Being in the SEO industry for over 15 years, I’ve used every mechanism to hire SEO freelancers. Over the years, dedicated marketplaces have popped up that help people who have website find SEO freelancers that offer services.
I share the top ones that I’ve used in the past and what’s good about each of them. Here’s what I cover:
- Top and best marketplaces
- Pros and cons of each marketplace
- Issues with vetted vs unvetted marketplaces
- How to choose
- Wrap up
Let’s get into it.
Top 10 SEO Marketplaces: Comparison Table
|% freelancers accepted
Overall Best SEO Marketplace: Vettted
Vettted is the first marketplace dedicated exclusively to SEO freelancers. To sell their SEO services on the platform a freelancer must pass a personality, language, and reputation screening, an in-depth skills review, a video screening, and a personal branding assessment.
Just 5% of freelancers who apply to Vettted are accepted, so if you choose to hire a freelancer through Vettted you can be sure that you’re hiring one of the best.
As the marketplace is dedicated to SEO, Vettted allows you to filter freelancers by their specialist area. So whether you’re looking for off-page SEO, on-page SEO, or technical SEO, you can find a freelancer who exactly matches your needs.
Finally, unlike marketplaces that rely on email and messaging communication between the client and potential freelancers, Vettted offers a video chat feature that allows you to speak directly to freelancers for 1-on-1 consulting and strategy calls.
Why Vettted is the Best SEO Marketplace:
- Dedicated to SEO specifically, not a general freelancer marketplace
- Comprehensive pre-vetting process
- Exclusive marketplace of experts with only 5% of freelancers accepted
- 1-on-1 video consulting and strategy calls
- Filter freelancers by specialist area of SEO
Other SEO Marketplaces
In our opinion, Vettted is the best SEO marketplace. However, it isn’t the only exclusive marketplace where you can find pre-vetted SEOs.
While the marketplaces below aren’t specific to SEO, they all have SEO freelancers available to hire, and they all have a strict vetting process that means only a few percent of the freelancers who apply make it onto the platform.
MarketerHire is a freelance marketplace that specializes in marketing freelancers, including SEO experts. Services offered include SEO strategy, technical SEO, content optimization, and local SEO.
Less than 3% of freelancers are accepted onto the platform. To qualify, the freelancer must submit work samples, complete an assessment, and pass a video interview. Some candidates are also required to complete a 1-3 week test project.
MarketerHire will match you with a freelancer within 48 hours and your project will usually begin within one week. Like other vetted marketplaces, you have the option to ‘re-match’ with a different freelancer free of charge if your first freelancer isn’t well suited to your project.
TopTal is a network of freelance professionals from a wide range of industries, including technology, financial services, communications, and the automotive industry. The marketplace targets companies that are looking to hire a freelancer for their most important projects.
Freelancers are available to hire full-time, part-time, or hourly and the service will usually match you with a freelancer within 48 hours.
As a vetted marketplace, TopTal only accepts the top 3% of freelancers who apply to sell their services via the platform. They also offer a no-risk trial period for added security and reassurance.
Uplers’ unique selling point is that the marketplace is comprised exclusively of freelancers based in India. This focus on Indian freelancers allows clients to take advantage of the surplus of tech talent in India while enjoying more affordable rates due to India being a developing country.
Before offering their services via Uplers, freelancers must complete assessments that test their language proficiency, problem-solving skills, and technical expertise. They must also complete a video interview with Uplers’ Talent Acquisition Panel. More than 10,000 freelancers apply to join Uplers every month, but only 3.5% are accepted.
As well as SEOs, the freelance services on offer via Uplers include developers, digital marketers, designers, and Salesforce experts.
Legiit is a freelancer marketplace that covers a wide range of creative industries, from SEO and copywriting to programming, AI services, video creation, and eCommerce.
The freelancers on Legiit are not thoroughly vetted in the same way as those on Vettted, MarketerHire, Toptal, and Uplers. Anyone can join Legiit and offer their SEO services regardless of their level of knowledge and expertise. However, the platform does allow you to filter freelancers to only show those who are ‘Legiit Checked’.
Legiit Checked is essentially a mystery shopping program. Industry professionals hire freelancers as if they are normal clients and assess the service they receive. Only the freelancers that meet the required standard are certified as Legiit Checked.
Unvetted SEO Marketplaces
Whenever possible, we recommend using a vetted SEO marketplace. SEO is a technical discipline that needs a skilled and knowledgeable expert to deliver results. By choosing a vetted SEO marketplace, you know that the freelancer you hire must have demonstrated the necessary expertise.
In contrast, going to an unvetted marketplace is a big risk, as hiring the wrong SEO freelancer will not only waste money, it could also do more harm than good, damage your website’s SEO, and cause you to lose rankings and revenue.
If you must go to an unvetted marketplace, we recommend choosing one of these five platforms for their security and range of freelancers on offer:
- Fiverr: One of the most well-known and widely used marketplaces, Fiverr offers gig-style services where you can hire freelancers to complete a wide range of tasks, including SEO. Some gigs are very cheap, but the services offered are not always high quality.
- Upwork: Like Fiverr, Upwork allows you to browse tens of thousands of SEO gigs to find the service you need. You can filter by the type of SEO, price, delivery time, and review score to narrow your search to top-rated freelancers.
