Strategies to Hire SEO Specialists

Smart Strategies To Hire SEO Specialists To Boost Your Rankings

Discover tips and expert strategies to hire an SEO specialist to elevate your business’s online presence and drive growth.

Smart Strategies To Hire SEO Specialists To Boost Your Rankings


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Do you need to hire an SEO specialist who can transform your company’s online visibility? If so, you’ll require an expert who can enhance your search engine rankings and drive organic traffic to your business website.

Discover how to hire the right candidate with our focused guide. We’ll cover how to determine whether hiring an SEO expert is right for your business, the advantages they can offer, the qualifications to look for, and strategies for sourcing, assessing, and onboarding these professionals.

By the end of this article, you’ll understand how to find, recruit, and maintain a solid working relationship with an SEO specialist who aligns with your specific needs and goals, enhancing your search engine rankings and driving sustainable organic growth.

Should You Hire an SEO Specialist?

The decision to hire a search engine optimization (SEO) expert often happens when businesses realize that their websites are struggling to drive traffic or when they want to implement better SEO practices for their digital marketing strategy.

Both established businesses and startups, often those operating in sectors like B2B, SaaS, software, technology, and IT, may find hiring an SEO specialist a necessary step to optimize their marketing strategies and drive sales.

Hiring an SEO expert can be a valuable investment that brings knowledge, expertise, and time savings, ultimately improving website traffic, increasing revenue, and fostering business growth.

However, there are several considerations you need to take into account when deciding whether to hire such a professional.

Assess your current digital footprint

Before embarking on the journey to hire an SEO professional, it’s crucial to take stock of your current digital footprint. This involves evaluating your website’s performance and current SEO strategies to determine whether you could benefit from professional assistance.

This assessment is critical, as it will help you identify areas that need improvement and provide a baseline for measuring the impact of the SEO specialist’s efforts.

Understand the process of SEO

Understanding the basics of SEO is crucial for ensuring that the changes an SEO specialist makes to your website are not just effective but also ethical and sustainable. 

With search engines like Google frequently updating their algorithms, having a grasp of the SEO process is vital to appreciate the long-term value of white-hat SEO strategies over the quick fixes promised by black-hat tactics.

“White-hat” SEO strategies adhere to search engine guidelines and focus on providing real value to users. In contrast, “black-hat” SEO strategies attempt to “game” search engines with tactics like keyword stuffing or cloaking, which can result in penalties or bans.

A foundational knowledge of SEO empowers you to have informed discussions with your specialist about technical adjustments and content strategies that align with Google’s guidelines.

This ensures that their optimization methods lead to genuine, lasting growth rather than short-lived spikes in traffic that could potentially damage your reputation or rankings in the long run.

Set clear objectives

Setting clear SEO objectives provides a roadmap for focused efforts and resource allocation. These goals should be directly tied to business outcomes, such as sales targets, market expansion, or brand visibility, ensuring that your SEO strategy contributes to tangible business results.

Furthermore, it is critical to pinpoint specific areas for improvement, such as on-page optimizations, backlink profiles, or local search performance. This approach allows you to focus your efforts on quick wins through low-hanging fruit or long-term growth, targeting the right strategies.

Determining which metrics to monitor, like keyword rankings, organic traffic, or conversion rates, sets the stage for measuring the success of your SEO campaigns.

An SEO specialist working on Google Search Console

How Can an SEO Specialist Benefit Your Business?

An SEO expert is instrumental in elevating your business’s online presence. They meticulously optimize website architecture and content, ensuring search engines and users alike can easily navigate and find your offerings. Here are some of the biggest advantages they can provide:

Enhancing organic search traffic

Driving organic traffic to your website is crucial: Over 40% of all search engine clicks are organic.

This makes enhancing organic search traffic one of the most important aspects of an SEO specialist’s role. They conduct keyword research to understand and target relevant search terms for your business.

Additionally, they optimize content for topics using clusters to demonstrate subject authority and regularly update content to maintain and improve search visibility and ranking.

