As a freelancer, search engine optimization (SEO) is a valuable marketing skill that can help grow your business. You probably already know that a website is now a requirement for attracting new clients. However, without good SEO, your website may never been seen by most of your potential clients. Thatâ€™s because many people search online as a first step to finding services they need. The better your websiteâ€™s SEO, the more potential clients will find your website and services
A Quick SEO Overview
To understand SEO, you have to understand how search engines, such as Google, work. When a person types in a set of words, the search engine chooses what it considers the best match. Usually the best matched website will have those same set of words in its content.
The chances that your website will come up first as the best match increases if you have that exact phrase in your websiteâ€™s content. Other SEO aspects that can affect your website ranking include links to your website from other websites (called backlinks) and how much content your site has.
The Most Important SEO Feature: The Words on Your Website
The words on your website are your most important and valuable commodity in the internet world. The key is to know what your potential clients are looking for and include those words in your website. You may already know what people would search for to find your services, but if you are unsure, then you may want to invest in keyword software such as Market Samurai.
As an example, if you teach horseback riding lessons, you want to include the various terms people would search for to find that service. These search terms may include, â€œhorseback riding lessons,â€ â€œhorse lessons,â€ and â€œhorse riding lessons.â€ Donâ€™t be tempted to shorten these phrases. For example when listing the types of lessons you offer, donâ€™t use the heading of just â€œLessons.â€ Use the entire phrase you are targeting, such as â€œHorse Riding Lessons.â€
If your services target local clients, then do include your city and surrounding cities somewhere in your text. If someone is looking for services, they often include their home town in the search, such as â€œhorse riding lessons in Atlanta.â€ The more cities you can include on your website, the more clients you can attract.
Also, the more words on your website, the more searches you will attract. So if you have the time to add a blog or article library, do it. Write in-depth articles about the different services you offer and problems that you can solve for your clients.
You should know that as the most valuable marketing tool that you have, you do need to keep your content only on your website and not duplicated it elsewhere. Donâ€™t be tempted to take short cuts and use your home page or about page as a press release that gets posted to several websites. Search engines like unique content not found anywhere else on the internet. If content from your website is found on any other website, it could lower your site in search rankings. Instead write a new article to use as your press release.
Another simple thing you can do to improve your siteâ€™s SEO is to get backlinks from relevant sites. Find other high quality sites to post your press release to or a write guest blog post that links back to your website. If your services target your local community, then reach out to local businesses to generate links back to your site.
Once you have your website set up, you can let it work for you. However, you will want to keep up on changes to SEO, as search engines, especially Google, are constantly changing their algorithms. One day your freelancing site might be at the top of the searches and the next day itâ€™s buried on page 10 because of an algorithm change. There are many professional SEO websites that can help you keep up to date on SEO changes that can affect your website. These include Search Engine Roundtable (seroundtable.com), SEO Chat (forums.seochat.com), and Googleâ€™s own Webmaster Central Blog.
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