Nick Cavarretta

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of common questions I've been asked over the years. If you do have a question that’s not here, then feel free to contact me, i'll do the best to provide an answer.


Table of contents


What is your process/strategy?

To be honest, not many SEO consultant or Agencies will tell you their exact strategy.  Moreover, not every client requires the same strategy as every client is different, each industry is unique and all keywords have different competition levels. The question is calling a mechanic and asking what’s wrong with your car, without them taking a look at it. I'm happy to discuss anything with you, and pretty open about my strategies to give you an idea on what you may need.

In other cases, people just want to know my process. In this instance, the first step is to build a report, which outlines everything; where are you are online, who you are online and website errors. The information retrieved will shape the way to an online strategy. The plan and a price is discussed with you and if you agree, you’re invoiced and the strategy is executed once a payment is made.

Some Application I use, and why.

  • Google Drive: All documenting, analysis and reporting is done in Google Drive. I share your client folder with you and you can see everything I'm doing.
  • Google Analytics: It's still good for visitor analysis, plus, it's Google.
  • Metaforensics: It's a great tool for people used to using programs like Screaming Frog; a technical SEO tool. It's an application still in development:
  • Common programs: Ahrefs, SEMrush, Majestic SEO, Moz.


Do you use white hat SEO or black hat SEO?

Ok, this comes up nearly every time and my initial reaction is asking what you think white hat SEO is. All SEO consultants are black hat SEOs in one form or another. As soon as you (the client) pay someone (the SEO consultant) to build you a link then you’re breaking Googles Terms of Service.

I wrote an article not long ago that outlines the difference between black hat SEO and white hat SEO.


Can you rank me for the word … ?

The safest answer is no. That’s not how it works, and that one word may not bring you the most traffic. It’s my job to find the best possible keywords for you and to separate them based on “buying” and “research” phrases. For more information on keywords, jump to the keywords explained section on the guide for hiring a consultant.

It’s good that you want to rank with popular words, but in reality, these popular words won’t bring you any business and only make up 30% of the worlds searched. I’ll refer to the keyword demand curve for this where the bottom end known as the longtail brings the remaining 70%.


What is the first thing you’re going to do to my website?

I will not touch your website. That is your developer’s job. The first part of my process is to build a report. If there is anything flagged, and 95% of the time there is, changes to your website will need to be made. The Onsite SEO section will be forwarded to you for you to forward to your developer to make the changes. If you don’t have a developer, I suggest you either find one. Alternatively, I can recommend one.


How are your results reported?

My reporting process has changed during 2017. All reporting is done by me in Google Drive. Each Report follows from the last and guides to the future. The very first report will be a website audit.


How long have you been doing SEO?

I started my business in November 2010 and have unconsciously been doing SEO for years before that. I knew the techniques but didn’t know it had a name. I simply used it as a unique selling point for web development. Now I do know what it is, I got my qualifications and I specialised in online marketing.


Can I be released from a contract if needed?

Yes! I’m not an agency, so you can leave whenever you want. I will miss you and I’m sure you will be leaving due to emergency reasons, not my performance.

It is not wise to break an SEO contract, no matter who you’re with. Generally, a contract is put into place to secure the timeline of a strategy. When you break it, you break the work flow and the strategy may not be complete.


How often can I speak to you?

I do love to have a chat, however, I have a lot of work to do. I ask that we speak if it’s necessary over the phone, for a short amount of time. If you need to meet with me, an appointment can be arranged. I charge by the hour for meetings, and phone conversations will be concluded at 5 minutes.


Can I meet with you?

As long as you’re located in Sydney, yes. Please see previous question.


Are there any upsells? (Do services cost extra?)

There are extra services and I charge for them. I try my best to include everything in the monthly fee, including paying myself and overheads. However, sometimes the client might require something extra, which is discussed and charged accordingly. There are no hidden fees, everything is upfront.


How long does it take?

