By Eric Storch
If you own a website, understanding search engine optimization (SEO) is an important factor in driving traffic to your site. As a freelance writer, it’s also important for you to understand it and be able to use it well. SEO is what search engines look for when scanning the internet in order to provide a list of the most relevant websites to the searcher. Having good SEO for your site will place it higher on a search engine results page (SERP).
Small companies may not have an SEO specialist
When a company doesn’t have an SEO team or just doesn’t have the money to spend on a specialist, they are going to look to the writer to provide SEO for their site. You will need to know all you can about SEO in order to make yourself more marketable. Companies will hire freelance writers with SEO experience over those who don’t. There is a wealth of information on SEO to be found on the internet and a simple search will get you started on what you need to know.
SEO is connected to content
Since the majority of SEO is content related, it can be a simple thing for the writer to provide SEO in an article. In most cases, the company is looking for certain keywords to be placed within an article and some companies may even require a certain percentage of words in the article to be keywords. Companies and SEO experts both agree though, that content should always come before SEO. SEO may bring a reader to your site once, but good content keeps them coming back.
Being ignorant of the rules of SEO is no excuse
Search engines don’t like scraping or plagiarism and when it’s detected, it can hurt a website’s showing on a SERP. It should go without saying, but original content is preferred, both by companies and search engines.
Does a freelance writer have to understand SEO? The short answer is no. You will be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t at least have a grasp of the basics, though. Companies will love you if you can do your own SEO work, and the knowledge will give you a better chance of getting repeat business.