- Freelancer: Claiming to be the world’s largest freelance marketplace, Freelancer allows you to post your job to their network and receive bids from freelancers. You then select a freelancer from all of those who apply and only pay once you are satisfied with their work.
- SEO Clerk: Like Vettted, SEO Clerk is an SEO-specific freelance marketplace. However, unlike Vettted, the freelancers are not vetted before being allowed to advertise on the platform. This means that costs are lower and you have more freelancers to choose from, but the quality of the service you will receive is far from guaranteed.
- Guru: Like Freelancer, Guru works by posting your job and receiving quotes from a range of freelancers who are interested in taking on your project. The platform includes a ‘WorkRoom’ feature where you communicate with your freelancer and track progress throughout the project.
Why use an SEO Marketplace?
Five reasons why you should use an SEO marketplace to hire a freelance SEO:
- Efficiency: Manually finding a range of SEOs and individually pitching your project to each of them will take a long time and a lot of effort. An SEO Marketplace removes this hassle by giving you access to dozens, hundreds, or in some cases thousands of freelancers in one place.
- Ease: SEO marketplaces have tried and tested processes that you can follow to find a freelancer, hire them, and manage your project. It’s much easier to be guided through a step-by-step process than it is to think about everything for yourself.
- Vetted freelancers: Some SEO marketplaces run comprehensive checks on their freelancers to ensure they are qualified and can be trusted with your project. This removes a lot of the risk compared to assessing and selecting a freelancer on your own.
- Reviews & reputation: When a freelancer works through an SEO marketplace, they usually receive reviews and comments from clients who hire them via the marketplace. This gives you access to impartial customer feedback, which is more reliable than what the freelancer may say about themselves or the testimonials they may choose to publish on their website.
- Security: When you pay a freelancer, you need to know that your money is secure and you will receive the service you’ve paid for. Equally, the freelancer needs to know that you will pay for the work they deliver. SEO marketplaces give both the freelancer and the client this security by acting as an impartial third party that can ensure payments are secure and help resolve any disputes.
How to Choose an SEO Marketplace
Seven crucial things to check before you choose an SEO marketplace:
- Reviews and reputation: Is the marketplace reputable? Search Google for reviews to see whether customers are generally happy with the service they receive.
- The range of freelancers on the platform: While quality is more important than quantity, you are more likely to find a great freelancer if there are lots to choose from. A very low number of freelancers is a red flag that the marketplace may not be very active.
- Are freelancers vetted? It’s important to understand whether the freelancers in the marketplace are verified SEO experts or whether anyone can set up a profile and start selling services as if they were a qualified SEO.
- If freelancers are vetted then what is the vetting process? Any vetted SEO marketplace should be transparent about its vetting process. You should be able to see that freelancers have to go through a rigorous multi-stage application process that verifies their skills and suitability before they are accepted into the marketplace.
- Customer support: Does the marketplace offer email support, telephone support, or quick responses via a chat service such as Discord? How quickly do they reply to queries and what do customer reviews say about the service they received?
- Guarantees and free trials: Hopefully, your project will go smoothly and you’ll find a fantastic freelancer. But what happens if you hit problems? The best SEO marketplaces offer reassurance and security through money-back guarantees, free rematching to an alternate freelancer, or free trial periods.
- Prices: Some marketplaces have hundreds of freelancers offering very low rates, while other marketplaces are more premium, offering a smaller range of freelancers who will charge more for their services. It’s important to note that cheaper isn’t always better and you should be very cautious about ‘too good to be true’ services that guarantee top rankings for extremely low fees.
How to Find the Right SEO Freelancer or Agency
The eight rules that we recommend you follow when hiring an SEO freelancer or agency:
- Choose the right marketplace: Use a reputable SEO marketplace that offers vetted SEOs.
- Don’t just go for the cheapest deal: SEO takes skill and experience, and those attributes cost money. Choosing a very cheap SEO risks doing more harm than good.
- Know who you’re hiring: Read their profile carefully and check their experience and portfolio.
- Consider how well your project needs match their skills: Some freelancers may be great writers while others may have more experience in technical SEO, for example.
- Speak with them first: Prepare your questions in advance and consider whether they seem polite, professional, enthusiastic and interested in your project.
- Plan how you will communicate: Good communication is key to a successful project. One important factor to consider is geography – is your freelancer based in a timezone that will make it hard to communicate effectively or cause delays?
- Agree upon clear objectives and terms: Ensure both parties understand the scope and aims of the project, as well as fees, payment terms, and other clauses of your agreement.
- Address issues head-on: Communicate any concerns to your freelancer as soon as they arise – they may be able to resolve them for you – and get support from the SEO Marketplace if required.
There are lots of SEO marketplaces to choose from, but not all guarantee the same quality.
In our view, the best SEO marketplaces are the ones that only accept freelancers after they have been through a thorough vetting process to verify their knowledge and expertise.
The best SEO marketplaces also specialize in SEO or marketing specifically, are well-reviewed, and offer reassurance and security through money-back guarantees, free trials, or the opportunity to rematch you with a new freelancer if the first one isn’t right for your project.
Our favorite SEO marketplaces are Vettted and MarketerHire, with Vettted taking the top spot as the best SEO marketplace of 2024 due to its strict vetting process and specialist focus on SEO freelancers.