How to become an SEO expert on Upwork

How to become an SEO expert on Upwork

A brief history of SEO

SEO discipline started there in the ’90s when search engines were born. Back then, there was not a discipline at all when it came to ranking the websites. SEO optimization consisted in using keyword density to measure the SEO optimization for a website. The more the same keyword you had in multiple paragraphs of your content the better your “keyword density” was. But that led to the creation of spammy websites that didn’t contribute with anything good for the users. It was just artificial content. It was not until Google announced a new tool as a way to set the rules to rank pages according to the quality of the content. They called it “PageRank”. And then it was when SEO start shaping itself into the discipline as we know it today. Keep reading so you have a better idea of how to become an SEO expert by using Upwork.

What does an SEO specialist do?

An SEO specialist (also SEO consultant) is a person responsible for optimizing websites pages to bring more visitors to them and rank them high in the search results. An SEO specialist performs several tasks to achieve this, such as code optimization, content creation, keywords research, and pay-per-click campaigns. SEO specialists are now more required than ever due to the increase of internet users and activity.

The importance of SEO specialists

SEO specialists are so important for the sole reason that websites visits translate into money. The more visitors a website has the more engagement, prospecting, and conversions it gets. Many people tend to believe that only by having much content written on their websites they’ll be getting more visits. But is not a simple as that. An SEO specialist optimize many technical and creative aspects of the website in order

Is working as an SEO consultant/specialist worth it?

According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for an SEO specialist in the United States is around $54,000 dollars a year. But that’s working for a salary. According to the same platform, working the same job as a freelancer is more profitable at around $60,000 on average and can go as high as $113,000 per year. Those are pretty decent incomes. Moreover, if for beginners your investment is as low as $250 per month, according to some freelancers.

But there are some more great things about working as a freelance SEO specialist that working as an employee doesn’t such as:

You set your own limits

There are no restrictions when it comes to making your business profitable as a freelancer. You set the limits and you can go as high as you want. There are no more “we’re unable to raise your salary right now. In the next few months, we’ll see” anymore.

Manage your own time

You don’t depend on others to schedule your work time. You’ll be free to work at the time that pleases you the most. You can go as far as work during the night and use the daylight for your other activities.

Low investment (compared to incomes)

Investment for working as SEO specialist can be as low as $0. There are multiple free tools that will help you optimize website rankings at a certain level. However, if you are serious about going pro, a good SEO tool can be as cheap as $99 for your business.

Infinite job opportunities

According to Statista there were around 1.8 billion websites in 2021 and that number fluctuates day by day. Although the majority of the websites are inactive ( more than half according to statistics), most of those who are active need some help regarding their SEO. Having that amount of potential customers at a frame of a screen it’s a huge opportunity to explore.

The advantages of getting SEO jobs through Upwork

Upwork is a great place to start your journey as an SEO specialist since there are many potential clients looking for SEO experts that help them position their websites. Contrary to other forms of advertising your services where you need to invest to get new clients, you can get them on Upwork by making some queries. Also, Upwork is a very reliable platform where you can be sure that you will get paid as long as you deliver what you promised. It’s a good idea though, for SEO specialists not to promise first-place rankings.

How can I become an SEO expert on Upwork

To become an SEO expert on Upwork, the first thing that you need to bear in mind is that although Upwork is a great place to get freelance jobs, it’s a little difficult at first. This is because, in order to start getting traction, you need the most important factor: Your first job.


Your first job as SEO specialist on Upwork

Your first job through Upwork is the most difficult to get, and that’s for the reason that you don’t have any background on your profile supporting your freelance experience on the platform. And by this, we mean that your profile will be empty when it comes to your reputation inside Upwork. You won’t have any review, any tracked hours, any success scoring. This is a great disadvantage when you’re competing with other SEO freelancers that have 5 stars reviews from major clients. So getting your first job is the first challenge you need to overcome to make your SEO expert dreams come true. Here are some tips that will help you get your first job on the platform:

1.- Have some level of experience

If you really want to make your way as an SEO freelancer on Upwork or on any other platform, It’s a must that you have any prior experience regarding SEO optimization. Even if you have a certificate, having some previous experience will make you competent enough to deliver your first project successfully. You wouldn’t want to go through the embarrassing situation of having your first job one-star reviewed.

