October 1, 2023

When you have a knack for search engine marketing (Search engine optimisation), turning into an Search engine optimisation freelancer could be the fitting path for you. 

On this article, you’ll be taught what an Search engine optimisation freelancer does, how one can develop into an Search engine optimisation freelancer, how one can get shoppers, and extra. 

You’ll additionally discover insights and ideas from established freelancers to make your journey simpler.

Let’s dive in.

What Does an Search engine optimisation Freelancer Do?

An Search engine optimisation freelancer is liable for serving to shoppers enhance their Search engine optimisation efficiency. 

This entails creating and implementing numerous methods to extend their shoppers’ rankings in search engine outcomes pages (SERPs) and driving natural (which means unpaid) visitors. 

You may provide companies in numerous areas of Search engine optimisation. Or concentrate on only one or two. 

And also you’ll must handle your personal enterprise, alongside engaged on consumer tasks.

Listed below are some key duties that an Search engine optimisation freelancer may usually carry out:

  • Key phrase analysis: Key phrase analysis entails serving to shoppers discover key phrases their goal prospects are coming into into serps. A freelancer will dig into the month-to-month key phrase search quantity and key phrase issue, assist set priorities, and recommend new key phrase concepts.
  • On-page optimization: This implies optimizing on-page components like title tags, inside hyperlinks, and extra. On-page Search engine optimisation helps guarantee shoppers’ web sites are search engine-friendly and extra prone to rank nicely.
  • Off-page optimization: This refers to Search engine optimisation ways utilized exterior of a consumer’s web site to enhance its rankings. Like hyperlink constructing, visitor posting, social media advertising, and extra. Doing off-page Search engine optimisation for shoppers will assist serps (and customers) see their websites as extra reliable and authoritative. 
  • Technical Search engine optimisation: Technical Search engine optimisation entails figuring out and fixing technical points that will harm customers’ experiences or hinder search engine crawling and indexing. This consists of growing web site pace, enhancing cellular responsiveness, implementing structured knowledge markup, and resolving crawl errors.
  • Monitoring and evaluation: This entails holding monitor of vital metrics and discovering alternatives to enhance. An Search engine optimisation freelancer will typically want to watch web site efficiency, monitor key phrase rankings, analyze person habits, and measure the effectiveness of Search engine optimisation campaigns. 
  • Shopper communication and reporting: This may be offering updates on venture progress, discussing methods, and addressing shoppers’ issues. 
  • Enterprise admin: That is something freelancers do to run their very own companies, like advertising, venture administration, consumer acquisition, and invoicing. As this LinkedIn post from Peter Rota explains, being an Search engine optimisation freelancer goes far past Search engine optimisation work for shoppers:
an LinkedIn post from Peter Rota about what being SEO freelancer is

Expertise You Must Change into an Search engine optimisation Freelancer

Being a profitable Search engine optimisation freelancer requires a mix of technical experience, communication expertise, and venture administration talents. 

It’s not sufficient to be nice at Search engine optimisation. You additionally want to have the ability to talk that worth to shoppers. And preserve a number of tasks on monitor.

Particular expertise and obligations range relying on the consumer/venture and the freelancer’s area of interest. However listed here are some frequent expertise an Search engine optimisation freelancer may want:

  • Analytical expertise: Robust analytical expertise are important for decoding knowledge, figuring out tendencies, and making data-driven choices. Proficiency in instruments like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Semrush is essential for gathering and analyzing web site metrics.
  • Communication expertise: Efficient communication is essential when collaborating with shoppers. You want to perceive their targets and have the ability to break down advanced Search engine optimisation ideas.
  • Venture administration: Wonderful venture administration expertise are important for juggling a number of tasks concurrently. This consists of setting and assembly timelines, prioritizing duties, and managing sources.
  • Adaptability and steady studying: As a result of Search engine optimisation is a dynamic discipline that entails frequent algorithm updates and evolving greatest practices, you’ll must proceed your Search engine optimisation schooling and sustain with trade modifications.
  • Technical proficiency: Familiarity with internet improvement fundamentals, like HTML, CSS, and content material administration programs (CMS) like WordPress will be helpful. In actual fact, SEOs who know how to code get paid more than those that don’t. 
  • Gross sales and advertising: Constructing a profitable freelance enterprise requires buying shoppers. Your web site and different promotional supplies (like a LinkedIn profile) ought to make it straightforward for shoppers to seek out you and perceive why they need to work with you. Like on this instance of a freelance SEO specialist’s website:
an example of a freelance SEO specialist’s website

The Advantages of Being a Freelance Search engine optimisation Skilled

Listed below are a number of the essential upsides to being an Search engine optimisation freelancer:

Aggressive Pay

Search engine optimisation freelancing will be very profitable. 

