Empowering the Freelance Economy

Attract more clients as a freelancer with these SEO tips

Freelancers must use SEP tools to keep up with the competition.
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Freelancers and contractors are their own brands. To win clients, it’s not enough to just have skills; you need to be found. That’s where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in. SEO isn’t just for big companies—it’s a powerful tool for individuals to rise above the competition in search results.

Why SEO Matters for Freelancers

When you boost your visibility online through targeted SEO keywords you should start to see your rankings on LinkedIn and Google increase meaning more potential clients should start to see your profile and portfolio.

SEO works because it can generate targeted traffic: A recruiter or company, for example, looking for someone with your experience will find you quicker if you have the specific services or keywords they are looking for in your role description, CV and portfolio website. Most people know this by now but don’t actually update their portfolio sites, LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram profile with key phrases or words they need to get noticed.

Word of mouth is great. Hoever, many of us do not take advantage of the fact that ranking well signals professionalism and expertise to potential clients. It adds credibility, which gets your foot in the door.

Understanding Key SEO Metrics

As Matthew Woodward of Search Logistics emphasises, success in SEO relies on understanding key metrics:

  • Organic search rankings: Where your LinkedIn profile or website appears in search results for relevant keywords. Research and identify keywords that potential clients would use to search for your services. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner (see the step-by-step guide at the end of his article) or SEMrush to discover high-volume, low-competition keywords. SEMrush is costly, so you will probably wnat to shop around or do you own research on the competition who are high ranking. See how they have set up their websites, social media profiles and content for SEO and engagement.
  • Click-through rates (CTRs): The percentage of users who click on your profile or website link in search results.
  • Organic traffic volume: The number of visitors coming to your profile or website through search engines.
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors who leave after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate could indicate that your content isn’t meeting their needs. One way to solve this is by conducting a survey on LinkedIn to see what they are looking for and offering them a free or discounted consultation to see how you could help them meet their goals. Make it worth their while by posing an interesting fact about their industry or pain point. If people think you can solve their issues they will be more apt to engage with you and hire your services.

SEO Strategies for Freelancers and Contractors

Keyword Optimisation:

Identify the keywords potential clients use to search for your services. These are the terms you should include naturally in your LinkedIn profile, portfolio website content, and project descriptions.

Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords and assess their competition.

Compelling Profile and Website Content:

LinkedIn:

  • Write a clear, concise headline highlighting your expertise.
  • Fill out your profile completely, showcasing your skills and experience.
  • Use rich media like images and videos.
  • Share engaging content like articles, insights, or project highlights.
  • Build connections with people in your industry, past clients, and colleagues. Suggest conducting a webinar together on a topic eac of your skills could tackle.

Portfolio Website:

  • Optimise page titles, meta descriptions, and header tags with relevant keywords.
  • Use clear, concise, and engaging language that showcases your expertise.
  • Create high-quality, informative content that demonstrates your expertise. Write blog posts, case studies, or tutorials related to your field.

Technical SEO:

Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly.

  • Use descriptive meta tags and titles for each page of your website. These snippets appear in search results and can influence click-through rates. there are many tools that can help you find SEO key words and phrases, H1 tags and normal tags, such as Google’s AI assistant Gemini or other apps on the market.
  • Fix broken links and optimise images for faster loading times.

Link Building:

  • Network and collaborate with others in your industry.
  • Guest post on relevant blogs or websites and encourage them to link back to your profile or website.
  • Join relevant LinkedIn groups and actively participate in discussions.
  • Get other reputable websites to link to your portfolio.

Engage with Your Audience:

  • Respond to comments and messages promptly.
  • Share relevant content and participate in discussions on LinkedIn.
  • Ask clients for testimonials and recommendations, which can improve your profile’s credibility.

Measuring Your Success

Use SEO and analytics tools like Google Analytics and LinkedIn Analytics to track your progress and gain insights into your website and profile traffic.

By understanding and applying SEO strategies, freelancers and contractors can transform their LinkedIn presence and portfolio websites into powerful lead-generating tools. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process. Continually refine your strategies, create valuable content, and engage with your audience to stay ahead of the competition.


How do you use Google Keyword Planner?

This is a free tool within Google Ads that helps you research and discover keywords for your SEO on your website, social media profiles or even for key words to ad to your CV.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use it:

Access Google Keyword Planner:

  • You’ll need a Google Ads account to access the tool. If you don’t have one, you can create a free account without running any ads.
  • Once logged in, click on the “Tools and Settings” icon, then select “Keyword Planner” under the “Planning” section.

Choose Your Tool:

You’ll see two main options:

  • Discover new keywords: Use this to find new keyword ideas based on your product, service, or website.
  • Get search volume and forecasts: Use this to see historical data and trends for your existing keyword list.

Discover New Keywords:

You can start by entering:

  • Words or phrases related to your business.
  • Your website URL (Google will analyse the content and suggest relevant keywords).

Your product category.

  • Click “Get results” to see a list of keyword ideas with their average monthly searches, competition level, and suggested bid (if you’re using it for ads).

Filter and Sort Results:

Refine your keyword list by:

  • Location: Target specific locations or countries.
  • Language: Choose the language of your target audience.
  • Search Network: Select Google Search or Google Search partners.
  • Negative keywords: Exclude irrelevant terms.
  • Sort keywords by relevance, search volume, competition, or other metrics.

Analyse Keyword Ideas:

Look for keywords that are:

  • Relevant to your business or niche.
  • Have high search volume (indicating high demand).
  • Have low to medium competition (making it easier to rank).
  • Align with your target audience’s search intent.

Get Search Volume and Forecasts:

If you already have a list of keywords, paste them into the tool. You’ll see their average monthly searches, competition, and potential ad performance metrics.

Additional Tips:

  • Use the “Keyword ideas” tab to find more relevant terms related to your initial keywords.
  • Look for long-tail keywords (more specific phrases with lower competition).
  • Check the “Competition” column to gauge how difficult it might be to rank for a particular keyword.
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