So you’ve decided to hire an SEO specialist to boost your website traffic and rankings. Smart move. But how do you make sure you find the best one for your needs? Don’t just go with the first slick-talking “expert” who promises you the moon. There are a few key things to look for to hire an SEO Expert who will actually deliver real results. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the must-haves —the hard and soft skills, experience, expertise, and instincts—that the top SEO specialists have. We’ll show you how to spot the qualities that separate the best from the rest. Follow this advice and you’ll find an SEO expert who becomes a key partner in your success. One who helps your business reach its full potential online through strategic search optimization and drives more of your ideal customers to engage with your brand.
Technical SEO Expertise
To rank well in search engines, your SEO specialist needs to understand technical SEO inside and out. Look for these signs of expertise:
- Knowledge of HTML, XML, and CSS. They should understand web markup languages and be able to optimize page content, URL structures, image alt text, and more.
- Expertise with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. These provide insights into how search engines view your site. Your SEO pro should know how to analyze reports to identify issues and opportunities.
- Strong grasp of mobile-first indexing. Google now indexes and ranks sites based on their mobile versions. Ensure your SEO specialist creates a mobile-optimized site and has strategies for mobile SEO.
- Familiarity with page speed optimization. Fast loading sites rank higher and have better user experience. See if they mention optimizing images, using content delivery networks, and minifying code to improve speed.
- Understanding of technical SEO audits. They should conduct comprehensive audits of your site to uncover problems with indexing, crawling, duplicate content, broken links, schema markup issues, and more. Then provide fixes to optimize for search engines.
- Knowledge of rel=”canonical”. They should know how to use this link tag to tell search engines which URL is the original or preferred version of a page.
- Familiarity with robots.txt and XML sitemaps. These help search engines crawl and index your site. Ensure they know how to optimize these for the best results.
With expertise in these technical areas, an SEO specialist can truly optimize your site and content for the best rankings and traffic. Don’t settle for someone without these skills – your search success depends on it!
Strong Content Creation Skills
When hiring an SEO specialist, don’t settle for someone who can’t create engaging content. Strong writing skills are essential. Here are some things to look for:
- A proven track record of writing blog posts, articles, and other content that ranks well in search engines. Ask for samples of their work and check that the writing is clear, compelling, and optimized.
- Mastery of on-page SEO best practices. They should know how to do keyword research and integrate target keywords naturally into content in a way that appeals to both search engines and human readers.
- A knack for informative and engaging storytelling. The best content creators know how to capture attention and turn even dull topics into an interesting read. They can explain complex ideas in a simple, easy-to-understand way.
- Knowledge of your target audience and industry. The most effective content is tailored to your specific customers and niche. Look for someone who has experience creating content for businesses similar to yours.
- Creativity and an ability to generate new ideas. You want an SEO specialist who can continually come up with fresh content that will attract new traffic and keep visitors coming back to your site.
- Strong communication and collaboration skills. They should be able to work with your team to develop a comprehensive content strategy and seamlessly execute on content creation.
With an SEO specialist who excels in these areas, you’ll have a steady stream of high-quality content that boosts your search rankings, builds authority, and keeps your audience engaged. Don’t settle for anything less. The results will speak for themselves.
A data-driven SEO specialist uses hard data and analytics to inform their optimization strategies and content recommendations. They don’t just guess and hope for the best—they rely on facts.
A data-driven SEO specialist conducts in-depth keyword research to determine the terms and phrases your target audience is actually searching for. They analyze search volume and competition to identify opportunities where you can rank high and drive traffic.
They consider both short-tail (single word) and long-tail (multiple word) keywords to develop a robust targeting strategy.
- Tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, and SEMrush are used to uncover valuable insights.
- Keyword research is ongoing to adapt to trends and seasonality.
Once optimization efforts are underway, a data-driven SEO monitors key performance indicators (KPIs) like rankings, traffic, and conversions to see what’s working and not working. They make data-based recommendations to improve results.
- Metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), average time on page, and bounce rate are analyzed to determine content and user experience issues.
- Rank tracking tools are used to monitor rankings for target keywords across search engines. Drops in rankings are researched to uncover potential problems.
