Freelance SEO Consultant. My first (ever) consultancy work is related to search engine optimization. Happened around 6 years back and back then, SEO was much simplier. The client that engaged with me wanted me to increase website ranking by doing black hat SEO for his business which back then, was easy to do. I remember fire-ing up ScrapeBox, loaded some custom scripts I did and boom – it was the easiest $200 (work from home gig) I ever got for 12 months. For the record, the client knew exactly what I was doing and he has no issues with it.
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Want to start a freelance SEO consultancy but afraid of failure? Read this guide: 3 Reasons Why You Are Not Starting A SEO Freelance Career (And How To Solve Them)
From my first freelance consulting gig, I started to fall in love with SEO and soon, I was messing my head around GSA SER, Ultimate Demo, Magic Submitter, Money Robot, FCR Networker, XRumer and recently, RankerX. I have tried literally every SEO tool in the market and spend thousands of dollars doing so (and happily).
After some years, let me tell you think. The ecosystem for SEO had changed over the years, but the basic remains the same. Quality comes first – no matter it is for backlinks, keyword research, publishing content on blogs or even guest postings.
I’ve learned a lot being a freelance SEO consultant and I hope that you will find these tips useful.
1. Keyword research is king
If you want to become a freelance SEO consultant, you got to be a master in keyword research. You may have the best SEO link building tool but if you are not good in keyword research, you are not going to be able to rank any keywords or terms.
What is keyword research?
Before that, it is important to go into details as in what keyword research really is. In this case, keyword research is a process where you find the best keywords to rank for your (or your client’s) website. A good keyword research is not about finding the most popular keyword but instead, to find keywords with high search volume, medium to low competition and has high conversion power.
So, how do you conduct proper keyword research? Here are some steps to follow:
- Define a niche or main keyword (just one)
- From the main keyword, list down 5 to 10 related/seed keywords
- Use tools such as KWFinder to find related keywords from the seed keywords (along with competition, search volume etc.)
I use KWFinder for keyword research and this is one tool I recommend to everyone who wants to become a freelance SEO consultant. Try KWFinder for free here.
As you can see below, I am able to determine different keywords with opportunities to rank on first page of Google.
KWFinder is an affordable and efficient SEO tool for freelancers
While KWFinder is good at keyword research, it is worthy to mention Ahrefs as it is one of the most used keyword research tool by SEO consultants. Here’s how it looks like on the backend.
Ahrefs keyword research feature is more in depth
Every freelance SEO consultant should focus in learning the basics of keyword research. Always remember that SEO tools are only there to help in your daily SEO work. Therefore, the foundation in SEO (such as keyword research) is extremely vital for your success.
2. Checking on competitors
Want to run a successful SEO consultancy project? Take time to understand your competitors and what they are ranking for is critical.
This is another long step but is extremely important if you can to become a freelance SEO consultant.
There are many tools you can use to spy on your competitors and for this example, I’ll use SERPChecker by KWFinder (read the review here).
SERPChecker gives you detailed information on the top 10 results
Why this spying on your competitors important for every freelance SEO consultant?
The answer is simple. You want to know exactly what’s working for them (and you replicate the actions from there). More on this below.
Now that you have a list of the top 10 websites that are ranking for a specific keyword. Head over to Screaming Frog to get more details of the page.
Screaming Frog is a free SEO tool for freelance SEO consultants
Screaming Frog is not only used by freelancers, small and large digital marketing agencies also use it as it is really effective.
Aside from Screaming Frog, Ahrefs is also one of the top favorites for many professional SEO consultants around the world because it is extremely powerful and accurate (yes, more accurate and feature rich compared to Screaming Frog).
Ahrefs SEO tool allow freelance SEO consultants to spy on competitors more effectively
3. Analyze your own website (or websites of your clients’)
No, you are not jumping into creating link building (at least for now). The third step is to analyze your website or websites of your clients’.
