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Whether you’re a business owner or a blogger looking to monetize your website, you probably have some sense of the importance of SEO (or search engine optimization).
Put simply, websites with good SEO will rank higher, attract more visitors, and drive more revenue.
But there are a lot of ways to approach SEO. You could try to do it yourself. You could invest in a large SEO agency. Or you could hire an SEO freelancer.
Since Legiit is a marketplace that partners clients globally with the freelance talent they need to get more work done, this post is going to examine that last option. Let’s talk about how to hire a freelance SEO, and what you stand to gain by doing so.
Why is it worth it to you to buy SEO services from an independent freelancer? Here are some of the top reasons that business owners and entrepreneurs like you are outsourcing their SEO.
You probably don’t have a lot of spare time lying around.
If you do have an extra couple of hours per day to devote to learning and implementing SEO yourself, then it is a very viable path.
But, like most business owners, you likely just can’t risk putting in all that effort. If you don’t do SEO the right way, it could be wasted work. Or worse, it could actually hurt your website.
So, many people outsource their SEO out to a professional so that they can focus on the tasks that are already in their skill set.
Many business owners choose to go the agency route.
They hire an SEO agency that is managing anywhere from a dozen to hundreds of other clients. An SEO agency can be a great option for you if it fits into your budget.
But often, an agency that will actually produce results charges thousands per month. For many startups and small businesses, this is just too much of an expense to take on.
When you hire an SEO freelancer, though, you’ll have much more control over the specific services that you are buying. It’s not necessarily that a freelancer is undercutting the agencies. It’s just that you don’t have to invest in a complete SEO package.
Basically, you save money by piecemealing the SEO services yourself.
Finally, SEO freelancers often get a bad rap.
After all, if they were any good, they would be working for an agency, right?
Actually, most freelancers (in any industry) choose that line of work because it suits their preferences. They enjoy the freelance lifestyle, the freedom of being their own boss, and the ability to have more control over their work schedule.
Contrary to popular opinion, SEO freelancers are just as skilled as their agency-employed counterparts. And they can get you very good results
If you are convinced that hiring an SEO freelancer is the right choice for you, here are the important steps to keep in mind.
For starters, you need to know exactly what type of seo services you are going to be buying. This depends largely on how much knowledge you already have about SEO. If you don’t know where to start, you’ll want to look for an SEO freelancer who offers full-service packages.
Otherwise, here are some of the important aspects that go into SEO, in the general order they are completed. We’ve also included links to the relevant category pages on Legiit to help your hunt for service providers start off smoothly.
Keyword Research involves plotting out the different search terms you want to rank for. A good keyword research specialist should be able to help you find keywords that are profitable yet relatively low in competition.
Content Creation is the process of actually writing the salescopy and blog posts that will rank for the keywords you are targeting. A good SEO writer should obviously be skilled with the written word, but also have knowledge of aspects of SEO like keyword density, headings, and user intent.
On-site Optimization involves auditing your content in order to compare it to your top competitors, and then making the changes necessary to help you beat them out. This is referred to as your on-page SEO, and it is like the foundation that lays the ground for the next step…
Link Building is the process of getting relevant, authoritative websites to link to you. Backlinks come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. So be sure you hire someone who is building the type of link that you need.
There are many other aspects to SEO, of course. These are just some of the most common stages that can be easily categorized. If you have a better idea of the specific type of service you need, feel free to browse the complete listing of SEO services on Legiit.
Once you know just what you are looking for, it’s time to make your shortlist.
We suggest a multi-pronged approach. Start by browsing the category lists above, and favoriting the candidates who stand out. Reading buyer reviews is a great place to start. If a seller has a long track record of good reviews, you can assume that they will deliver what they promise.
At the same time, you can ask for recommendations on the Legiit Facebook Group. This is a good way to both confirm some of your picks, and discover the occasional diamond in the rough. Remember that just because a freelancer doesn’t have a lot of reviews it doesn’t mean they don’t provide good service. It just means that they are new to the scene or have recently launched a new service.
As you are reviewing your short list, you’ll want to be on the lookout for some freelance warning signs, especially when it comes to SEO services:
Beware anyone who promises rankings. No one has cornered the market on Google results. While a seller can guarantee that they will build so many links or do X, Y, and Z on your website, they can’t guarantee you a specific rank in the search engines.
Beware prices that are too good to be true. Watch out for someone selling 50,000 backlinks for $10, for example. While they may very well be able to deliver, such an aggressive link building tactic is definitely automated and probably going to do more harm than good to your website if you don’t know what you are doing. As with most things in business, higher quality comes at a higher price tag.
Beware anyone selling fast results. We aren’t referring to the turnaround time. A good freelance SEO specialist may be able to get your work done in a matter of days, if not faster. We mean promises of fast ranking results. Search engine optimization is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s difficult to predict how fast Google will respond to SEO strategies, and you should be wary of anyone trying to sell you otherwise.
The final step is just to take that well-informed leap of faith. Once you’ve whittled down your list, choose the SEO freelancer that is the best match for your needs and your budget. If you are new to outsourcing SEO, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get their professional opinion.
Hopefully, that first order will be the beginning of a long, happy partnership that helps boost your rankings and grow your business.