As an Search engine optimisation freelancer, your incomes potential is usually influenced by your degree of experience, the forms of tasks you deal with, your repute, and the demand on your companies. 

And Search engine optimisation freelancers have the potential to earn considerably greater than their salaried counterparts. 

Nearly half of freelancers earn $75,000 to $149,000 per year

As compared, the typical salaried Search engine optimisation job pays $60,548 per year

"Freelance SEO vs. In-House SEO: Who Earns More?"


Freelancers have the liberty to work wherever they need, every time they need.

Flexibility is without doubt one of the greatest issues about being a freelancer. Freelancers can set their schedules, select their shoppers and tasks, and work from anyplace. This flexibility makes it simpler to accommodate different obligations and pursuits, comparable to household, additional schooling, and hobbies. 

Right here’s a LinkedIn post from Search engine optimisation skilled Nick LeRoy that discusses how turning into a freelancer led to raised work-life steadiness, improved creativity, and extra:

a LinkedIn post from SEO expert Nick LeRoy that talks about becoming SEO freelancer

Skilled Progress

As an Search engine optimisation freelancer, you get to decide on the tasks and shoppers that align together with your pursuits, experience, and profession targets.  

For instance, if you wish to work solely with trend manufacturers or deal with technical Search engine optimisation, you possibly can. This selection permits freelancers to develop a specialised talent set that may result in extra work and better earnings.

On the identical time, freelancers have the chance to work on completely different tasks with a number of shoppers in numerous industries. This range permits freelancers to develop a variety of expertise and expertise which might broaden their horizons and result in development and improvement. 

In-Demand Discipline

Most companies perceive the significance of natural search visitors. So, Search engine optimisation companies are in very excessive demand.

A examine by widespread freelancer platform Upwork revealed that Search engine optimisation is without doubt one of the prime 10 most sought-after advertising expertise. 

The regular demand makes it doable to earn an excellent earnings. And in addition gives freelancers with a various vary of tasks to work on.

The Potential Downsides of Freelancing

There are challenges that include freelancing. Listed below are a couple of to bear in mind:

  • Advantages are your duty: Staff usually obtain advantages comparable to trip, sick pay, and medical insurance. Freelancers have to realize insurance coverage protection indepently—and finances for trip time.
  • It will probably get lonely: Search engine optimisation freelancers principally work on their very own. For those who take pleasure in every day interactions and chit-chat, freelancing may not be for you.
  • The workload varies: Freelancers’ workloads and incomes can fluctuate. There could also be instances after they’re swimming in tasks. And different instances when issues are a lot slower.
  • It may be tense: Many full-time freelancers and consultants work quite a lot of hours. Which might result in stress and burnout.

Find out how to Change into an Search engine optimisation Freelancer in 7 Steps

Now, it’s time to get into how one can construct your Search engine optimisation freelance profession.

Comply with these steps to set your self up for achievement:

1. Change into an Search engine optimisation Professional

Growing a deep understanding of Search engine optimisation is crucial for getting began as a freelancer. To be sure to have the muse it’s essential to assist shoppers attain their targets.

Nevertheless it modifications quick. 

So, keep updated with the newest trade tendencies, algorithm modifications, and greatest practices by studying from respected sources (like Google Search Essentials), attending webinars, and enrolling in Search engine optimisation programs (like these in Semrush Academy). 

It’s also possible to experiment with completely different methods and Search engine optimisation instruments to realize hands-on expertise and refine your expertise. 

Get began by gaining insights right into a potential consumer’s strengths and weaknesses utilizing Area Overview.

