How to Hire the Best SEO Freelancer: Complete Guide

How to Hire the Best SEO Freelancer: Complete Guide

Inbound Marketing
February 7, 2021
How to Hire the Best SEO Freelancer: Complete Guide

SEO is essential to any marketing strategy. It is the art of bringing people to your company website and turning visitors into leads and customers. The best part is, it’s all done organically. Hiring the best SEO freelancer allows you to use the very best practices in your marketing, save costs, and ultimately accelerate your marketing performance and sales growth.

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Benefits of Hiring Freelance SEO Experts

There are many benefits of hiring freelance SEO experts. These include:

  • Leveraging their SEO Knowledge
  • Ability to Track Results
  • Allows You to Focus on Brand Building

An SEO freelancer contributes their knowledge and experience to improve your brand’s website rankings and bring traffic to your site.

These experts not only direct content strategy with the most effective keywords, they also track progress by analyzing keyword rankings and examining technical aspects of websites like meta data, page speed and links from other websites. .

SEO strategy takes a significant amount of time. It is best to leave these tasks to experts who can perform them quickly and more efficiently and to focus energy on building other areas of your marketing, sales or operations.

Keep in mind that by hiring freelancers you are in good company. According to Forbes, 59% of businesses surveyed use a flexible workforce. Freelancers can save your company money and provide a new perspective on current business and marketing strategies.

What Do the Best SEO Freelancers Do?

Keyword Research

SEO freelancer jobs begin with keyword research. This involves discovering popular search terms people use when they are looking for something to purchase on the internet.

Content Strategy

Content strategy is a multi-phase process that includes:

  • Considering user intent
  • Drafting content outlines
  • Categorizing content into types
  • Optimizing headlines and subheadings
  • Deciding which platforms to publish and distribute

Link Building

An SEO freelancer is adept and choosing and positioning links that will improve your rankings. There are three types of links to keep in mind:

  • Internal links
  • Outgoing links
  • Inbound links

Internal links bring readers to other content on your website. Outgoing links are links to other websites from your website. Make sure these are not to competitors or to low-quality sites.

Inbound or backlinks are links to your site from other companies’ websites. This will increase your brand authority and lead to higher rankings on search engines.

How to Hire the Best SEO Freelancer: Complete Guide

What to Look for When Hiring the Best SEO Freelancers

It is important when looking for someone to perform remote SEO jobs that you first have a clear idea of what your company’s SEO needs are.

The following are traits to look for:

Strong Portfolio: Potential candidates should be able to show an impressive portfolio of clients with similar needs as yours. Pay attention to how diverse the client list is. SEO experts with a varied client base have the flexibility to handle most situations.

Experience: Since many SEO freelancers have taught themselves or learned on the job, experience is essential. It may be alright to take a chance on someone well-versed in SEO without many years of experience, but the more situations the freelancer has dealt with, the more effective they can be at solving any issues that arise.

Performance: Perhaps the most important sign of a top performing SEO freelancer is proof of how they improved the organic traffic of other websites. All SEO experts should be able to show clear and dramatic increases in keyword rankings, link building, and organic traffic using third party tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush.

Cost: Know what the going rate is for freelance SEO services. Avoid both extremes and find a moderate price range.

It can be a very complicated process finding and hiring the best SEO freelancers, especially since you will not see if the success of their work for 6 months. Yes it takes 6 months for any SEO work to start showing results.

To minimise your risk, and ensure you are using the very best SEO experts who drive market leading results consider using a marketing network like etribal. They interview and recruit the very best SEO freelancers from around the world, and can save you an enormous amount of time in hiring the right candidate.

How to Find the Best SEO Freelancers

It isn’t hard to locate SEO freelancers. Validating their credentials and finding the right fit is a greater challenge. The leading ways to find remote workers are:

  • Job boards
  • Social media
  • Internet search

Job boards match up freelancers with clients for a small fee. Some of the most popular boards include:

  • Upwork
  • Indeed
  • Fiverr
  • Craigslist

Social media sites also have job search pages. In addition to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, LinkedIn is focused on helping people connect professionally. Since most freelancers have websites, search engines can lead you to an SEO expert in your area of specialty or geographic location.

The downside with all the options above is while they may give you a list of freelancers, you still have to carry out all the due diligence yourself. If you are not an SEO expert yourself, it can be very difficult to know who to trust, as well as very time consuming to interview them.

Perhaps the best way to find an expert SEO freelancer is by  using a marketing network like etribal.  

Their affordable outsourced solution not only finds the best freelancers for your needs, they also stay on board throughout the marketing process keeping everything on track and to the very highest standards. They also offer other marketing freelance roles in case you need social media, paid campaigns, marketing automation and much more.

