When you first started your freelance SEO career, there wasn't nearly as much competition as there is today.
In the past, you were able to build up a nice client book by exclusively offering blogging services, link building strategy implementation, or even by encouraging clients to use PPC services to increase their site ranking.
However, things are entirely different now.
Today's clients expect a freelance SEO specialist to be a jack of all trades because they want to be able to fill most – if not all – of their SEO and content marketing needs in one place.
Because of the high volume of SEO and digital marketing freelancers out there, companies can also demand faster results and lower prices.
You know your freelance SEO work is worth much more than what the lowest bidder wants to pay. However, if you genuinely expect to be able to create a sustainable career as a freelance SEO expert, you're going to have to step up your game.
Let's take a look at what today's companies look for when they need to hire SEO experts, and how you can stay ahead of the competition.
1. Someone Who Can Help Them Define Their Problems
When a company is looking to hire SEO experts, they want much more than someone who can hammer out a few great blog posts or make local keywords look natural on website copy.
They're looking for someone who can help them to identify what is and is not working about their current SEO strategy.
In today's world, you need to be able to perform a comprehensive SEO audit of a client's website and content. For example, is keyword stuffing what's causing them to fall in the rankings – or are broken links responsible?
Is the issue an infrequent posting schedule, a failure to respond to blog and social media comments, or a site that isn't mobile-friendly?
It's no longer enough to provide the same generalized SEO "solutions" for all of your clients. Instead, your freelance SEO services need to precisely pinpoint what the company needs to do to improve their current SEO strategy.
You'll also need to be able to prove those failures and improvements using hard data.
2. Someone With Access to the Latest Industry Tools
SEO tools can help your clients to understand their target market better, the kinds of content they're the most likely to respond to, and even the keywords and hashtags that they search through the most.
They should also allow you to be able to accurately measure and tweak the success of active campaigns in real-time. The right tools can tell your clients about their most popular blog posts, how much time people spend on their website, and where they stop reading and click away from the content.
They can make email campaigns more effective, evaluate the keywords the client is targeting, and even allow them to understand how their competitors operate.
This won't just give your clients better results.
Proving that you are familiar with SEO tools like the ones listed here makes you much more likely to get hired.
Look into social media and SEO certification courses, take online classes, and even attend industry conferences and meetups to expand both your knowledge and your professional network.
3. Someone With Social Media Savvy
The freelance SEO rates you're able to realistically demand will largely depend on your experience with a variety of social media platforms.
You should be familiar with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat at a minimum. You also need to help your clients determine which one of these platforms their target audience spends the most time on so that they can concentrate their marketing efforts there.
Familiarize yourself with topics like hyperlocal social media marketing, retargeting ad campaigns, and how to keep track of a company's mentions. You should also consider offering some social media reputation management service.
This won't just help to boost a company's SEO score. It will also increase consumer trust in their brand.
4. Someone With A Knowledge of Industry Trends
It's no secret that the world of SEO changes a mile a minute.
Yes, quality website content, engaging images, getting online reviews, and being active on social media are all things that will always be important when it comes to SEO.
However, if you want to succeed as a freelancer, you also need to have a strong working knowledge of the latest industry trends -- and to update a client's content strategy accordingly.
For example, how much do you know about blockchain and SEO? What about story marketing on social media, voice search marketing, and mobile-first indexing?
A great freelancer is someone who can combine classic, tried-and-true search engine marketing tactics with today's top trends. If you can't promise your clients that you'll help them to keep pace with what their competitors may already be doing, then don't expect them to work with you.
Looking for a Place to List Your Freelance SEO Services?
Companies expect a lot out of their freelance SEO specialists these days, and if you want to keep pace with the competition, you'll have to be willing to expand the kind of services you can offer.
That said, we make it much easier for you to explain your client base. We also help you to communicate directly with other freelancers so that you can get a better understanding of the latest trends and changes in the world of SEO.
If you're a business currently looking for the top SEO professionals, make sure to use our listing of high-quality freelancers to find the perfect person for your job.
We look forward to helping you catapult your business to the next level before the new year begins.
Click here to register your account with us, so that you can begin offering your freelance SEO services to more customers than ever before.