Open the device, enter the potential consumer’s area, select a location, and click on “Search.”

search for "starbucks.com" in the US in Domain Overview tool

You’ll then see an outline dashboard. With info on that firm’s prime natural key phrases, estimated natural visitors, whole variety of backlinks, and extra.

"Organic Traffic" overview dashboard in Domain Overview tool

On the prime, you’ll see some fascinating metrics that offer you an thought of how the positioning is performing. 

One factor to concentrate to is the Authority Rating. Semrush’s Authority Rating measures a website’s general high quality and Search engine optimisation efficiency.

Subsequent to the Authority Rating, you’ll see “Natural Search Visitors,” “Paid Search Visitors,” and “Backlinks.” 

"Authority Score," “Organic Search Traffic,” “Paid Search Traffic,” and “Backlinks.” sections in Domain Overview tool

For those who scroll down, you possibly can see the highest key phrases for the positioning, and an outline of the rating distribution on Google. This exhibits you which ones positions the consumer holds in search outcomes for various key phrases.

"Top Organic Keywords" and "Organic Position Distribution" sections in Domain Overview

Within the part under, you’ll discover their essential rivals for natural search and the way they evaluate when it comes to search efficiency.

"Main Organic Competitors" and "Competitive Positioning Map" sections in Domain Overview

These insights can function a supply of inspiration and allow you to establish potential areas for enchancment.

2. Discover Your Area of interest

It’s typically value specializing in a selected space of Search engine optimisation. That means, you place your self because the go-to skilled in that exact space. 

It might be tempting to supply a variety of companies to anybody who needs to purchase them. However selecting a distinct segment attracts shoppers who worth your specialised information. And you may command larger charges on your companies. 

It’s additionally simpler to excel at one factor reasonably than 10. 

For instance, it’s possible you’ll select to work with information publications, nonprofits, small companies, startups, or software-as-a-service (SaaS) corporations. 

It’s also possible to concentrate on particular Search engine optimisation areas, comparable to:

  • Technical Search engine optimisation: Technical Search engine optimisation entails optimizing a web site from a technical standpoint, like enhancing web page pace
  • Native Search engine optimisation: Native Search engine optimisation entails serving to shoppers to optimize their on-line listings, comparable to Google Maps entries for bodily shops and Google Enterprise Profile pages
  • App Retailer Optimization: App retailer optimization enables you to assist shoppers drive extra visitors to their apps. This entails understanding the algorithms and methods behind platforms just like the Apple App Retailer and Google Play Retailer.
  • Video Search engine optimisation: Video Search engine optimisation means that you can assist shoppers optimize their video content material for max visibility on YouTube and in Google search outcomes 
"how to bake cookies" videos on YouTube

3. Develop Your Community

Networking helps you discover shoppers and develop your freelance enterprise. 

And there are various issues you are able to do to construct your community:

  • Attend Search engine optimisation occasions in your space 
  • Be a part of Search engine optimisation-related Fb and LinkedIn teams 
  • Join with Search engine optimisation professionals on LinkedIn
  • Reconnect with former work colleagues—and even mates and neighbors—to allow them to find out about your new freelance enterprise

Keep in mind, networking isn’t nearly discovering shoppers. It is about constructing relationships and fostering a way of neighborhood throughout the Search engine optimisation trade. 

Nurturing your community will increase your possibilities of securing shoppers by way of word-of-mouth suggestions. 

4. Create a Skilled Web site

To be taken significantly as an Search engine optimisation freelancer, it’s useful to have knowledgeable web site that showcases your experience and companies. 

an infographic showing a freelance SEO website

Your web site doesn’t should be fancy. Nevertheless it ought to embrace your contact info, expertise, portfolio, and companies. 

You may create a easy web site in a couple of hours utilizing a CMS like WordPress or Wix. 