2.- Have your own website

Many successful SEO experts such as Brian Dean (, use their website as a way to demonstrate how great their SEO services are. If you take a look at the websites of the most successful SEO specialists, you’ll find out that they usually rank for many search terms on the first pages. Having a website that ranks high for some keywords of your choice is a way to fulfill two purposes: 1.- To advertise your services  2.- To show how good you are at ranking websites.

3. - Search for basic optimization jobs

When searching for your first project to bid on, try to use the terms and filters that can get you some small project. For example, there are many clients looking to optimize a single page for some keyword by using Yoast SEO. If you are familiar with Yoast, you’ll know that optimizing a page for SEO can be an easy task, especially when you have the keywords that you need to optimize content upon. They’ll be not asking you to make extra keyword research or using other techniques such as backlinks. Others simply want you to update the meta descriptions for their web pages. Bidding on simple projects like these will increase your chances of getting hired, especially if you have a strong profile.

4.- Send a great proposal

Writing a great proposal is what you need to get the first contact with your client. A badly written proposal could mean a dozen connects that go to the trash. So it’s always a good idea to overthink all of your proposals so they are the most effective. A good recommendation is to keep your proposals short and with information that is only relevant to the project. Also, try not to include information already on your profile unless this is relevant enough to be remarked twice (for example, I optimized a multi-million dollar website).

A proposal template for SEO specialists/consultants

If you don’t know where to start when writing your first proposal for SEO jobs on Upwork, you can use this template. This is based on the tips you received in the previous paragraph, and it’s a good starting point. Make sure you make the proper editions to it so it perfectly adapts to your situation.

Hello first name of the client,

My name is your name, an SEO specialist/consultant/expert with write here years experience (avoid years experience if no more than 1 year) experience providing my services for on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. I’ve helped optimize and rank more than write here the number of websites websites achieving outstanding results for all of them.

Three key aspects about me:

🌐 First short relevant aspect of your SEO career relevant to the particular job. Don’t include information already on your profile.

Second short relevant aspect of your SEO career relevant to the particular job. Don’t include information already on your profile.

💸 Third short relevant aspect of your SEO career relevant to the particular job. Don’t include information already on your profile.

I invite you to take a look at my website link to your website where you can see more of my achievements and also take a look at my profile to know more about my career as SEO specialist.

Regarding your project, I recommend we write here some advice related to the job post. This is something that has given me exceptional results with past clients, and will almost certainly work for your website as well.

If you are interested don’t hesitate to request an interview and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Other tips to become an SEO expert on Upwork

Once you have your first job on the platform, you will gain some traction to start getting your next ones. The next step is to develop a strategy that helps you get clients on a regular basis, and clients that pay you what you ask for. Here are some tips that’ll help you to fulfill that purpose.

1.- Look for niche websites

A great way to increase your chances of getting projects on a regular basis is to specialize yourself in a website subject. For example, by providing your SEO services for websites in the clothing niche. Of course, you can be more specific like choosing a more specific one like “t-shirt stores” but that will narrow your search results. So it’s a better idea to specialize in something that has a decent amount of results and you can compete for as well. Specialization will make you more competitive when bidding for projects.

2.- Get a license for bigger tools

Even though you can rely on free solutions to build your freelance SEO business, using the best tools available such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz will surely improve your services and make them more efficient. You can also include the use of these as a way to charge more for your projects. For example, create some packages and include the premium functions of each in the most expensive ones.

3.- Try to keep a 100% job success score

Job Success Score is one of the most important parameters for Upwork to promote your profile when someone looks for “SEO specialists in my area”. It will also help you earn the Top Rated, Top Rated Plus, and Expert-Vetted badges. Job success is a way to measure how satisfied are your past clients with your services and advertise yourself as a reliable freelancer.

4.- Get training with an expert

Another way of making your way through Upwork is to get some training with the most valuable people available. And by valuable, we mean someone who has enough success and experience on the platform and is willing to give a hand to those who are just starting. Ross Jenkins our CEO and founder is one of the most successful freelancers on Upwork, being featured many times by them. He’s sharing his advice and expertise to show you the secrets to becoming a successful freelancer on Upwork. Also, if you are planning to start your own SEO agency, Ross can help you as he’s manager of DigitalME on the platform. If you are interested don’t hesitate to click on the button and fill in the form so Ross can schedule a call with you.