Search engine optimisation involves optimising website internally and externally so that it appears on Google and other search engines for your chosen keywords. The idea is to research and select keywords that potential customers or clients might search including both branded and non-branded phrases.
SEO is difficult because despite there being hundreds of different factors that can help with the success or failure of your search profile there is also constantly changing rules and algorithms that Google and other engines release meaning the game is forever changing.
When hiring for an SEO role I have composed 4 key tasks and questions to ask to ensure you are making a good hire.
1. Ask them to do an external search audit.
Ask the candidate to complete an audit on a chosen website using only publicly available tools and knowledge. They should highlight lots of information including the quality and quantity of the content on your website down to the URL structure and page speed loading times. Ask the candidate to present his or hers findings and to suggest improvements and next steps to take to improve the websites search presence.
2. Redo the audit using internal tools.
Using tools like Google analytics, Google search console, Google Adwords and Moz people can get a lot more insightful information on a websites current SEO campaign, give the candidate access to some internal tools and ask them to re-do the website audit using the internal information. They should now get more of an understanding on what keywords are working, which ones you should be targeting and also more of an understanding on the conversion aspect of the website and any technical errors that might need fixing. You might ask them to present there findings once again possibly in a 2nd or 3rd stage interview.
3. Past experiences and success.
Ask the candidate what kind of clients they have worked with in the past; do these apply to your business? Ask them what keyword success they have had and how this reflected well on the business. SEO professionals should also have good knowledge in social media; analytics and other marketing methods so try to gain some further insights about this.
4. Content and link generating.
With content and link generating being two of the most important SEO factors its important to gain an idea of what the candidate will do to earn top quality white hat SEO links and how they will rise above and beat competitors that will be actively optimising and applying SEO techniques to their websites.
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