Definition of SEO Freelancer

Self-Employment Ideas for the SEO FreelancerA SEO freelancer (search engine optimizer) is an expert in online research methods who helps a client’s websites be found more easily by Internet search engines. By increasing a website’s visibility and search rankings, the website traffic, sales, and productivity will generally increase. An expert SEO Freelancer will analyze the client’s goals, marketing strategy, target audience, and website to determine a strategy. The SEO Freelancer may then offer recommendations, teach the client what to do to improve SEO, make marketing and website changes, or a combination of any of these options.

An expert SEO Freelancer has a thorough understanding of the current marketing trends, online venues, and tools that will improve the client’s online presence. A web marketer who has experience in the customer’s field can be helpful, but not necessary. More importantly, the SEO Freelancer should have the ability to create a marketing plan consistent with the client’s goals and implement effective SEO techniques to execute the plan.

One important aspect of search engine marketing is the use of effective search engine keywords within a website. SEO Freelancers identify the most relevant and popular search words that people use when conducting online research for a particular product or topic. The SEO Freelancer also understand the right places to insert these keywords within the page titles, HTML code, and website content so that search engines will find the client’s online material. When a search engine repeatedly finds relevant content from the same source, the site’s page rank improves and customer traffic increases.

Source: http://www.wisegeek.com

Link Development:

Most assuredly, Google’s rising fortunes using link analysis as part of its algorithm is going to increase the importance of this, as other search engines are sure to follow suit. A background in or thorough knowledge of Internet marketing has been added to the skills a SEO Freelancer should possess.

Reciprocal linking was a service many SEO Freelancers didn’t do. It was done by a different person or department. The reason being that optimization is a very technical skill, rooted in manipulation of HTML attributes, whereas reciprocal linking definitely involves marketing skills. Marketing requires highly honed organizational and language skills.

Link analysis in a search engine’s algorithm is not based on just having a large number of links to the site. The quality (ie: links to that site, quality of content on the site etc.) of the site is important. The search engines’ ability to evaluate the relevancy and the value of a link has increased dramatically over the last few years.

Keywords Strategy:

A strategy is just a long term plan. A plan is implementation of the strategy. There are SEO Freelancer who will ask you “What are your keywords?” or something similar. If a SEO Freelancer or company doesn’t include keyword list development, than they may be a company to avoid.

What you may think are your keywords may not be the phrases and words that users actually use most often (if at all) on the search engines. There are resources on the net that provide this information for free and some that charge. The list compiled using these resources for related terms should be the basis of the keywords strategy.

Knowledge of HTML:

Don’t mistake design for HTML knowledge. HTML knowledge is a big part of search engine optimization. In fact, for the best of both worlds, a SEO Freelancer should be part of the development team. Many development companies claim this, but few really have a SEO Freelancer.

This is probably the reason why there are few data driven sites at the top of the rankings. The programmer didn’t account for some search engines not following URLs with a ? in them. Then they come to SEO Freelancer wondering why they can’t be found on search engines. Frames are another issue, in and of itself! They are a definite problem for some search engines to index.

Search engine optimization also should be part of the design phase. A search engine friendly design ( search engine indexing can be manipulated using HTML ) and the added relevance for headings, which most designers dislike (they prefer a graphic), and opportunities for embedding links and other optimization techniques means that the SEO Freelancer should have input sooner rather than later.

Language Skills:

It should be a given that strong communication skills and understanding of the language of the target audience are skills a SEO Freelancer should possess. A big part of optimizing a page and developing a keywords list is language related.

Skillful writing of search engine and marketing copy is important. Marketing copy is superlatives based because it is trying to create a call to action whereas search engine copy is keywords based.

Knowledge of Search Engine Optimization Boosters:

Search engine algorithms put different relevancy to each element on the page, those with a heavier weighting in the algorithms are called optimization boosters. A SEO Freelancer’s knowledge of boosters is not easily determined and is seldom immediately reflected in the positions achieved.

As search engine algorithms have evolved the ease with which they could be manipulated has diminished. Search engines now use elements outside of the page itself. Link analysis discussed above would be a good example.

In short, search engine optimization techniques are subjective. Implementation of a strategy that isn’t search engine centric is the true test of a SEO Freelancer’s knowledge of boosters.

Submission Tracking:

What URLs were submitted to what search engines and when? Tracking should include:

  • pages that were submitted by the SEO
  • a list of URLs that have been indexed (verified by logs or position monitoring tools)
  • a submission schedule for future submissions of pages not indexed or found by the search engines ( a separate list for each engine ).

As you can see a SEO Freelancer should have many skills, not just HTML skills, in order to be able to optimize the site for the highest visibility on all the search engines.

