5 SEO Tips For Freelancers
Organic traffic from Google is one of the best ways to get leads on autopilot for your business. However, “Search engine optimization” can seem like an overwhelming monster, that should be reserved for rocket scientists.
In reality, SEO is ANYTHING you do that gets you higher on Google search. A 1% improvement every day can compound to grow your traffic and get you #1 in the long term.
But if you spend any time reading about SEO, you’ll come across things like JSON-LD and Structured data which makes things way too overwhelming and unactionable.
In this article, I’ll give you 5 highly actionable SEO tips for Freelancers that can be implemented today to improve the rankings of your existing business or to get your freelance career rolling.
1. Start A Freelance Website
If you’re serious about your freelance career, you have to have a website for your business. Having a portfolio on sites like Dribble isn’t adequate.
Also it’s really hard to improve your SEO if you’re on someone’s else’s property and don’t have your own website.
This includes services like Blogspot and WordPress.com, you should have your own website and domain name.
In terms of SEO friendliness and ease of use, the best ways to build a freelance website are Webflow and a self hosted WordPress site.
Webflow’s performance and speed is better than WordPress. That being said, WordPress is more popular with a ton of tutorials and guides making it easier to use for beginners.
To have good performance with WordPress site (website speed affects your rankings on Google) I recommend using a highly rated Managed WordPress Host like Kinsta. SiteGround is a good option if you’re on a tight budget.
Use a tool like Pagespeed insights, GTmetrix to further optimize your site and make it load faster.
2. Pick The Right Keywords
Just as you have to pick the right niche for your services, you also want to target the right keywords. While the search term “logo design” may have a lot of volume on Google, the competition is also really high.
You want to target longer tail keywords and a wide range of topics. I’d like to illustrate this with an example of “YouTube marketing”.
Let’s say you’re a freelancer offering services for YouTube marketing, instead of targeting the keyword “YouTube marketing” which is super competitive you should target multiple keywords like “YouTube consultant”, “YouTube marketing consultant” and “YouTube Growth Service”.
The search volume for these keywords are lower but it’s easier for you to rank since the keyword difficulty is also low. As your site grows you can then target more competitive keywords. Don’t target and try to rank for just 1 keyword. Build a group of multiple related keywords and try to rank for all of them.
You can also use keyword research tools like SEMrush or Mangools to get more data. KeywordTool.io is a decent free option for basic keyword and niche research.
3. On Page SEO
On Page SEO is basically anything you do on your website to rank higher on Google. 10 years ago, you would have included your keyword 100 times in a single article.
But Google’s much smarter today and that won’t work anymore. Instead write naturally and keep these few tips in mind.
- Write in-depth and clear content. It needs to be to the point and answer questions people have. Link to sources if you’re not answering certain questions.
- Ideally include your keywords in the content title (this is what shows up on Google)
- Include your keywords in headings in your page if you can.
- Have simple urls. Eg. example.com/freelance-writer
- Avoid urls like example.com/p=32423 or example.com/services/worldwide/writing/content-freelance-writing-2019
- Use high quality images and illustrations. However be sure to compress them.
Here’s a great article on On Page SEO if you want to optimize further.
4. Write Problem Solving Content
Starting a blog on your freelance website and writing problem solving content is one of the easiest ways to get more leads to your services.
“Problem queries” on Google usually tend to have much lower competition on Google vs the service solutions queries.
Going back to my YouTube marketing example, queries like “How to Add Custom Thumbnails on YouTube” have high volumes but relatively lower competition than “YouTube Marketing”.
Writing good content on how to solve a problem can easily help you rank higher for problem searches on Google and you can always end the article by pitching your services. Eg. “YouTube just isn’t about flashy thumbnails, here’s how I can help you grow your channel.”
The answer box at the bottom of Google’s search results is a treasure trove of questions people ask Google. AnswerThePublic is a great tool that helps you see what the people are searching for.
5. BackLinks & Internal Links
If you ever talk to anyone who works in SEO, you probably have heard them talking about links. Links play a huge part in SEO: backlinks from high authority sites send Google signals that your site can be trusted and hence your rankings improve.
Submitting guest posts is one of the easiest ways to grow links to your website. Getting relevant links from your industry should always be a priority.
If you are a software developer, you shouldn’t be building links from sites about puppies. Try and get links from high authority technology sites.
Internal links are when you link to another post on your own site. If you write a post on YouTube Thumbnails and are currently writing a post on YouTube descriptions, then add a link to the post on YouTube Thumbnails in the new article.
Image Source: Moz
Having a page on your site that’s not mentioned on another article is like having a room in your house that doesn’t have a door. You want to structure the content on your site and interlink your posts to each other, like a mind map.
Ideally it should take less than 3 clicks to go from the homepage of your website to ANY article on your website.
There you have it! Here are 5 actionable SEO tips that’s worth dedicating a weekend to implement them.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!