Every business with a website knows how crucial search engine optimisation (SEO) is. SEO makes your website more visible to others, thereby making your business more visible. 

As we all know, more visibility can turn into increased customers, which is always a win. 

As important as SEO is, a lot of businesses simply don’t understand how to make it work for them. This is where SEO consulting comes in. Someone with experience in SEO can help businesses build their websites traffic and grow their content- if that sounds like you then you might be thinking of starting an SEO consulting business. 

However, before you start imparting your valuable knowledge, it’s important to get your SEO consulting business set up the right way. 

What Is SEO Consulting? 

So, you got a website, put some pretty amazing content on there and then you…waited. 

After a while, your website still isn’t getting any hits. When you’ve put all that time and energy into getting a website up there, it’s pretty disheartening when it doesn’t get noticed. 

The biggest mistake that is likely being made here is not taking SEO into consideration. Websites cannot get noticed if they aren’t showing up on searches. People are unlikely to scroll through pages and pages, so you want to make sure your website is the first one there the moment someone presses the search button. 

That’s what SEO consulting is. An SEO consultant helps businesses improve their websites keywords, traffic and more complex SEO related stuff so their business’s page can perform well on the internet, generate traffic and bring in clients. 

How To Become An SEO Consultant

Naturally, SEO consultants are extremely knowledgeable and experienced with SEO. There’s no specific academic qualification you are required to attain for this job however, a background in business marketing and knowledge of digital marketing strategies is likely to be useful.

It’s also vital that you have firsthand experience with SEO. At this point, you might want to establish a niche, for example your speciality could be helping small businesses develop online with SEO.  

Keep in mind, there’s a lot of resources and knowledge available on the internet that are there to help people learn about SEO. Essentially, you need to be bringing information and experience that goes beyond a general understanding, helping your clients build their website. 

How Do I Start My Own SEO Consulting Business? 

Starting your SEO business involves taking the leap and bringing your business to life. To get your business to go from an idea to an actual venture, here’s the first couple of steps you will need to take: 

  • Register your business or company 
  • Get your legal documents sorted
  • Understand any relevant laws and regulations
  • Get ready to operate your SEO consulting business 

That may sound like a lot, so let’s break it down a bit. First things first, you need to register your business.  

Before you register your business, you have to decide on a legal structure for it. The most popular types of legal structures are a sole trader, company or partnership. However, you can always opt for something a little less conventional, like a Dual Company Structure

If you’re registering as a sole trader, then you’ll just need to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) online. It’s a pretty simple process that shouldn’t take too long, as long as you’ve got all the right details ready to go. Remember though, operating as a sole trader means the business will not be separate from you. Instead, you will be responsible for all the business’s legal matters, debts, liabilities and anything else related to it. 

Setting up a company on the other hand, means your business will be a legal entity on its own. However, getting a company started isn’t as simple as starting a sole trader business, so it’s important to have a legal expert help you Set Up Your Company. There are a lot more rules and regulations for a company, so it’s crucial to get it all done right. If you’re going to be setting up your company with a partner, then make sure you take the additional step of getting the right legal documents, such as a Partnership Agreement.   

The foundations for your SEO consulting business will be established during your business set up phase. It’s vital that you take your time to figure out what you want for your business, draw up a plan and then take the necessary steps. If you have any questions, make sure you reach out to a legal expert for a chat. 

What Legal Documents Will I Need For My SEO Consulting Business?

When your business is all set up and ready to operate, it’s important to think about getting the right legal agreements drawn up. Now that you have a business, it’s essential to keep it protected. The best way to do this is by having strong contracts in place. We’ve listed a few legal agreements you may want to consider getting below. 

Consultancy Agreement

Before you start a consulting project, you and your clients will have a vision of what the relationship should accomplish. It’s helpful if this vision matches one anothers. A Consultancy Agreement can help communicate to your clients what they can expect (such as the scope of work) as well as what will be required of them (things like payment, deadlines). This way, you can manage expectations right from the start.

Privacy Policy 

When you’re off helping other people with their websites, don’t forget to protect your own first. A Privacy Policy is legally required for any business that has an annual turnover of more than $3 million. Additionally, collecting any kind of information from your website’s users also deems a privacy policy necessary. 

Therefore, even if you’re not making millions a year, getting a simple email address from one of your clients warrants the need for a privacy policy. It’s wise to have a legal expert draft a privacy policy meeting all legal requirements, so you don’t have to worry about it while you run your business. 

Employment Agreement 

Running a business by yourself can get exhausting. When you decide to take the step of hiring staff to your SEO consulting business, then it’s vital you start the relationship off with some well drafted Employment Contracts. Your relationship with your employees is going to be integral to your business’s success, so you want to clearly lay out matters like responsibilities, expectations, wages, hours of work and much more in their agreements. 

Any Other Legal Considerations I Need To Know? 

Getting your registrations and agreements sorted aren’t the only legal aspects of running a SEO consultancy business. In fact, there’s a number of laws and regulations you’ll need to keep in mind at all times. 

Primarily, as a small business providing a service, it’s extremely important to be aware of Australian Consumer Law (ACL). The ACL has been designed to protect consumers when they engage with businesses as well as businesses when working with other businesses. Essentially, it’s there to make sure no one gets taken advantage of, misled or deceived. Understanding your obligations and rights under the ACL can make navigating the legal business landscape a lot easier and save you from accidentally overstepping any boundaries, so we recommend getting familiar with it. If you have any questions, it’s best to get in touch with an Expert in ACL .  

As a small business, it also pays off to be aware of your rights regarding intellectual property (IP). A business’s IP is often one of its most important assets, and your SEO consultancy business may not be any different. Knowing what you need to Trade Mark and what IP Protections are available can be extremely helpful in keeping your SEO business protected. 

Next Steps 

Starting an SEO consulting business is an exciting venture but it’s important to carefully take care of all the legal considerations first. A legal expert can help make this process much simpler. To summarise what we’ve discussed: 

  • SEO consulting seeks to help others enhance their website visibility and customer acquisition 
  • Starting an SEO consulting business requires proper setup and consideration of legal factors
  • SEO consultants need knowledge in SEO, digital marketing and practical experience
  • Consider specialising in a niche market, like assisting small businesses with SEO
  • Steps to start your SEO consulting business include business registration, legal documentation, and compliance with relevant laws
  • Choose a legal structure for your business, such as sole trader, company, or partnership
  • Seek legal assistance for setting up a company or partnership, as it involves more complexities
  • Legal documents like Consultancy Agreements, Privacy Policies, and Employment Contracts are crucial
  • Be aware of Australian Consumer Law (ACL) to protect consumers and your business
  • Understand intellectual property (IP) rights for safeguarding your SEO consultancy business

If you would like a consultation on starting an SEO consulting business, you can reach us at 1800 730 617 or team@sprintlaw.com.au for a free, no-obligations chat.

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