Home SEO The way to Grow to be an Web optimization Freelancer (What It Takes + Key Suggestions)

The way to Grow to be an Web optimization Freelancer (What It Takes + Key Suggestions)

The way to Grow to be an Web optimization Freelancer (What It Takes + Key Suggestions)


When you have a knack for SEO (Web optimization), changing into an Web optimization freelancer is likely to be the appropriate path for you. 

On this article, you’ll be taught what an Web optimization freelancer does, easy methods to develop into an Web optimization freelancer, easy methods to get shoppers, and extra. 

You’ll additionally discover insights and ideas from established freelancers to make your journey simpler.

Let’s dive in.

What Does an Web optimization Freelancer Do?

An Web optimization freelancer is accountable for serving to shoppers enhance their Web optimization efficiency. 

This entails creating and implementing numerous methods to extend their shoppers’ rankings in search engine outcomes pages (SERPs) and driving natural (which means unpaid) visitors. 

You may supply companies in numerous areas of Web optimization. Or specialise in only one or two. 

And also you’ll must deal with your individual enterprise, alongside engaged on shopper initiatives.

Listed below are some key duties that an Web optimization freelancer would possibly sometimes carry out:

  • Key phrase analysis: Key phrase analysis entails serving to shoppers discover key phrases their goal prospects are getting into into search engines like google. A freelancer will dig into the month-to-month key phrase search quantity and key phrase problem, assist set priorities, and recommend new key phrase concepts.
  • On-page optimization: This implies optimizing on-page components like title tags, inner hyperlinks, and extra. On-page Web optimization helps guarantee shoppers’ web sites are search engine-friendly and extra more likely to rank effectively.
  • Off-page optimization: This refers to Web optimization techniques utilized exterior of a shopper’s web site to enhance its rankings. Like hyperlink constructing, visitor posting, social media advertising and marketing, and extra. Doing off-page Web optimization for shoppers will assist search engines like google (and customers) see their websites as extra reliable and authoritative. 
  • Technical Web optimization: Technical Web optimization entails figuring out and fixing technical points that will damage customers’ experiences or hinder search engine crawling and indexing. This consists of rising web site velocity, enhancing cellular responsiveness, implementing structured information markup, and resolving crawl errors.
  • Monitoring and evaluation: This entails maintaining monitor of necessary metrics and discovering alternatives to enhance. An Web optimization freelancer will typically want to watch web site efficiency, monitor key phrase rankings, analyze consumer habits, and measure the effectiveness of Web optimization campaigns. 
  • Shopper communication and reporting: This may be offering updates on venture progress, discussing methods, and addressing shoppers’ considerations. 
  • Enterprise admin: That is something freelancers do to run their very own companies, like advertising and marketing, venture administration, shopper acquisition, and invoicing. As this LinkedIn publish from Peter Rota explains, being an Web optimization freelancer goes far past Web optimization work for shoppers:
an LinkedIn post from Peter Rota about what being SEO freelancer is

Expertise You Have to Grow to be an Web optimization Freelancer

Being a profitable Web optimization freelancer requires a mixture of technical experience, communication expertise, and venture administration skills. 

It’s not sufficient to be nice at Web optimization. You additionally want to have the ability to talk that worth to shoppers. And maintain a number of initiatives on monitor.

Particular expertise and tasks range relying on the shopper/venture and the freelancer’s area of interest. However listed below are some frequent expertise an Web optimization freelancer would possibly want:

  • Analytical expertise: Sturdy analytical expertise are important for decoding information, figuring out tendencies, and making data-driven choices. Proficiency in instruments like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Semrush is essential for gathering and analyzing web site metrics.
  • Communication expertise: Efficient communication is vital when collaborating with shoppers. It’s essential perceive their targets and be capable to break down complicated Web optimization ideas.
  • Venture administration: Glorious venture administration expertise are important for juggling a number of initiatives concurrently. This consists of setting and assembly timelines, prioritizing duties, and managing sources.
  • Adaptability and steady studying: As a result of Web optimization is a dynamic area that entails frequent algorithm updates and evolving finest practices, you’ll must proceed your Web optimization schooling and sustain with business modifications.
  • Gross sales and advertising and marketing: Constructing a profitable freelance enterprise requires buying shoppers. Your web site and different promotional supplies (like a LinkedIn profile) ought to make it simple for shoppers to seek out you and perceive why they need to work with you. Like on this instance of a freelance Web optimization specialist’s web site:
an example of a freelance SEO specialist’s website

The Advantages of Being a Freelance Web optimization Skilled

Listed below are a number of the predominant upsides to being an Web optimization freelancer:

Aggressive Pay

Web optimization freelancing will be very profitable. 