SEO Agency vs. SEO Freelancer

There are times when an individual freelancer can fit the bill nicely and there are other times when you need an SEO agency.

If your company needs:

  • A content strategist
  • An editor
  • An SEO writer

Then an  agency is a better choice and may have a team of people who are accustomed to working together. It is a question of scale and expertise. An individual may have some familiarity with all of these areas, but they aren’t a specialist in all three. Also, they may not be able to handle the size of the projects.

How to Hire the Best SEO Freelancer: Complete Guide

A hybrid option could also be an outsource solutions like a marketing network who put together teams of marketing experts who are best in class and offer freelancers with vast experience as their pool of talent is from all over the world rather than within an agency.

What Are the Top SEO Trends?

Featured Snippets: This user-friendly solution is found above where the top-ranking listing is on search results and offers a summary of the answer to the query in bulleted lists and question and answer format. It is highly clicked on, and where every website wants to be featured.

Voice Search: This requires a different type of SEO strategy such as helping pages load faster, prioritizing businesses, and dealing with different types of voices and pronunciation.

RankBrain: Long-tail searches and complex terms become simpler with RankBrain which also detects user intent.

MobileFirst: Google increasingly analyzes the mobile version of a site first for ranking. With most traffic now coming from mobile, optimizing for mobile is no longer enough. It must be mobile first. This is a good reason to pay attention to mobile strategy.

What Are the Best SEO Tools?

SEMRush provides comprehensive tools that track rankings, traffic, and keyword performance. It tracks consumer behavior and competitor keywords and strategies. Its reporting tool presents data clearly in charts and graphs.

MOZ Pro employs a variety of SEO tools with advanced research metrics and analytics. It gives suggestions on how to improve rankings and optimize pages.

SimilarWeb lets you compare your website traffic and ranking with rival sites. This tool helps you stay ahead of the competition and to see what is working for them.

Google Search Console-formerly Webmaster Tools is one of the most popular SEO tools and shows users the exact organic keyword query visitors are seeing and clicking on for your pages on Google. . It gives suggestions on upgrading visibility and insights on any errors on your website pages that may harm your search rankings.

Keyword Planner is a top-rated SEO tool with keyword data with information on search volume, buyers intent and competitors. It lets you see how alternative keywords would work on the rankings.

How to Shortlist an SEO Freelancer?

Your search for an SEO freelancer may yield a group of potential candidates. How do you narrow down the list? It comes down to a few factors:

  • Client Portfolio
  • Experience
  • Availability
  • Cost

An SEO freelancer may have a certificate, but the main proof that they are qualified is by looking at their client portfolio and the performance. Their list of clients should demonstrate knowledge of your field and the ability to handle SEO challenges.

Experience is also key. It is difficult to gain SEO skills in a short space of time. Several years in the profession as well as updated knowledge of new SEO trends is a winning combination.

For remote SEO jobs, it is important to know the right freelancer will be available for the scale of work that is required, and be on the same time zone if that is important to you.

Know what is a reasonable cost for SEO freelancers and consider those who charge in that range.

If this seems too much of a minefield, consider using a marketing network who can provide the best freelance candidate for you.

How Much Does an SEO Freelancer Cost?

An ahrefs survey of freelancers revealed the following about SEO salary:

  • Most SEOs charge a retainer fee of between $500 to $1,000 monthly
  • The most popular hourly tier is between $100 and $150
  • Freelancers often have various pricing models.
  • SEO audits can cost between $500 and $2,500

It is possible to find SEO freelancers at a lower cost, with those starting out charging as little as $25 per hour. However, you may get what you pay for regarding experience and technical knowledge.

How to Track SEO Results

Once you have hired an SEO freelancer, it is essential to track progress to ensure a return on investment. There are several ways:

  • Organic traffic
  • Organic sales
  • Keyword ranking

If organic traffic and sales are high, it means you are reaching your goal. An effective SEO strategy will bring new visitors to your site and encourage them to make purchases. Testing and tracking the keyword rankings on Google will validate your freelancer’s performance.

If these three metrics are strong, it is a sign that you made the right choice with a freelancer or service. Be aware that it can take up to 6 months for any SEO freelancer no matter how great they are to show visible results. If anyone promises you results faster it’s a big red flag and you should consider looking for alternative candidates.

Wrapping Up

Your company and brand reputation needs the best SEO freelancer you can find. Competition for online customers is fierce and creating organic traffic can be a challenge.

A sound SEO strategy translates into higher rankings, more traffic, more leads, more sales and ultimately more revenue. Investing in an SEO freelancer marketing network will yield significant returns. Start your search by using a marketing network.