The SEO profession has changed dramatically over the years. As Google changes its algorithms, SEO specialists have to quickly adapt their practices to keep up. Over time, some of the most common methods have simply stopped working. Google employs the best specialists in the world to keep its algorithm immune to activities that may affect its search results. On the other side of the equation, SEO specialists have to adjust their websites to fit the current algorithm as much as possible. Although having knowledge of how the algorithm has changed over time is useful, it is also necessary to hire SEO candidates who possess the following skills:
Rational Thinking, No Emotions
If you have worked on SEO, especially in an industry where sales depend heavily on your visibility in search results, you know what it means to either lose or win a higher Google ranking. A good SEO specialist should be able to answer the following questions:
• Why did the website lose or achieve its Google ranking?
• What should be done to counteract or benefit from this situation?
The Ability To Speak And Write Convincingly
A good SEO specialist should be convincing enough to justify their work in a way that does not alienate their superiors. They often have to wait to see the results of their hard work, but the employee’s supervisors should know what their specialist is doing and, even more importantly, why they are doing it.
The efficient use of Excel is a basic skill that every SEO specialist must possess. In addition, they should have mastery of programs for analyzing incoming links and internal elements on the website, and Google tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Other desired technical skills include programming skills or technical code analysis. The candidate should be familiar with server configuration, in particular how to speed up the performance of the website. Moreover, they should understand when the website code has a chance to be indexed in Google.
Independent Learning And High Motivation To Work
The SEO field is undergoing continuous change. Search engine algorithms are governed by artificial intelligence. The first page of Google search results is subject to constant visual change. All of this, as well as the influence of Google AdWords and the rapidly changing work environment, forces specialists to continually self-educate. Only a highly motivated and independent candidate is able to meet this challenge.
Interview Questions To Ask An SEO Candidate
If you’re going to hire your own SEO specialist, don’t forget to ask these questions during the interview process:
• What customers are in your portfolio and how many customers use your services today?
An SEO specialist’s prestige is determined by their portfolio. But a good portfolio is not enough. What matters is their long-term relationships with customers. If your candidate had a number of short stints, even with big-name brands, it means that something went wrong and those contracts were terminated.
• How could you improve my website to help it get a higher Google ranking?
Every experienced SEO specialist with access to the internet should be able to answer this question after a short review of your website. The internet provides many, even free, SEO tools that allow them to detect areas of improvement instantly.
• Can you guarantee me the highest Google ranking in search results?
If the answer is “yes,” finish the interview and thank the candidate. Nobody can guarantee this. However, they should have suggestions for increasing your ranking by leveraging keywords.
• How will you measure and report your work to us?
Before the interview, you should ask yourself what you need the most. Do you want to have a popular brand or to get more page views? Maybe you are just focused on conversions. Your SEO KPI should take all of this into account. A good SEO specialist has no problem discussing their progress. In addition, they should have actual statistics that confirm the results of their work.
• What happens if we terminate our contract after, for example, six months? Will we lose the Google ranking you attained for us?
If the candidate answers “yes,” there are two scenarios: Either they will use blackhat SEO tactics to buy spam links, or they will try to exaggerate their value to you. The only acceptable answer is “No, but …” They may stress that some SEO processes must be ongoing and that their absence may make them difficult to control.
There is an ongoing struggle against the competition to win higher rankings in search results. Be sure you can rise to the challenge by hiring a skilled SEO specialist.