As an Web optimization freelancer, your incomes potential is usually influenced by your stage of experience, the varieties of initiatives you deal with, your repute, and the demand on your companies. 

And Web optimization freelancers have the potential to earn considerably greater than their salaried counterparts. 

Nearly half of freelancers earn $75,000 to $149,000 per 12 months

As compared, the typical salaried Web optimization job pays $60,548 per 12 months

"Freelance SEO vs. In-House SEO: Who Earns More?"


Freelancers have the liberty to work wherever they need, each time they need.

Flexibility is among the finest issues about being a freelancer. Freelancers can set their schedules, select their shoppers and initiatives, and work from wherever. This flexibility makes it simpler to accommodate different tasks and pursuits, akin to household, additional schooling, and hobbies. 

Right here’s a LinkedIn publish from Web optimization knowledgeable Nick LeRoy that discusses how changing into a freelancer led to raised work-life steadiness, improved creativity, and extra:

a LinkedIn post from SEO expert Nick LeRoy that talks about becoming SEO freelancer

Skilled Progress

As an Web optimization freelancer, you get to decide on the initiatives and shoppers that align along with your pursuits, experience, and profession targets.  

For instance, if you wish to work completely with trend manufacturers or give attention to technical Web optimization, you’ll be able to. This alternative permits freelancers to develop a specialised ability set that may result in extra work and better earnings.

On the identical time, freelancers have the chance to work on totally different initiatives with a number of shoppers in numerous industries. This variety permits freelancers to develop a variety of expertise and expertise which may broaden their horizons and result in development and growth. 

In-Demand Discipline

Most companies perceive the significance of natural search visitors. So, Web optimization companies are in very excessive demand.

A research by standard freelancer platform Upwork revealed that Web optimization is among the prime 10 most sought-after advertising and marketing expertise. 

The regular demand makes it potential to earn earnings. And in addition offers freelancers with a various vary of initiatives to work on.

The Potential Downsides of Freelancing

There are challenges that include freelancing. Listed below are just a few to remember:

  • Advantages are your duty: Workers sometimes obtain advantages akin to trip, sick pay, and medical health insurance. Freelancers have to achieve insurance coverage protection indepently—and finances for trip time.
  • It may well get lonely: Web optimization freelancers principally work on their very own. In the event you get pleasure from every day interactions and chit-chat, freelancing may not be for you.
  • The workload varies: Freelancers’ workloads and incomes can fluctuate. There could also be occasions once they’re swimming in initiatives. And different occasions when issues are a lot slower.
  • It may be annoying: Many full-time freelancers and consultants work plenty of hours. Which might result in stress and burnout.

The way to Grow to be an Web optimization Freelancer in 7 Steps

Now, it’s time to get into how one can construct your Web optimization freelance profession.

Observe these steps to set your self up for fulfillment:

1. Grow to be an Web optimization Skilled

Creating a deep understanding of Web optimization is important for getting began as a freelancer. To be sure you have the muse you’ll want to assist shoppers attain their targets.

Nevertheless it modifications quick. 

So, keep updated with the most recent business tendencies, algorithm modifications, and finest practices by studying from respected sources (like Google Search Necessities), attending webinars, and enrolling in Web optimization programs (like these in Semrush Academy). 

You may also experiment with totally different strategies and Web optimization instruments to achieve hands-on expertise and refine your expertise. 

Get began by gaining insights right into a potential shopper’s strengths and weaknesses utilizing Area Overview.

