The right way to Change into an Search engine optimization Freelancer (What It Takes + Key Suggestions)

When you’ve got a knack for search engine marketing (Search engine optimization), changing into an Search engine optimization freelancer is likely to be the fitting path for you. 

On this article, you’ll be taught what an Search engine optimization freelancer does, find out how to turn into an Search engine optimization freelancer, find out how to 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 optimization Freelancer Do?

An Search engine optimization freelancer is answerable for serving to shoppers enhance their Search engine optimization efficiency. 

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

You’ll be able to provide providers in numerous areas of Search engine optimization. Or concentrate on only one or two. 

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

Listed here are some key duties that an Search engine optimization freelancer may sometimes carry out:

  • Key phrase analysis: Key phrase analysis includes serving to shoppers discover key phrases their goal prospects are coming into into search engines like google and yahoo. A freelancer will dig into the month-to-month key phrase search quantity and key phrase problem, assist set priorities, and counsel new key phrase concepts.
  • On-page optimization: This implies optimizing on-page components like title tags, inner hyperlinks, and extra. On-page Search engine optimization helps guarantee shoppers’ web sites are search engine-friendly and extra more likely to rank nicely.
  • Off-page optimization: This refers to Search engine optimization 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 optimization for shoppers will assist search engines like google and yahoo (and customers) see their websites as extra reliable and authoritative. 
  • Technical Search engine optimization: Technical Search engine optimization includes figuring out and fixing technical points which will harm customers’ experiences or hinder search engine crawling and indexing. This consists of growing web site velocity, bettering cellular responsiveness, implementing structured knowledge markup, and resolving crawl errors.
  • Monitoring and evaluation: This includes holding monitor of necessary metrics and discovering alternatives to enhance. An Search engine optimization freelancer will typically want to watch web site efficiency, monitor key phrase rankings, analyze person habits, and measure the effectiveness of Search engine optimization campaigns. 
  • Shopper communication and reporting: This may be offering updates on mission progress, discussing methods, and addressing shoppers’ considerations. 
  • Enterprise admin: That is something freelancers do to run their very own companies, like advertising, mission administration, consumer acquisition, and invoicing. As this LinkedIn post from Peter Rota explains, being an Search engine optimization freelancer goes far past Search engine optimization work for shoppers:
an LinkedIn post from Peter Rota about what being SEO freelancer is

Abilities You Must Change into an Search engine optimization Freelancer

Being a profitable Search engine optimization freelancer requires a mix of technical experience, communication abilities, and mission administration talents. 

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

Particular abilities and tasks range relying on the consumer/mission and the freelancer’s area of interest. However listed here are some widespread abilities an Search engine optimization freelancer may want:

  • Analytical abilities: Sturdy analytical abilities are very important for decoding knowledge, figuring out traits, and making data-driven selections. Proficiency in instruments like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Semrush is essential for gathering and analyzing web site metrics.
  • Communication abilities: Efficient communication is essential when collaborating with shoppers. It’s essential to perceive their objectives and be capable of break down complicated Search engine optimization ideas.
  • Mission administration: Glorious mission administration abilities 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 optimization is a dynamic subject that includes frequent algorithm updates and evolving greatest practices, you’ll must proceed your Search engine optimization training and sustain with business adjustments.
  • Technical proficiency: Familiarity with internet improvement fundamentals, like HTML, CSS, and content material administration techniques (CMS) like WordPress could be helpful. Actually, 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 optimization Skilled

Listed here are a few of the principal upsides to being an Search engine optimization freelancer:

Aggressive Pay

Search engine optimization freelancing could be very profitable. 

As an Search engine optimization freelancer, your incomes potential is commonly influenced by your stage of experience, the forms of tasks you deal with, your popularity, and the demand in your providers. 

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

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

Compared, the typical salaried Search engine optimization job pays $60,548 per year

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


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

Flexibility is among the greatest issues about being a freelancer. Freelancers can set their schedules, select their shoppers and tasks, and work from wherever. This flexibility makes it simpler to accommodate different tasks and pursuits, similar to household, additional training, and hobbies. 

Right here’s a LinkedIn post from Search engine optimization skilled Nick LeRoy that discusses how changing into a freelancer led to higher 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 optimization freelancer, you get to decide on the tasks and shoppers that align together with your pursuits, experience, and profession objectives.  

For instance, if you wish to work completely with style manufacturers or deal with technical Search engine optimization, you may. This alternative 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 totally different tasks with a number of shoppers in numerous industries. This variety permits freelancers to develop a variety of abilities and expertise which might broaden their horizons and result in progress and improvement. 