Furthermore, they can help develop “link-worthy” content and utilize internal linking strategies to build natural backlink growth and structure site authority for search engines. Other tactics include link building, which involves tasks such as:

  • Identifying and replacing broken backlinks on competitor sites
  • Tracking unlinked brand mentions to secure backlinks
  • Optimizing images
  • Utilizing programmatic SEO to create multiple keyword-focused pages, increasing organic traffic

SEO professionals also aim to optimize for the “People Also Ask” boxes on search engines to rank for additional queries and promote new content across platforms for faster discovery by users.

Boosting conversion rates

SEO specialists often also play a vital role in boosting conversion rates. They optimize a website’s usability and user experience, making it more user-friendly and responsive across various devices. Moreover, they ensure that the website’s content is unique, helping establish its value to both users and search engines.

Technical SEO is an important part of this process, as it helps specialists prevent duplicate content on a website, enable more efficient crawling and indexing by search engines, and ultimately increase conversion rates.

Building sustainable SEO strategies

Building sustainable SEO strategies is crucial for long-term online success. Top SEO specialists proactively adapt to changes in SEO best practices and search engine algorithms to sustain companies’ online performance and presence.

They also utilize web analytics to measure your site’s performance and ensure their strategies align with your business objectives and adapt to SEO trends. Updating content regularly, managing your website’s backlink profile, and staying current with consumer search trends are all methods they use to build a sustainable SEO strategy.

What Criteria Should You Consider To Select the Right SEO Professional?

Choosing the right SEO professional is critical. Avoiding specialists who promise unrealistic outcomes or seem to lack the right skills, experience, or transparency can prevent dishonest services and damage to your online image and credibility.

The following are the most important things you should consider to select a skilled SEO specialist who can meet your company’s needs efficiently and ethically.

Technical skills and experience

An SEO professional’s technical skills and experience are paramount. A competent SEO specialist must be able to ensure your website’s functionality and optimize it for search engines. Specifically, they should have a deep understanding of:

  • Search engine algorithms, which allow them to effectively influence crawler behavior and page rankings
  • Diagnosing and fixing various issues, such as indexation problems and 404 errors
  • Optimizing site speed to improve SEO

An understanding of the fundamentals of programming also helps SEO specialists manage and implement SEO strategies. Look for those who demonstrate knowledge of relevant web programming languages, like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP.

Technical proficiency also enables SEO experts to collaborate effectively with web developers to address technical issues that may impact SEO.

Compatibility with your marketing strategy

An SEO professional’s approach should align with your business’s marketing goals to ensure a cohesive strategy that contributes to your overall growth and success.

Their SEO efforts shouldn’t be conducted in isolation; rather, they must be effectively integrated with other online marketing activities, such as social media, email marketing, and pay-per-click campaigns, to reinforce your marketing message and reach a broader audience.

The SEO expert must understand the nuances of your target market and branding and tailor their strategies accordingly. They should also make sure that marketing communications resonate with your target consumers.

Transparency and communication

Transparency and communication are vital in your relationship with an SEO professional. Ensure that they use ethical white-hat practices and avoid black-hat tactics that can hurt your business’s reputation and rankings.

They should be open to clear and regular communication to keep you informed about the progress of their SEO strategy and ensure that any changes or updates are promptly addressed.

Culture fit

Considering an SEO specialist’s culture fit is just as important as evaluating their technical skills and experience.

An SEO professional who aligns with your company’s core values, work ethic, and team dynamics can significantly contribute to a harmonious and productive work environment. They should be able to collaborate effectively with your existing team members and have a positive impact on the workplace culture.

A good culture fit can lead to better communication, enhanced teamwork, and a shared commitment to achieving your company’s goals. During the hiring process, it is essential to assess whether candidates’ professional demeanor and approach to work are in sync with your company’s atmosphere and way of doing things.

SEO specialist on google doing keyword research

Where Can You Source SEO Talent?

There are various sources you can utilize to find talented SEO professionals. The most effective ones will depend on how much support you need in the hiring process, the type of SEO services you require, and the kind of employment or contract model you desire.