Open the software, enter the potential shopper’s area, select a location, and click on “Search.”

search for "starbucks.com" in the US in Domain Overview tool

You’ll then see an outline dashboard. With data on that firm’s prime natural key phrases, estimated natural visitors, complete variety of backlinks, and extra.

"Organic Traffic" overview dashboard in Domain Overview tool

On the prime, you’ll see some attention-grabbing metrics that offer you an thought of how the positioning is performing. 

One factor to concentrate to is the Authority Rating. Semrush’s Authority Rating measures a web site’s general high quality and Web optimization efficiency.

Subsequent to the Authority Rating, you’ll see “Natural Search Visitors,” “Paid Search Visitors,” and “Backlinks.” 

"Authority Score," “Organic Search Traffic,” “Paid Search Traffic,” and “Backlinks.” sections in Domain Overview tool

In the event you scroll down, you’ll be able to see the highest key phrases for the positioning, and an outline of the rating distribution on Google. This reveals you which ones positions the shopper holds in search outcomes for various key phrases.

"Top Organic Keywords" and "Organic Position Distribution" sections in Domain Overview

Within the part under, you’ll discover their predominant opponents for natural search and the way they evaluate when it comes to search efficiency.

"Main Organic Competitors" and "Competitive Positioning Map" sections in Domain Overview

These insights can function a supply of inspiration and make it easier to establish potential areas for enchancment.

2. Discover Your Area of interest

It’s typically price specializing in a specific space of Web optimization. That method, you place your self because the go-to knowledgeable in that specific space. 

It might be tempting to supply a variety of companies to anybody who needs to purchase them. However selecting a distinct segment attracts shoppers who worth your specialised data. And you may command larger charges on your companies. 

It’s additionally simpler to excel at one factor reasonably than 10. 

For instance, chances are you’ll select to work with information publications, nonprofits, small companies, startups, or software-as-a-service (SaaS) firms. 

You may also specialise in particular Web optimization areas, akin to:

  • Technical Web optimization: Technical Web optimization entails optimizing an internet site from a technical standpoint, like enhancing web page velocity
  • Native Web optimization: Native Web optimization entails serving to shoppers to optimize their on-line listings, akin to Google Maps entries for bodily shops and Google Enterprise Profile pages
  • App Retailer Optimization: App retailer optimization helps you to assist shoppers drive extra visitors to their apps. This entails understanding the algorithms and techniques behind platforms just like the Apple App Retailer and Google Play Retailer.
  • Video Web optimization: Video Web optimization lets you assist shoppers optimize their video content material for optimum visibility on YouTube and in Google search outcomes 
"how to bake cookies" videos on YouTube

3. Develop Your Community

Networking helps you discover shoppers and develop your freelance enterprise. 

And there are a lot of issues you are able to do to construct your community:

  • Attend Web optimization occasions in your space 
  • Be part of Web optimization-related Fb and LinkedIn teams 
  • Join with Web optimization professionals on LinkedIn
  • Reconnect with former work colleagues—and even buddies and neighbors—to allow them to find out about your new freelance enterprise

Bear in mind, networking isn’t nearly discovering shoppers. It is about constructing relationships and fostering a way of group throughout the Web optimization business. 

Nurturing your community will increase your probabilities of securing shoppers by word-of-mouth suggestions. 

4. Create a Skilled Web site

To be taken critically as an Web optimization freelancer, it’s useful to have knowledgeable web site that showcases your experience and companies. 

an infographic showing a freelance SEO website

Your web site doesn’t should be fancy. Nevertheless it ought to embody your contact data, expertise, portfolio, and companies. 

You may create a easy web site in just a few hours utilizing a CMS like WordPress or Wix. 

