How to Hire an SEO Professional

A Common Sense Approach to Hiring a Professional Search Engine Optimizer

Google’s Maile Ohye shares her advice for hiring an SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) to improve the searcher experience on your website.

Published on Feb 14, 2017

Key Takeaways from How to Hire an SEO Video Comments

  • An SEO’s potential is only as high as the quality of your business or website
  • In most cases, SEOs need four months to a year to help your business implement implement improvements and see potential benefit
  • “Doing what’s good for SEO is also doing what’s good for your online customers”
  • If you have complex legacy systems, then good search friendly best practices likely involve paying off your site’s “technical debt.”
  • When hiring an SEO, conduct a two-way interview to make sure they’re genuinely interested in your business. Check their references. Ask for (and expect to pay for) a technical and search audit.
  • You should expect an SEO to ask some of these questions: What makes your business, content, and/or service unique? What does your common customer look like, and how do they currently find your site? How does your business make money, and how can search help? What other channels are you using? Who are your competitors, and what do they do well?
  • An audit may/should include the following: Identifying an issue. Providing the suggested improvement. An estimate on the time/money investment needed to implement the improvement. The estimated business impact. A plan for iterating and implementing secondary changes.
  • A technical audit should identify issues related to the following: Internal linking, crawlability, URL parameters, server connectivity, and response codes.
  • If you’re not ready to commit to implementing SEO improvements, you’re not likely to see any results no matter whom you hire.

SEO is not the same as SEM. SEM is Search Engine Marketing. Professional SEM involves optimizing your search results using off-page tactics. SEM is a broader term that would include marketing your pages search results (SERPs) across social media networks, forums, directories, other websites including link-building, Google Image Search, etc.  Ask about professional search engine marketing to gain an advantage in your industry.

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