And also you’ll want:

  • An about web page: Introduce your self and your background in Search engine optimisation. Be certain your contact info is prominently displayed, so shoppers can attain out. And make sure you spotlight any related certifications, course certificates, and Search engine optimisation-related work expertise to showcase your experience.
  • A companies web page: Dedicate a web page to outlining the Search engine optimisation companies you provide. Specify your areas of specialization, comparable to key phrase analysis, on-page optimization, content material creation, or technical Search engine optimisation. And clarify what shoppers can count on when working with you and the way may help them obtain their targets.
  • Your portfolio: Create a portfolio web page to showcase tasks that spotlight your Search engine optimisation capabilities. That would embrace an efficient on-page optimization venture or a profitable link-building marketing campaign. And make sure you embrace metrics that show the affect your work had, comparable to elevated visitors or improved key phrase rankings.
  • Critiques & LinkedIn suggestions: Ask shoppers to present you critiques. Then, show them in your website and LinkedIn profile. Phrases from glad shoppers function social proof and assist construct belief with potential shoppers. 
  • A weblog: Create a weblog the place you possibly can share insights, ideas, and trade tendencies associated to Search engine optimisation. Publishing precious content material exhibits you realize your craft. And it attracts potential shoppers to your web site.

5. Construct Your Private Model

Having a robust private model helps you stand out within the crowded Search engine optimisation area. So you possibly can higher join with potential shoppers.

Listed below are some methods you possibly can set up your private model:

  • Write thought management social media or weblog posts sharing your perspective on trade tendencies and challenges
  • Attain out to well-known Search engine optimisation blogs for visitor writing alternatives
  • Attend and converse at advertising and Search engine optimisation conferences and occasions
  • Provide to be a podcast visitor on a preferred Search engine optimisation or advertising podcast

These items all assist set up you as an skilled with a definite viewpoint. 

6. Implement the Proper Pricing Technique

Determining how one can package deal and value your companies is crucial for being profitable as a freelancer. 

Your pricing construction will possible depend upon:

  • Your expertise and expertise
  • Your area of interest (space of specialization)
  • The forms of tasks you tackle
  • The finances of the businesses you’re employed with

Don’t be afraid to cost what you might be value primarily based on the above. 

Search engine optimisation freelancer Shumon Ali advises towards reducing your charges to get work. As a substitute, freelancers ought to deal with companies that pay them what they deserve. 

Listed below are some extra pricing ideas in his LinkedIn post

a LinkedIn post from SEO freelancer Shumon Ali talking about pricing

7. Set up Your Search engine optimisation Toolkit

The best Search engine optimisation instruments will empower you to seek out key phrases, monitor the efficiency of your shoppers’ web sites, and impress shoppers with competitor insights. 

Listed below are a number of the greatest instruments to contemplate (and lots of of them are free):


You should use Semrush to run technical audits on shoppers’ websites, conduct key phrase analysis, test backlinks, optimize content material, and much more. 

Let’s say you’re doing key phrase analysis for a consumer. You should use the Key phrase Magic Software to rapidly generate tons of key phrase concepts. 

It additionally exhibits key phrase metrics comparable to month-to-month search quantity, intent (the rationale behind a searcher’s question), key phrase issue (how troublesome it’s to rank within the prime 10), and extra.

To make use of it, open the device. Then, enter your seed key phrase (a broad time period associated to your consumer’s enterprise), choose a location, and click on “Search.” 

search for "insurance" in the US in Keyword Magic Tool

You’ll then see a bunch of key phrase concepts:

Keyword Magic Tool gives you many keyword ideas related to "insurance" search

If you wish to slim down your outcomes, you possibly can apply filters like:

  • Questions: To see key phrase concepts within the type of questions
  • Broad Match, Phrase Match, Precise Match, and Associated: To slim in or develop in your key phrase
  • Languages: To search for key phrases in several languages
  • Quantity: To seek for key phrases that fall underneath a selected search quantity vary like 101-1,000, 1,001-10,000, and many others.
  • KD % (shorthand for key phrase issue): To see key phrases which have a selected key phrase issue degree like “Straightforward,” “Onerous,” “Very onerous,” and many others.
  • Intent: To see key phrases that replicate a selected search intent like “Informational,” “Navigational,” “Industrial,” or “Transactional”

It’s also possible to use Backlink Analytics to realize precious details about a consumer’s backlink profile. To enhance their website’s visibility.

Open the device, enter the area, and click on “Analyze.”

search for "nerdwallet.com" in Backlink Analytics

You’ll see plenty of knowledge factors to know how sturdy (or weak) your consumer’s backlink profile is.

