Many entrepreneurs have fallen foul of thinking that using a few hundred dollars to fulfill SEO requirements by outsourcing their work would be sufficient.
So you don’t fail the same way here are the best SEO freelance websites according to the top SEO experts.
Search engine optimization can be confusing. Especially to people whose skills are more suited to entrepreneurship and management, than to a hands-on approach to search engine marketing. That’s why many people decide to outsource their SEO campaigns to someone else.
A good idea? Or Not? A good businessman knows when to delegate, and outsourcing can be the answer done correctly. SEO is a complicated business and needs a consistent approach, ensuring you hire Freelancers who are up to date with requirements is where the difficulties can lie.
In this article, I am doing a roundup of the freelance sites Upwork, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour that I have used when it comes to hiring SEO people. I also invited another 10 experts to share their thoughts about the freelance sites that they have been tried.
Let’s begin – I am the first on the list.
Georgi Todorov from DigitalNovas
Honestly, I’ve found a lot of excellent SEO specialists on Upwork. I’m a big fan of the site because it’s easy to check up on freelancers’ past projects and to see how they did. I’ve used Upwork to find specialists for local SEO, link building, on-page SEO, and PPC. There are also plenty of writers and virtual assistants who will do a great job if you give them a chance.
The biggest challenge with Upwork is the temptation to rush your job descriptions. Don’t – instead, invest a little time and effort in your advert so that it attracts the best freelancers. At the same time, be ready to pay them a fair price for their time. After all, you get what you pay for.
I’m not going to hide the fact that I’ve tried Fiverr, mostly just to see whether there are any gigs that are worthwhile. In my experience, it’s difficult to find a good gig. You often see gigs with thousands of sales and 99% positive reviews that turn out to be crap. That’s because most of the buyers on Fiverr are people who don’t understand marketing. This means they can’t evaluate if the service they paid for led to actual results for their business.
Above all else, don’t buy link-building services from Fiverr – it’s mostly automated and can even lead to you being penalized by search engines.
Another thing that I don’t like about Fiverr is the lack of transparency. A lot of people from third world countries download pictures of actors or celebrities. They then put that picture on their profile and pretend to be from the United States. Not cool. I don’t care what country someone’s from as long as they deliver the results that they promised. I have no time for people who are afraid to stand behind their own name and face.
What’s Fiverr good for? Definitely not SEO services. That said, I’ve found some decent logo designers, infographic designers and people who’ll transcribe video/audio at a low price. It’s better for hiring creative services like graphic design and video because you can see the quality of a person’s work before you pay a cent. SEO is metric-driven, and you won’t boost those metrics by hiring someone from Fiverr.
PeoplePerHour is like Fiverr on steroids. You’re not going to find a gig for $5 on PeoplePerHour because it’s just not worth the seller’s time if they’re earning a living from freelancing. I’ve been checking out some of their gigs where they offer guest posts, and there’s a lot of potential there, but it’s a pain in the ass to find something worthwhile.
What do I mean by this? Well, many of the sellers who promise a link on a high-profile site turn out to be unable to do so, as the link gets removed after 1-2 weeks.
At the same time, there are plenty of rip-off merchants who are trying to sell guest posts on sites where literally anyone can sign up, login and publish an article. An example of this is Onmogul, a site where it takes two minutes to register and publish an article.
Why hire someone and pay them $50 to do that, when you could just do it yourself?
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that if you don’t have a deep understanding of SEO, you shouldn’t use a freelance website. And there are two reasons for that. The first is that you’ll be hiring people to do individual tasks rather than to execute a strategy. So, there needs to be someone who knows what they’re doing who’s directing them.
The second is, if you don’t understand SEO, you can’t evaluate the work that they’re doing. You need to figure out whether it’s beneficial or not and whether it could even do some damage to your website.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you buy a gig that promises a link from the Huffington Post for $99. When the seller delivers the work to you, you’ll quickly realize that it doesn’t boost your rankings because the post has a noindex tag.
You can go into the exchange hoping that the link will have a positive impact, but the truth is that many contributor posts don’t get indexed by Google and you’re basically throwing your money out of the window.
