Search engine optimization (SEO) is starting to become an essential part of running a business, digitally-focused or not. With the ever-growing competition of the modern era, it’s important to have an edge over your competitors. You should be able to show potential clients why they should buy your products or avail of your services among others.
This is where SEO comes in and saves the day. But even though you know some things about SEO, it won’t always work in your favor. Even if you have a team working on SEO internally, there are times when you don’t get the results you expect.
In instances like these, you might want to bring in outside help. Yes, we’re talking about hiring SEO experts. They have the right skill sets and a track record of ranking websites. If your current strategies aren’t working for your site, they will be able to see the bigger picture and help make your site more visible. Similarly, they can focus on the small details that help generate quality leads for your site.
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What SEO Experts Actually Do
So, now that we’ve established the importance of hiring an SEO expert, it’s time to look into what they actually do. Which aspects of your business are they expected to work on and improve?
There are three types of SEO that every SEO expert (and amateur trying to hire an expert) should know about. You’d want someone who knows how to work on these three levels to maximize your chances of success.
On-page SEO has to do with the content of your blog articles and informational pages. This includes researching the keywords related to your topic as well as formatting it in a way for Google’s bots to understand. The baseline goal here is to include these keywords in your title, meta description, tags, alt text for images, and URL for the article. Doing so makes your content easier to find and brings more traffic to your site.
For example, if your target keyword is London IT support, your on-page SEO should include a matching meta title, meta description and relevant keywords to the primary keyword. This will make it easier for it to be ranked higher in comparison to non-optimized pages.
Off-page SEO mostly focuses on link building. The goal of off-page SEO is to have other websites—preferably high-authority ones—citing your content on their website. This gives you more credibility and in turn, helps generate more leads for your business.
Technical SEO looks into improving the elements of your website. It focuses on the site’s user interface, loading time, and mobile version. Technical SEO is about making your website easier for search engines to “read” and to improve the user experience.
Responsibilities of an SEO Expert
Specifically, here’s what SEO experts are expected to do when you hire them:
- Perform an SEO audit of your site to determine how well your site is doing on search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Research keywords that help your website become more visible in search engines.
- Market your brand name to also appear on top of SERPs.
- Create content that brings more organic traffic to your website.
- Spearhead and oversee initiatives that help you generate more leads and reach a wider audience.
- Build relevant internal, external, and backlinks that make your site more credible.
- Create custom solutions to address different issues on your business website.
- Send reports that detail the site’s development, the changes made to it, and the areas that still need improvement.
What to Look for in an SEO Expert
If you’re just about ready to take the next step in making your business grow, here are some things to look for in an SEO expert:
Whether you’re planning to hire SEO freelancers or full-service marketing companies, it’s important to look into their work experience. The ideal candidate is someone who has been working in the industry for at least 5 years and has already worked with clients in different fields.
You’d want someone who really knows what they’re doing so that your investment will be worth it in the long run.
It’s also important that the SEO expert you hire has a detailed work process. They may have different processes for different projects and clients—and that’s usually for the better—but what’s important is that they know what they’re supposed to do.
Hiring someone with a clear and detailed work process also helps you understand the changes and improvements that are about to happen.
When hiring an SEO expert, you should also look into their past projects. Of course, you’d want someone who has already had successful projects in the past. The more, the better.
Successful projects are also a measure of their expertise and knowledge in the field. More successes in different types of businesses will show you how adaptable they are to changes.
It also shows you how effective their strategies are.
Transparency and Communication
SEO takes some time before you can see actual results. And that’s perfectly fine. What’s important is that the SEO expert you hire is transparent and communicates well with you.
You should be looking for someone who walks you through their work process and informs you of the changes they make to your site. Even when some of their strategies don’t yield results as expected, they should still be able to relay it to you and offer other solutions to address the problem.
An SEO expert should also have marketing skills. It’s not enough to be knowledgeable in technical SEO-related skills. A good SEO expert also knows how to market your content and your website to maximize success.
SEO is still a digital marketing tactic, after all. It’s only right to look for excellent marketing skills when hiring an SEO expert that can help you rank better on search engines.
Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO Expert
Part of knowing how to hire SEO experts is knowing the right questions to ask them. Here are a few points you can raise when interviewing them.
How Do You Go About the SEO Process?
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to SEO processes. Different experts will have different approaches to your site. What you should keep an eye out for is someone who details the process and makes you understand it even if you don’t have much SEO knowledge.
How Long Does it Usually Take to See Results?
Again, SEO results aren’t instant. It could take months or years before you see noteworthy successes. You’d want someone who has a timeline in which they’re targeting to achieve results for your site.
Do You Send Out Custom Reports?
SEO experts will send you reports every now and then. But what’s more important to know about is if they can give you custom reports that detail the progress and issues that come up in the whole SEO process. You might also want to arrange with them how frequently you want reports to be sent to you.
What Kind of Projects Have You Worked on Before?
It’s important to know which projects an SEO expert has already worked on before. Whether they specialize in a single field or have experience in different fields gives you a clearer picture of their range. It also helps you gauge if they would be the right fit for your business.
How Do You Plan to Approach Our Issue?
You may want to give them a sample or actual scenario and ask how they would go about addressing it. Through this, you can see the SEO expert that best aligns with your needs and interests. You’ll be able to see which one could actually deliver the results you’re looking for.
The Bottom Line
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If your current strategies aren’t working for you, it’s time to give SEO experts a try. There are a lot of things to look for and questions to ask SEO candidates. But at the end of the day, the one you hire should be able to give you (maybe even more than) the results you’re planning to achieve.
Again, here are the things to look for in an SEO expert:
- Work experience. They should have enough experience with SEO, preferably in multiple business fields.
- Work process. They should give you a clear and detailed work process that’s tailored to meet your SEO needs.
- Successful projects. They should already have a good number of successful projects in the past to back up their expertise and knowledge in the field.
- Transparency and communication. They should be able to send you progress reports, the changes they make to your site, and the issues that still need attention.
- Marketing skills. They should know how to market your content and website so that it reaches a wider audience and ranks higher in search engines.
We at Go Top Shelf can give you the SEO results you’re looking to achieve. Just like our name, we have the skills and experience to bring you and your business to the top shelf—the first page of search engine results. Get in touch with us today to grow your business and maximize its success.