How does the SEO-freelance market feel during the crisis?


In early 2014, SEOnews turned to SEO freelancers from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus with questions about the future of the market, competition with agencies and income. And then it seemed that everything looked very good: the market was left incompetent specialists, and experienced SEO-shniki felt quite confident even in the face of the threat from large industry businesses. But soon after that, a crisis broke out, which removed many small SEO companies from the market, and the big ones forced them to think seriously. How in this situation feel SEO-freelancers and their clients?

We were answered by specialists:

Evgeny Nesterov, city of Sochi, work experience 9 years
Ivan Papus, Kiev, 6 years of work experience
Zheludevich Andrey (, Minsk, work experience 5 years
Artem Isaev, Kazan, work experience 5 years

How the SEO-freelance market has changed in the last year?

Yevgeny Nesterov (Sochi): If we talk about global changes, then, by and large, they were not. One can only note the positive trend towards increasing the orders for promotion. And this, in principle, is understandable. The Internet is growing every year and is becoming more popular as a source of income. More and more entrepreneurs come into the network and want a selling site that brings customers. Also, it can be noted the influx of customers who left the previous promoters, who are mostly large SEO companies that could not devote sufficient time to meet their needs.

Ivan Papus (Kiev): Much has changed – much more attention has been paid to internal factors, which can not but rejoice, because it is much more interesting to work on internal factors. In addition, the requirements for external links have changed, thus, promotion grows into hidden marketing with the selection of only “live” sites, the placement of links that can give traffic, etc. In general, the situation on the foreign exchange market also influenced the situation: many, even large customers, refused promotion services, because for various reasons they either could not pay it, or did not want to invest money, because the prospect is incomprehensible. For example, there was a client – a large automobile portal, which stopped investing in promotion: advertising sponsors stopped buying advertising because the production of these cars was closed in their city.

Andrey Zheludevich (Minsk): Everything was stable and good, until the thunder broke on the “Week of Binet”. Since then, the demand for integrated SEO-promotion has sunk by 20-30%. More and more clients became interested in one-time services: internal optimization, cleaning of the reference profile, collection and distribution of semantics. In addition to the new Yandex algorithms, the market has also undermined the course jumps. With a limited budget to attract traffic, companies prefer contextual advertising. It’s also worth noting that SEO is increasingly integrated with other traffic sources. For example, the final rating of the ad in Google Adwords will depend on the quality of the internal optimization, which affects the cost of the click and the position of the ad in the ad units. In turn, the qualitative setting of Internet advertising should positively affect the behavioral factors and, as a result, improve the position in Yandex.

Artem Isaev (Kazan): There was an opinion that the lion’s share of SEO-freelancing is “shkolota”, which buys only links on aggregators. This part after the “Minusinsk” and the last AGS Yandex, of course, will die out. Here the way out is to either sharpen your skills for a narrow service (compiling semantics, maintaining the context, mailing, or even withdrawing-buying links) and become the best, or watch trends and try to provide comprehensive project promotion services (SEM). Good professional freelancers will be able to survive and earn in both niches.

What has changed in customer requirements?

Yevgeny Nesterov (Sochi): In addition to the basic work on the withdrawal of requests and increase traffic and orders from the site, I can note that more and more customers began to ask to check their site completely for usability and increase in conversion. It is seen that gradually comes the understanding that the site should work in a complex. It’s one thing to attract a visitor, the other to turn it into a buyer. It is not uncommon that after the found defects the customer willingly makes a new design of the site with a new structure.

Ivan Papus (Kiev): More and more customers are trying to find conditions for promotion with payment for the leads (calls, orders, orders, etc.), but in general I did not notice any special changes in requirements.

Andrey Zheludevich (Minsk): The abundance of “wizards able to promote the site” for a penny within 2-3 months changed the degree of customer’s trust in the performer. Potential customers need to act transparently: report on the work done, purchase links in client accounts, comment on the progress of selected maneuvers. Some customers ask not to buy leased links. Surprisingly, the tops are practically not required, the main thing is to ensure the increase in search traffic, even low-frequency traffic.

Artem Isaev (Kazan): In Moscow, there are those who are willing to pay a lot for the result, but for medium-sized projects, price has been and remains an important criterion. In regions, in addition to the cost, SEO-shnik on the fact of a man-orchestra. Regional business can not and will not pay separately to the content manager, web designer and SEO specialist. It’s good, if you managed to disown advertising and email-distribution. All this forces the freelancer to possess a whole range of skills, and here is the plus of the agency, tk. there each specialist leads his narrow direction.

How the number of orders and customer budgets has changed?

Yevgeny Nesterov (Sochi): Orders are gradually growing. Customer budgets directly depend on their desires and requirements. Someone is limited to a narrow list of targeted requests, someone has a certain budget. Someone is not limited to anything and asks to collect maximum semantics in all areas of activity with full coverage of all possible variations of search queries.

Ivan Papus (Kiev): Budgets in general have slightly decreased, all are trying to save and the more, the better. But there are also customers who have sufficient budgets to implement any ideas, so the situation here is ambiguous.

Andrey Zheludevich (Minsk): The prices in rubles and the number of orders sank by 10-20%. If you take into account the course jumps, then in dollar terms, prices fell by 35-40%. Now it is rather difficult to find a large order even for an advanced SEO-shnika. We have to compensate for this by increasing the number of accompanying medium-sized projects, as well as carrying out one-off works and consultations.

Artem Isaev (Kazan): Judging by the discussions in the industry, the number of orders and customers declined. And those who did not have a stable kernel or had only one large client, but he jumped off, were left without work. As a possible way out – dumping prices. People turn to me, but I have to recommend other specialists, because it is physically impossible to perform more than a certain threshold.

What is the average earnings of an SEO freelancer now?

Yevgeny Nesterov (Sochi): From several tens of thousands to several hundred thousand rubles. It all depends on experience, the source of the orders and the ability to meet the needs and keep the client.

Ivan Papus (Kiev): The size of earnings in national currency has not changed, in dollars / euro fell about 2 times due to the depreciation of the national currency (hryvnia / ruble), if earlier in relation to the dollar was about $ 8000 per month, now 4-5 thousand at work 15-16 hours a day without days off, with assistants and copywriters. At me personally so, I can not vouch for someone, can, at more intelligent optimizers earnings have essentially grown for this period.

Andrey Zheludevich (Minsk): I will allocate 3 groups of average earnings: neophytes – 30 thousand rubles, skilful – 60 thousand rubles, sages – from 100 thousand rubles a month. I do not take into account the progress in the bourgeois, where everything is more zadorney.

Artem Isaev (Kazan): “Typical” vacancies for an SEO specialist for a full day in Moscow are 40-60 thousand rubles, like here. It is necessary to conduct 15 projects (stated), in fact, maybe more. It turns out, for each project is given hours of 10 working hours. Freelancer can take 4 projects for 10-15 thousand rubles and have the same money, but give much more time to work on sites. At the exit – the best “exhaust” and in the benefit of both sides. The customer receives without hassle the search and explanation of a new performer of tasks, more man-hours for less money. The contractor is a stable income, an “understandable” project, there is no need to study and delve into it. If there is a desire for more earnings, then there will be time for one-time services: audit, consultations, this. core and others.

The author of the article: rSEO

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