SEO for freelancers: What makes sense?

Freelancers with their own Internet presence will at some point ask themselves the question: How do I manage to get more visitors to my website? After all, as freelancers we want to reach a large proportion of our target group with our offer. A popular way to achieve this is to optimize your own website for search engines (SEO). In this article I would like to give a short insight and clarify whether SEO really makes sense for freelancers.

What is SEO actually?

The abbreviation SEO comes from the English language and stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. In essence, it is about the placement in search engines after entering a certain search term. For example, if Google searches for the word “graphic designer”, in a perfect world my website would be at the top 🙂 Unfortunately, the world is not that perfect. That’s why there are quite a few other websites of competitors that are better placed under this search term.

How does SEO work?

A particularly important criterion for a search engine is the number and quality of so-called backlinks. These are links that link to your website from an external website. The more links (on high-quality websites), the better the ranking in the search results. So you can optimise your website by placing as many links to your website as possible on external websites. This is called off-page optimisation, because the optimisation does not take place directly on your website.

Besides the OffPage optimization there is also the OnPage optimization. You can usually control this kind of search engine optimization much better. With OnPage optimization, even simple changes to your website can be enough to bring about changes in the search results. For example, you can make sure that your desired search term appears in headlines or several times in the body text. These are just two of a variety of options.

Why SEO for freelancers often does not work

Some freelancers use their own website to enhance their own business card. This is the same with me. I make a new contact, hand over a business card, the customer is convinced of my services and ideally I receive the order. The customer does not usually come to my website via a search engine, but after a personal contact. There he can quickly and easily find information about the person, a portfolio and a few sentences about the unique selling points. Naturally, such websites work more with pictures than with texts. However, search engines work on a text basis. If you only show a portfolio of your work on your website, you will be biting your teeth out with an OnPage optimization. There is simply not enough text to optimize. Therefore, you will not achieve a relevant position in the search results with the OnPage optimization alone.

Are there still ways to bring more visitors to your website?

Let’s remember: Besides the OnPage optimization there is also the OffPage optimization. For websites that primarily work with images, placing backlinks on external websites can work very well. Especially if your references are of high quality or your website offers unique content that is worth reporting on for other website and blog owners.

Alternatively, you can also spread your expertise via blogs, e.g. in the form of guest contributions.

Having your own blog can also be an option. However, to achieve a relevant effect you have to invest quite some time (I speak from experience). But this effort can pay off. For example, with this blog “Freiberufler-werden.de” I managed to get into the top 10 search results at Google with some search terms. Thus many visitors come over my blog to my website. Alone through this blog some great and unexpected cooperations have already been created.

When does SEO for freelancers work?

SEO for freelancers works if you offer the readers a clear added value on your website. You can do this, for example, by presenting unique projects or placing free content. You can ask yourself the following question: “Would I recommend, link, tweet or link to this content myself?

As an alternative to backlinks, you can think about your own blog, so that you have much more design options regarding OnPage optimization. It is important that the blog also provides your readers with real added value. What are your experiences with search engine optimization? Write in the comments. I look forward to your practical experience!

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