To help you decide where to look for an SEO provider that can meet your business’s needs, let’s cover the top sources for SEO talent.

Freelance platforms

Freelancing websites like Toptal, Upwork, and Guru are useful platforms for hiring freelance marketers like SEO experts. These platforms provide a space where business owners can connect with individual SEO freelancers.

Client reviews and ratings on these sites can help you gauge the expertise and reliability of a freelancer and find the right professional for your SEO role.

SEO agencies

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive solution, you might consider partnering with an SEO agency or a more general marketing recruitment agency that offers SEO services. Established agencies often offer comprehensive solutions that can cover your SEO needs. They typically provide a wide range of services, including:

  • Strategy development
  • On-page optimization
  • Technical SEO
  • Content creation

The range of services offered by SEO agencies addresses all potential areas for optimization. A strong client-agency relationship also facilitates effective collaboration toward achieving business goals through effective SEO practices.

Remote hiring agencies

The geographical barriers to hiring top talent are diminishing. Businesses are no longer limited to local talent pools and can extend their search for an SEO specialist to a global scale through remote hiring.

This approach not only broadens the scope of potential candidates but also provides a more diverse set of specialized SEO skills and experiences to choose from.

With the aid of technology and collaborative tools, managing and working with remote SEO professionals has become seamless, ensuring that your SEO objectives are met effectively regardless of physical distance.

Outsourcing SEO services through a remote hiring agency can bring several other benefits. By hiring SEO professionals through Near, for example, you can cut down hiring time by 50–70% while spending considerably less on overhead.

Professional networks

Professional networks can be another valuable resource for obtaining trusted recommendations for SEO experts, connecting you with talent already vetted by your industry peers.

LinkedIn is a professional network platform commonly used to discover SEO specialists with proven track records. An advantage of using LinkedIn is the ability to see endorsements and skills validated by other professionals, providing an additional layer of credibility.

Recruiter interviewing an SEO specialist candidate

What Methods Should You Use to Evaluate SEO Specialist Candidates?

When it comes to evaluating SEO specialist candidates, it’s important to use a variety of methods to get a comprehensive view of their capabilities and how well they might fit into your company. Here are some effective methods to consider:

Assess their technical skills

Conduct a technical assessment that tests the candidate’s knowledge of SEO best practices, understanding of search engine algorithms, and proficiency with essential SEO tools. This can include practical tasks, such as conducting a site audit or outlining a strategy for a hypothetical scenario.

Review their portfolio and case studies

Request a portfolio or case studies from the candidates that demonstrate their previous SEO-related projects and successes. Analyze these materials to assess their industry experience, their ability to achieve tangible results, and the strategies they utilized to overcome challenges.

Conduct a behavioral interview

Use behavioral interview techniques to understand how the candidate has handled past situations relevant to your open role. Ask questions that require them to describe specific instances in which they applied their SEO knowledge to solve problems or improve performance.

Evaluate their cultural fit

It’s crucial that the candidate fits well within your company culture. Evaluate their interpersonal skills, work ethic, and values through interviews and potentially even meet-and-greets with the team. This helps ensure they will work well with other team members and thrive in your company’s environment.

Perform reference and background checks

Always check candidates’ references to validate their past work experience and achievements. Speaking with former employers or clients can provide additional insights into the candidate’s work style, reliability, and impact on previous SEO campaigns.

By employing a mix of these methods, you can thoroughly evaluate SEO specialist candidates and ensure that you select the most qualified person to support your business’s SEO initiatives.

How Do You Onboard SEO Experts?

Ensuring the success of your SEO undertakings doesn’t end once you’ve hired an SEO expert. Onboarding is a critical phase that sets the stage for a successful collaboration. It involves several methods for integrating the specialist into your marketing team and aligning them with your company’s processes and goals:

Provide an orientation and introductions

Start by introducing your SEO expert to the team members they will be working with. This helps them to build rapport and understand team dynamics. Provide them with an overview of your company’s history, mission, values, and culture to ensure they grasp the essence of your brand.