The million dollar question. No honest SEO can give you a timeline without a report, and if they do, they’re straight up lying to you for the sale. I can tell you now that most clients rank between 4 months to 12 months for a medium competition level. Expect a 12 – 24 months contract for high competition sites.

SEO takes time, and speeding things up will have bad consequences as Google updates roll out constantly (search Mozcast). If a client rushes me, I can take the liberty to end the contract.


What will my conversion rate be?

Although I get this question quite often, there is no answer to it. No one can tell you that.

Your conversion rate depends on you or your sales team, not me. There is a high possibility I can rank you, but if you’re a bad salesman, have no phone manners, your website looks terrible or your server experiences constant downtime, your conversion rate will be low.


I have my own development team. Can you write a report for all changes to be made?

That is my process. I won’t touch your website, that’s your developer’s job. I will provide the Onsite SEO section of the report and all changes need to be made before anything else goes ahead. If you're a small business with a static site or CMS like WordPress, then we can talk further about implementing and development.


Is A Website Audit Free?

No, it’s not. In order to protect myself and my knowledge, I charge a premium for reports. At the end of the day, this is my job. I don’t mind giving some brief free advice, but I encourage you to Google it first.

Website Audits will give you the scope of your website. They act as the first report and the benchmark for your business and monitoring performance from the start. A search specialist won't be able to optimise your website without knowing everything about your website, business and competition.


Can I just hire you for the website audit / report and take it elsewhere?

Sure, let me know if you plan on doing this so I can detail the report for someone else to follow. Obviously this will take longer to complete, and you will be charged for my time.


Common Knowledge


In this section, I have listed some information that to me is common knowledge, but to others it’s eye opening. Hopefully, this will answer any further questions you might have.

Avoid The Following

  1. You should never ever hire an SEO Consultant/Firm/Agency that emails you first. A majority of SEOs that proactively send you emails are spammers and have scraped your email from somewhere. Don’t trust these people!
  2. If anyone offers you a guaranteed ranking or number one spot, they’re blatantly lying to your face. No honest SEO professional will offer you such a thing.
  3. If any SEO professional asks you to put a link to one of their client’s websites, don’t do it! That is technically taking part in a link network, and Google will blacklist your domain with no possible recovery.
  4. If an SEO professional insists that all your Onsite SEO consists of editing title and meta tags, then stay away. That is only 5% of Onsite SEO and they’re basically scamming you.


What to expect from an SEO Consultant

  1. SEO takes time. This can’t be stressed enough and the minimum contract you should be asked to join is six months. If you do rush an SEO consultant, you won't rank faster, but you will get a rushed job and your link velocity will be too high, therefore flags will be raised at Google HQ, and your business will most likely die when Google penalises you.
  2. You should expect regular updates and reports. An SEO consultant should present a report at least once a month that is not just a screenshot of your Analytics information. When I provide a report, I will show you screenshots. However, there is information underneath that outlines what has worked and what is to expect.
  3. Expect to be hassled by your SEO professional when it comes to changes to your website. This is perfectly normal for an SEO consultant to request constant changes to your website for Onsite purposes. This does not include placing outbound links everywhere, but it could involve internal links and content changes.
  4. When it comes to costing, you get what you pay for. The less you pay – such as hiring someone from oDesk or Freelancer – the higher your risk of receiving a penalty. I'm stressing this because SEO takes attention to details and a vast amount of knowledge. Professionals – such as myself – can manage only a handful of clients, therefore may also be select on what clients they take on. This means that you should be careful on what information you provide, as you could be turned away; please see all information above.
  5. The minimum yearly budget you should have for SEO is $24,000 p.a ($2,000 per month, $500 per week) for a low competition niche. You should discuss internally if your marketing budget has room for such a service. If you’re expecting someone to work full-time for you, be prepared to pay a minimum of $65k p.a in Sydney. See Also How much should I pay for SEO.

Want to know more? I wrote the guide on hiring a Google search specialist.

If you're looking to hire someone at my level of expertise in-house, please see Payscale 5-9 years