In most cases, you don’t know what you’re buying until it’s delivered. Ultimately, it comes down to this: If you don’t have a solid budget for SEO and you’re not ready to hire an agency, you’re probably better off investing in some other marketing channel. Go for content marketing, email or PPC. Like any form of marketing, SEO is an expensive service, and it’s not for everyone – but when it does deliver, there’s nothing else quite like it.
Anyway, I am not the only one with an opinion about freelance websites. That’s why I asked 11 other people to tell me what they think.
Luke Fitzgerald from Wolfgang Digital
We’ve tried a number of freelance solutions here at Wolfgang over the years, from content to dev project work, to creative solutions. iWriter is one of our go-to platforms for content creation, and while terrible copywriters mostly populate it, there are some hidden gems in there. Once a mutually trusting relationship has been established, there’s some great synergies to be forged using the tool.
We’re also big fans of Copify, which generally has a higher standard of quality than iWriter. On the downside, it doesn’t have an option to top-up an escrow balance of a fixed amount from which to tap into when required. It requires a separate payment and invoicing process for each order, making it more of an administrative hassle.
The Daddy of all freelancing tools has got to be Elance…oDesk, or UpWork as it’s now called! Despite rebranding more times than I’ve changed my undies in recent years, it still has the most varied and diverse selection of genuine experts. All willing and waiting to deliver great services at a fair price.
Sean Si from SEO Hacker
If you ask me, you will definitely find a lot of freelancers on sites like Upwork, Guru, and Freelancer. Usually, these freelancers charge businesses a significantly lower amount compared to agencies. We’re talking about specialists who consider themselves a one-man team. Not to say, that there’s nobody out there who can do a fine job handling SEO alone, no.
Handling an SEO agency, myself, the quality of work from a dedicated team will always be better than that of a solo freelancer. But if you’re looking into tackling only one factor of SEO such as copywriting, web development, or building links – I’m sure you can find someone fit for the job on the sites I’ve mentioned early on.
Bottom-line, it’s always best to weigh your options first: what do you need, why do you need it, and what are the risks of getting specific suppliers? Always ask for their portfolio to see the quality of their work. Reflect from there, and I’m sure you’ll find the answers that you need. Besides, in SEO these days, we’re talking about quality more than anything else. Don’t you agree?
Venkatesh C.R. from Dot Com Infoway
Though we are an agency and we have a 250+ team of individuals to take care of projects for our clients, we see a certain advantage in freelancing websites. Upwork is one of the largest freelancing communities, especially after the merger of Elance and Odesk.
When it comes to SEO, job sites like Freelancer, Upwork, and Craigslist carry a varied pool of freelancers from all over the world, depending on your goals and the amount you’re willing to pay to achieve them.
We select 5 freelancers for each skillset (SEO, PPC, Social Media, Writing etc..) after a thorough evaluation. Once we do this, we award the projects to those we think are best qualified for the particular job.
When we need a different perspective on our regular work, we look for options in Upwork. Freelancers tend to be more innovative and receptive to new technology. We also look into the user reviews and ratings to gauge the experience of the freelancer.
Make use of the Timesheets in Upwork. Freelancers normally deliver their work on time. Tasks like, content generation, social media updates, paid advertising set up, Link Acquisition can be easily tracked with the timesheet.
We also look up to Upwork when we are in need of executing very specific tasks. Here, we can hire the most suitable experts for one-time job without any hassle. They bring their expertise to you with a really quick turnaround. When it comes to SEO, don’t hesitate to ask the freelancer to share his recent work samples and if needed feel free to talk to their previous and current clients to know about their work ethic and efficiency.
When you are looking for some content/task which need a localized flavor, freelancing websites are the best. When it comes to content writing, we always look for freelancers. Once there is an understanding between you and the writer, you can expect the shareable and likable content from them. Content is a part of any digital marketing element (SEO, PPC, Social Media etc..). We ask the writer to write 5-10 lines of sample content on a trial basis for our business / client’s business. This helps us know his / her understanding on the business.
Investing in a well-evaluated freelancer/freelancing portal could, in fact, bring untold rewards to your business.
