise of an SEO specialist and overpaying a scammer. And while you should expect to pay more for someone who has more experience, studies have shown that less experienced SEO companies are often more expensive.

    At the end of the day, when deciding who you want to go with and developing your SEO budget, you should focus on the value that you will get and the ROI.

    What should you look for in an SEO company?

    There are a few red flags to look out for when it comes to SEO companies:

    • They utilise black-hat SEO tactics like keyword stuffing and link purchasing
      They charge per keyword
    • They don’t provide analytics and (at least) monthly reports on your campaign progress
    • They offer prepackaged SEO plans that don’t take your needs or website into account
    • Their offer seems too good to be true

    In terms of what you should be looking for, you’ll want an Australian-based SEO company that has a proven track record of results and is completely transparent about its process. You’ll also want someone who will stay in regular communication with you and report their progress so that even if you don’t see results right away, you’ll know exactly where your money is going.

    Optional, but highly regarded, is a full suite of digital marketing services, allowing you to create a holistic online presence. After all, SEO works best in tandem with other strategies such as PPC and social media.

    The right SEO company will ultimately depend on your business goals and budget, but make sure that you do your research.

    What’s the difference between local SEO, state-wide and national SEO?

    We’ve already discussed that local SEO will cost less than state-wide or even national SEO, but how do you know which one will be the most valuable for your business?

    First of all, let’s look at the difference between local SEO and traditional SEO targeting wider areas (state-wide, national, and international). While traditional SEO is all about optimising organic web traffic on a broader scale, local SEO focuses on targeting a certain area where you know your customers will be located.

    This is especially useful for small local businesses and physical stores, seeing as at least half of users visit a store within a day of their search. And, as 80% of local searches convert, this is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.

    There are a few strategies unique to local SEO that you’ll need to consider:

    • Claiming and optimising your Google My Business listing and profiles on other listing sites
    • Adding your business ​​name, address, and phone number to your site and local directories
    • Earning (and responding to) reviews
    • Using location-specific keywords and web copy
    • Targeting local websites to build backlinks

    Should I focus on traditional SEO or local SEO?

    While the benefits of local SEO are clear, the type(s) you want to focus on will ultimately depend on your business and goals.

    If you’re looking to boost visits to your physical store – for example, a restaurant – or only service a certain area, then it makes sense to focus on local SEO only. This will lower your spend on SEO, allow you to target more specific and highly converting keywords, and see results quicker than with a larger SEO campaign.

    An eCommerce business, on the other hand, might benefit from widening their reach, allowing them to reach their target market wherever they might be located geographically.

    What SEO approach should you take for your business website?

    The approach you will take will depend on your business goals. Some of our clients come to us and want more leads; others want to see more profit. Below are two of our long-term clients, both with different aims, who have seen success with different SEO strategies.

    Case Study: Brisk Landscaping

    This client came to us looking for a way to increase the number of leads they received. As a landscaper, lead generation is absolutely vital to the survival and growth of the business, bringing in a steady stream of new and old clients.

    For the last 5 years, we’ve been working with Brisk Landscaping, focusing on a local SEO strategy that targets clients in the suburbs of Melbourne. This has helped us keep our clients’ spend lower while simultaneously bringing in 200x more qualified leads in their area.

    You can see Jamal’s testimonial here:

    Case Study: T+R Sports

    This client wanted to give their online store a competitive edge. Traffic wasn’t a problem – they were getting a good amount of visitors – but they found themselves lacking in the sales department compared to their larger competitors.

    After a comprehensive review of their eCommerce site, we implemented a strategy that involved:

    • Optimising product and category pages with converting content
    • Ecommerce SEO and conversion optimisation, focusing on different aspects of the sales funnel to bring in more qualified leads
    • Creating business pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Google to boost their profile and build brand awareness
    • Remarketing to previous visitors
    • Facebook and Google Ads to support SEO and drive traffic

    As a result, T+R Sports have increased their annual revenue to $10 million and achieved a 1000% increase in ROI.

