Today, SEO is a need for every organization to have a presence online and connect with potential clients. Your website’s entire structure will be improved through SEO, which will also make it more easily searchable and visible to your target market. Also, it is the most economical kind of web marketing. In short, SEO is essential since it increases the visibility of your website, drives visitors there, and finally leads to conversions.
The best way to reach your ideal customers in the online world is through SEO. Yet in order to effectively manage your marketing initiatives, SEO requires time, knowledge, and practical experience. That being said, your company may gain long-term benefits by hiring an SEO professional.
SEO is the best option if you want to show up organically in Google’s search results. This article will guide you through the hiring process and provide you with some SEO-related insights.
Steps to hire an SEO expert
One thing to keep in mind when you hire an SEO expert is that the right person for the role will be a long-term partner who will help grow your business by attracting ideal clients through their SEO efforts. Here are the steps you need to follow before hiring an SEO expert.
- Understanding SEO
- Determining your SEO goals
- Job Boards
- Post a job description
- Conduct an interview
Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to hire an SEO expert if they don’t know SEO. Having a basic understanding of SEO can help you screen candidates more effectively.
As a business, your main goal is to reach potential customers who need your products and services. Traditionally, products were found through newspaper advertisements, leaflets, or word-of-mouth. Today, however, people search for products and services online, and SEO makes this possible.
People usually turn to Google first when looking for a service. Google, for instance, provides users with instant results on stores that sell “black leather shoes.” Similarly, your target clients are looking for the products and services that your business offers on Google.
Following are some of the benefits of SEO
- SEO helps with finding your website through organic search, boosting website traffic, and ultimately helping with conversions.
- SEO builds trust and reputation as it provides a clean website with natural links, optimized content, and positive user behavior.
- It lets you know the intent of your potential customers and their search criteria.
- It helps with improving user experience, and it brings better organic traffic and visibility to the website.
- With SEO you can optimize your website’s visibility to local customers.
- SEO helps you understand the constantly changing online environment, and compare it with other businesses and competitors.
- SEO is cheap and cost-effective when compared to other marketing channels.
All the above will take place while you are busy launching your product, expanding your business, meeting potential partners, and building strategies to grow your business. SEO has its own challenges, but it brings great growth opportunities to your business. Hence it’s crucial to educate oneself on SEO. By doing this, you will be able to precisely communicate your SEO needs and comprehend what SEO specialists do.
Read The Ultimate Guide to SEO in 2023 to learn about keywords, on-page and off-page SEO, link building, content writing, and monitoring your SEO efforts. In addition, you can check out LD Talent’s Comprehensive List of All Courses and in particular the “Business – Marketing” section of the article.
Determine your SEO goals
Setting SEO goals is one of the most important things you need to do before hiring an SEO expert. Every business is unique in its own way. Every company’s SEO strategy should be tailored to its specific needs, as the specifics are always different. You will need a custom SEO strategy to boost your brand.
Some of the SEO goals you might need to consider are:
- Improving your website’s structure and performance.
- Reducing your page load time. Check out Google Lighthouse and Pagespeed Insights.
- Optimizing your internal and external links.
- Reduce the bounce rate.
- Improve organic search.
- Optimize web content.
- Improve conversion rate.
- Boost your backlinks profile
SEO is a complex practice and consists of several elements. It takes a lot of time and effort to achieve the results you want. You need a responsible SEO specialist to work on these tasks, and someone you can rely on. SEO is an integral part of your business’ growth and success. It is vital to communicate your goals clearly with your SEO expert.
Post a Job Description
The most efficient way to achieve your marketing goals is to hire an SEO expert who understands your company. This expert is best suited to bring your marketing strategy to life. The SEO expert will perform all SEO-related tasks, such as optimizing website structure, creating content strategies, and building links.
An SEO specialist is not someone you should hire on a short-term basis. As SEO takes 6 months or more to demonstrate results, there will be a long-term contract involved. And therefore, it is crucial to describe what you are searching for in your job description.
Here are some duties and responsibilities you can include in the job description:
- Plan an SEO strategy tailored to your company.
- Monitoring and keeping track of website traffic
- Strong analytical and reporting skills.
- Experience working with PPC and other paid campaigns.
- Experience with competitive analysis.
- Manage all the paid campaigns
- Well-versed in current marketing trends and techniques.
- Writing SEO-friendly content, keyword research, and on-page SEO optimization.
- Familiar with backlinking techniques.
Now that you know what your job description should include, it’s time to post your ad on various job boards. LD Talent is a great place to find SEO talent for contract or full-time positions. You can search for talent using their SEO expert finder tool based on rate, skill, location, and experience.
Make sure you shortlist candidates who are experienced and have the relevant skills.
Conduct an interview
Ideally, an SEO specialist is always looking to learn about your business
and target audience. Pay attention to the questions candidates ask. They’ll probably ask questions like
- What is so unique about your business?
- Who is your target audience?
- How do your customers now find your website?
- How does your business make money? And how can SEO help?
- What other way do you market your business? Do you use offline advertising?
- Do you have active social media business pages?
- Who are your competitors and what are they doing well?
Never fall for someone who promises to bring your website to the top. It clearly shows that the candidate is not right for you.
It’s recommended to ask the candidates questions that will reveal their expertise and experience. It is always best to go through the skills and experiences listed in their resume.
Here are the top interview questions for hiring an SEO Expert:
1. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience working in SEO?
