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How to find a SEO professional freelancer online?

Sometimes due to the limited resources, you’ll need to search for outsource assistance for your business, whether for your clients or for your own company. SEO is one of the most wanted professions these days, but here’s the catch: finding a good SEO is a real challenge too.

There are so many out there, offering the SEO services, that it’s easy to get lost.

We are here to guide you through finding a solid freelance SEO online, not just some SEO person. When it comes to finding a solid SEO professional, there are clear & distinctive right and wrong pathways about the hiring process. Let’s break it down, shall we?

First, the DON’TS:

Don’t think that if your potential freelancer isn’t ranked as 1st or 3rd in Google, it means he or she doesn’t do great SEO — in fact, most of the time, it’s the opposite.
A common sense probably tells you that a good SEO professional will do a great job ranking himself for “SEO consultant” or “SEO consultant plus a city name” search ques. As if you are looking for the best SEO in Chicago, you only have to Google “best SEO Chicago” and surely the number-one expert will show up at the top.
Unfortunately, it barely works this way. What really happens is most of the actual best professionals are already in high demand and overwhelmed with clients work, not having the time and need to actually rank and promote themselves. It obviously works the other way around as well. Don’t count on it too much in your search.

Don’t think there’s a “secret recipe” – there is none! There are no hidden ingredients or know-how’s in SEO. No one has a secret proprietary process. SEO is a very open field, well understood and logical. Don’t trust anyone who’s trying to convince you he knows some secret recipe that he couldn’t share. Instead, follow the next steps, to end up finding and hiring the right fit for your project.

Then, the DO’S:

Set goals. Prepare and define your own vision and the goals you are trying to achieve. What do you want to accomplish with the upcoming SEO activity? Keep in mind that not every goal is productive and reasonable. A good SEO person will be able to tell you YES or NO right away — defining if your goals and targets are reasonable and realistic, but more importantly, he/she should be capable of explaining WHY EXACTLY is it right or wrong. And vice versa: total agreement with everything you want and promises to definitely reach it should be a red flag for you! You need an expert, not just an executor.

Search on trusted marketplaces. Search within existing freelance marketplaces: they have already done 90% of the preparatory job of finding you a solid option.Since the main reason to hire a freelancer is to save your resources and optimize the process, we would recommend not spending your time and energy on searching the standalone profiles in the web, on job-boards or through recommendations, but rather considering using one of the specifically created and trusted freelance searching platforms. Use reliable online freelancer platforms, but remember: not all of them are equally good for the specific needs, like DesignCrowd or 99designs are more focused on the visual arts professionals, while Fiverr, Outsourcely, Toptal, Peopleperhour work good for the Web Development projects and SEO in particular. Check more details in the comparison table and the platforms reviews.

Compare. Create a list of criteria for the candidates to be compared by:

  • Location
  • Price range and contract/payment structure
  • References and Credentials
  • Best achievements and past results
  • Communication style and approach

Evaluate. There’s a general checklist to help you evaluate the quality and professionalism of the chosen candidate, which works for the most cases. The objective key criteria could be:

  • Years of experience
  • Agency experience in handling lots of different brands in different niches
  • In-house experience, working solely and more thoroughly on one client
  • Most competitive keywords or clients they’ve handled?
  • Monthly keyword ranking reports and monthly link building reports availability
  • Client testimonials and contacts for referrals
  • Quality content a part of the package for your SEO campaign

Check. Let’s hope you’ve got the clear and trustworthy answers and explanations. Good. Time to show their skills in action. Have them prepare the proposal and try to get the fullest available for free consultation with solutions for you specific business needs and goals. Make sure the candidate’s proposal includes an initial technical review of your website to weed out any problems that could lower your search engine ranking, including broken links and error pages. Ask them to write an action plan detailing how they will grow your business from month 1 to month 3. Pay attention to the questions they ask and data they request, this could be a giveaway of their real professional skills and approach:

5 questions any professional SEO should ask you as a client

  1. What is your product/company about (briefly).
  2. Who & where is your main audience?
  3. What are the main topics you want to target?
  4. Who are your direct competitors? What do you offer that they don’t?
  5. Do you have tracking on your site such as Google Analytics, Search Console? If yes, please grant us at least a view access. If no, this is the first thing you/we should set together.

Bottom line

No promises of results
SEO is not a magic. There’s no actual way to fully predict, not to say about guarantee results. Setting KPIs and targets is good, but it’s a direction to aim, not a final destination. And if someone takes risks to promise you anything specific — there’s a big chance they don’t really know what they are doing.

It is a matter of time
SEO is not a one-time action and not even a set of actions. It is an ongoing process of constant research, testing, fine-tuning and adjustments.  Be prepared that it will take at least a few months before you will see the first actual results. The longer you are doing it, the better results you are getting.

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