Since SEO is highly competitive, your website and, by extension, your company will immensely benefit from having an expert with sufficient skillset and the ability to come up with solutions as needed. If you cannot have one of your employees at the helm of your SEO affairs, then you will need to outsource your company's SEO tasks to a freelance specialist. It can, however, be a challenge to find the right site to hire the best SEO freelancer consultant or specialist. To help, this article examines what you need to know about hiring SEO freelancer experts.
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Pros and Cons of Hiring an SEO Freelance Consultant Specialist
Outsourcing your SEO projects to an SEO freelancer comes with its pros and cons. Here are some of them.
Hiring an SEO freelancer is more cost-effective than having an in-house employee perform SEO tasks. This is because there will be no need to incur costs by recruiting and training employees.
SEO expert companies and freelancers often have years of experience that you can rely on. Even as SEO rules and techniques constantly change, expertise in SEO makes it easier to adapt and you can trust SEO freelancer specialists to deliver effective results.
Services provided by SEO freelancer consultants or specialists are mostly virtual. This could leave you with a vague idea of whom you are working with. However, tools that ease communication and productivity with remote workers will come in handy to address this con.
The hired SEO freelancer is not necessarily bound by company policy. As such, oversight is relatively limited, in comparison to having an in-house SEO expert.
How to Hire the Best SEO Freelancer Consultant
These considerations will help you hire an effective SEO freelancer specialist after you have highlighted the size and scope of your SEO goals.
Seek proof of expertise / SEO Case Studies
It is important to have proof of the SEO skills of the expert you seek to hire. SEO performance case studies prepared for previous clients or results from past projects are a good measure of the expertise of any potential freelance SEO specialist recruit.
Analyze the rates as against your budget
When seeking to hire SEO freelancers, you are likely to find an option for every price range you can imagine. That said, it will be in the best interests of your company if you examine the freelancer's rates in light of your budget and spending capacity. This will ensure that you make the most of your funds and keep your SEO endeavors cost-effective.
Look out for basic SEO expert skills
At a minimum, any SEO specialist or consultant you seek to hire should have the following –
an understanding of modern content and design-specific SEO, SEO-based user experience, as well as goal-oriented optimization
keen insights and awareness of industry trends, including updates to Google algorithm
experience with major analysis and optimization platforms such as Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and SEMrush, to mention some
very importantly, an understanding of the specifics of your project and overall SEO goals
Key Elements to Look for in an SEO Freelancer
Every business is striving to gain a competitive edge in the market by enhancing its online presence. One effective approach to achieve this goal is adopting Local SEO, which focuses on optimizing your website for searches within a specified location. With an optimized local search strategy, businesses can expect to enjoy increased visibility, higher traffic, and improved brand awareness.
The dynamics of local SEO
Understanding the methods used to improve your local search ranking will allow your business to make the most out of what local SEO has to offer. Some fundamental aspects of local search optimization include:
Listing your business on Google My Business (GMB)
Listing to high quality Citation / Business listing
Optimizing content with geo-specific keywords
Acquiring high-quality relevant backlinks
Gathering customer reviews across different platforms
Ensuring accurate NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information for your business
Targeting long-tail keywords to rank faster
Implementing schema markup on your site
Link building is the cornerstone of SEO, as it involves acquiring backlinks or inbound links to one's domain from other websites, thereby improving its visibility, authority, and relevance in search engine algorithms. Search engines use these links to crawl through different pages on your site, helping them identify which content is valuable and worth ranking higher in their search results. The more high-quality, authoritative, and relevant sites you have linking to you, the better your chances are of increasing organic visibility, attracting targeted visitors, and gaining an edge over competitors.
Why Link Building Is Essential for SEO Success
While numerous factors contribute to SEO success, link building remains at the top of the list due to several reasons:
Higher rankings in search engine result pages (SERPs): Backlinks serve as signals of reliability, relevance, and popularity of a website. As such, search engines reward sites with high-quality backlinks by ranking them higher in SERPs.
Increased referral traffic: When a person visits another site and clicks on the backlink pointing to your website, they become a potential customer. This direct influx of visitors originating from authoritative sources can lead to increased conversion rates.
Improved brand credibility: Having backlinks from well-known and trustworthy sites can elevate your brand's online reputation as users associate you with these established organizations.
