Search Engine Optimization, aka
SEO is fundamental in building an online presence for every brand. Without
good optimization, you would find it difficult, but not impossible, to develop
your online presence, let alone attracts good traffic or sales.
It is because of the growing popularity of this discipline that specialization in SEO has become one of the most sought-after things in 2021. If you are trying to kickstart your career in SEO freelancing, you are going to love our today’s interview with a pro SEO specialist, Jeff Moriarty.
Q – Welcome, Jeff Moriarty. We are quite excited to have you with us today, and we appreciate you for this interview. Let us first start with a brief introduction. You mentioned that you left your in-house job for freelancing. Did you switch because you found your calling?
I had built up quite a few clients over the years and called it my side gig. A few more clients signed up with me that wanted a lot more hours than I had to give. I looked at my salary vs the hours I could take on doing my side gig full time and found it was worth trying. I was also tired of working on the same thing day after day. Working with different clients on my own gave me a “change of scenery” and allowed me to work whenever I liked. I do some of my best work early in the morning and late at night, not just 9-5.
Q – The landscape of digital marketing, especially SEO, has changed drastically than it was a decade ago. What are your thoughts on it?
It is a lot tougher than it used to be. In the “old days”, if you wanted first-page positioning in three months, I could get you there, almost guaranteed. Now, it takes a lot of money, and you must be unique in your industry to get there. Most clients do not have the money or the patience. That is why a lot of my clients now begin with paid search, social media etc. while waiting for an organic search to improve.
“I looked at my salary vs the hours I could take on doing my side gig full time and found it was worth trying.”
Q – What are some common mistakes you see most of your clients make when it comes to SEO?
They hire someone that does not know what they are doing. I have seen a lot of bad link building, and bad spammy content being created. They just do not know though. A lot of bad SEOs out there, so I end up cleaning up a lot of messes.
Q – There are over 200 Google ranking factors, and we see Google keep on improving those factors and adding new signals as well, such as Core Web Vitals. That said, do you believe that backlinks and SCHEMAs are still as relevant as before?
I believe link building is still very important. Gone are the days of buying cheap footer links, link exchanges, scholarship spam etc. You must find unique ways to build links to your site in order to get good positioning. Yes, natural links are the best, but mostly impossible for small businesses. But you can always find unique, non-spammy ways to build links for any business. And as I build links, I see my authority build, and with that, our positioning increases.
“A lot of my clients have found me through helping others.”
Q – What advice would you like to give to newbie freelancers regarding where they should find clients in the initial days: on a freelance marketplace or platforms like LinkedIn?
A lot of my clients have found me through helping others. Whether in a Facebook group, forum or Q/A site. The last two clients I have made through local city Facebook groups. It’s amazing how many small businesses are looking for help and turn to Facebook for it. They especially like it when you are close to them, which makes it easier to turn them into a client.
Q – What are your thoughts on freelancing during the pandemic? Is it a more reliable source than an in-house jobs?
It really depends on your clients. What was nice is that I had a big mix of clients. Some had real problems during the pandemic and hours we cut. But a couple had record years and needed more help than ever. I actually had my best year during the pandemic. On the other hand, if you work in-house if your business suffered, you suffered. There were no other options out there.
Q – Would you like to share some personal advice with fellow digital marketers at TaskShift?
My biggest piece of advice is to find resources for things you don’t know how to do in SEO. I used to try to figure out everything myself. From coding to speed optimization to new marketplaces. Now I try to work with others that have the expertise, so I can focus my time and hours on things I have expertise in.
“If you work in-house if your business suffered, you suffered. There were no other options out there.”
Q – Freelancers are tired of paying 20% commission to freelance platforms, whereas startup owners are finding it difficult to find professionals at reasonable rates because they have to face the consequence of those higher commission charges paid by freelancers. TaskShift’s aim is to beat the status quo and stabilize the freelance industry by charging only 3% commission. How do you feel about that?
That is an awesome commission rate. It is well
worth it, especially if you do a great job, then that client can turn into even
more work than the initial job you were hired for.
Q - Would you be interested in trying out TaskShift now or anytime in future?
Definitely, would love trying it.