MOZ

New to SEO? Need to polish up your knowledge? The Beginner’s Guide to SEO has been read over 1 million times and provides comprehensive information you need to get on the road to professional quality SEO.

Source: http://moz.com

SEO IN PRACTICE

I’m Dan Richmond, and you’re about to get hold of my break–through SEO in Practice guide. I stay online 24 hours a day, so sure, I know today’s situation with SEO books. There’re just so many of them!!! And yes, I know someone may be skeptical. But I may ask SO WHAT? I’m serious about making this book the best practical SEO guide ever.

Source: http://www.seoinpractice.com

UP CITY

As an SEO Freelancer beginner, it can be daunting to learn not only how to make your site viewable in search engines but also to take it to the top of the rankings. Top 25 Web Education Resources for Learning about SEO.

Source: http://upcity.com

HONGKIAT

The basics of SEO are actually quite easy to understand and if you give yourself a good foundation in learning search engine optimization you’ll be able to sort fact from fiction much more easily and you’ll have the tools to delve into more advanced SEO concepts.

Source: http://www.hongkiat.com

OTHER RESOURCE SITES TO GROW YOUR SKILLS

  • WebConfs SEO Tutorial. This one expands into some of the individual SEO disciplines a lot more than the SEO Moz guide, and is one of the best overviews that I’ve gone through.
  • SEO 101. This is a 15 part series from Search Engine Guide.  It’s 15 detailed blog posts about 15 aspects of SEO – don’t miss this one.
  • SEO Book SEO Glossary. SEO Book is one the leading resources on the internet, and this is a really in depth glossary. It’s worth reviewing for key terms, and book marking for easy access later on.

An SEO Freelancer must be able to:

  • Improve a website’s position in search engine results
  • Develop a solid and well focused strategy
  • Manage the project in which the strategy is used effectively
  • Guarantee successful completion of the project through good communication with all involved stakeholders
  • Do not forget to focus on the needs of the end users and the objectives of the business which they work.

1.  Technical SEO Freelancer

This works with purely technical knowledge, linked to the positioning algorithms that search engines use in order to track and define the position that each webpage should occupy.

These are the building blocks of any SEO strategy. Each webpage must fill certain technical requirements in order to achieve a better position on the first few pages of search engine results. An SEO Freelancer should not only recognise these requirements but also understand them and be able to implement them if necessary.

The major complication found in this knowledge base is that these requirements are not always the same, and can depend on the algorithms used by each search engine to index and classify the content found online.

These search algorithms are not made public and are constantly changing, something that demands SEO Freelancer to have fundamental knowledge of these techniques, great learning ability and the ability to adapt via a range of transferrable skills.

For example: a technical SEO Freelancer must be able to understand several different parameters used to optimize HTML code, but as well as this, it is important to understand the workings of several distinct servers and to be able to change their parameters through the .htaccess file.

2.  Creative SEO Freelancer

It is important to remember that the work of an SEO Freelancer should be focused towards the search engine user. These users always carry out their searchers using the written word and the results of this search are offered, as much as possible, in the written word.

An SEO Freelancer should be able to identify the exact words that a search engine user would use when searching for specific information, offer this information in an optimized fashion to make it both appealing and useful and drive the user to browse through the site on arrival.

3.  Analytic SEO Freelancer

In order to analyze the behaviour of search engine users that then go on to visit various websites, a wide range of tools and date to make use of.

An SEO Freelancer should be able to correctly use these tools to extract data, analyze said data, associate it with the correct action, recognize the significance and impact of this action and, finally, to offer a correct and accurate interpretation of everything extracted.

The amount of data that a user generates whilst browsing a webpage can be rather large and analyzing this information is no easy task. Furthermore, misinterpreting this information could lead to irreversible damage to the campaign strategy. For this reason, the tools that are use often require a great level of specialized knowledge of the technology itself to be used correctly and get the best out of them.

4.  Strategic SEO Freelancer

The difficulty of organizing strategies that are more and more advanced, involving a larger amount of parties from different sectors, of whom certain members could have a larger impact and larger financial repercussions means that the person responsible for their success must possess certain specific skills that will allow them to develop the strategy and manage the projects that they involve in the most effective way possible.

This skill set is probably the most transferrable of all those mentioned, requiring the SEO Freelancer to be able to successfully face a multitude of situations, all involving professionals from a range of different backgrounds.

Source: http://www.internetadvantage.com

Daily rates vary so much as the more proven results you have the more clients are willing to pay for your services. With SEO it is important you have a solid portfolio of previous projects to show you can achieve the goals they are setting you.

Why SEO? Why contracting?  

More and more people are choosing to operate through their own limited company, partly due to changes in corporate working practices but also because of the freedom, control and enjoyment that comes from being your own boss.

