Welcome, fellow SEO consultants and SEO freelancers! We’re no strangers to the fact that the world of SEO constantly develops, however, there are certain main stays within our industry which you must be continually well versed in to stay ahead of the game. In this blog post, we’ll share our top 10 practical tips to help you give you structure to your learning and development. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newb starting out in freelance SEO, these tips will give you something to anchor to on a daily basis helping you develop a routine for success.
1. Stay Informed – SEO Consultants Never Sleep
SEO is one of the most dynamic industries out there and one of the most unique in the sense that we’re beholden to algorithms and rules set by someone else. Luckily, staying updated on the latest trends, algorithm updates, and industry news is made a whole lot easier as our industry is packed with algo-chasers. Here’s some handy links to resources to keep an eye on daily / weekly / monthly to make sure you don’t find yourself in that awkward situation where you client asks you about the latest updates, only to met with a blank expression:
2. Know Your Clients Organic Search Audience
One of the top reasons clients serve notice to agencies is because they feel their accounts teams don’t have a true handle on their business and their objectives. As a freelance SEO you can stand out from the crowd by focusing on this theme from the very start of your client relations. Your opening question the first time you meet a potential client should be “tell me about your business”, NOT “tell me about what you’re doing the SEO space”.
Once you understand their business, the objectives, KPI’s and ambitions only then should you move on to the technicalities of keyword research tools and analytics data to identify the keywords and phrases that resonate within the audience. The most successful SEO’s are the ones who can tie back commercial objectives with technical and data driven strategies.
3. Mobile Optimisation is a Must
Yes, yes we know this isn’t exactly ground breaking but that’s why it’s so important. So often in a bid to impress SEO’s go straight into hardcore technical analysis without doing the basics. A little mobile page speed test goes a long way. Combined with Google Analytics data to help understand which pages are performing the best in mobile search and you can pull out some real golden nuggets that are often pretty quick wins.
4. Content is King
Well I never…we really are going above and beyond with “ground breakers” today 🙄. Just stick with us on this though as again, it’s so easy to over look this as an SEO. The more agencies we work with the more we’re helping their internal teams develop in-depth content eco-systems for their clients designed to map specifically to what audiences are looking for. Do you know what the best thing is about content strategy though? Once you’ve mastered the art and process you can add a heck of a lot of data-driven value to clients that not only shows you understand them and their objectives but also their audiences.
5. Master On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is your best friend. Once you’ve done your due diligence of getting down to the core nitty gritty of what it is your client is trying to achieve and what keywords form the base of your content strategy the next port of call is on-page. More often than not title tags, H tags and meta descriptions lie unoptimised and serving little purpose so now’s your time to pounce. Combine optimised meta data with a complete internal linking review and you’ll be onto a winner!
6. The Power of Backlinks
Yep…sorry about this everyone but whether you like it or not backlinks are still “a thing”. Whilst SEO’s often grimace at the thought of link acquisition and leave it to the amazing Digital PR freelancers amongst us, at the very least every freelancer SEO’er should be able to analyse a backlink profile and make recommendations accordingly.
We’re not saying you all of a sudden have to start building a book of contacts at the national media titles but, what we are saying is that to succeed as a top SEO consultant you need to understand what works well for the competition, where the gaps are and what your client needs to do to close those gaps.
7. Optimise for Speed
Site speed matters more than ever and lucky for us with the likes of the Google Lighthouse reports we can gather data easily and quickly on this metrics these days. Again, focus on the basics; compress images, minimize HTTP requests, and leverage browser caching.
8. Don’t Ignore Local SEO
The beauty of moving from large agency worker to SEO freelancer is that you can start to work with local businesses which makes mastering local SEO essential. With the ever evolving “Near Me” terms it’s more important than ever to claim and optimise your clients Google My Business listings whilst also encouraging customer reviews. Ensure their NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information is consistent across all online platforms and combined with a solid citation strategy you’ll be onto a winner in no time.
9. Analytics: Your Best Friend
Let’s not beat around the bush; it goes without saying that data-driven decisions are your secret weapon. Like we said at the start of this article business owners often feel that SEO’s don’t have a grip on business or commercial awareness. If you can combine an understanding of your clients business combined with an in-depth knowledge of SEO – PLUS be able to overlay all your recommendations with data then you become the “holy grail” of the SEO world.
10. Patience and Persistence
You’ve got to love the whole “overnight successes” portrayed on YouTube by all these supposed Gurus who have learned SEO overnight. Well, sorry to break it to you but SEO is a long-term game. It takes time to see results, it takes time to build client trust, it takes time to build your pipeline and it takes time to nurture it.
Keep refining your strategies (both sales and commercial), stay committed, and don’t be disheartened by minor setbacks. Remember that even the most seasoned SEO consultants were once SEO freelancers just starting out.