Hiring SEO Specialists

How To Assess And Hire SEO Specialists

Published on December 8th, 2022


Do you recall the last time you searched for something on Google and bothered to read all the way to the second page of results? You realize that rarely happens.

In summary, if your company doesn't appear on Google's first page, your audience won't find you. 28.5% of people click the top organic search result, after which the click rate rapidly decreases, according to an analysis of 80 million phrases. Additionally, clickthrough rates on Google's page 2 are far below 1%.

You simply cannot afford to ignore search engine optimization (SEO) for your organization when 68% of all website traffic originates from searches.

In this article, you will learn how to assess and hire the best SEO specialists for your organization. Read on!

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization or SEO is the practice of adopting measures to raise the ranking of a website or piece of content on Google.

By highlighting material that meets user search needs, search engines acknowledge SEO efforts that enhance both the user search experience and a page's ranking.

Who are SEO Specialists?

An SEO specialist analyzes and improves your digital and website content to ensure that your target market can quickly locate your company through internet searches. They'll create and implement an SEO strategy to raise your company's Google ranking and increase the volume of organic visitors to your website.

A skilled SEO expert will make sure that your content and links are optimized for search engine algorithms, helping your website rank better in search engine results.

Skills of an SEO Specialist

Following are some skills to look for when you sit to assess an applicant for the role of SEO specialist-

A higher learning rate

An intelligent candidate who has a higher IQ and learns faster should be on top of your list to hire as an SEO specialist. For example, if you have two applicants, one of them is experienced and knows how to use four SEO softwares while the other one is a fresher who knows only one software, you will obviously choose the first applicant.

Quick in recognizing SEO patterns

Every SEO expert communicates with a search engine, like performing an experiment. He performs certain actions and receives an assessment from the search engine in the form of a decline/increase in keyword positions. The faster he recognizes patterns, the more successful experiments he can scale up in a project.

Openness to new algorithms

SEO is a dynamic process and a skilled SEO specialist should be open to adapting new algorithms every day. 

Try to gauge if the candidate is patient enough to change their strategies frequently and not get irritated by minor setbacks. 

Domain Expertise

It should go without saying that the SEO professional you hire should be knowledgeable about current best practices and trends in the industry. They should also have a firm grasp of the SEO toolkits and platforms that make keyword research, competitor analysis, and backlink optimization possible.

A successful SEO also starts with the ability to generate engaging material and a solid technical understanding of website architecture.

You want leads and sales when you hire an SEO consultant, not just traffic. In today's world, you need to look for a strategist who is well-rounded in a variety of digital marketing disciplines, such as PR, social media marketing, and content marketing, rather than a solely technical SEO.

Product sense

Understanding and using each individual search engine ranking criteria is a crucial ability, but the secret to creating a long-term SEO plan is having a keen product sense and business understanding.

By gaining actual insight into the product, the users, the revenue model, and the competitive environment, an excellent SEO consultant will build a strategy that will help you be competitive in the search channel. A professional SEO will always begin by probing you about your company in-depth to help guide his thoughts about how to increase your internet presence.

Creative ability

You want to hire an SEO expert who can generate ideas, put them into practice, and assess the results.

An SEO must be at ease performing repetitively nerdy analytical and technological tasks. The expert will have to sort through a lot of data, so they should be sharp and able to make inferences.

At the same time, problem-solving and original thought are key components of SEO. The consultant must be able to come up with strategies for drawing in potential consumers early in the sales funnel when a transactional term is either extremely competitive or has little search traffic.

Growth Mindset

The finest SEOs have a growth mindset, which is characterized by a strong willingness to experiment, pick up new skills, and advance.

Avoid "know-it-all" types when seeking an SEO specialist. SEOs who are focused on growth make a constant effort to develop their knowledge, learn new things, and find new methods, strategies, and tools.

Strong Communication Skills

Part of being a strong SEO consultant is being able to get things done when working cross-functionally with different teams. To implement the proposed SEO strategy, the consultant will need to communicate with and get insights from engineers, designers, content writers, product managers, business owners, and other parties who do not report to him.

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Day-to-day Responsibilities of SEO Specialists

To improve SEO positions for targeted keywords, suggest modifications to website structure, content, linking, and other aspects using best practices.

