How to Become an SEO Consultant

An SEO consultant is hired to achieve one main goal: to help their client to reach the highest possible search engine rankings. With constant Google algorithm updates and changes to the way website content is ranked, it’s becoming more difficult to outsmart and ultimately outrank competitors.

Because SEO is becoming more complex, the demand for experienced SEO consultants is expanding daily, and if you have the ability to prove results on previous consulting you’ve done, you’re likely going to be in high demand.

Becoming an SEO Expert

Unlike many traditional professions, an SEO consultant is usually self-taught or taught through an SEO specific course. Below are a few steps to help you start off your SEO career.

  • Stay on trend with current SEO events. Whether you attend networking conferences targeted at SEOs, or even join LinkedIn groups surrounding the topic, it’s important to keep your know-how up to date. Another advantage of attending these conferences is the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals.
  • Use your website as a portfolio. If you don’t have your own site, you should get one as soon as you can. Being in the world of digital marketing, having an online presence is crucial, and being an SEO, you need to have a great online presence. Your site should be optimised to the extent that you can use it as a showpiece for potential clients, and to draw clients to you from relate searches.
  • Promote yourself by taking on one or two charitable tasks. If you’re relatively new (or have a low client base), offering your services free of charge to worthy organisations can help you create awareness of your brand, enjoy the exposure that comes with being the name behind the SEO efforts of that charity, and give you the chance to showcase any work you carry out for them.

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Find out how to maximise your take-home pay and become a successful contractor in our free guide. Also covered in our guide is:

  • Getting started – discover which business structure is best for you and how to get started.
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  • Making your business a success – learn how to grow your business, how to market yourself and to forecast for the future.

How do clients choose a freelance SEO consultant?

The same way you find a service provider by doing a quick search is probably the same way potential clients find SEO consultants. This ties back to the need for you to have an optimised website, which you can use as an interactive portfolio.

While more traditional and considered outdated by some, having a digital CV is a great way to have a linear description of your achievements over the years. Remember, a consultants CV will not be structured the same way an employees would. Brush up on your consultant CV writing skills here.

  • Put links to Google to show rankings of websites you’ve optimised. Accompanied with a screenshot of their before position.
  • Display testimonials from previous clients.
  • Display the content to be the ‘perfect’ web copy. For example content should have:
    • A compelling offer
    • Target the right audience
    • Must have a reason
    • Must have a sense of credibility
    • Must be packed full of keywords
    • Sell yourself – Use a call to action at the end of each page, for example, once they have viewed the page, always leave a contact telephone number, email address and link to more of your work to further entice them to use your services.
  • Optimise your website!

Search Engine Optimisation consultant rates of pay

The average daily rate of an SEO consultant is anywhere from £100 – £400, per day. This depends largely on location, experience, the scope of the project you’re being hired to consult on, the length of the project, and of course what the client is willing to pay.

Highly experienced SEO consultants can command a much higher rate of pay, especially if they have a portfolio and testimonials to back up their claims of successful previous work.

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Why SEO consulting?

More people are choosing to operate through their own limited company, partly due to changes in corporate working practices but also because of the freedom, control and financial reward that comes from being your own boss.

Something to remember is that although as a consultant you can command much higher daily rates of pay, bear in mind the lack of holiday and sick pay, and the other additional benefits which are lost when moving from employment to contract work.

Higher rates of pay

This is only fair as unlike permanent employees, you do not get holiday or sick pay, giving you a greater chance to negotiate a higher rate of pay.

Prospects

The SEO market is always needed, presenting numerous opportunities.

Experience

The more contracts you undertake, the greater your practical and managerial skills become. Experience adds up and lends to your career progression, as well as boosting your chargeable daily rate.

Freedom

You can choose which contracts you take on.

Flexibility

As an SEO consultant you may have the option to work from home, allowing you to choose the hours your work, and allowing you to fit projects around any other commitments.

Lower Taxes

Any accountant will tell you that operating through your own limited company is the most tax efficient method possible.  

How do I find a contract?

The most prevalent way to find a contract is through recruitment sites. It would be advisable to look at niche agencies that specify in IT contractors, as these are more likely to advertise SEO contracts.

You could also secure a contract by approaching companies directly. Often larger companies have a careers section with a contact telephone and email address for you to send through your CV and a covering letter.  The main benefit of becoming a Search Engine Optimisation consultant is that you have skills in a sector that is never-ending. The internet is something nearly every customer uses and nearly any company with a website would be interested in your services giving you an almost endless list of potential clients.

Marketing and PR agencies often have contracts available for SEO consultants. They may already have a preferred SEO consultant on file, though this shouldn’t deter you from sending in your portfolio.

It is advisable to build links with as many agencies as possible. Usually, their contact numbers and addresses are on their websites. If you’re finding it difficult to find a point of contact, consider using LinkedIn.

Alternatively, you could advertise your service to potential clients, and don’t forget to keep your website in the most highly optimised condition possible. It is important though to remember this is a highly competitive marketplace, so finding a contract is not always going to be easy.

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