The fact that contractors, can command much higher daily rates of pay may also be an influencing factor, but surely this is only to be expected, bearing in mind the lack of holiday and sick pay, and the other additional benefits which are lost when moving from employment to contract work.

In summary as an SEO Freelancer you can benefit from:

  • Higher rates of pay – This is only fair as unlike permanent employees, you do not get holiday or sick pay, giving you a greater chance to negotiate a higher rate of pay.
  • Prospects – The SEO market is always needed presenting numerous opportunities.
  • Experience – The more contracts you take on the greater your practical and managerial skills. Giving you a wider choice of projects and the ability to charge higher daily rates.
  • Freedom – You can choose which contracts you take on and the length of time your contract is.
  • Flexibility – As a SEO Freelancer you may have the option to work from home allowing you to choose the hours your work, and allowing you fit projects around any other commitments.
  • Experience – The more contracts you take on the greater your practical and managerial skills. Giving you a wider choice of projects and the ability to charge higher daily rates.
  • Lower Taxes – Any accountant will tell you that trading through your own Limited Company is the most tax efficient way possible. This only to be expected after all as a contractor you do not get sick pay, holiday pay, and have to manage your own tax affairs. However any good accountant will be able to remove most of the burden and you shouldn’t need to allow more than 15 – 20 minutes a month for Ltd company administration.

Source: http://www.sjdaccountancy.com

15 Marketing Techniques to promote and grow your SEO Freelancing business:

1. Submit Your Website to Search Engines

The first thing you will need to do when launching a website is submit the site to search engines; Google and Bing are the major search engines to focus on. Out of the 15 techniques, this will be the easiest but one of the most important.

  • Google
  • Bing

2. Make Your Website Easy to Use

Before marketing your website through various online channels, make sure that your meta data is accurate and follows the Google Webmaster guidelines. On-site optimization includes page titles and meta descriptions. Page titles should include your business name and one or two keywords that you want Web visitors to find you with. Avoid using too many keywords and make the titles and descriptions appear natural.

Tip: Search for competitors in your area to see keywords they are using to attract Web traffic.

3. Implement Google Analytics

Web host providers will often try and bundle analytics and data packages, but the best, free analytics tool on the Web is Google Analytics. It takes less than two minutes to sign up and implement the code, and you can start collecting Web traffic data immediately. Data includes number of Web visitors, how long they browse your site, where the visitors are located, and how they arrived at your site. This is great data for promoting your business and the most effective channel (and geographic location).

Tip: Once your account starts collecting Web traffic data, map out goals on your website and begin tracking. Goals could be submitting a form or signing up to a newsletter.

4. Add Your Business to Google+ Local

Adding your business to Google+ Local is the next most important technique to implement. More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, and adding your website and business information to the Google local business directory can help. It’s free and simple. Also, you can manage your listing information including business description, product/service details, photos, videos, and offers.

Tip: Make sure your Google listing has a 100 percent score; most local business don’t reach 100 percent. 

5. Create Social Network Business Profiles

If you are moving your business online, a great way to spread the word about your website launch is through social networks. Sign up to the business pages of Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Foursquare to promote your business to your friends and network.

  • Facebook for business
  • Twitter for business
  • LinkedIn for business
  • Foursquare for business

Not only is this at no cost, but you will also get trustworthy links from these profiles. The more trustworthy links you get to your website, the higher you will appear on Google.

Tip: Get your family, and friends to become the first to “like” or “follow” your business, and stay away from buying friends from third-parties. Build your social media presence naturally.

6. Launch an Online Marketing Campaign

The only activity on this list that has a cost is Google AdWords. Google AdWords allows you to select keywords, write for online marketing ads, and attract visitors to your website based on what customers search for. Each time your ad is clicked, you will pay Google (you set the highest amount before your campaign goes live). If no one clicks your ad, you don’t need to pay.

Launching a Google AdWords campaign does not have to be costly. In fact, you can start with $15 per week, giving you a chance to decide on whether bookings increase. A benefit of using Google AdWords is that you can be target to where your ads show, whether it be state or town.

Tip: When you create your campaign, make sure you use Ad Extensions that include local information, phone number, and Google + page.

7. Get Listed in Local Directories and Local Listings

Get listed in local directories and increase the number of trusted inbound links to your website. Most directories are free and by adding your business, you will see an increase in Web visits from potential customers. (According to Mashable, positive yelp ratings can boost a restaurant’s nightly reservations by 19 percent.)

  • www.bingforbusiness.com
  • local.yahoo.com
  • www.hotfrog.co.uk
  • www.yell.com
  • www.scoot.co.uk
  • www.smilelocal.com

Within two days of adding a small business to local directories, Web traffic from mobile grew from 0 percent to 18 percent of total traffic, and 30 percent of total traffic was referral.