Online relationships: Building links often involves interacting with other website owners, bloggers, or media outlets, establishing mutually beneficial partnerships that strengthen your network.
A Quality Backlink
Incorporating the right kind of backlinks into your link building strategy is crucial for SEO success. Here are four critical attributes that define what a quality backlink should be:
Relevance: It is vital to gain backlinks from contextually related websites or ones that share similar niches or topics. Irrelevant links might not only end up being ignored but can also adversely affect your rankings in search results.
Authority: Links from high-authority domains can pass more "link juice" to your site compared to those from low-domain authority sources. Backlinks from recognized industry experts or authoritative sites enhance your credibility and help establish your domain as an industry leader.
Diversity: A diverse and natural link profile comprising various link types, anchor texts, and sources will seem organic and less spammy to search engines. Therefore, it's essential to avoid repetitive or identical links and seek diversity while building connections.
Do-follow vs no-follow: Ideally, aim to get do-follow links because they pass on link equity to your site, aiding in better SEO performance. While no-follow links won't directly contribute to your domain's authority, they still carry value by driving referral traffic and diversifying your backlink profile.
Keyword research is the foundation of your SEO strategy, enabling you to identify the right keywords to optimize your website and write engaging, informative content that answers your customers' needs. This process involves analyzing popular search terms, determining their relevancy, competitiveness, and value for your specific niche.
Focusing on Search Intent
Another critical aspect of keyword research is understanding your target audience's search intent. To rank higher in search results, make sure your content matches what users expect when they type in a particular search query. The goal is to provide useful information, answer questions, and address concerns related to those keywords.
Tools to Help You Conduct Keyword Research
In mastering this art, employing various tools can streamline the process and pave the way for successful keyword-driven content. Some popular and effective options include:
Google Keyword Planner: A free Google Ads tool that helps you find relevant keywords, search volume data, and competition rates.
SEMrush: This comprehensive SEO suite provides vast keyword research functionality to simplify analyzing your target keywords and finding opportunities for growth.
Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer: Known for its extensive data
An SEO audit refers to the comprehensive evaluation of a website's overall performance in terms of search engine rankings. It involves identifying elements that may need improvement or revision, as well as detecting and fixing any issues that could potentially impact the site's organic search traffic results and user experience.
The primary objective of an SEO audit
The main goal of conducting an SEO audit is to discover areas where improvements can be made on a website to optimize its performance in search engines. This includes ensuring that the content meets the needs of potential customers, adhering to search engine best practices, and maintaining technical efficiency for fast, error-free browsing. Ultimately, these efforts result in increased organic traffic, higher conversions, and improved online visibility for the business.
On-page elements directly represent your site's quality and relevance to users, which makes them integral to your SEO efforts. Some of the critical on-page factors to consider in an SEO audit are:
Keyword optimization: Ensuring that target keywords for your content are strategically placed in headers, titles, and meta descriptions to achieve optimal search engine indexing.
Content quality: Evaluating the uniqueness, depth, and relevancy of website content to provide users with valuable information.
Meta tags and schema markup: Implementing the correct schema markup types and optimizing metadata such as title tags and meta descriptions for better search rankings.
URL structure: Organizing site URLs in a logical hierarchy that reflects the structure of pages and improve user navigation on your site.
Off-page factors comprise elements that promote trust and authority for your site from external sources. These factors have an impact on which websites rank higher than others in search engine results. A few essential off-page elements to consider are:
Backlink profile: Analyzing the quantity and quality of backlinks pointing to your site and identifying any potentially harmful or low-quality links that need immediate attention.
Social signals: Assessing your presence on social media platforms and discovering ways to foster audience engagement and enhance the visibility of your content.
Online reputation: Reviewing customer reviews and online mentions to understand your brand's overall perception and reputation in the market.
Technical aspects deal with your site's coding, hosting environment, and functionality. By ensuring your website's backend operations run seamlessly, you can provide exceptional user experiences while also increasing your search ranking potential. Some notable technical areas to examine in your audit include:
Page load speed: Measuring the time it takes for pages to load and addressing issues that may be causing performance delays.
Mobile optimization: Ensuring that your site is responsive, accessible, and visually appealing to mobile users to improve user experience and search engine rankings.
