SEO for Freelancers

Jeriann Watkins is a writer living in Boise, Idaho. She enjoys writing about many subjects, including white-hat SEO and new advances in internet technology. She currently works for Page One Power, a relevancy first link building focused company .
The internet is full of articles offering advice to freelancers. Most of these contain information about tactics that freelancers “absolutely must implement in order to be successful”. But the road to success is different for everyone, and those who actually make money freelancing know that you don’t have time to practice every trick in the book.
Websites are becoming more and more important in the freelance client acquisition process. It is important to make sure your website can be found, but if your talents do not lie in web design, it can take a lot of time and money to figure out how to “optimize” your website.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can refer to a myriad of strategies meant to boost your site in the search engine rankings. Below are the strategies that are likely to yield beneficial results for freelancers, without tying up a lot of time and resources.
Onsite: Page Titles
When someone peruses your site, it is important that they can understand it and easily find what they need. This means that your site should be easy to navigate. You can do this by clearly labeling pages. “Services” “Pricing” “About me”: These are all common pages on freelancing websites. You can fully optimize your site by making these specific to your target audience. If you’re in the writing industry, you might have a “writing services” or “editing services” page. If you’re in graphic design, be sure to use words specific to that field. You can be creative in your titles, but make sure that the user will be able to know what they will find if they click on that page.
Onsite: Fresh Content

It’s important to keep your website updated, but that can be difficult if the information your site provides is relatively static. Your prices and services probably don’t change that often. Consider maintaining a blog where you offer weekly insights on freelancing in your field, in general, or just how your practice is going. You can even talk about projects you’re working on if you have client approval. This is a great publicity opportunity and keeps your website fresh.
Content-wise, it is also important to make sure that you’re not posting the same information on multiple pages. If you feel that it is relevant to multiple pages, provide internal links instead. This looks better to search engines, and prevents people from seeing the same information all over your website and thinking that you just copy-paste everything.
Link Building: Guest Posts
When it comes to link building, there are a lot of misconceptions out there. Search engines are making it clear that the “more is better” mentality has to go. Relevant links that actually provide value to users are the only links that will provide long-term benefits. But these links take time to procure. Link-building is time-consuming and takes a lot of effort, so as a freelancer, you may not feel that you can put resources toward this method.
Guest posting offers a lot of benefits though, so it can definitely be worth the effort. When you find a site in your niche with an established audience, reaching out to the site owner and their audience could gain you some valuable connections. Write a post that you would be proud to have on your site, something that offers quality insights to readers. Make a video with a fresh perspective on an industry issue. This content will show people what you can do and draw them to your site. It also puts your name in their heads. Search engines will see the links accompanying these posts on reputable sites and see that your site is reputable as well. You don’t need to focus on getting a ton of links, just on getting links that build relationships. The SEO part will mostly take care of itself.
Keyword Focus
Search Engines are all about keywords. But if you just throw keywords all over your website, you’re probably not going to keep people’s interests very long. And if you’re targeting competitive keywords, you’re not going to see results very quickly.
There are a lot of free keyword tracking tools that allow you to see what search terms rank and who is ranking for them. You can then start to incorporate less competitive keywords into your content, while keeping more prized targets in the back of your head. Work your way up, and don’t worry about technical things like “keyword density”. Write naturally, and make your content relevant to the subject, and both people and robots will pick up on the quality you offer.

As a freelancer, you rely on relationships. Building repute and credibility is the only way to build your business. Take this focus in your SEO strategy and you will avoid wasting your time. The methods discussed all have multiple uses; they not only improve the way your site looks to search engines, but how it looks to people. And at the end of the day, people are where you’re going to get your business from.

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the SEO tips Jariann.

    Expanding on your “guest blogging” point, it is a great way to attract potential clients.

    For instance, I done a guest post on another blog about creating e-books.

    At the end of the post I mentioned that I could not fit all the information about ebooks onto one blog post, and if they wish to know more then they can contact me.

    Guess what happened next? Within 3 days, I had managed to get 7 enquiries, 5 of which I accepted and got paid for.

    Just make sure the guest post you do is in-depth and is search engine optimised. That way, it’ll be easier to find your post on Google, and whoever visits your guest post will be able to find your portfolio link in the bio.

  2. says

    Good points. You’re right you need to focus on the audience. SEO at it’s core should always have been and is now being enforced to be all about good quality meaningful content, naturally linked to.

  3. says

    Visitors on your website should understand and navigate the website easily. The content of the website should be quality, relevant and engaging. Optimize the website on the search engines by not using too competitive keywords and get backlinks from relevant and authoritative websites.

  4. says

    Great post! Nowadays Google is putting heavy importance on link “earning” rather than building. What I mean is, they are starting to penalize for people who go out looking to build links by any means possible – ie: buying them, emails, forums, etc. Rather, they are looking to give more importance to relevant links. So, it wouldn’t be helpful for a furniture website to have links to a food-related website…

    At least that is what I have read. What is your opinion on this?

  5. Jeriann says

    Cody, I think that “link earning” is just a new buzzword for the same thing. It is basically white hat link building, but with a new name because of the bad stigma. I agree that those methods are not useful and need to be punished, but I don’t think the practice needs a new name.

  6. says

    This scheme helps summarizing:

    Onsite SEO :

    - Page titles
    - Fresh content
    - Avoid duplicate content & canonical url

    Ofsite SEO :

    - Guest posting
    - Anchor text diversity

  7. says

    Hi Brant! Some great SEO tips i must say.It is a best blog for SEO starter. The points you have mentioned in this blog should be followed. If anyone follow the instruction no doubt he/she will become a successful freelancer.

  8. says

    This is often a correct blog for everyone who is wants to obtain out about this topic.
    You recognize so much it can be practically tricky to argue with you (not too I actually would want…HaHa).
    You really put a fresh spin over a topic thats been
    discussed for several years. Great stuff, just good!

  9. says

    In my opinion link building is dying. Just go for the best and most relevant content. And share it on social media so that it will be quickly indexed (google plus for google, and twitter and facebook for non google employes)

  10. says

    Typing is the most simple and comfortable online job at home. Thousands of people search for different types of online jobs like data entry jobs or form filling jobs but they rarely exist. Typing jobs comes at second category after data entry. It is worthwhile way to take online typing job as here you can work from home and make decent money each month. Thanks for sharing.

  11. says

    Google made a mess in seo world after Hummingbird update. More irelevant results is placing on top of the results. Only thing that we can do is make relevant and quality content and we will be safe.

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