In-Demand Subject

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

A examine by fashionable freelancer platform Upwork revealed that Search engine optimization is among the prime 10 most sought-after advertising abilities. 

The regular demand makes it potential to earn a very good revenue. And in addition supplies freelancers with a various vary of tasks to work on.

The Potential Downsides of Freelancing

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

  • Advantages are your duty: Workers sometimes obtain advantages similar to trip, sick pay, and medical insurance. Freelancers have to realize insurance coverage protection indepently—and finances for trip time.
  • It might probably get lonely: Search engine optimization freelancers largely work on their very own. Should you 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 occasions after they’re swimming in tasks. And different occasions when issues are a lot slower.
  • It may be irritating: Many full-time freelancers and consultants work lots of hours. Which may result in stress and burnout.

The right way to Change into an Search engine optimization Freelancer in 7 Steps

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

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

1. Change into an Search engine optimization Knowledgeable

Creating a deep understanding of Search engine optimization is crucial for getting began as a freelancer. To ensure you have the inspiration that you must assist shoppers attain their objectives.

Nevertheless it adjustments quick. 

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

You too can experiment with totally different methods and Search engine optimization instruments to realize hands-on expertise and refine your abilities. 

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

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

search for "" in the US in Domain Overview tool

You’ll then see an summary dashboard. With data 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 attention-grabbing metrics that provide you with an concept of how the positioning is performing. 

One factor to concentrate to is the Authority Rating. Semrush’s Authority Rating measures a web site’s total high quality and Search engine optimization 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

Should you scroll down, you may see the highest key phrases for the positioning, and an summary of the rating distribution on Google. This reveals you which of them 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 beneath, you’ll discover their principal rivals for natural search and the way they evaluate by way of search efficiency.

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

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

2. Discover Your Area of interest

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

It might be tempting to supply a variety of providers to anybody who needs to purchase them. However selecting a distinct segment attracts shoppers who worth your specialised data. And you’ll command increased charges in your providers. 

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

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

You too can concentrate on particular Search engine optimization areas, similar to:

  • Technical Search engine optimization: Technical Search engine optimization includes optimizing a web site from a technical standpoint, like bettering web page velocity
  • Native Search engine optimization: Native Search engine optimization includes serving to shoppers to optimize their on-line listings, similar to Google Maps entries for bodily shops and Google Enterprise Profile pages
  • App Retailer Optimization: App retailer optimization helps you to assist shoppers drive extra visitors to their apps. This includes understanding the algorithms and techniques behind platforms just like the Apple App Retailer and Google Play Retailer.
  • Video Search engine optimization: Video Search engine optimization 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 a lot of issues you are able to do to construct your community:

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

Keep in mind, networking isn’t nearly discovering shoppers. It is about constructing relationships and fostering a way of group inside the Search engine optimization business. 

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

4. Create a Skilled Web site

To be taken severely as an Search engine optimization freelancer, it’s useful to have an expert web site that showcases your experience and providers. 

an infographic showing a freelance SEO website

Your web site doesn’t should be fancy. Nevertheless it ought to embody your contact data, expertise, portfolio, and providers. 

You’ll be able to 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 optimization. Ensure your contact data is prominently displayed, so shoppers can attain out. And make sure you spotlight any related certifications, course certificates, and Search engine optimization-related work expertise to showcase your experience.
  • A providers web page: Dedicate a web page to outlining the Search engine optimization providers you provide. Specify your areas of specialization, similar to key phrase analysis, on-page optimization, content material creation, or technical Search engine optimization. And clarify what shoppers can count on when working with you and the way might help them obtain their objectives.
  • Your portfolio: Create a portfolio web page to showcase tasks that spotlight your Search engine optimization capabilities. That might embody an efficient on-page optimization mission or a profitable link-building marketing campaign. And make sure you embody metrics that reveal the impression your work had, similar to elevated visitors or improved key phrase rankings.
  • Critiques & LinkedIn suggestions: Ask shoppers to present you opinions. Then, show them in your web site and LinkedIn profile. Phrases from completely happy shoppers function social proof and assist construct belief with potential shoppers. 
  • A weblog: Create a weblog the place you may share insights, ideas, and business traits associated to Search engine optimization. Publishing precious content material reveals you understand your craft. And it attracts potential shoppers to your web site.

5. Construct Your Private Model

Having a powerful private model helps you stand out within the crowded Search engine optimization house. So you may higher join with potential shoppers.

Listed here are some methods you may set up your private model:

  • Write thought management social media or weblog posts sharing your perspective on business traits and challenges
  • Attain out to well-known Search engine optimization blogs for visitor writing alternatives
  • Attend and converse at advertising and Search engine optimization conferences and occasions
  • Supply to be a podcast visitor on a well-liked Search engine optimization or advertising podcast

This stuff all assist set up you as an skilled with a definite perspective. 