    Having worked on this client’s SEO strategy for over 4 years now, we’re still seeing consistent improvements. Below, you can see how their order numbers have more than doubled since the start of 2021.

    How can Search Marketing Group help?

    We know that SEO is an investment – we’re here to make sure it’s a worthwhile one.

    We use a number of fixed pricing models depending on the scope of your SEO campaign. For example, if you want to focus on bringing in local business, we offer a different package than if you were hoping to target all of your state or even all of Australia.

    We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to SEO – what works best will depend on your business goals and needs, the size of your business, what industry you work in, and several other factors. That’s why we make it our mission to get to know our clients and how we can help them get results. And with a personal Account Manager as your single point of contact and a regular reporting schedule, you’ll always know what’s going on with your campaign (and dollars).

    We offer a free 30-minute SEO consultation where we discuss what you want to get out of your SEO strategy, what needs to happen to get you there, and give you a concrete quote.

    Want to find out what a solid SEO strategy will cost your business? Reach out to our team today and we’ll be happy to give you an assessment during a free consultation. You can also get a free SEO report here that details any problems with your site and gives you suggestions for improvement.

    Happy Clients

    See Why They Are Raving About The Results We Deliver

    “Peter Bruce“

    I have been dealing with Search Marketing Group for over 12 months now for my website requirements and have found Murtuza Ratlamwala and the team to be highly professional, very responsive when required and at a fair price. Highly recommended.
    Peter Bruce
    OZFORKS

    “Montee”

    Great team to handle all your website needs Professionals at everything they do They have built me a website for my bussiness and it’s been great with their SEO work and Ad words management

    “Michael Hassan”

    Been using these guys for years! Best SEO company out there. You can trust them 100% Great work

    “Visual Production“

    The team at Search Marketing Group have helped our business as a whole when it comes to our digital marketing. The landing pages they created look amazing and have drawn new business to us with their PPC campaign attached to it. On top of that their SEO has already lifted our rankings. Incredible work team!

    “Bang Packaging”

    Fantastic company to deal with. Very professional and a high attention to detail that is not normally seen in an Australian business. Recommend these guys for SEO and website building. Managing Director – Bang Packaging.

    “Dave Kumatr”

    I have been with Search Marketing Group for many years now and my business has been well looked after by these guys. They offer great service and affordable pricing. My leads have more than doubled since i came to them. Great job!

    “Brisk Works”

    I have been with Search Marketing Group for 4 years now and i have been extremely happy with the service and results. My business has grown drastically because of these guys. Great job definitely recommended!

    “Peter Bruce“

    I have been dealing with Search Marketing Group for over 12 months now for my website requirements and have found Murtuza Ratlamwala and the team to be highly professional, very responsive when required and at a fair price. Highly recommended.
    Peter Bruce
    OZFORKS

    “Montee”

    Great team to handle all your website needs Professionals at everything they do They have built me a website for my bussiness and it’s been great with their SEO work and Ad words management

    “Michael Hassan”

    Been using these guys for years! Best SEO company out there. You can trust them 100% Great work

    “Visual Production“

    The team at Search Marketing Group have helped our business as a whole when it comes to our digital marketing. The landing pages they created look amazing and have drawn new business to us with their PPC campaign attached to it. On top of that their SEO has already lifted our rankings. Incredible work team!

    “Bang Packaging”

    Fantastic company to deal with. Very professional and a high attention to detail that is not normally seen in an Australian business. Recommend these guys for SEO and website building. Managing Director – Bang Packaging.

    “Dave Kumatr”

    I have been with Search Marketing Group for many years now and my business has been well looked after by these guys. They offer great service and affordable pricing. My leads have more than doubled since i came to them. Great job!

    “Brisk Works”

    I have been with Search Marketing Group for 4 years now and i have been extremely happy with the service and results. My business has grown drastically because of these guys. Great job definitely recommended!
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