  • Develop and implement a link-building strategy with marketing, and encourage SEO in content development.
  • Investigate and put search engine optimization suggestions into practice.
  • Work with the other members of the marketing team to make sure that larger marketing efforts are coordinated and that SEO and content requirements are met.
  • To improve copy and landing pages, collaborate with the marketing team.
  • To demonstrate SEO success and improvement, create, track, and distribute useful performance data.
  • Keeping up with search trends and best practices for SEO.

Salary and Job Trends of SEO Specialists

According to a report from LinkedIn sales navigator, there are 47.5k job openings in the US related to SEO, and more than 909k people have mentioned “SEO” in their profiles. This data narrows it down to a ratio of 20:1. 

For comparison sake, the ratio for software engineers is 10:1, 30:1 for product managers, and 23:1 for designers. 

According to BuiltIn, The average salary for an SEO Specialist in the US is $54,508. The average additional cash compensation for an SEO Specialist in the US is $5,205. The average total compensation for an SEO Specialist in the US is $59,713.

How to Assess SEO Specialists?

Now that you are well acquainted with an SEO specialist’s skills, responsibilities, and salary trends, it is time to assess the candidate for hire. It is crucial to assess their expertise in the area because SEO may seem straightforward but you want to know if the applicant really has the caliber to pull off the outcomes you are looking for.

Check for References

References are a better way to judge a candidate's abilities. Reliable SEO specialists ought to have a proven track record. Look for a candidate that has experience working with businesses like yours and has achieved success.

Although connections made through networking or referrals are a good place to start when evaluating prior performance, even having a few reliable referrals does not ensure that the campaign will be carried out as planned. Instead of or in addition to these referrals, you should think about the following particular strategies to guarantee that your SEO professional can produce the necessary results.

Look for Certifications

Although they shouldn't count for much in your evaluation of a candidate, SEO certifications can help you distinguish an experienced SEO specialist from a rookie. People who invest their time—and occasionally their money—in SEO skill-based courses can get these certifications.

This demonstrates a dedication to keeping up with the technologies and tools utilized in successful SEO operations. For seasoned SEO experts, certifications are helpful because they complement their proven track record and recommendations. In the absence of significant prior experiences, certificates might offer a good assessment of the candidate's skill and knowledge mastery for fresher's just entering the market.

But not every certificate is made equally! A few certificates are simple to obtain. They could be free, simple to get, cheatable, or a combination of all three.

Because of this, it's important to carefully evaluate SEO certifications and the organizations that award them to make sure the coursework is rigorous and of the highest caliber.

Pre-employment Skill Assessments

An assessment of a candidate's talents is the greatest way to see what they are capable of. It could be challenging to evaluate an SEO specialist's eligibility and expertise just based on their résumé or during an interview. You may judge candidates based on their genuine talents by including skills assessments in your hiring process.

Candidates who are comfortable taking assessments on particular skills like technical SEO, Google Analytics, and SEO copywriting should be confident in their technical abilities and understanding relevant to SEO. These tests give companies the opportunity to unbiasedly analyze candidates' knowledge and abilities in addition to any references and certificates they may provide.

Tips to Hire a Superstar SEO Specialist

Google has listed these special tips that are handy in hiring an SEO specialist. Check them out!

Conduct an Interview

Pay attention to the questions the candidate asks during the interview. A competent SEO expert will be interested in learning about your company as a whole and will pay attention to how, rather than just where, your website appears in the search results.

Be alert if someone guarantees to rank your website first on Google. These kinds of exaggerated claims are a hint that the person is probably not the best option for you.

Have a Peek at their References

Next, ask for references from the applicant for the clients or businesses he has worked in the past. You can ask the references questions like,

  • Did the SEO expert offer any helpful advice?
  • Did the SEO expert collaborate well with their team?
  • Were the results by the SEO expert long-lasting or just topical? 

You may verify the reliability of an SEO expert by understanding the experiences that other business owners just like you have had with them.

Request an audit of your site

Have them perform an audit of your website before they make any changes and provide you with a prioritized list of what they believe should be improved for SEO.

This audit will offer you a sense of the candidate's mindset and what it would be like to collaborate with them.

In Conclusion

True SEO gurus are few and far between, despite the abundance of self-proclaimed experts in the field. Finding the proper applicant to assist you in growing is well worth the cost, but separating the wheat from the chaff when hiring an SEO specialist requires time and work.

Despite the fact that no one criterion can consistently predict an SEO specialist's actual performance while working, by concentrating on a number of important qualities and adopting a broad perspective of the applicant, you boost your chances of making the appropriate appointment.

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Radhika Sarraf

Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.

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