Although claiming business citations is listed at number seven on this list, BrightLocal ran a survey in 2011 that found the top five most important local search ranking factors.

Tip: To find out where your competitor gets links from, visit opensiteexplorer.org and click on the “linking domains” tab.

8. Get Involved in Your Community

This continues to bring home to Google the relevance of your business to a specific area, especially if you’re able to include links to your website (be very careful not to spam social communities, though).

If there are local forums in your field, then it’s a great idea to get your business actively participating in them. By creating a profile and adding value to the forums, this continues to add relevance of your business to Google.

Tip: Try not to spam the forums or websites with links to your online business as this will only get you banned.

9. Optimize Mobile SEO and Its Accessibility

The smartphone is the new yellow pages and mobile search, as a percentage of total Web traffic increases each month. In fact, experts predict that mobile usage will overtake desktop usage in 2014. Local business thrive on mobile searches as conversion rates searching on local terms tend to be higher. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile and is easy to use. If your website appears cluttered and loads slow to a searcher, they will most likely move on to your competitor.

Tip: Visit your website on your smartphone and find three ways to improve the experience.

10. Add Social-sharing Buttons

In the footer of your website, make sure you add a link your Google+ Local page along with other social sharing buttons.

Tip: Make sure your email address and phone number is listed on each and every page of your footer.

11. Implement Webmaster Tools

Using webmaster tools in both Google and Bing helps you identify issues with your website. By fixing these issues, you will ensure that both search engines have no issues crawling (finding) your website when a local search is made.

  • Google Webmaster tools
  • Bing Webmaster tools

Implementing both tools is relatively straight forward, and your web developer should be able to support you with this.

Tip: When adding your website to Bing Webmaster tools, you will receive $50 in market funds (US only).

12. Upload Pictures

The local directory sites like to provide users with pictures of your business. To help ensure that your business gets the best exposure, upload your own pictures. They don’t need to be of a professional quality but they will represent your business, so make sure they are decent.

Tip: Save your photo with a filename that includes your business name and a keyword.

13. Ask for Reviews

Most local sites and directories allow customers reviews. Other than Yelp, most are supportive in requesting reviews. Customer reviews, whether good or bad, make your business more credible to future customers.

Research shows that having at least five reviews in Google+ Local is the magic number where the reviews may start to help with rankings. However, since the recent Google Places move to Google+ Local, reviewers are required to have a  Google+ account.

Tip: Use your website, invoices, thank you pages, and email communication to ask your customers to review your business. 

14. Launch a Blog

Write about your industry, your talent, your services, and promote it in all channels. Blogging not only helps increase awareness of your business, but it also improves your writing. You will learn more within your field (become an expert!), and it is a great way to acquire new links to your website.

  • WordPress.com
  • Blogspot.com
  • Tumblr.com

Tip: Link your Facebook page and blog by adding the RSS reader application in Facebook, making sure that your blog posts will show up on your Facebook page each time a new post is published.

15. Be Consistent

Each time you add your website and business information to a local directory, social network, or forum, make sure you be consistent with your business name, address, telephone number, email address, website link, and business description.

Tip: Create a file that you can use to copy and paste the information from to make sure all listings are the same.

Source: http://www.searchenginejournal.com

Balance being a business consultant and an SEO Freelancer: Providing SEO Freelancing services takes more than just technical know-how. A SEO Freelancer has to make their work relatable to the client and sometimes help them become better marketers, as well.

Educate your clients: Invest in your client relationships by continuing to educate them. Even without any kind of formal training program, you can keep your clients informed. They don’t have time to stay abreast of industry news, so they rely on their expert SEO Freelancer to summarize the changes that affect them. Educating clients is a good way to become an indispensable, trustworthy resource.

Know the stakeholders: Your liaison at a client company may have to report to multiple stakeholders, like the CMO, the owner, or other. Find out who those people are and help your contact look good to them. Don’t aim to get the credit; make the person who hired you a hero instead.

Be open, honest and willing to listen: If the courtship phase requires listening and openness, how much more the marriage! Don’t stop communicating with your business clients after a contract is signed. The SEO Freelancer who stays open to constructive feedback, keeps asking questions, and continues being open and honest, can maintain a healthy client-agency relationship long-term.

Revisit your relationships regularly: In addition to providing regular feedback in understandable reports, etc., occasionally re-evaluate whether your SEO Freelance services are still a good fit. Businesses change, and some may outgrow or no longer match your services well. It seems strange to think of saying goodbye to some clients by choice, but to manage your own workload and business, you might need to.

Source: http://www.bruceclay.com