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As the world tries to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the freelance SEO industry seems to be flourishing. The growth is mainly due to companies trying to rearrange their operations and business models for the post-COVID world.
The global freelance SEO services market is expected to reach $11.94 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.1%. The market is further expected to reach $25.37 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 20.8%.
SEO is one of the most crucial functions of marketing and it has seen a tremendous push over the last decade. The surge can be observed in both – the number of SEO job opportunities and the growing importance of SEO for companies.
While the pandemic may have initially hampered the investment in SEO and PPC, more companies are working towards being found online now. This has opened up many opportunities for those seeking a career in SEO, especially freelancers.
As a result, freelance SEO, often romanticized as an escape from the monotonous 9-5, is booming, now more than ever. Today, we’ll talk about some tips to help you accelerate your freelance SEO career.
Who is an SEO freelancer?
An SEO freelancer is someone who creates and optimizes content on the web by employing various SEO strategies. Their ultimate goal is to:
- Create content that is more likely to show up as a top search result.
- To get the right people to the right webpage/content.
Freelance SEO jobs are an ideal fit, especially if you’re someone who likes to work alone. Let us quickly brush up on the basics of freelance SEO.
Freelance SEO Basics
The salary of a freelance SEO specialist depends on the type of work they’re doing and how they want to get paid. Here are some of the most common ways a freelance SEO gets paid:
- By the hour
- Flat project rate
- Performance-based pricing
- Per word pricing
The choice of the payment model completely depends on the project you’re choosing and the scope and goals of that project.
Here are some interesting salary stats:
1. Freelance SEO Experience vs. Salary
According to a study by Search Engine Journal, here’s a comparison of salaries as opposed to the years of experience of SEO professionals.
2. Rates on Hourly/Monthly Basis
A study by Growthramp concludes:
- 62% of the freelance SEO specialists price their services between $76 and $150 an hour.
- 75.6% charge less than $150 per hour.
- Monthly pricing stats:
- 24.6% of freelance SEO specialists charge between $1,000-2,000/month.
- 30.6% charge less than $1,000/month.
- 23%) surveyed charge $4,000/month or more.
3. Average Hourly Pay of a Freelance SEO Specialist
Payscale states that the average hourly rate in the United States for a freelance SEO specialist is nearly $21/hour. They’ve also stated the range of hourly rate and total pay.
Typical Tasks, Roles, and Responsibilities of a Freelance SEO Specialist
For some businesses (particularly tech, SaaS, e-commerce, etc.) funneling traffic toward their web pages is how they make people aware of their products/services and gain business.
They rely purely on internet traffic. To bring in this traffic solely relies upon the freelance SEO specialist. Here are the key roles and responsibilities of a freelance SEO that helps them get traffic:
1. Keyword Research
In simple words, a keyword is a phrase or a query run by searchers on the search engines when they want to find something specific.
And keyword research is the process of identifying these phrases and queries. The point of identifying keywords is to use them strategically in your content to get it to rank higher on Google (and other search engines).
2. Competitor Analysis
This involves analyzing the competitors’ content that ranks high. This helps find the gaps in the content and prioritize keywords in the SEO strategy.
3. SEO Audit
An SEO audit is a process to analyze how well your web presence relates to the best practices. It is a necessary first step in creating an implementation plan that will have measurable results. The purpose of the audit is to identify foundational issues affecting the organic search performance of the content.
4. On-page SEO Services
While posting the content, you’ll need on-page SEO strategies to make your content more findable. It includes optimizing on-page elements like:
- Meta description
- Title tags
- Structured data
- Internal linking structure, etc.
5. Outreach and Link Building
Link building is the art of increasing authority and credibility by getting other sites to link your content. These links are called backlinks and search engines view them as votes of confidence. When reputed external sources point to your site, it becomes more authoritative and is likely to rank higher.
Must-Have Skills of a Freelance SEO Expert
Google’s search algorithm is a black box. It makes it hard for a layperson to know if a self-proclaimed freelance SEO knows their stuff or not. The following skills are therefore highly sought after by businesses and every freelance SEO specialist must be aware of them.
- Analysis of traffic, search volume, keywords, content ideas, etc.
- Communication skills to collaborate with internal stakeholders
- Effective priority management skills
- In-depth keyword research
- Competitive website analysis for content and SEO
- Writing, proofreading, and editing skills
- Knowledge of technical SEO
- Link building strategies
- Proficiency in SEO-related tools
- Social media awareness and strategy
- Content optimization strategy
How to Become a Freelance SEO Specialist
A freelance SEO specialist requires a very diverse set of skills including analysis, writing, communication, and basic developmental skills.
If you’re starting freelance SEO from scratch, you’ll need to figure out where the currents of SEO and copywriting intersect to move up the ladder.