"Overview" dashboard in Backlink Analytics tool

Then, click on on “Referring Domains” to see an outline of latest and misplaced domains. And a listing of all domains linking to the consumer’s website.

“Referring Domains” report in Backlink Analytics

It’s also possible to do the identical for a competitor’s web site. To seek out good backlink alternatives. 

From there, you possibly can compile a listing of domains you may wish to attain out to.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free device for monitoring a web site’s Search engine optimisation efficiency. 

It offers you perception into quite a lot of metrics (like the whole clicks from search proven under) that may allow you to enhance your consumer’s website. And get extra visitors from Google. 

an overview report in Google Search Console

With Google Search Console, you possibly can: 

  • Establish technical errors that could be affecting search engine indexing
  • Submit sitemaps and new URLs for crawling
  • Get info on search efficiency
  • Acquire perception into the person expertise

Understanding how well-optimized your website is and which key phrases are driving visitors may help you alter your Search engine optimisation technique to drive higher outcomes. 

Word: You may join your consumer’s Google Search Console account to Semrush. This fashion, you possibly can entry insights about their web site in a single central location.

Google Analytics 

Google Analytics is without doubt one of the greatest instruments for monitoring and analyzing web site and app visitors, person habits, and conversions. 

Right here’s an outline report:

an overview report in Google Analytics

Google Analytics may help you reply a bunch of questions on your consumer’s website. Similar to:

  • What number of guests does the positioning get?
  • The place do guests come from?
  • Which pages on the positioning get essentially the most visitors?
  • What actions do guests take in your pages?
  • How a lot time do guests spend in your pages?
  • The place do guests have a tendency to go away your website?

Google Looker Studio

Google Looker Studio (previously generally known as Google Knowledge Studio or GDS) is without doubt one of the strongest Search engine optimisation reporting instruments out there. 

You may create customized reviews, dashboards, and visualizations to share metrics and learnings together with your shoppers. 

There are even templates out there that will help you get began:

"Templates" page in Google Looker Studio

This device offers you the ability to show large quantities of Search engine optimisation knowledge into precious insights your shoppers will perceive. 


A content material administration system (CMS) is critical for managing your personal web site and implementing Search engine optimisation optimizations on shoppers’ web sites. 

WordPress is without doubt one of the hottest CMS platforms on the market. And with good purpose: WordPress is free, open supply, and Search engine optimisation-friendly. 

Right here’s what the dashboard seems to be like:

"Dashboard" page in WordPress

Having an excellent understanding of this platform is a superb asset to your freelance Search engine optimisation profession.

Find out how to Discover Purchasers as an Search engine optimisation Freelancer

Discovering shoppers is a vital side of your success as an Search engine optimisation freelancer. In any case, they’re those who can pay you to finish tasks.

Listed below are some frequent methods Search engine optimisation freelancers discover jobs and shoppers:

Freelance platforms: Use web sites like Upwork, Freelancer, Toptal, and Fiverr to seek out tasks and join with shoppers on the lookout for Search engine optimisation companies. Create a compelling profile, showcase your experience, and actively bid on related tasks. 

Upwork homepage with title "How work should work"

Professional tip: The Semrush Company Progress Package may help Search engine optimisation freelancers and companies discover consumer leads, ship Search engine optimisation tasks, and report on progress. 

Networking: Leverage your skilled community and attend trade occasions to attach with potential shoppers. And don’t overlook to attach with folks exterior of the Search engine optimisation trade. A plumber or dentist may not have heard of Search engine optimisation but, however that doesn’t imply they don’t want it.

Referrals: Acquire word-of-mouth referrals, which is usually a highly effective supply of latest shoppers. Present distinctive service to your current shoppers and encourage them to suggest you to others of their community.

Content material advertising: Create high-quality content material to show your experience. Particularly in case you concentrate on content material advertising and on-page Search engine optimisation, it’s good to apply what you preach. Publish informative articles, create movies, or provide free sources that appeal to potential shoppers and set up your credibility.

Kickstart Your Search engine optimisation Freelancing Profession

Now that you know the way to develop into an Search engine optimisation freelancer, it’s time to take motion.

Equipping your self with the fitting instruments is a superb subsequent step. 

Join a free Semrush account at present to get began.