Crawling and indexing: Verifying that your website pages are correctly crawlable by search engines so they can be indexed appropriately.
Sitemap and robots.txt configuration: Properly managing XML sitemaps and robots.txt files to assist search engines in easily navigating your site, understanding its architecture, and maintaining optimal indexing rates.
Content marketing has become an essential aspect of business strategy, and its benefits are redefining how businesses communicate with their customers. The practice of crafting valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a targeted audience ultimately drives success in sales, boosts loyalty, and increases brand awareness. In this article, we'll uncover the key aspects of content marketing that every marketer should know and implement to maximize their online presence and business potential.
Refining your content strategy using performance insights
Analyzing performance metrics allows you to identify trends and patterns in your content's performance, giving you valuable information on what works well and where improvements can be made. By regularly evaluating these insights, you can fine-tune your content strategy, focusing on the topics, formats, and distribution methods that generate the best results for your business.
Content marketing offers a myriad of benefits for businesses looking to drive sales, increase brand awareness, and boost customer loyalty.
Finding the right mix of content types and maintaining consistency in publishing can significantly impact your audience's engagement levels and overall satisfaction with your brand.
Effective content promotion and distribution, including SEO, social media marketing, and paid advertising, is crucial in reaching your target audience and maximizing results from your content efforts.
Finally, tracking relevant KPIs and making data-driven improvements to your content strategy ensures ongoing success for your content marketing initiatives.
Social Media Integration
Social media integration refers to the process of embedding various social networking platforms and their functionalities into your website, blog, or other online channels. This not only enhances user experience but also helps businesses connect and engage with their target audience more effectively. There are several ways you can integrate social media into your online presence, and we will discuss the most common methods and tips to make your efforts successful.
Benefits of Social Media Integration
Social media integration offers several advantages that should not be overlooked when planning your marketing and branding strategies:
Increased visibility: Integrating social media with your website helps establish a strong online presence, directing traffic to your site, eventually leading to higher chances of increased sales.
Better search engine rankings: Effective use of social media platforms can improve your site's organic visibility in search results. Also, major search engines like Google consider social signals as an essential factor for ranking pages, making it critical to have them integrated into your online platform.
Reduced marketing costs: Compared to traditional marketing methods, social media is cost-effective and allows you to reach a wider audience without breaking the bank.
Improved customer engagement: By connecting with customers through various channels, you create a bond that drives loyalty and long-term retention.
Instant feedback: Users love voicing their opinions on different experiences and products, allowing businesses to listen to their clients' sentiment and make improvements based on real-time feedback.
Mobile optimization refers to the process of designing, formatting, and adjusting your website content to ensure it loads quickly and looks appealing on various devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This is essential because mobile device users typically have shorter attention spans than desktop users, so fast load times and easy navigation are crucial for maintaining user engagement and increasing conversion rates.
To create a visually appealing and user-friendly mobile experience, consider the following design elements:
Opt for a simpler, cleaner layout – Less is often more when it comes to mobile design, as overly complex designs can be difficult to navigate on smaller screens.
Use larger, easy-to-read fonts – Ensure that your text is legible and clearly visible on small screens.
Maintain sufficient white space – Including adequate amounts of white space between content blocks can make your website feel less cluttered and crowded on mobile devices.
Utilize scalable vector graphics (SVGs) – SVG images are resolution-independent and will look crisp and clear on any device, no matter the size.
The type of content you provide on your website and how you present it can have a significant impact on mobile user engagement. Here are some content optimization tips to keep in mind:
Create scannable, bite-sized chunks of information – Break up lengthy paragraphs into shorter sections with descriptive subheadings to make it easier for users to skim and find key points.
Leverage visual aids – Utilize images, infographics, and videos to complement your written content, making it more visually engaging and easier to digest for mobile users.
Avoid pop-ups and intrusive interstitials – These elements can be particularly annoying for mobile users, often leading to high bounce rates and negative user experiences.
Optimize meta tags – Ensure your title and description tags are optimized for both search engines and mobile users, providing relevant and concise information about your content.
Fast load times are essential for mobile visitors, who may be using slower or unreliable internet connections. To improve your site's performance, consider the following optimizations:
Enable browser caching – Storing commonly-used files in the user's cache can significantly reduce page load times on subsequent visits.