And also you’ll want:

  • An about web page: Introduce your self and your background in Web optimization. Be sure that your contact data is prominently displayed, so shoppers can attain out. And you should definitely spotlight any related certifications, course certificates, and Web optimization-related work expertise to showcase your experience.
  • A companies web page: Dedicate a web page to outlining the Web optimization companies you supply. Specify your areas of specialization, akin to key phrase analysis, on-page optimization, content material creation, or technical Web optimization. And clarify what shoppers can count on when working with you and the way will help them obtain their targets.
  • Your portfolio: Create a portfolio web page to showcase initiatives that spotlight your Web optimization capabilities. That would embody an efficient on-page optimization venture or a profitable link-building marketing campaign. And you should definitely embody metrics that reveal the influence your work had, akin to elevated visitors or improved key phrase rankings.
  • Evaluations & LinkedIn suggestions: Ask shoppers to provide you critiques. Then, show them in your web site and LinkedIn profile. Phrases from completely happy shoppers function social proof and assist construct belief with potential shoppers. 
  • A weblog: Create a weblog the place you’ll be able to share insights, ideas, and business tendencies associated to Web optimization. Publishing beneficial content material reveals your craft. And it attracts potential shoppers to your web site.

5. Construct Your Private Model

Having a robust private model helps you stand out within the crowded Web optimization area. So you’ll be able to higher join with potential shoppers.

Listed below are some methods you’ll be able to set up your private model:

  • Write thought management social media or weblog posts sharing your perspective on business tendencies and challenges
  • Attain out to well-known Web optimization blogs for visitor writing alternatives
  • Attend and communicate at advertising and marketing and Web optimization conferences and occasions
  • Supply to be a podcast visitor on a preferred Web optimization or advertising and marketing podcast

This stuff all assist set up you as an knowledgeable with a definite viewpoint. 

6. Implement the Proper Pricing Technique

Determining easy methods to bundle and worth your companies is important for being profitable as a freelancer. 

Your pricing construction will probably depend upon:

  • Your expertise and expertise
  • Your area of interest (space of specialization)
  • The varieties of initiatives you tackle
  • The finances of the businesses you’re employed with

Don’t be afraid to cost what you’re price based mostly on the above. 

Web optimization freelancer Shumon Ali advises in opposition to decreasing your charges to get work. As a substitute, freelancers ought to give attention to companies that pay them what they deserve. 

Listed below are some extra pricing ideas in his LinkedIn publish

a LinkedIn post from SEO freelancer Shumon Ali talking about pricing

7. Set up Your Web optimization Toolkit

The proper Web optimization instruments will empower you to seek out key phrases, monitor the efficiency of your shoppers’ web sites, and impress shoppers with competitor insights. 

Listed below are a number of the finest instruments to think about (and plenty of of them are free):


You should utilize Semrush to run technical audits on shoppers’ websites, conduct key phrase analysis, examine backlinks, optimize content material, and much more. 

Let’s say you’re doing key phrase analysis for a shopper. You should utilize the Key phrase Magic Device to rapidly generate tons of key phrase concepts. 

It additionally reveals key phrase metrics akin to month-to-month search quantity, intent (the rationale behind a searcher’s question), key phrase problem (how troublesome it’s to rank within the prime 10), and extra.

To make use of it, open the software. Then, enter your seed key phrase (a broad time period associated to your shopper’s enterprise), choose a location, and click on “Search.” 

search for "insurance" in the US in Keyword Magic Tool

You’ll then see a bunch of key phrase concepts:

Keyword Magic Tool gives you many keyword ideas related to "insurance" search

If you wish to slim down your outcomes, you’ll be able to apply filters like:

  • Questions: To see key phrase concepts within the type of questions
  • Broad Match, Phrase Match, Precise Match, and Associated: To slim in or broaden in your key phrase
  • Languages: To search for key phrases in several languages
  • Quantity: To seek for key phrases that fall underneath a selected search quantity vary like 101-1,000, 1,001-10,000, and so forth.
  • KD % (shorthand for key phrase problem): To see key phrases which have a selected key phrase problem stage like “Simple,” “Arduous,” “Very laborious,” and so forth.
  • Intent: To see key phrases that mirror a selected search intent like “Informational,” “Navigational,” “Industrial,” or “Transactional”

You may also use Backlink Analytics to achieve beneficial details about a shopper’s backlink profile. To enhance their web site’s visibility.

Open the software, enter the area, and click on “Analyze.”

search for "nerdwallet.com" in Backlink Analytics

You’ll see plenty of information factors to know how robust (or weak) your shopper’s backlink profile is.

