Being a freelance proofreader is not only about being a stickler for spelling. It’s also about promoting yourself and attracting new clients. Having a website, as you may already know, is essential to this! The work isn’t finished once you’ve set your website up, though. There are many details to keep an eye on, and SEO is one of them. In this post, we’ll cover our top five website SEO tips for freelance proofreaders:
- Research which keywords are relevant for your business
- Choose a range of keywords that target specific client types
- Distribute keywords strategically throughout your website
- Boost your SEO by posting regular content
- Update your SEO strategy regularly
Keep reading for more details on each of these.
What Is SEO?
First, it helps to know what SEO is. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. And, in simple terms, website SEO is the process of using keywords/phrases – among other things – to increase the organic traffic to your site (i.e., visitors that find you via search engines).
So if you want to be found online without paying for ads, having at least a basic understanding of how to improve your website SEO is crucial.
1. Do Your Research
SEO optimization starts with research! You’ll want to research which keywords to include on your website (i.e., words and phrases related to your business that potential clients might use in online searches). Here are a few things that can help you target your research:
- Your competitors (i.e., business websites that rank at the top of search results and do similar work to you). Do some searches: is any content that they publish getting lots of attention? What keywords can you find on their websites?
- Your clients. Put yourself in their shoes: what would they type on their search? Remember to make the most of your niche (i.e., with words and phrases that relate to a specific industry, document type, or genre that you specialize in).
- SEO optimization tools like Semrush or Ahrefs. These give you a full report of what keywords people are using to find your website and offer precious insights on how to expand your reach (i.e., other keywords you could use).
Keep a list of the keywords you find from the above methods.
2. Choose Your Keywords Carefully
Once you’ve done your research, you should have a few keywords you’d like to use. But what’s the difference between them?
- Short-tail keywords are one or two words representing general queries (e.g., “proofreading services”). People are more likely to search these (i.e., they have a higher search density). But that means they’re much harder to rank for as there’s more competition.
- In contrast, long-tail keywords relate to more specific searches (e.g., “proofreaders for speculative fiction novellas”). Long-tail keywords are key, especially when you’re starting out. The search density is lower for long-tail phrases, so it’s easier to rank for them. Plus they’re a great way to target your niche.
- LSI keywords. LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing (i.e., words that help search engine crawlers understand a website’s content). Think of these as synonyms for your main keywords (e.g., you could include “fiction proofreading services” on a page, with “novel proofreading services” as a variation on that).
You can also include geography-based long-tail keywords like “proofreaders in San Francisco” or industry-specific ones like “proofreading services for medical research.”
Choosing a mixture of short-tail, long-tail, and LSI keywords will be sure to give your website an SEO boost.
3. Incorporate SEO Keywords on Your Website
Once you know which keywords you’ll use, it’s time to distribute them throughout your content. You can include keywords in your service descriptions, your “About Me” page, your homepage, etc.
Search engines also take into account the location of keywords on a page. Once you’ve decided on a target keyword or phrase for each webpage, try to integrate them naturally into:
- The page title
- The first paragraph of text
- Section subheadings
You can also include keywords throughout the paragraph text on your pages. Be mindful of overstuffing, though. Keywords are important, but so is content that humans actually enjoy reading.
4. Boost SEO With Regular Content
SEO optimization is a long-term strategy. If you want to see results, remember to post content regularly. Otherwise, search engine crawlers (here they are again!) assume your website is no longer active, and will consequently lower your SEO score.
A great way to do this is through a website blog. Blogging is a great way to target different SEO keywords, as well as provide website visitors with valuable and problem-solving content that helps to promote your services. As above, you’ll want to include the target keyphrase for each blog post in the post title, first paragraph, and at least one subheading.
5. Keep an Eye on Your SEO
Trends in SEO change constantly. So make sure you:
- Check your SEO score regularly
- Check that your website includes up-to-date internal (i.e., to other pages on your site) and external links.
- Update your focus keywords to reflect any changes in industry trends.
- Keep up to date with SEO rules laid out by search engines. For example, what was considered good keyword density in the past counts as overstuffing now.
- Keep checking your competition.
Just because you’ve optimized your SEO once doesn’t mean you’re sorted for good – the internet is constantly changing! But if you regularly dedicate some time to SEO, you’ll see the results for yourself.
Interested in Becoming a Proofreader?
If you dream of owning your working hours and starting a freelance business, why not give our Becoming A Proofreader course a try? Sign up for a free trial today.