Compress images – Use tools like ImageOptim or ShortPixel to compress your images without compromising their quality, resulting in faster load times.
Implement lazy loading – This technique involves only loading the images and other media elements that are immediately visible to the user, speeding up the initial page load time.
Using analytics to gauge mobile performance
Once you've implemented various optimization techniques, use web analytics tools, like Google Analytics, to track and measure your website's performance, focusing specifically on metrics relevant to mobile users. Some key metrics to monitor include:
Mobile traffic – Track how many visitors arrive at your site through mobile devices versus desktop computers, as this can help you prioritize your optimization efforts.
Bounce rates – High bounce rates for mobile visitors may indicate issues with your website's design, content, or functionality that require further investigation and improvement.
Average session duration – Comparing the average time spent on your site by mobile and desktop users can shed light on areas where your mobile experience may be lacking.
SEO Freelancer Online Platform
Upwork is an online workplace that is home to thousands of SEO specialists and consultants. It has a large pool of remote SEO professionals with a proven skillset. On Upwork, you can find a freelancer that fits your project size and scope, as well as your budget.
Upwork profile for SEO experts usually contains some measure of proof of SEO expertise. And this would be visible to you as a potential client. However, having a basic knowledge of SEO can help you judge each SEO pitch you receive or profile you come across. This will come in handy since Upwork does not have a dedicated or intensive process of vetting freelancers. The site completely leaves the screening and interviews to potential hirers.
How Upwork Works
Making use of this online workplace is very easy. For starters who seek to hire the best SEO freelance consultant, you need to post a job. This involves stating the profile of the freelancer you need, the expertise level, and your budget. It opens the door to receive applications. Next, you have to review the applications that stream in from the job opening and select the freelancer that suits the profile you need. When your preferred freelancer completes the task, Upwork releases payment to them.
As simple as the process sounds, you have to take certain measures to ensure that you have a great experience on this platform. Bear in mind that Upwork functions like a job board. This means that if you want great results, you must invest much effort into screening your applicants. This might take some time in certain cases until the best candidate turns up.
SEO experts' profiles on Upwork feature hourly rates and this makes it easy to gauge the costs of hiring any candidate. There is a wide range of services available on this platform, even among SEO professionals. These include blogpost and copywriting for SEO, designing optimized webpages, SEO audit, and analytics, among others. However, with Upwork's search algorithm, you can filter through tons of freelancers to find the one that best suits your requirements. To help with making your choice, Upwork also generates a score for profile and project completion. This can serve as an index of the potential recruit's expertise and reliability.
Online freelancer platforms like Upwork often house SEO specialists that efficiently handle short-term SEO tasks. Apart from Upwork, there are several freelancer job boards or platforms where you can find affordable remote SEO experts. These freelancer platforms have overlapping features with perks and problems that are peculiar to themselves. Thus, it will be necessary to examine your options before choosing the freelancer site to hire your SEO specialist from.
You can find a decent proportion of both SEO freelancers and agencies alike on Guru. The simplified search process lets you use various filters while searching for a suitable potential recruit. This platform, however, does not interview or profile the freelancers allowed on the site. Clients are left to sort out their options and find out, from working with the freelancer, whether the recruit is ideal.
Here is a very popular name in the field of freelancer platforms. Among the several fields of freelance professionals you can find on freelancer.com are SEO consultants or specialists. However, the majority of those in the SEO field that you can find on Freelancer are entry-level or mid-level at best. The highly competitive platform sometimes hosts contests that allow freelancers to showcase their expertise. Analyzing the diverse skills showcased by your potential recruit candidate(s) can make the hiring process easier. Yet, if your project is a crucial one that requires high expertise, you might need to search for SEO specialists on another platform.
Choosing to hire an SEO freelancer specialist or consultant has its advantages and disadvantages. You will, no doubt, need the services of a hired SEO freelancer to meet your SEO goals if your company does not have an in-house SEO expert. Even when you have an SEO team, some projects may require that you hire an SEO consultant to ensure that you are at the top of your SEO game.
After you have determined your company's goals, the next step would be to search for qualified experts that would help you reach those goals. You can carry out this search on a freelancer platform like Upwork or any trusted platform in the above list. Overall, giving careful consideration to the profile of the potential recruit will help you choose the best SEO freelancer specialist or consultant for your company's SEO goals.