What is Google’s advice for hiring a useful SEO?

As a leading Sussex based digital marketing agency, we were very interested to view Google Webmaster’s YouTube video: How to hire an SEO. It covers what an SEO does, the hiring process and wider implications.

This 12-minute video by Maile Ohye explains clearly what to look for in an SEO and what makes a good SEO stand out. It is a ‘must see’ if you are thinking of hiring an SEO, if you work with SEOs or if you are an SEO yourself.

The role of a good SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) covers the entire searcher experience from representation in the search results, clicking on the website, potentially converting to a lead or customer, to ranking appropriately where the website is expected to be seen.

Hiring tip

For long-term success in SEO, there aren’t any quick fixes or magic tricks, and the potential of SEO is only as high as the quality of your website. The SEO should advise and implement best practices to your website, from creating and implementing descriptive page titles to more complex language mark-up. The SEO should also ensure that the website is helpful both on desktop and mobile devices and delivers a good user experience.

To ensure best practice, SEOs should always corroborate recommendation with a documented statement from Google which supports the description of the issue and approach to resolving the issue.

The 4-step hiring process

Google suggest there are 4 steps in the hiring process:

General SEO hiring process

1 – Conducting a 2-way interview

Look for an SEO who not only focuses on ranking but also on helping your business. What makes your business unique? What do your customers look like and how do they find your site? How does your business make money? What other channels are you using? Who are your competitors? If the SEO is not interested in these questions, look elsewhere.

2 – Checking references

Check references from existing clients, and verify specifically that the SEO can provide useful guidance and work effectively with developers, designers and marketers. An SEO should be someone you want to work with, learn from, experiment with and who cares about your business. They should also educate you on how search engines work so that Search Engine Optimisation becomes part of your business.

3 – Technical and Search Audit

An SEO should conduct an audit using Google Search Console and Analytics Data have before touching anything on the website, and produce a prioritised list of recommendations.

The website should be reviewed for issues such as internal linking, crawlability, server connectivity and response codes. The Search Audit should look at branded and unbranded terms. For unbranded queries the SEO should detail the types of queries they think you should rank for, and what your competitors have done. Examples of recommendations could be to update obsolete content, improve internal linking, generate or learn from the competition.

4 – Deciding if you want to hire

 “Good SEOs will prioritise what ideas can bring your business the most improvement for the least investment, and what improvements will take more time but help growth in the long term.” – Maile Ohye, Google

Artemis Internet Marketing offer a completely free SEO consultation and website analysis service for anyone who’d like to find out more about online marketing and increasing enquiries, sales and profits from their website. We are focused on achieving SEO results for our clients using completely ethical, white hat, Google-friendly techniques.