6. Implement the Proper Pricing Technique

Determining find out how to package deal and worth your providers is crucial for being profitable as a freelancer. 

Your pricing construction will possible rely upon:

  • Your expertise and abilities
  • 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 based mostly on the above. 

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

Listed here 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 optimization Toolkit

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

Listed here are a few of the greatest instruments to think about (and plenty of of them are free):


You should use Semrush to run technical audits on shoppers’ websites, conduct key phrase analysis, verify 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 Instrument to rapidly generate tons of key phrase concepts. 

It additionally reveals key phrase metrics similar to month-to-month search quantity, intent (the explanation behind a searcher’s question), key phrase problem (how troublesome it’s to rank within the prime 10), and extra.

To make use of it, open the software. 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 slender down your outcomes, you may apply filters like:

  • Questions: To see key phrase concepts within the type of questions
  • Broad Match, Phrase Match, Precise Match, and Associated: To slender in or develop in your key phrase
  • Languages: To search for key phrases in several languages
  • Quantity: To seek for key phrases that fall beneath a particular search quantity vary like 101-1,000, 1,001-10,000, and so forth.
  • KD % (shorthand for key phrase problem): To see key phrases which have a particular key phrase problem stage like “Straightforward,” “Arduous,” “Very onerous,” and so forth.
  • Intent: To see key phrases that mirror a particular search intent like “Informational,” “Navigational,” “Industrial,” or “Transactional”

You too can use Backlink Analytics to realize precious details about a consumer’s backlink profile. To enhance their web site’s visibility.

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

search for "" in Backlink Analytics

You’ll see a lot of knowledge factors to grasp how robust (or weak) your consumer’s backlink profile is.

"Overview" dashboard in Backlink Analytics tool

Then, click on on “Referring Domains” to see an summary of latest and misplaced domains. And an inventory of all domains linking to the consumer’s web site.

“Referring Domains” report in Backlink Analytics

You too can do the identical for a competitor’s web site. To search out good backlink alternatives. 

From there, you may compile an inventory of domains you may wish to attain out to.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free software for monitoring a web site’s Search engine optimization efficiency. 

It offers you perception into a wide range of metrics (like the entire clicks from search proven beneath) that may aid you enhance your consumer’s web site. And get extra visitors from Google. 

an overview report in Google Search Console

With Google Search Console, you may: 

  • Establish technical errors that is likely to be affecting search engine indexing
  • Submit sitemaps and new URLs for crawling
  • Get data on search efficiency
  • Achieve perception into the person expertise

Understanding how well-optimized your web site is and which key phrases are driving visitors might help you alter your Search engine optimization technique to drive higher outcomes. 

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

Google Analytics 

Google Analytics is among the greatest instruments for monitoring and analyzing web site and app visitors, person habits, and conversions. 

Right here’s an summary report:

an overview report in Google Analytics

Google Analytics might help you reply a bunch of questions on your consumer’s web site. Reminiscent of:

  • What number of guests does the positioning get?
  • The place do guests come from?
  • Which pages on the positioning get probably 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 web site?

Google Looker Studio

Google Looker Studio (previously referred to as Google Information Studio or GDS) is among the strongest Search engine optimization reporting instruments obtainable. 

You’ll be able to create customized studies, dashboards, and visualizations to share metrics and learnings together with your shoppers. 

There are even templates obtainable that will help you get began:

"Templates" page in Google Looker Studio

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


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

WordPress is among the hottest CMS platforms on the market. And with good motive: WordPress is free, open supply, and Search engine optimization-friendly. 

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

"Dashboard" page in WordPress

Having a very good understanding of this platform is a superb asset to your freelance Search engine optimization profession.

The right way to Discover Purchasers as an Search engine optimization Freelancer

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

Listed here are some widespread methods Search engine optimization freelancers discover jobs and shoppers:

Freelance platforms: Use web sites like Upwork, Freelancer, Toptal, and Fiverr to seek out tasks and join with shoppers searching for Search engine optimization providers. 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 Equipment might help Search engine optimization freelancers and businesses discover consumer leads, ship Search engine optimization tasks, and report on progress. 

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

Referrals: Achieve 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 reveal your experience. Particularly for those who concentrate on content material advertising and on-page Search engine optimization, it’s good to observe what you preach. Publish informative articles, create movies, or provide free sources that entice potential shoppers and set up your credibility.

Kickstart Your Search engine optimization Freelancing Profession

Now that you understand how to turn into an Search engine optimization freelancer, it’s time to take motion.

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

Join a free Semrush account as we speak to get began.