Give them access to tools and resources

Ensure your SEO expert has access to all the necessary tools, platforms, and resources they will need to perform their tasks. This includes analytics software, keyword research tools, content management systems, and any proprietary technology used by your company.

Ensure they understand your business goals

Clearly communicate your business goals, target audience, and unique selling propositions. This information will help the SEO expert tailor their strategies to your specific needs and ensure that their efforts are contributing to your overall objectives.

Stay aligned on your SEO strategy

Discuss the current SEO strategy, including what has been done so far, what has worked, and what hasn’t. Provide insights into any ongoing campaigns and the key metrics that are important for your business.

Provide training and development

If your SEO strategies involve proprietary techniques or specific methodologies, arrange for training sessions to get your new hire up to speed. In turn, encourage the SEO expert to share their knowledge and insights with the team, fostering a collaborative learning environment.

SEO Stats, Data and Graphs

How Can You Maintain SEO Success Post-Hire?

Maintaining success in your SEO projects after hiring an expert is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and adaptation. Here are some strategies to ensure your SEO initiatives continue to yield positive results:

Continuous learning and adaptation

Encourage your SEO expert to stay updated with the latest industry trends, algorithm updates, and best practices. SEO is a rapidly evolving field, and continuous learning is essential to maintain success.

Performance monitoring

Regularly monitor the performance of your SEO campaigns. Use tools like Google Analytics and Search Console to track traffic, rankings, and conversions. This data will help you understand the impact of your SEO efforts and make informed decisions.

SEO audits

Conduct periodic SEO audits to identify opportunities for improvement. This includes reviewing the website’s technical health, on-page elements, content quality, and backlink profile.

Content updates and optimization

Keep your website’s content fresh and relevant by regularly updating existing pages and adding new, high-quality content. This helps maintain your site’s authority and relevance in search engine results.

Feedback and communication

Maintain open lines of communication with your SEO expert. Set up regular check-ins, provide feedback on their work, and encourage them to share their insights and recommendations. A collaborative approach ensures that your SEO strategies are well informed and effective.

Scalability and resource allocation

As your business grows, you’ll need to be prepared to scale your SEO efforts accordingly. This may involve increasing the budget, expanding the team, or investing in new tools to support more advanced SEO initiatives.

By following these steps for onboarding and maintaining SEO success, you can ensure that your investment in SEO expertise translates into long-term benefits for your business.

Final Thoughts

Hiring an SEO specialist is a strategic decision that can significantly enhance your business’s online presence and performance. To navigate this process successfully, it’s vital to set objectives, find and evaluate the right talent, onboard new hires effectively, and maintain a robust SEO strategy.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, investing in SEO is no longer just an option but a necessity to stay competitive. So, take the leap, hire an SEO specialist, and watch your business soar to new heights.

By partnering with Near, you can get access to top SEO talent from Latin America (LatAm), providing you with the expertise to boost your website’s ranking without the high overhead costs typically associated with hiring SEO professionals.

Book a free consultation call to learn more about how we can help you find candidates from our talent pool of 35,000 pre-vetted professionals who have the skills and experience to help you achieve your SEO goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an SEO specialist cost?

Although the average salary of an SEO specialist in the US is $88.9k annually, rates can vary widely depending on your industry and the professional’s experience and geographical location.

If you’re considering hiring remote workers, it’s important to note that salary expectations are significantly lower in some regions due to lower costs of living. For example, SEO experts in LatAm have an average annual salary of $36k, almost 40% less than that of US specialists.

What are the key metrics to track the success of an SEO specialist’s initiatives?

To gauge the effectiveness of your SEO strategies, you should track several key metrics. These include organic traffic, search engine rankings for targeted keywords, backlink quantity and quality, domain authority, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

Monitoring these metrics over time will provide insights into the performance of your SEO efforts and help you make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns further.

Can an SEO specialist guarantee that my site will rank first on Google?

No ethical SEO specialist can guarantee a first-place ranking on Google due to the unpredictable nature of search engine algorithms. However, an experienced SEO professional can implement best practices to significantly improve your chances of ranking well by optimizing your site’s content and structure for search engines.

Frequently Asked Question

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