A data-driven SEO specialist relies on facts, not speculation. They have a constant pulse on your key metrics and search trends to make optimization decisions that will drive real results. Don’t settle for an SEO that relies more on guesswork than hard data. Insist on an expert that takes an evidence-based approach to growing your search traffic and conversions.
Experience Optimizing Websites
When hiring an SEO specialist, look for candidates with proven experience optimizing and improving rankings for websites similar to yours. The SEO strategies that work for an ecommerce site won’t necessarily translate to a local business website or blog. Find a specialist who has a track record of success with websites comparable to your own. Ask to see case studies and examples of their work optimizing sites in your industry or niche.
- Do they have experience with content creation, technical SEO, link building and keyword research for your type of site?
- Can they show how their efforts measurably improved traffic and rankings over time?
- Do they stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends, techniques and algorithms that affect sites like yours?
SEO is constantly evolving, so ongoing learning and adapting to change is crucial. The ideal candidate will be able to explain how they keep their SEO knowledge and skills current to benefit their clients.
A Customized Approach
Avoid any specialist who relies on a “one-size-fits-all” SEO strategy. Every website is unique, so the optimization approach should be tailored to your specific goals, content, and audience. Ask potential hires how they would customize an SEO campaign for your website and business objectives.
- Do they suggest an in-depth audit and analysis of your site to determine key opportunities for improvement?
- Will they conduct keyword research based on your target customers’ interests and search behavior?
- Do they recommend a personalized content strategy aligned with your brand and value proposition?
SEO requires both technical expertise and a creative, customized strategy. Look for a data-driven specialist who also brings a strategic, holistic view of how to best optimize your website experience for both search engines and human visitors. By assessing experience, skills, and approach, you’ll find an SEO specialist equipped to drive real results for your business.
References and Case Studies
Finding a reputable SEO specialist is critical to the success of your online marketing efforts. Don’t just take someone at their word—ask to see concrete evidence of their skills and experience.
Case Studies and Examples
Ask any candidates to provide case studies, examples, and data from past clients showcasing their success. Some things to look for:
- Increased organic traffic and rankings over time. Make sure any increases are due to their efforts and not just seasonal changes or fluctuations.
- Improved keyword rankings for competitive phrases. Moving from page 5 to page 1 of Google in a short period of time is a good sign.
- Wins in multiple industries. If they’ve had success for ecommerce sites, local businesses, and national brands, that shows they have a broad range of experience.
- Clear explanations of strategies and tactics. They should be able to tell you exactly how they achieved their results in a straightforward way. Run away from anyone using lots of technical jargon to hide a lack of substance.
- Glowing client testimonials. Look for reviews from former clients praising specific outcomes and experiences. Generic testimonials without details are less credible.
- Media recognition or awards (optional). Some SEO pros have been recognized as experts by major publications or organizations. While not required, external validation of their skills is a good sign.
Don’t be afraid to ask for and actually contact references from former clients. Speaking to their past clients is one of the best ways to determine if an SEO specialist is worth your investment. Questions to ask references include:
- How long did they work together? You want someone who can maintain a long-term partnership.
- What results did they achieve? Ask for specifics on traffic, rankings, and revenue increases.
- How well did they communicate? The ideal SEO expert will provide regular updates, reports, and advice.
- Would they recommend them? This is an obvious sign of a satisfied client and a job well done.
Taking the time to thoroughly vet candidates will help ensure you find an SEO specialist that delivers real results for your business. Don’t settle for vague promises—look for proven outcomes and happy clients.
Unleash Your Website’s Potential with SAGIPL’s SEO Specialists!
Are you ready to take your website to new heights of success? Look no further than SAGIPL’s team of SEO specialists. With their expertise and dedication, they will optimize your website for maximum visibility and drive your business towards success in the online world. They will optimize every aspect of your site, from page content to URL structures, ensuring that search engines take notice. Our specialists are also content architects, skilled in the art of creating engaging and SEO-friendly content. They will conduct thorough keyword research, integrating targeted keywords seamlessly into your content to attract both search engines and human readers. What sets our SEO specialists apart is their data-driven approach.Choose SAGIPL Best SEO specialists, and unlock the full potential of your online presence.