Everyone in the blogging world wants their voice to be heard and is scampering for the top spot in search rankings. After all, what is the point of having a great blog if it can’t reach out to the masses?
But, how does one get ranked high in search engine results?
The answer lies in search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines rank web pages using a combination of different factors such as keywords, page loading speed, and on-site and off-site optimization. One of the most important things for your business, therefore, is to have proper SEO.
It is safe to say that running a full SEO campaign can be an uphill task. Thankfully, hiring an SEO expert is a possibility. Here’s why hiring an SEO freelancer is better than hiring through an agency or in-house, and how to find the perfect one for your business.
Create a Great Project Description that Will Attract the Cream of the Crop
Since you’re seeking for the best freelancers, it’s essential that you stand out from the crowd by giving a clear description of your SEO project and posting it on your preferred freelance site. This will make it easy for remote freelancers to submit precise proposals.
Here’s what an excellent description should do:
- bring out more about who you are, your business, and expectations.
- bring everything into perspective and leaves no room for guesswork, but leaves room for detailed discussion and expectations from the SEO freelancer.
- reveal whether you are looking for long-term engagement, fixed-price deals, or hourly rates.
Screening SEO Freelancers
You may receive applications from one or dozens of prospective freelancers, depending on the freelancer platform that you choose. Here’s how you can go about hiring the right one.
- Take a look at references and check on past work samples. A short list of former clients and can tell you a lot about the potential hire. As with any business, recommendations are a great way to get to know more about potential hires.
If a freelancer is reluctant to disclose past success stories, that’s a red flag. There should be no reason to take the risk of hiring an SEO who is hiding something.
- Ask for an initial technical assessment of your website. This will bring you to the realization on what exactly needs to be altered since onsite optimization requires some modifications to your code.
- Inquire about their SEO strategy. An efficient freelancer will be able to put the strategies that they’ll use to get your ranking skyrocketing in black and white. They’ll also be able to give an approximate time frame for the campaign.
- Be on the lookout for black hat SEO. Avoid freelancers who use black hat techniques because Google will penalize you. Techniques such as excessive anchor text linking, spam content, and hidden text are all prohibited by search engines.
Freelancers in Different Time Zones Can Work to Your Advantage
Don’t let a different time zone be a limitation when hiring an SEO. If you can work out a way to communicate during overlapping hours, you will have someone working while you sleep, which is actually an important advantage to your business.
You Get What You Pay For
Being overly cheap is a mistake that many people make too often. To get access to top-notch talent, you must consider paying a higher rate than you may have expected at first. Being flexible is a sure way of getting the best SEO freelancer for your campaigns.
Most SEO freelancers are willing to talk about and agree to work on a per-project basis, especially if there is potentially additional work. By gauging the complexity of your SEO project, you can determine how much you’ll be spending.
Remember: in most cases, excellent rates translate to excellent quality.
Be as Concise about Your Deadline as You Can
We can all agree that project timelines are vital for the smooth running of any project. Include this in the project description and discuss it with the potential freelancer. This will help you know about their availability and whether their commitment to other clients or projects will be a problem.
Let the freelancer tell you if your time frame is realistic and if they can meet the deadline. The freelancer can also offer input by estimating how long the project will take if you’re unsure about its length.
Conduct a Remote Interview
As soon as you have questions ready, organize an interview, preferably over video chat. Video interviews give you the opportunity to meet the freelancer and talk to them face to face.
Take the time to ask specific questions and get to know about how the freelancer views their work, whether they are passionate about it, and if they have more ideas or suggestions that will make the SEO campaign a success.
Communication and collaboration are the driving force behind the overall success of your project.
Hire a remote SEO freelancer who is not only a good fit for your business, but who also aligns with your SEO campaign. A great SEO freelancer can be a clear-cut difference between good and excellent work.
Finalize Your Choice by Vetting Potential Hires with a Quick Test
This is especially helpful if you have found some candidates that match your specifications but you still need to narrow down the field. Review the short-listed candidates and their past work, adhere to timelines and communicate often with them. This will give you a more definite choice in the long run.
Seal the Deal with a Contract that Meets Both Parties’ Expectations
After finding that freelancer who matches your expectations, make an offer and create a contract that thoroughly touches on what you and the freelancer have discussed. Remember to take compliance considerations into account since hiring a remote freelancer isn’t the same thing as hiring an employee.
In the contract, set out these terms:
- How should the freelancer execute the work and when should it be delivered?
- Is the project hourly or fixed price? Should it be hourly, what is the hourly rate?
- When and how should the payment be made?
- If you agreed on a fixed price, will there be milestones during the project?
- Specify the milestones and when they should be met.
The above tips should steer you in a good direction as you begin working with the freelancer and also ensure that both parties are satisfied with the terms of the agreement.
Keep communication lines open and track success by monitoring the number of links and the level of traffic coming back to your website using Google analytics.
Understand the Basics of SEO
Before deciding to hire an SEO expert, it is essential to have an eagle’s eye view of what SEO campaigns entail. If you are not sure how it works or what is it used for, there won’t be much point in hiring an SEO, whether a freelancer or otherwise.
To give you a broader picture of how it generally works, one of the main aspects of SEO includes keywords that your website contains. Users conduct an online search by entering certain phrases into a search engine. It is important for you to know what these key phrases are because you need to include them on your site, otherwise users are not going to find it.
There are several ways to achieve this, but you should be aware of hiring an SEO who claims that they can get you the highest spots on Google search by using this method only. As we previously mentioned, keywords are just one of the components upon which Google’s search algorithm is based. There are many more other important factors that also must be taken into consideration.
Now, even if you hire the best SEO expert in the world, they are not going to be able to push your site to the first page of Google results if your site has poor content. Harsha Kiran from SEO Tribunal says that quality content is one of the most important ranking factors, and this means is that you must continually update your site with top quality articles, video, images, and similar content.
The top spot in the search results of any search engine is very hard to earn, and it is not going to hold up by itself, no matter how outstanding your keywords are.
SEO campaigns generally encompass two parts: onsite and offsite optimization. Onsite optimization is the process of designing your website in a manner that makes it possible for search engine crawlers to read it. This involves modifying the headers, title, and content of your web pages so that they are optimized for specific key terms.
Offsite optimization narrows down to everything else you do outside of your website to bring in traffic. It centers on link building and includes article submissions and guest posting. Link building is a particularly important element since search engines pay attention to top quality links incorporated into a website.
Actively engaging on social media, writing guest posts for trending blogs, and submitting informational content to article directories all bring links back to your website.
Offsite optimization requires a lot of effort because it needs a ton of content writing. Consequently, hiring an SEO freelancer also means finding an SEO writer and an SEO campaign manager.
Hiring an SEO freelancer as compared to hiring through an agency or hiring a full-time employee doesn’t mean that you have to overlook quality. The right SEO freelancer will be able to enhance your site within your budget so your business can continue to grow.
Following the steps described above can consume a lot of your time as compared to hiring the first name that appears on Google or online freelance platforms. The difference is that these steps will help you hire an expert SEO freelancer who will work with you long term. You can also get the best of both worlds by hiring SEO freelancers through FreeeUp.
Josh Wardini is an Editorial Contributor and Community Manager at websitebuilder.org. With preliminary background in communication and expertise in community development, Josh works day-to-day to reshape the human resource management of digitally based companies. When his focus trails outside of community engagement, Josh enjoys the indulgences of writing amidst the nature conservations of Portland, Oregon.