Generally speaking, it is really easy to rank a website and if the website is not ranking well on Google result pages, then something is really wrong. It is your job as a freelance SEO consultant to figure that out and you can figure it out by doing a full SEO audit.
Wait, what? An SEO audit instead?
Yes, I admit that SEO audit is time consuming and takes up a lot of resources. However, if you want to start ranking your client’s website to the first page of Google, this is beyond important. This is also why SEO consultants earn big bucks from a single SEO project!
How to do a full SEO audit?
- Conduct an extensive keyword analysis (if you have done this in step 1, you can skip this now)
- Search business in Google and other search engines (local SEO)
- Scan the Google+ Local Page to access page health
- Clipboard CheckAudit the company website or blog for duplicate content (now we are talking)
- Clipboard CheckBuild a citation check for link building opportunities
- Clipboard CheckConduct a backlink/penalty analysis
Do you know how long it takes to complete all the tasks above? 45 minutes.
Do you know how much you can charge for a full SEO audit? At least $200.
Now, are you still having cold feet of becoming a freelance SEO consultant?
4. Presenting your findings
By now, you should know exactly what’s lacking to rank on the first page of Google. This is where you showcase your expertise as a freelance SEO consultant.
With the three steps you had taken above, you can now meet up with the client and share the findings with confidence.
Hard work + data + action = Win
Doing keyword research, analyzing and reporting are tedious jobs. Therefore, go out there and showcase your reports to the clients. With the amount of work you had done, they will be impressed to say the very least. Of course, the only thing you need now is confidence in yourself (even if this is your first SEO project)!
5. Take action
Being a freelance SEO consultant is not just about sharing your findings and analysis. You need to help clients to rank their website on the first page of Google.
Right after sharing your proposal or action plans, you need to kick start and get to work. In this case, you got to have a plan or SEO framework.
What is an SEO framework?
- An SEO framework tells you exactly what to do, and when to do
- It gives you a good understanding on what to expect
- It gives you timeline for completing an SEO project
I wanted to make this freelance SEO guide as complete as possible. Therefore, for a limited time only, I’m opening up the Pandora’s box for you and sharing with you one of my most effective advanced link building strategy (white hat SEO) which you can download for free.
This is how much time you had left before I stop sharing this SEO framework.
Disclaimer: Do note that I have NEVER and WILL NOT share this advanced link building strategy on any of my blog. Therefore, grab a copy of it before I turn it off!
6. Keep track of the results (daily)
Last but not least, being a freelance SEO consultant requires daily tracking of the results. Through past experiences, we all know that what works yesterday will not work today. And, what works today might not work for tomorrow.
Tweaks are constantly required when it comes to SEO and search optimization. For starters, keep track of the results based on your actions.
After sometime, you will notice certain patterns which will lead to higher ranking, higher conversion and ultimately, more traffic.
There are many ways (and tools) you can use to track and record the progress. For me, my favorite is still Evernote as it allows me to jot down everything. While Evernote Premium is a great asset for a freelance SEO consultant like me, Evernote Basic (which is free) is sufficient for many.
When it comes to tracking SEO performance, it is not that easy to be honest. As search engine algorithm changes every day, it can be really challenging to track each project (especially when you have more than 10 SEO projects at the same time).
For keyword tracking, my favorite tools are SEMrush and SERPstat.
This is what it looks like using SEMrush.
SEMrush offers detailed keyword monitoring
This is what it looks like using SERPstat.
SERPstat is also a great SEO tool to monitor keywords ranking
Summary: The Complete Guide In Becoming A Freelance SEO Consultant
With today’s technology, everyone can become a freelance SEO consultant but only a few can be really good. Being the best as an SEO consultant allows you to earn thousands of dollars for every project (while feeling good and satisfied about it).
Before I end, I hope that you find this guide in becoming a freelance SEO consultant useful. If you need help getting started, leave a comment below and let’s talk!