However, you do not have to be a tech-savvy genius to figure everything out. Start with learning everything about SEO and content and you’ll be ready to begin in no time. We’ve curated a bunch of tips to get you started.
8 Freelance SEO Tips for Accelerating Your Career
Here are the steps you can take to become a successful freelance SEO specialist and gain a steady stream of projects.
1. Fine tune Your SEO Knowledge
“Google just changed its algorithm.”
We live in an era where we listen to this phrase almost every day. Staying aware of the latest SEO developments in the world is the primary requirement for a freelance SEO.
If you’re aware of the SEO trends and practices, it’ll enable you to create better SEO content. Your web pages will perform and rank well. Here are a few tips to improve your SEO knowledge:
- Keep up with the details of SEO trends and principles.
- Keep up-to-date with the latest insights on google algorithms.
- Follow high-quality websites that provide insights about SEO strategies.
- Check out the beginner SEO guides by Google, MOZ, etc.
- Keep in touch with the industry experts through social media.
2. Create Your Work Portfolio
The best way to prove your work is to show samples of what you’ve done. Start by creating your portfolio/blog and publishing your work there.
Say you’ve written a couple of articles in the design business niche. You’ve included topics like how to grow your design business with SEO, how to start a design business, design business trends: 2022, and so on.
Now, if a prospective client looking for a freelance SEO in the same niche lands on your page, you stand a good chance to bag that project.
Portfolios are more valuable than a list of credentials or a resume. Your clients can directly see your work through your portfolio and figure out whether you’ll be a good fit for them. Do not forget to include the following things in your portfolio:
- Your best performing search phrases
- Your best-performing blogs
- Website performance statistics
- Link building examples
- Case studies of your previous clients
3. Earn References and Reviews
Nothing works better than word-of-mouth publicity. Ask your clients if they’d be willing to leave you a review. Make sure these reviews are accessible publicly and reach the right people. You can also post these reviews on your website or on platforms that you use to find work.
4. Build Your Website
Give your prospective clients a page to land on while they’re searching for you on the internet. Add your work and contact information to this page. Add good/well-performing articles on your website for the clients to see.
If your website demonstrates proper SEO practices and is eye-catching, clients will perceive it as further evidence that you’re the right choice for them.
5. Use Social Media To Build Visibility
With so many voices on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. it has become imperative to advertise your work on social media to gain visibility. LinkedIn is the best way to build your presence and create a network for finding freelance SEO opportunities.
You can use Twitter to start a newsletter or share important trends and information related to freelance SEO. It is so much easier to talk to prospective clients and present to them your work if you have a great digital footprint.
6. Leverage The Right Tools to Optimize Your Work
As a freelance SEO expert, you’ll need to get acquainted with quite a few tools to improve your SEO strategy. Some popular choices include:
Plagiarism checking tool: Search engines and duplicate content have never, and will never go hand in hand. This is why it becomes crucial to double-check your content with the best plagiarism checking tool available.
Analytics tools: To monitor and report on different SEO metrics, you’ll need reporting tools like Google search console.
Keyword research tools: Tools like KWFinder, Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, MOZ keyword finder, etc. will help you find short and long-tail keywords for your content. It’ll also help you run reports on backlinks and SERPs.
Marketing Tools: You’ll need marketing SEO tools like SEMrush, MOZ Pro, etc., for SEO planning, content marketing, competitor research, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, social media marketing, and so on.
7. Treat Yourself as a Business
When you start your own business, you’ll be the one wearing all the hats – you’ll be the accountant, salesperson, account manager, legal advisor, and everything else.
It is frightening at first, but if you legally establish yourself as a freelance business, it’ll give you more authenticity as a freelance SEO expert.
8. Watch out for Risky SEO Practices
Don’t be vague about your strategies. Whenever you talk to the client, come up with a plan that includes data and statistics on how you’re going to help them achieve their goals. Come up with a calendar timetable to make the goals quantifiable.
Do not make aggressive promises of guaranteed or fast results. Avoid using short-term hacks or black-hat SEO techniques to give a quick boost to your client’s website. Avoid clients who’d want you to do the same.
How to Land Freelance SEO Jobs
Maintaining a website and letting everyone know on social media that you’re open for business is the first step in finding clients. You’re more likely to find better opportunities on freelance SEO job sites that are designed to advertise openings for freelancers.
The above-mentioned tips will not only help you accelerate your freelance SEO career but will also help you stand out in the pool of numerous SEO freelancers.
Accelerate your Freelance SEO Career: Start Now
We hope this guide was able to provide you with a solid jumping-off point in your freelance SEO exploration. Do not feel overwhelmed by the endless checklists of things that need to be done. Take time to adequately understand and analyze these tips and strategies and you’ll be able to dive limitlessly into your freelance SEO career in no time.
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