3 Steps To Hire The Right SEO Expert For Your Business

An SEO strategy is essential to achieve organic growth as an entrepreneur. Many companies will need to hire an SEO professional to handle this strategy. The problem is, that most business leaders do not have enough SEO knowledge. They need to be able to create a job description, ask the right questions and assess a candidate’s competence in this area.

Later more than a decade as an SEO consultant and expert, Eli Schwartz is the author of Product Led SEO. He has a keen understanding of what functions and what does not. His strategies have brought millions of dollars of revenue to some of the most popular websites on the internet. He’s also helped clients such as Shutterstock and Quora, Blue Nile and Zendesk implement highly successful global SEO strategies. He was the head of SurveyMonkey’s SEO team and helped grow organic search revenue from 1% to a significant driver of global revenue.

Schwartz stated that he’s seen many job descriptions for SEO positions that don’t clearly define what they are looking for. Some have responsibilities that date back ten years, while others are held to extremely high standards. You may need someone who can understand content, engineering, and analytics. But, it isn’t easy to find those different skills in one person. Unlikely.”

According to his experience, hiring an SEO expert involves three steps: assessing your company’s requirements, determining compensation, and creating a job description.

1. Analyze your company’s SEO requirements

To better understand your company’s SEO requirements, take a step back. Schwartz suggested that you don’t want to have a strong tactical person, but no one who can develop the overall strategy. While most strategists are skilled in tactical skills, not all of them can develop strategy skills.

Schwartz stated that the skill strengths of SEO professionals could be divided into four functional areas: product management, copywriting and technicians, and PR. The skills and abilities of your company in SEO will determine who you hire.

Schwartz stated that earlier-stage companies should hire a master of all trades with diverse skills across product and marketing. Prioritizing skill sets is crucial in later-stage companies, where the new hire will be working on SEO projects. Finding someone with experience and skills in all of these areas is possible, but it can be not easy.

Schwartz stated that it is far easier to know precisely what the company needs and where there are resources to get them done. There is no right way to decide which skills or how to hire them. Each company will have its unique requirements.

2. Fair compensation should be appropriately calculated

The diversity of requirements and skills will make it difficult to determine the proper reward for your first SEO marketer. Schwartz did not declare an “ideal salary” for the position and did not believe anyone should.

He said he has never seen public surveys about SEO salaries match up with in-house compensation packages. “I recommend you take these surveys with a grain of salt.”

Large companies will have a salary ladder that places SEO managers in a job category with some of the most common positions under product management, content marketing, product producers, performance marketers, or online marketers.

If a company does not have formal compensation ladders, it should match SEO salaries to one of the more common job functions to create compensation packages. Avoiding paying too much is a mistake. “You get what you pay!”

Schwartz also advised against making any salary variable based upon a KPI. This will result in the wrong incentives and will not help you prioritize your SEO efforts toward long-term sustainable growth.

He shared that he has seen SEO bonuses linked to link metrics, rankings positions, clicks from searches, and even revenue. It always had long-term, severe, and adverse effects.”

3. Write a detailed job description

What is the ultimate goal you would like an SEO expert to help with? Schwartz stated that the answer to this question would form the basis of your job description.

Do you want to create a new website? Increase your content and organic visibility. Once you have a clear goal, break it down into steps. These are the requirements you should include in your job description.

You might need to be able to understand the reporting that is required to determine when the goal has been reached. It is also essential to decide on the hard skills that the person requires. A link builder doesn’t necessarily need to have a background in math. Technical SEO specialists don’t have to be great communicators if they are interested in the job.

It would help to decide whether you are looking for a senior or junior hire. Include the appropriate years of experience. Find out what previous jobs are required to provide the best background for your employment. Are they looking for adventure with a large company? Agency? Early-stage company? You can also include other desirable skills, provided you clearly state they are not required.

Schwartz stated that proper preparation would make it easier to sort resumes and decide who to hire. It will make it easier to determine the best candidate if you clearly define what the new hire will do once they’re on board.

Humans do SEO

When you start this process, remember that “great SEO happens by humans, for people.” Schwartz suggests you look for the right person to lead your company’s future success.

It would assist if you had someone who could think outside the box and adapt to new situations. They will take your SEO to new heights. So ensure you do your research and guess people you can trust.

Schwartz stated that anyone with some SEO knowledge could conduct an SEO audit and create a keyword list. Combining customer empathy and creativity with SEO knowledge takes a particular person.

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Krishna Chaitanya
Krishna is a digital media strategist with experience in the media and publishing industries, He is also the lead marketing strategist for Hustle Chronicle. He is currently employed at Intentify Media & resides in India.

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