Dmitry Dragilev from JustReachOut
Copyhackers.com to hire copy editors. I like writeaccess.com. Sometimes I use Upwork and Fiverr for quick jobs. Crew.co and Dribbble – for hiring designers.
Richard Conway from Pure SEO
We do not use freelancers for any off-page SEO, just because the risk/reward is not worth it. If someone does anything dodgy and a client gets a Google penalty, your reputation is damaged.
We have used the freelance platform Upwork very successfully in the past for software development. We have built a cloud-based SEO reporting system for our clients. It pulls data from Advanced Web Rankings, Search Console, Analytics, AdWords and a couple of other sources. We employed a local project manager who managed all the coders on Upwork. We saved at least 50% on development costs by doing that (still spent hundreds of thousands!).
The other thing we did; we opened an office in Manila because we can hire highly skilled, full-time employees at a fraction of the cost. For example, we have hired an ex-Googler who is a Tag Manager specialist for about 1/3 of the cost he would have been locally.
Darren DeMatas from Selfstartr
It’s reallllllly hard to find and hire good freelance SEOs. Upwork and those sites is a dice roll each time. I literally have to hire 20 people to find one good one. I’ve had much better luck with SEO Facebook groups.
Mandy McEwen from Mod Girl Marketing
I recommend Upwork for finding SEO freelancers. The key is to look for a particular type of SEO freelancer.
If you are looking for on-page SEO freelancers and strategists, Upwork is great. Off-page SEO is different and can get a bit more complex.
With that said, if you’re looking to hire SEO freelancers I recommend finding them first on Upwork, saving them, then creating a private job and inviting them. By doing so, you save a ton of time filtering through non-qualified applicants and only invite people you want to apply.
You’ll also want to select “independent freelancers” because you don’t want agency freelancers. I’ve personally never used them. When an agency is involved, you have less control over situations and the fees are inflated. Personally, if I’m hiring freelancers, I want to go straight to the source without another person or company involved.
Hiring freelancers is a skill that you perfect over time. In fact, I just created a new training that reveals my 3 secrets for successful outsourcing. You can watch the free training at modoutsource.com.
Shane Barker from Shane Barker Consulting
It’s a bit risky to look for SEO experts through freelance websites. We have an in-house SEO team that’s more than capable of handling our requirements, and those of our clients.
I don’t use freelance platforms to find freelancers. But if you visit sites like Upwork, Fiverr, etc. you may be able to find experts with high rankings and good reviews.
I recommend that you look through the reviews and see the quality of services these freelancers have provided to their previous clients.
I also recommend conducting a Google search for SEO experts who run their own websites. The best ones will be among the top search results. If they can rank their own website so highly, there’s a good chance they can do the same for your website.
Slavcho Panov from SEOSlav
As a general rule, I don’t use such platforms for hiring people. At first, you should build trust with the person you are going to work remotely and be assured that he or she won’t lead the company’s online presence to a negative effect.
I prefer to look for the right person at Marketing events or seek them out through the social networks (Facebook groups, G+ communities, LinkedIn) but then, I prefer to meet them in person.
This becomes a problem for me – assigning a project to someone I have never met or talked with in person, but we should be flexible and adaptive
I see that platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and LinkedIn have algorithms that sift out the able and the better professionals in a certain area and I’ve been told that there are a lot of professionals at these sites. If you don’t try, you would never know.
Dario Zadro from Zadro Web
Freelance websites are gold. They can help you offload and delegate small tasks that you don’t have time for or simply don’t want to do. Of course, you can also hire freelancers for large tasks. There’s also the benefit of cost. With freelance websites, costs are much more affordable than hiring a full-time employee (which I think most people understand).
I have used Freelancer, UpWork, and Toptal. Each has their benefits and specialties. Even if you have full-time workers, I still highly recommend off-loading tasks on a freelance website.
Final words by the author
I hope now you know which are the best SEO freelance websites and finding experts who live up to their expectations won’t be an issue.
So tell me, what is your opinion about using Freelance sites? Please, leave a comment with your thoughts and questions.