Search engines have changed the world. From origami to sculpting, there is no limit to what you can search for and learn. It thus comes as no surprise that Search Engine Optimization plays such a big part in the internet industry. It is how organisations, brands, websites, actors, and public figures keep themselves visible online, how they end up among the top search results.
There are many reasons why you should consider a career in Search Engine Optimization. If you have a fundamental knowledge of technicalities of the internet and are willing to learn about the intricacies of SEO, it can be a very lucrative and rewarding career, even as a freelancer.
Job Duties for Freelance SEO Specialist
As a Freelance SEO specialist, there are many duties you will be expected to undertake, sometimes ones which are more complex than listing keywords to be included in the organisation’s website. Most SEO Experts must learn about how SEO works, to be able to work successfully in sub-fields of the process.
Some of the major job responsibilities of a SEO expert include:
- Review and analysis of client sites, to look at scope of modification, improvement
- Prepare strategic reports and blueprints
- Identify most economical and profitable keywords from client websites
- Improve the organisation’s organic search results
- Ensure websites are filled with optimal keywords
- Write effective call-to-action statements
- Create advanced SEO strategies
SEO Specialists need to develop certain skills to be able to make a living. Many websites and portals offer the chance to learn and sharpen these skills online, sometimes free and sometimes for a fee.
Let us look at some of the skills that SEO Specialists must have:
- Social Media Marketing
- Computer skills, technical SEO, like understanding on-page optimization, page-level and server-level optimization techniques
- Content Marketing
- Analytical mindset
- Illustration and diagramming skills
- Proficiency in written communication
You can develop and hone these skills through various platforms. Many instructional websites offer online courses on SEO.
Moz, Webmaster World, SEObythesea, Stanford Research paper on SEO and Searchengine Journal provide a lot of online training material, mostly free but there are websites that expect you to pay nominal fees to begin studying SEO skills.
Being Successful as a Freelance SEO Specialist
SEO Specialists can safely call themselves extremely successful if they can search for their name on Google and locate it, without them having to use too many SEO techniques in the search, a hint of irony here. However, a measure of success cannot be determined with a Google search, as many people searched for, are for reasons other than success.
There are many bumps and minor hiccups that most freelancers face, with no colleagues to moan too, or to share lunches with and the instability caused by the absence of a weekly cheque. However, one can become successful, or indeed set off down the path to success, by following certain tips, as;
- Preferring to practice techniques than simply learning them
- Building an expansive network
- Taking the odd calculated risk
- Be analytic and equal parts creative in your approach
- Always try to come up with your custom strategies
- Being prolific with SEO techniques
Search Engine Optimizers earn decent amounts. They do not initially earn big salaries as most people make them out to, but the rate of growth is definitely higher than other professions. Here fame is the game, if you can make your client famous, and then you can be assured about earning a fat pay-cheque.
As with other freelance opportunities, there are essentially two types of engagements offered, the fixed-price model and the hourly payment model. Therefore, what can you earn as a freelance Search Engine Optimizer?
Estimated budgets for fixed-price engagements usually fall in the ranges of $20-500, with budgets sometimes even exceeding $1000, while hourly models pay anywhere from $4- 50 an hour, depending on the size of the organisation or the scope of work expected. An average payment for a SEO expert is around $18 an hour.
There are many jobs available online for SEOs. It is an emerging career and any organisation with an online presence benefits from having a solid SEO strategy in place. Consequently, there is no shortage of jobs available and with the web-traffic expected to double in the next few years, it is safe to say that the future opportunities for SEOs are vast.
Many websites and online forums offer work for SEOs around the globe. As with other freelance initiatives, the first agenda you must have is to create a Facebook page and market the services you offer. Furthermore, invite your friends, family, and acquaintances to like the page.
Apart from advertising your services online, the other options you can consider include websites like Elance, Freelancer, Odesk, Peopleperhour and Guru offer many opportunities for freelance SEO experts to find work.