The best traits to look for when hiring for an SEO role

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 the process of ensuring your site 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 instant shooting up the search results. The result of that – 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.

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.

In this blog post, we’ll give you the full lowdown of the key traits that you should look for when hiring for an SEO role. Remember, you can take a look here to learn more about this topic.

  1. Understanding of Search Engine Algorithms

When we’re looking at an SEO’s expeirence, 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, and they take into account hundreds of different factors.

An SEO with a strong understanding of these will be able to craft an SEO strategy that is tailored to the specific needs of your business.

Your business will be different to others, and the keywords you will want to target are going to require a different 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 changes in the algorithms and adapt their strategy accordingly. That’s also what James Ewen says, and he’s a founder of the agency SEOtagg.

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 the nitty gritty parts of a website, such as the coding, structure, and organization of the site.

These elements are super important for search engines to be able to crawl, index, and understand the website’s content.

So a good SEO must have a sound understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

This is what the web is built on, and without a grasp of this, it becomes impossible to optimize a site’s for search.

Secondly, a good SEO must know their way around tools such as Search Console. Thjis is imperative in order to get valuable insights into how a site is performing in real-time. It will provide an SEO with instant updates when there is a technical issue on a site.

To identify if an in house candidate or SEO agency has strong 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 strong data-driven approach, it’s pretty much impossible to make the best SEO decisions.

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 SEOs can measure the effectiveness of different tactics and make data-driven decisions based on this 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 an SEO consultant, 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 common SEO datasets, which will provide 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 someone who is an excellent communicator.

A candidate with strong communication skills will be able to 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 important, 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.

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 someone who is an excellent communicator.

A candidate with strong communication skills will be able to 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 important, 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 when they have worked with different teams and stakeholders in the past. The best question to ask here is to ask about a time when this commutation broke down, or became difficult.

In summary

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 an always-evolving field, 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).

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