It’s always good to know their background in SEO, where they work, and what kind of clients they work for. By this, you’ll know for what all industries they have worked for and if they have worked with similar industries as yours, that’s a good sign. You’ll maybe have more questions about it like what kind of work did they do for those particular clients and many such questions.
2. Can you describe the steps you follow to optimize a website?
Every SEO expert takes a unique approach to their SEO process. A great SEO expert will explain their process to you step-by-step in detail, such as driving traffic to your website and getting your website to show at the top of the search engine results pages. The ideal approach would be to check the site’s performance → process to improve → monitor the efforts → evaluate the success of the campaign.
3. Do you inform your clients about the changes made on the site?
When they are working on the technical SEO, there will be some changes to the code and the site structure. It’s important that your SEO expert be transparent with you on this. This way, you can make sure that they do not get you in trouble by performing black hat SEO to rank high and get you penalized. It’s a good sign if they’re honest about their strategies. Also, they should be educating you about how your site is performing and about the modifications made to its code.
In doing this, your SEO expert should be using terms like sitemaps, breadcrumbs, preview snippets, header tags, meta and description tags, canonical links, image alt text, HTTP error codes, social open graph and schema.org tags, structured snippets, robots.txt, domain authority, Gzip compression, friendly URLs, website graders, and minification of HTML, CSS, and JS.
4. How do you do your keyword research?
There are different strategies for keyword research depending on the type of business. It’s also unique for the pages, products, or posts on the website. They could be using a specific keyword tool or maybe multiple tools to do their keyword research and record them on a spreadsheet. Some of the popular keyword research tools include Google’s keyword planner, SEMrush, Ubersuggest, KWFinder, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, etc.
These tools will help you target the search intent of your audience. As Brian Dean of Backlinko, Neil Patel, and other SEO gurus often say, what are your users searching for the 99% of the time they are not searching for your product?
The SEO expert you hire should be able to talk sensibly about long-tail keywords, diverse keyword research tools, keyword density, keyword competitiveness, domain authority, and search volume. They should be able to write short, organized, and scannable web content.
5. What SEO tools do you use?
An SEO expert always uses tools to perform various SEO activities. Some of the standard SEO tools include:
- Google Search Console & Google Analytics for monitoring and analyzing website traffic and performance and website visibility in Google search engine results page.
- Google’s keyword planner for keyword research.
- Yoast is used for on-page SEO optimization.
- MOZ bar to find metrics of each page while browsing the website, you can compare your site with the competitor’s website, as well as it gives Page Authority, Domain Authority, and Spam Score of any site or page.
- Google Structured Data Testing Tool is used to find schema errors.
- GTmetrix to get your page load time, total page size, and the total number of requests.
- Neil Patel SEO Analyzer to perform SEO Audit & Reporting.
- Hotjar for analyzing how users interact with your website.
- WordPress Plugins for SEO if you are using WordPress.
- Optimizely or other A/B testing tools.
Above mentioned are a few popular tools used to improve SEO for your site. If you search the web, you will find tons of SEO tools for different purposes. Make sure to find out what these tools do and how they are helpful and impact your business.
6. How familiar are you with SEO trends?
Search engines’ algorithms are constantly changing and improving to develop a clean SEO strategy. Google keeps introducing new ranking factors now and then, and it’s important for SEO experts to be aware of some of these ranking factors. As an SEO specialist, exploring these trends should be one of the tasks on their to-do list. Google Search Central is one of the best sources where an SEO expert can be up-to-date with these trends. You can also check out other trends online. Also, ask them whether and how they use Google Trends.
7. Can I see some work samples and get client references?
Make sure they provide you with information about their prior work as well as references from previous clients. Contact previous clients to ask them about their experiences working with this applicant and any changes they’ve noticed to their website. It’s significant to have someone on board who has a track record of success and who is an expert in this field.
8. What did you find wrong with our site and how can we improve it?
Performing an SEO website audit is an ideal way to find issues with your website. This will take time and site audit tools to analyze and fix the problem.
No website is perfect, and there will always be flaws in a website that only a professional can spot. At this point, you will know the candidate’s expertise to help you with your SEO strategies.
9. If a candidate suggests an SEO site audit, ask them if they can perform the audit for your website.
An SEO website audit will play an important role in your hiring process. Ask them to provide an audit report of what they need to improve on the site. This assignment is like a test of the person’s thinking and experience of working with them.
10. How much do you charge for your services?
This is an important question to ask as with this you can decide on how much you would be spending for your SEO needs.
Another factor to consider is how low or high is their pricing. Note that developing a high quality SEO strategy is not that simple, it requires a lot of time and effort to bring in SEO-friendly content.
Mostly, pricing will be based on project specifics and what services are included in the package. But sometimes, they charge an hourly rate.
Several duties come with being a business owner and mastering them all can be challenging. Yet, you do need to find a strategy to expand your company and hire a professional to assist you. Any successful online business needs a solid SEO strategy, thus it’s worth investing in hiring the right SEO experts.
SEO is not only about ranking higher or about keywords, it is about how it helps the company grow – finding your audience, improving your online reputation, marketing strategy, and company outreach. You need to understand the basics of SEO and how it can drive traffic to your website and create an online presence. Decide what you want to pursue with SEO.
Hiring an SEO expert is not an easy task and it takes to research and proper guidance to find the right one. This step-by-step process for hiring an SEO expert will help you find promising candidates. Once you’ve done the above and finally hired a professional, wait for the magic to happen. You’ll start seeing visitors to your website and landing paying customers.
Also check out the SEO periodic tables available online. Some are pretty useful and summative: https://www.google.com/search?q=seo+periodic+table