On a daily basis, roughly 1.7 billion people use Google Search and handling on average 7 billion in a day. This statistic is generating lots of good and stable jobs for people who know how to manipulate the search engines to bring huge benefits to businesses. A crucial skill in this industry is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. SEO has been around for over 25 years and has evolved into an integral part of marketing for both large corporations and small local shops. Very few people understand that SEO is more than a few keywords sprinkled throughout a blog and these people that know the intricacies are in high demand because they help their websites outrank their competition. Annual salaries for SEO freelancers can be as high as $102,000 and with a 4% growth in the job market in the next five years. The most common career paths for SEO specialists are working as an SEO specialist for a big company, SEO specialist at an agency that focuses on lots of clients, or an SEO freelancer who manages their own clients. There is plenty of growth and success in the SEO industry for those who are dedicated enough to learn the skill. If you have some experience in SEO or digital marketing or looking for a way to make good money on the side, I would strongly suggest you consider becoming an SEO Freelancer. There are a variety of tasks that an SEO freelancer balances but the end goal is to optimize websites, manage content, link building, and search ranking.
Tasks an SEO Freelancer Balances in a Day
To give you an idea of what a typical day would look like for an SEO freelancer, here is an outline of the most common SEO tasks:
Google has reported changing its search algorithm around 9 times per day proving that the only constant in SEO is change. A major part of an SEO freelancer day is how these algorithms affect keywords. Keywords are the base for most search and sales done online. It will be up to you as an SEO freelancer to do keyword research to find the best possible list of keywords for your client while keeping in mind the popularity, competitiveness, relevance, and cost of each keyword.
The other half of keyword research is optimization. Without optimization, your carefully selected list of keywords would not do as well because they need to be more than scattered through a blog post. As an SEO freelancer, you will be sure that your keywords are optimized correctly including both on-page optimization, to ensure you’re serving up quality content, good metadata, a clean HTML structure, internal links, and pages that load quickly. You will also learn quickly that this stage involves a/b testing different element like headings and picture to determine which give you better conversion rates on your webpage.
Linking building is the way to build a good reputation on the internet. Google takes into account your website and content but also what other websites say about you. In other words, the website that links to you is essentially a vote of confidence in your content that Google sees when ranking your website. Among other tasks as an SEO freelancer, you have to look for opportunities to get other websites to authentically link to yours so you can get as many votes of confidence as possible and get the best reputation.
Traffic is when people are sent to your website from another source. As an SEO freelancer, you will be running multiple types of campaigns to drive traffic to your webpages and convert sales. Even though traffic is great, it is important to know which traffic came from which source so you can know which campaigns are successful. For example, a consumer might click on a link to your website from your twitter profile and a different consumer might click on your website from a Facebook ad and as an SEO freelancer, you will need to know the difference. To help with this, you will add unique URLs for each source in your campaigns so you can pinpoint exactly where traffic comes from.
Analytics is vital to you as an SEO Freelancer because its the way to prove to your clients that you are not only doing your job but doing your job very well. You will regularly check analytics to see how your client’s websites, landing pages, keywords, blogs and other content are performing. You can also use analytics to see where traffic is coming from.
In 2018, Google introduced the mobile-first index which means that having an optimized mobile version on your website will help you rank better on Google Event though this probably won’t be a constant task for you, initially you will need to make sure all web content is optimized for mobile devices. To help, Google has a free mobile-friendly test here.
Coordinating With Other Digital Marketing Teams
Depending on the place that you work or your clients’ preferences you’ll probably spend a lot of time coordinating with other people on the marketing team so that the digital marketing effort is seen as unified and cohesive. Even though you have plenty of tasks on your own, you will take on some other tasks including:
- Working with the social media marketing team. Social media marketing and SEO complement each other very well. As an SEO freelancer, you’ll likely work with the social media team to help boost brand awareness through content writing and making sure they are using the best keywords when promoting the brand.
- Working with the paid search marketing team: Pay-per-click (PPC) and SEO are often lumped into one thing, however, experts understand that PPC is focused on paid search and ads while SEO focuses on organic search. This team will help you find promising keywords that aren’t too costly.
- Working with the PR/content marketing team. The public relations/content marketing team will be a major help because they provide press releases and other publicity materials that are content, and content is needed for SEO. Because they help you with good content, you will likely help them make sure any content is optimized for SEO and easily found on Google. You will also have valuable input for the content strategy team because you are an expert with optimization and keywords.
- Working with the web development team. An SEO freelancer’s worst nightmare is working in keywords after a website is already built because it doesn’t come organically and is double the work. SEO doesn’t happen without good structure behind the scenes and websites don’t rank well without SEO. You’ll probably work with the team that builds the websites and landing pages to make sure pages are clean and load fast, have good pictures, and that it has correct h1 tags, correct 301 redirects, correct title tags, etc.
Most SEO freelancers are familiar with all the tasks above but probably have many more tasks that are given to them as they gain experience. Each day will be different because different campaigns call for different skills. For example, for a new campaign, you will be spending more time on keyword research than URL building. Emails, phone calls, and meetings are a constant for most people in a job, however, as an SEO freelancer, you can be in charge of your own schedule. You can choose your own hours and control how busy you want to be by how many clients you take on. Even though SEO freelancing may be a lot more work than working at an SEO agency, the benefits are vastly greater. Regardless of whether you’re doing SEO in-house or for an agency or clients, your career path to becoming an SEO expert has to start with mastering the skills mentioned above. In addition, most expert SEO freelancers recommend these five steps to get started.
Step 1: Build up your SEO skill
Spend some time getting familiar with how search engines work and what SEO is all about. One of the best and fastest ways to master SEO is to follow and SEO course. Even a beginner course, if well structured can be more efficient than search for the information on Google.
Step 2: Improve your writing skills
SEO requires a lot of writing and most common SEO skills like optimizing a page title or meta descriptions or content of a page will not be successful is your writing skills are bad. Be constantly reading of ways to become better and more intriguing writing to improve your SEO copywriting work.
Step 3: Build up your analytical skills
Using the analytical side of your brain is critical while using SEO. You must know how to read, interpret, and present this information in a meaningful way to your client. You have to prepare reports for your clients so get familiar with tools like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Ahrefs.
Step 4: Become Google Analytics Certified
One of the best ways to stand out from your competition is to be Google Analytics Certified. You can learn analytics with free online courses so that you can grow your client’s business through intelligent data collection and analysis. You take the course and pass the test then you are all set.
Step 5: Learn by getting real SEO experience
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the SEO industry is growing and companies are always looking for people to help with SEO. Your primary goal as you start out is to test your skills in real life and get hands-on experience. Job portals like Upwork, Fiverr, and Indeed are great for beginner freelancers to find jobs.
If you are passionate about the internet and digital marketing in general, then becoming an SEO freelancer is a great career choice. There are many advantages of working in the SEO industry like setting your own hours, working from home, making great money but the best in my opinion is seeing how you are helping businesses grow and succeed in the digital world. Change your life and make an impact on the SEO industry by becoming an SEO freelancer. Become Google Analytics Certified today by clicking here.