SEO optimizations can often seem like an enigma, especially if you haven’t kept up with current SEO trends. Freelancing is a fast-paced world, and you are no stranger to staying current and adaptive to growing needs.
In this guide, we’ll explore current SEO trends. We’ll also discuss the significance of using third-party tools to skyrocket your visibility. This can help you free up time for what you do best: working on your writing projects!
Understanding the SEO Landscape
Excellent writing isn’t just about piecing an informative or entertaining string of words together. Readers should be able to quickly find the work that you are putting blood, sweat, and tears into.
SEO optimizations, like all markets, change over time. Pricing, statistics, and trends change; staying abreast of these changes is vital to remain dynamic and practical in your field.
SEO Industry Overview
Gary Vaynerchuk, a marketing pioneer, used Google ads in their infancy to buy every wine term for about 5 to 10 cents a click. This strategy helped him grow his family business. Today, that’s not possible anymore.
Long-tail keywords are in – it’s much easier to rank for a specific term when posed as a question or scenario. Nearly 95% of all keywords receive ten or fewer monthly searches. This data highlights the dominance of long-tail keywords in search traffic.
Therefore, focusing on your chosen short-tail keywords and further niching them down is crucial for success. Staying on top of industry changes is essential, as analytic tools can be misleading. Google Ads Keyword Planner, a popular tool, was found to overestimate search volumes by 91.45%
Freelancing and SEO Writing Opportunities
Freelancers have two main ways to set their rates: by fixed price or by hourly rate. Knowing how much to charge is crucial, particularly if you’re building your SEO skills. Having this knowledge helps you land the right clients and projects. Hourly rates of $75-$100 and monthly retainers of $500-$1500 are standard.
This pricing set is beneficial not only to you as a freelancer but also to agencies. Agencies rely on a dedicated team of specialists to deliver their services. This team’s expertise and capabilities inform the agency’s pricing strategy, including client markups and costs for additional services.
SEO consultants such as SEO strategists generally charge more for their services. These services often include full audits that can redirect an entire content strategy from the ground up.
Essential SEO Tools for Freelancers
Excelling in SEO optimization demands mastery and awareness of the SEO landscape. That includes:
- Having familiarity with keyword research tools
- Optimizing the content you write
- Offering local SEO services for your projects
Keyword Research Tools
Google accounts for 91.61% of the market share in the search engine world. The best keyword research tool to become familiar with is Google Ads Keyword Planner. This tool mitigates the statistical accuracy issues that come with the package.
Combining Ahrefs with GKP can clean up your data by filtering bot traffic and redundant information. This strategy allows you to analyze distinct keyword variations instead of grouped terms, providing a clearer picture of search intent.
Content Optimization Tools
Content optimization is one of the critical factors you can control from the moment you start writing. The average length of a first-page article is 1,447 words, which is an excellent first place to start.
Google’s content optimization tips (the ones that determine the algorithm!) provide insights into optimizing your content. That includes word count, accurate descriptions, and, most importantly, “effectively communicates the topic of the page’s content.”
Local SEO Tools
With globalization being so prominent, you may often focus on targeting a wide range of people. Thirty percent of mobile searches are location-related. Therefore, you should optimize your content based on your target customer.
As a freelancer focusing on helping small businesses, you can improve their online visibility through strategic placement. Embedding mentions of the business’s location, like “x business in city, state,” within your articles or blog posts, could be beneficial.
Because it boosts the business’s performance in local search engine results, translating to more web queries and potentially more contacts.
Navigating SEO Costs and ROI for Freelancers
Third-party tools that improve your SEO optimizations and knowledge of these techniques are an investment into your profession. Providing SEO services can introduce new revenue verticals and even increase existing ones.
Understanding SEO Costs
Agencies and consultants will want to work with you, as they can provide increased services to their clients. Determining their costs, whether through an hourly rate or a monthly retainer, is crucial for businesses to understand their actual expenses. With a clear understanding of their costs, companies can then confidently apply a markup to establish competitive client pricing.
Being transparent about the tools you use builds trust and shows your expertise. This transparency may initially raise your SEO service costs. However, the experience and effectiveness you gain will ultimately lead to greater value for your clients in the long run.
Evaluating Return on Investment
Think about the last time you did a Google search. When’s the last time you scrolled down, much less the second page on the SERP (search engine results page)?
You aren’t alone.
The first five results account for 67% of all clicks, and 54.31% of all queries contain three or more words. Prioritize understanding how crucial it is for your client to reach the top positions on Google search results. This will significantly impact your pricing strategy and tool selection.
After establishing the client’s priority, evaluate your service fees with those top spots in mind. Certain tools and expertise may be necessary to achieve those goals, which might affect your pricing structure. Remember, the right combination of price and tools must align with your client’s needs and desired search visibility.
Advanced SEO Strategies for Competitive Edge
The rise of AI and the decline of traditional content-creation strategies have intensified client competition. It’s no longer enough to offer basic services. Standing out from the crowd and showcasing unique value propositions is essential for freelancers, agencies, and consultants to thrive.
Improve your SEO strategies by staying abreast of algorithm changes and building high-quality links for on-page and off-page purposes.
Link Building Techniques
Humans decide if something has value based on how it impacts their lives. One constant part of Google’s algorithm for determining authority is the number of reputable sites linking to your content. This is called “backlinking” and is a critical component of a holistic SEO optimization strategy.
Backlinks can cost thousands. An MSN backlink, for example, is worth over $10,000 – as it will add organic authority to your content.
In contrast, adding a poor backlink will hurt your ranking. You should raise your service fees appropriately if you have established strong connections with reputable websites. Additionally, incorporating backlinking as a key component of your offerings is essential.
Keeping Up with Algorithm Changes
Google uses a proprietary algorithm that can change up to 600 times yearly or almost twice daily on average. SEO strategists are well-sought-after, not for one-time projects. Their role is to keep current with algorithms to maintain as close to the number one position on the SERP as possible.
To take it one step further, freelancers, agencies, and marketers have a pivotal role. They play an integral part in the AI-driven search engine of the future.
As a freelancer specializing in SEO optimizations, your job is constantly discovering new, effective strategies. These strategies should keep your clients at the forefront of search rankings and help them adapt to the ever-changing landscape of SEO.
Staying Competitive with SEO Optimizations
SEO optimization is developing at a much more rapid pace. Freelancers must contend with ranking for organic content. Additionally, they must hone their skills to build quality content surpassing AI standards.
Staying on top of SEO changes, including the knowledge behind these tools, is an excellent skill. Doing so increases the pricing for your services and enhances your ability to deliver tremendous and well-converting content.
About the Author
Mike C. is a versatile writer specializing in finance and digital marketing content. Check out his nDash writing profile to learn more about his background can help level up your content strategy: Mike C.