"Overview" dashboard in Backlink Analytics tool

Then, click on on “Referring Domains” to see an outline of recent and misplaced domains. And a listing of all domains linking to the shopper’s web site.

“Referring Domains” report in Backlink Analytics

You may also do the identical for a competitor’s web site. To search out good backlink alternatives. 

From there, you’ll be able to compile a listing of domains you would possibly wish to attain out to.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free software for monitoring an internet site’s Web optimization efficiency. 

It offers you perception into a wide range of metrics (like the whole clicks from search proven under) that may make it easier to enhance your shopper’s web site. And get extra visitors from Google. 

an overview report in Google Search Console

With Google Search Console, you’ll be able to: 

  • Determine technical errors that is likely to be affecting search engine indexing
  • Submit sitemaps and new URLs for crawling
  • Get data on search efficiency
  • Acquire perception into the consumer expertise

Understanding how well-optimized your web site is and which key phrases are driving visitors will help you regulate your Web optimization technique to drive higher outcomes. 

Word: You may join your shopper’s Google Search Console account to Semrush. This manner, you’ll be able to entry insights about their web site in a single central location.

Google Analytics 

Google Analytics is among the finest instruments for monitoring and analyzing web site and app visitors, consumer habits, and conversions. 

Right here’s an outline report:

an overview report in Google Analytics

Google Analytics will help you reply a bunch of questions on your shopper’s web site. Similar to:

  • What number of guests does the positioning get?
  • The place do guests come from?
  • Which pages on the positioning get essentially the most visitors?
  • What actions do guests take in your pages?
  • How a lot time do guests spend in your pages?
  • The place do guests have a tendency to go away your web site?

Google Looker Studio

Google Looker Studio (previously often called Google Knowledge Studio or GDS) is among the strongest Web optimization reporting instruments out there. 

You may create customized reviews, dashboards, and visualizations to share metrics and learnings along with your shoppers. 

There are even templates out there that will help you get began:

"Templates" page in Google Looker Studio

This software offers you the ability to show large quantities of Web optimization information into beneficial insights your shoppers will perceive. 


A content material administration system (CMS) is critical for managing your individual web site and implementing Web optimization optimizations on shoppers’ web sites. 

WordPress is among the hottest CMS platforms on the market. And with good motive: WordPress is free, open supply, and Web optimization-friendly. 

Right here’s what the dashboard appears to be like like:

"Dashboard" page in WordPress

Having understanding of this platform is a superb asset to your freelance Web optimization profession.

The way to Discover Shoppers as an Web optimization Freelancer

Discovering shoppers is a vital facet of your success as an Web optimization freelancer. In any case, they’re those who pays you to finish initiatives.

Listed below are some frequent methods Web optimization freelancers discover jobs and shoppers:

Freelance platforms: Use web sites like Upwork, Freelancer, Toptal, and Fiverr to seek out initiatives and join with shoppers on the lookout for Web optimization companies. Create a compelling profile, showcase your experience, and actively bid on related initiatives. 

Upwork homepage with title "How work should work"

Professional tip: The Semrush Company Progress Equipment will help Web optimization freelancers and companies discover shopper leads, ship Web optimization initiatives, and report on progress. 

Networking: Leverage your skilled community and attend business occasions to attach with potential shoppers. And don’t overlook to attach with individuals exterior of the Web optimization business. A plumber or dentist may not have heard of Web optimization but, however that doesn’t imply they don’t want it.

Referrals: Acquire word-of-mouth referrals, which is usually a highly effective supply of recent shoppers. Present distinctive service to your present shoppers and encourage them to advocate you to others of their community.

Content material advertising and marketing: Create high-quality content material to reveal your experience. Particularly in the event you specialise in content material advertising and marketing and on-page Web optimization, it’s good to apply what you preach. Publish informative articles, create movies, or supply free sources that appeal to potential shoppers and set up your credibility.

Kickstart Your Web optimization Freelancing Profession

Now that you understand how to develop into an Web optimization freelancer, it’s time to take motion.

Equipping your self with the appropriate instruments is a superb subsequent step. 

Join a free Semrush account at this time to get began.



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