Hire a Pro: The Top Traits to Look for in an SEO Candidate
Look, we all know how important SEO is for any business that wants to be successful in the digital age.
By SEO, I am referring to ensuring your site is more visible and easily found by search engines (mainly Google).
By optimizing your website and its content, as well as your outreach strategy, you can instantly start shooting up the search results. The result is more sales, leads, and revenue for your business.
However, for your SEO strategy to be effective, it’s essential to have the right person in the first place. Click here to see a good example of that.
Hiring the wrong person can result in a waste of time, money and resources. Not to mention a whole bunch of headaches.
Whether it’s in-house or outsourcing SEO help, it’s essential to know the best traits to look for when hiring for an SEO role.
This blog post will give you a complete list of the key traits you should look for when hiring for an SEO role.
Knowledge of search algorithms
When looking at an SEO’s experience, one of the most important traits we look for is a strong understanding and/or awareness of search engine algorithms.
Search engine algorithms are the complex (and hidden) set of rules that search engines use to determine the relevance and authority of a page.
These algorithms are insanely complex and protected, considering hundreds of different factors.
An SEO with a strong understanding of these will be able to craft an SEO strategy tailored to your business’s specific needs.
Your business will be different to others, and the keywords you want to target will require an additional focus on algorithmic factors. The ideal SEO will be able to identify these and craft a strategy that focuses on those factors.
They will also be able to stay up-to-date with the latest algorithm changes and adapt their strategy accordingly.
To identify if a candidate has this strong understanding of algorithms, you should ask them about their experience with SEO and how they have used algorithms to improve a website’s rankings or visibility.
You should also ask them about the specific algorithms they are familiar with and how they have changed in the past.
Technical SEO savviness
Any SEO professional worth their salt must possess technical SEO skills.
Technical SEO refers to the nitty gritty parts of a website, such as a site’s coding, structure, and organization.
These elements are essential for search engines to crawl, index, and understand the website’s content.
This is what the web is built on, and without a grasp of this, it becomes impossible to optimize a site for search.
Secondly, a good SEO must know their way around tools such as Search Console. This is imperative to get valuable real-time insights into a site’s performance. It will provide an SEO with instant updates when a site has a technical issue.
To identify if an in-house candidate or SEO agency has solid technical SEO skills, you could ask them specific questions about how they have optimized a website’s code, structure, and organization in the past.
You could even throw in a few questions about how Search Console looks and works.
They have got to love data
Look, getting results from organic search really is a data game. If you don’t have a robust data-driven approach, making the best SEO decisions is pretty much impossible.
An SEO with these data skills can sift through large amounts of data and extract valuable insights that can help build an SEO strategy that will get you results.
These aspiring SEOs can measure the effectiveness of different tactics and make data-driven decisions to improve the website’s performance. It’s crucial to make these big decisions with a good bank of data rather than just guesswork.
As a data-driven SEO at SEOtagg, I love testing and measuring elements of my strategy based on multiple data points. This enables me to say with certainty what is moving the needle. If something doesn’t work, then I will revert back.
The best SEOs can also understand trends in standard SEO datasets, providing powerful insights. This is often because they have access to it, but that’s why you hire outside help.
But how do you know if the person you are looking to hire for SEO help has these skills?
Well, you could ask them about examples of when they have used different SEO data points to make decisions in their past SEO work.
Now that’s a good exercise that will give you an insight into how they approach data.
Communication and Collaboration Skills
If you work in SEO, you just don’t work in a vacuum. You will always have to collaborate with various teams and people within the business.
This could be anyone from the marketing people to the developers. It could be the content team all the way through to the business owners themselves.
That’s why you need to look for an excellent communicator.
A candidate with strong communication skills can explain complex SEO concepts in a way that’s easy for non-technical stakeholders to understand.
They’ll be able to set realistic expectations and keep everyone in the loop at each stage of the SEO journey.
Collaboration skills are just as necessary. Someone who can work well with other teams will be able to keep the SEO strategy aligned with the overall business goals.
They’ll be able to coordinate efforts and ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal.
To identify if your SEO candidate has strong communication and collaboration skills, you could ask them about specific examples of working with different teams and stakeholders. The best question is when this commutation broke down or became difficult.
So, when looking for outside SEO help or hiring in-house, a strong understanding of search engine algorithms, technical SEO skills, analytical skills, communication and collaboration are all required.
SEO is constantly evolving, and if you want to get onto that first page of Google, you’ll need to understand the key traits to look for in an SEO candidate.
As always, hiring the right person for the job is crucial, and in the words of the great philosopher Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” (or, in this case, hire someone who loves their job and you’ll never have to worry about your SEO strategy again). To learn more about what makes SEO so popular you can head to this website.